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Reasons to be Cheerful

Chandni Doulatramani

29 June 2021

Gurgaon, India

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In 71 cities around the world, users of the My Safetipin mobile app can decide whether to visit a particular neighborhood or plan a travel route based on how safe others deem those places. While the 100,000 or so user...

The Washington Post

Peter Hermann

29 May 2021

Washington, District of Columbia, United States

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Unsuccessful at filling its police officer ranks with more people of color from the neighborhoods where they'll patrol, the D.C. police department takes its largely white recruit classes into those neighborhoods for l...

Yes! Magazine

Anoa Changa

Laura Rosbrow-Telem

24 May 2021

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

Radio

Over 15 Minutes

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Two ways that communities affected by police violence and racial injustice responded to the uprising after George Floyd's murder were block-by-block organizing and participatory budgeting. The first, used in Minneapol...

100 Days in Appalachia

Taylor Sisk

18 May 2021

Kentucky, United States

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Awareness is growing that community health workers (CHWs) are an effective way to address social determinants of health and reduce health inequities. The success of CHWs is due to the fact that they share life experie...

Bloomberg CityLab

John Surico

29 April 2021

New York, New York, United States

Multi-Media

1500-3000 Words

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Many cities created "open streets" during the pandemic, limiting traffic on certain streets to give people a safe outdoor place to relax and play. Which programs outlive the pandemic depends on a host of factors, most...

Next City

Taylor Moore

16 April 2021

Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

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In Las Vegas, pedestrians and drivers ticketed for unsafe behavior can get their fines voided by taking a three-hour class called PedSAFE. More than 2,800 people have taken the class and, say its sponsors from the Uni...

QNotes

Mona Dougani

26 March 2021

Denver, Colorado, United States

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Denver's Beloved Community Village is a development of 20 "tiny houses," affordable single-family homes that have helped residents obtain stable housing at rates that allow them to get ahead financially. Charlotte wou...

Chicago Sun-Times

Manny Ramos

7 February 2021

Chicago, Illinois, United States

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Since June 2019, Chicago's Grounds for Peace pilot project has begun cleaning up vacant, city-owned lots using an approach to urban beautification that has been shown in other cities, and in one Chicago neighborhood, ...

Next City

Lyndsay Knecht

27 January 2021

St. Louis, Missouri, United States

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When the Public Iconographies project asked people in St. Louis "how would you map the monuments of St. Louis?", it got 750 hand-drawn maps telling stories of often-overlooked sites throughout the city. By letting peo...

The Washington Post

Ian Duncan

16 January 2021

South Bend, Indiana, United States

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Reconfiguring streets to slow automobile traffic through its downtown business district and encourage pedestrians and bicycling enlivened South Bend's street life and proved a boon to its restaurants and other busines...

Bloomberg CityLab

Laura Bliss

6 January 2021

Durham, North Carolina, United States

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When city planners rushed early in the pandemic to close streets to automobile traffic in order to give residents a safe space to roam outdoors, they ended up learning lessons entirely apart from their original goals ...

ProPublica

Tony Briscoe

Haru Coryne

30 December 2020

United States

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Various government policies and programs have been implemented in Black communities facing urban decline but not all of them have been completely successful. Initiatives included: Expanding public transportation, ref...

ProPublica

Tony Briscoe

Haru Coryne

Mick Dumke

11 November 2020

Chicago, Illinois, United States

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A series of government programs designed to rebuild a neighborhood badly damaged by the 1968 Chicago uprising not only failed to achieve their goal, but actually made it worse. Hundreds of businesses in the Madison St...

Urbanet

Laura von Puttkamer

3 November 2020

Sweden

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Urban planning using gamification is a viable way of engaging diverse parts of the population and placing people and communities at the center of the process. “Block by Block” is a collaboration between UN Habitat and...

Yes! Magazine

Agostino Petroni

9 October 2020

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Favela Organica is a social enterprise that address food insecurity, increases access to healthy foods, and reduces waste. The founder, Tchelly, has provided free courses to around 30,000 people in Rio’s favelas, most...

The Philadelphia Citizen

Courtney Duchene

29 September 2020

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

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Jumpstart Germantown and five spinoff programs trained about 1,000 people in the art of locally controlled neighborhood rehabilitation. The Jumpstart programs target particular neighborhoods, mainly mid-range housing ...

The Philadelphia Citizen

Jessica Blatt Press

16 September 2020

Portland, Oregon, United States

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Portland's new policy allowing for multi-family homes resulted from a long campaign of coalition building to address a need for middle-income housing that often gets overlooked in many cities. Although the Residential...

Yes! Magazine

Julian Agyeman

31 July 2020

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

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Urban planning policies can lead to greater racial segregation, sometimes intentionally. While older policies could be explicitly racist, today policies such as zoning, which designates land for residential or industr...

Bloomberg CityLab

Emily Hamilton

29 July 2020

Houston, Texas, United States

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Abolishing single-family zoning rules as an affordable-housing solution has failed in places such as Minneapolis and Oregon because their narrowly drawn reforms left other obstacles in place. Houston serves as an exam...

Bloomberg CityLab

Patrick Sisson

15 July 2020

France

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Some cities are using coronavirus shutdowns as opportunities to start infrastructure projects that support car-free living and encourage walking or biking to jobs, shopping, and city services. Car-free urban developme...

CNN

Scottie Andrew

9 June 2020

Camden, New Jersey, United States

Multi-Media

800-1500 Words

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Camden, New Jersey, is far smaller and more racially diverse than Minneapolis, but its decision to dissolve and reconstitute its police department may be the most apt case study if the larger city follows through on p...

Next City

Cinnamon Janzer

28 April 2020

Greensboro, North Carolina, United States

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The Downtown Greenway in Greensboro was already underway when the coronavirus hit and it has turned out to be quite the respite and economic boon. The Greenway draws visitors in with trails, greenways, public art, loc...

Texas Observer

Megan Kimble

7 April 2020

Houston, Texas, United States

Multi-Media

Over 3000 Words

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The Houston Community Land Trust (CLT) is a nonprofit that sells affordable homes in Houston to help resist gentrification. They keep it affordable by only selling the houses on top of the land and not the land itself...

Minority Africa

Ope Adedeji

1 April 2020

Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria

Multi-Media

1500-3000 Words

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Wine and Whine is a Nigerian organization that creates a space for women only to feel safe and connect. The goal is to create a woman-to-woman network and to create an opportunity to talk about issues that affect them...

The New York Times

Aaron Randle

11 March 2020

New York, New York, United States

Multi-Media

800-1500 Words

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Barbershops are a key part of Black Americans' culture, but the culture within those barbershops tend to be homophobic and alienating to LGTBQ individuals. To address this, a number of barbershops are catering specifi...

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