New route-finding map lets Seattle pedestrians avoid hills, construction, accessibility barriers

New route-finding map lets Seattle pedestrians avoid hills, construction, accessibility barriers

​CC 3.0 by T413 on Wikimedia

Transportation routing services primarily designed for people in cars don’t give pedestrians, parents pushing bulky strollers or people in wheelchairs much information about how to easily navigate a neighborhood using sidewalks.

On Wednesday AccessMap – a University of Washington project spearheaded by the Taskar Center for Accessible Technology — launched a new online travel planner offering customizable suggestions for people who need accessible or pedestrian-friendly routes when getting from point A...

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Working with community to tackle homelessness

Working with community to tackle homelessness

Wikimedia Commons, Sage Ross, CC 4.0

Seattle’s rapid rise in homelessness, coinciding with increasing costs in housing and living, have brought significant challenges to economically vulnerable populations in the Puget Sound. In spite of a sense of urgency regionally and in many areas of the country, sufficient resources, effective systemic fixes and broad support still have not come together to end homelessness.

As a research and teaching institution, the University of Washington seeks to develop strategies to address the...

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Big data and human services workshop resources

On January 17-18 Urban@UW, UW eScience Institute, the City of Seattle, and the MetroLab Network hosted a workshop on big data and human services. Check out the presentations and videos of our conversations at MetroLab’s workshop materials page.

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Urbanalytics wants to use data to better your city

Urbanalytics wants to use data to better your city

Andrew Chan / UW Daily

With a growing trend of rapid urbanization over the past few decades, analysis of the urban sphere has become paramount to advancing many people’s quality of life.

Urbanalytics is a program designed to make a greater investment in the urban data science field. Bill Howe, associate professor at the UW Information School, initially saw the convergence of data science at the eScience Institute, urban scholarship at Urban@UW, and social sciences...

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UW students get a lesson in homelessness with Tent City 3

UW students get a lesson in homelessness with Tent City 3

​Wikimedia, Joe Mabel, GFDL v 1.3

“Anybody need socks? Medical? Band-aids? Hand sanitizer?”

Lois Thetford, a University of Washington faculty member, called out in a low voice as she and three UW students made their way through closely spaced, tarp-covered tents that make up Tent City 3 — the long-running tent encampment that recently moved to the UW campus. The temperature hovered near freezing, with a brisk wind blowing from the west. Most of the campers huddled...

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Big data to help human services: Topic of UW, City of Seattle event Jan. 17

Using big data to address human services ― including health, foster care and the challenges of homelessness ― will be the focus of a workshop next week at Seattle City Hall hosted by the University of Washington and City of Seattle along with MetroLab Network, a recent White House initiative to improve cities through university-city partnerships.

The event begins on Jan. 17 with remarks from UW President Ana Mari Cauce, Seattle Deputy Mayor...

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Big Data and Human Services: A Brief Annotated Reading List

Big Data and Human Services: A Brief Annotated Reading List
On January 17-18th 2017, the Metrolab workshop on Big Data and Human Services hosted by City of Seattle, MetroLab Network, and the University of Washington will convene experts from local government and universities to discuss common challenges and propose collaborative, data-driven solutions to human service issues. Urban@UW has compiled a brief reading list to help contextualize the conversation:

Push, Pull, and Spill: A Transdisciplinary Case Study in Municipal Open Government

The...

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Songbirds divorce, flee, fail to reproduce due to suburban sprawl

Songbirds divorce, flee, fail to reproduce due to suburban sprawl

Pixnio, Sudia Dan, CC0 public domain

Suburban development is forcing some songbirds to divorce, pack up and leave and miss their best chances for successful reproduction.

As forested areas increasingly are converted to suburbs, birds that live on the edge of our urban footprint must find new places to build their nests, breed and raise fledglings. New research published Dec. 28 in the journal PLOS ONE finds that for one group of songbirds — called “avoiders” — urban...

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UW-led study shows new global evidence of the role of humans, urbanization in rapid evolution

UW-led study shows new global evidence of the role of humans, urbanization in rapid evolution

​Pexels, unsplash, CC0 License

It has long been suspected that humans and the urban areas we create are having an important — and surprisingly current and ongoing — effect on evolution, which may have significant implications for the sustainability of global ecosystems.

A new multi-institution study led by the University of Washington that examines 1,600 global instances of phenotypic change — alterations to species’ observable traits such as size, development or behavior — shows more clearly than...

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New wood technology may offer hope for struggling timber

New wood technology may offer hope for struggling timber

Pixabay, Stux, CC0 Public Domain

John Redfield watches with pride as his son moves a laser-guided precision saw the size of a semi-truck wheel into place over a massive panel of wood.

Redfield’s fingers are scarred from a lifetime of cutting wood and now, after decades of decline in the logging business, he has new hope that his son, too, can make a career shaping the timber felled in southern Oregon’s forests.

That...

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Seattle to Portland in 15 minutes? UW students competing to build 700 mph hyperloop

Seattle to Portland in 15 minutes? UW students competing to build 700 mph hyperloop

Flickr, Kevin Krejci, CC-BY-2.0

Imagine a transportation system that could move you from place to place faster than a jet plane, without ever leaving the ground — a system that could take you from Seattle to Portland in just 15 minutes.

In a chilly warehouse near Lake Union, a group of University of Washington students is trying to solve some of the engineering puzzles tied to inventor Elon Musk’s dream of a hyperloop, a theoretical new...

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December Recap - TC3, Urban Environmental Justice, Tech, and other Highlights

December Recap - TC3, Urban Environmental Justice, Tech, and other Highlights

David de la Cruz & Wikimedia, Joe Mabel, CC-BY-SA-3.0

December concludes a complicated year. The past month has seen a variety of changes, new research, and reflections on life in Seattle, the tech world, urban environmental justice, and our campus.

Urban@UW and Climate Impacts Group collaborated on the Urban Environmental Justice in a Time of Climate Change symposium. Urban@UW published a reflection on the event’s conversation as well as a sample of resources pulled from the event’s guest...

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UW professor: Seattle exposed to most ‘chronically high noise levels’ of any city in US

UW professor: Seattle exposed to most ‘chronically high noise levels’ of any city in US

​Wikimedia, Joe Mabel, CC-BY-SA-3.0

How Seattle’s development is impacting your health and, more specifically, your ears is not something being taken into account by city leaders, according to a University of Washington professor. And changing an ordinance that mutes construction’s noise pollution to match other cities from around the country might be a potent elixir, he says.

Eliot Brenowitz, a professor of psychology and biology at UW, co-authored a piece for Crosscut that says...

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Reflections on Urban Environmental Justice in a Time of Climate Change

Reflections on Urban Environmental Justice in a Time of Climate Change

​Photo by: David de la Cruz

​On November 7th and 8th Urban@UW, in collaboration with the University of Washington’s Climate Impacts Group (CIG), hosted a symposium to begin transdisciplinary conversation on the multifaceted dynamics and consequences of Urban Environmental Justice in a Time of Climate Change (UEJ). Below are some reflections from this event, and a sample of the resources we’ll be sharing from our time together.

Urban environmental justice has been impacting cities...

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Livable City Year releases RFP, invites cities to partner for 2017-8 academic year

Livable City Year releases RFP, invites cities to partner for 2017-8 academic year

The University of Washington’s Livable City Year initiative is now accepting proposals from cities, counties, special districts and regional partnerships to partner with during the 2017-2018 academic year.

UW Livable City Year (UW LCY) connects University of Washington faculty and students with a municipal partner for a full academic year to work on projects fostering livability. The municipal partner will identify a selection of projects in their community that could be...

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