May HQ2 be ever in your favor: Amazon’s new short list pits 20 cities against each other

May HQ2 be ever in your favor: Amazon’s new short list pits 20 cities against each other

​Flickr: Peterhess: CC BY 2.0

Amazon’s decision to establish a second and equal corporate headquarters outside of Seattle made the company an object of desire and scorn simultaneously, as cities were suddenly pitted against one another for the $5 billion prize.

And while the 20 candidates that made Amazon’s HQ2 short list last Thursday are likely celebrating, the decision to publicly narrow the field isn’t going to assuage any concerns that Amazon is staging its own...

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New book ‘City Unsilenced’ explores protest and public space

Jeff Hou is a professor of landscape architecture and adjunct professor of urban design and planning in the University of Washington’s College of Built Environments. His research, teaching and practice focus on community design, design activism, cross-cultural learning and engaging marginalized communities in planning and design.

Hou has written extensively on the agency of citizens and communities in shaping built environments. His newest book is “City Unsilenced: Urban Resistance and...

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Cities face a surge in online deliveries

Cities face a surge in online deliveries

​CC BY-ND 2.0: Flickr: torbakhopper

By the time veteran UPS driver Thomas “Tommy” Chu leaves work, he will have picked up and delivered hundreds of packages in New York City, making some 16 stops an hour as his company hurries to meet the online shopping rush. But what may be his most impressive feat of the day precedes that scramble: at precisely 10:02 am, Mr Chu snags a parking spot. This is no small victory in midtown Manhattan, where one...

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Skid Road: The intersection of health and homelessness

Skid Road: The intersection of health and homelessness

After years of caring for the homeless in the streets and dilapidated motels of Richmond, Virginia, nurse Josephine Ensign became homeless herself.

Many of her patients were prostitutes—some as young as 15—and her conscience no longer allowed her to adhere to her clinic’s policies. Though she was Christian, she was fired for referring many of these women for abortions, for not making AIDS patients “account for their sins”...

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UW’s Doorway Project kicks off services for homeless youth

UW’s Doorway Project kicks off services for homeless youth

​CC BY-ND 2.0: Flickr: Irene Bonacchi

The University District community includes as much as one-third of King County’s homeless youth over any given year. It’s a neighborhood where a food bank and youth shelter are available, and where young people on the streets can blend in.

Now the University of Washington, in a partnership among Urban@UW, faculty, students and community service agencies – and with $1 million in state funding over two years –...

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What if a 9.0-magnitude earthquake hit Seattle?

What if a 9.0-magnitude earthquake hit Seattle?

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In preparation for the BIG ONE — the mighty 9.0-magnitude earthquake that’s expected to lay waste to the Pacific Northwest — geophysicists have created 50 virtual simulations to see how such a quake could rattle the region.

The simulations don’t paint a pretty picture for Seattle or the coastal areas of Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Northern California, but the locations of some epicenters were a bit more forgiving than others.<...

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Urban Scholar Highlight: Heather Burpee

Urban Scholar Highlight: Heather Burpee

Heather Burpee is a Research Associate Professor in University of Washington’s Department of Architecture and Director of Education and Outreach at the Integrated Design Lab in the Center for Integrated Design, located in the Bullitt Center. We sat down with her to discuss her work and research on high-performance buildings.

What are your current research interests at the University of Washington?

I am a research...

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What counts as nature? It all depends

What counts as nature? It all depends

​Wikimedia Commons: Hopetoun Falls: labeled for reuse

The environment we grow up with informs how we define “nature,” UW psychology professor Peter Kahn says. Encounters with truly wild places inspire people to preserve them.Think, for a moment, about the last time you were out in nature. Were you in a city park? At a campground? On the beach? In the mountains?

Now consider: What was this place like in your parents’ time? Your grandparents’? In many...

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These Are the Countries Where Air Pollution Is the Deadliest

These Are the Countries Where Air Pollution Is the Deadliest

​Wikimedia Commons: Public domain: AlfredTpalmer

New Delhi has been engulfed in smog for days. It’s an issue that arises in the Indian capital each year as smoke from illegal crop burning, vehicle exhaust emissions and construction dust fill the air, but health officials say the problem has intensified this year.

India isn’t the only nation that is adversely affected by rising levels of pollution, from contaminated water to dirty air. Pollution, which causes heart attacks,...

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Can Seattle rezone away the racial divide in housing?

Can Seattle rezone away the racial divide in housing?

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For generations, Seattle was segregated through racist neighborhood covenants, deed restrictions, even banking policies designed to keep certain minorities out of largely white enclaves.Yet nearly 50 years after the landmark Fair Housing Act sought to reverse that legacy, the city remains strikingly separated along color lines.

A Seattle Times analysis shows that areas dedicated to single-family houses remain the city’s most exclusive havens. If you live in North Capitol Hill or...

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Frances McCue meditates on changing city in new poem collection ‘Timber Curtain’

Frances McCue meditates on changing city in new poem collection ‘Timber Curtain’

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“This is Seattle. A place to love whatever’s left,” writes UW faculty member Frances McCue in her new book of poetry, “Timber Curtain.” “(W)here new things are coming, shinier than the last / I’m the bust standing in the boom / the poet in the technology world / spread along the timber bottom” — from the poem “Along With the Dead Poet Richard Hugo.”

<...

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Three housing myths, debunked: poverty, property values, and gentrification

Three housing myths, debunked: poverty, property values, and gentrification

​Flickr: Mark Moz: Labeled for reuse

Homeownership can come with a hefty supply of emotions, paperwork and financial planning. And as one grows more attached to a residence over the years, feelings often deepen as house becomes home and memories start to accumulate.

So when terms like gentrification, poverty and low-income housing are bandied about in your neighborhood, you may be somewhat wary. But not so fast. Common misconceptions surround these topics. Myths abound. University of...

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Homelessness is Seattle’s public health crisis

Homelessness is Seattle’s public health crisis

In this Crosscut editorial, UW professors Ben Danielson in the Department of Pediatrics and Bill Daniell in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences discuss homelessness as a public health crisis:

“In 2015, Seattle and King County each declared a homelessness State of Emergency. Both have made commendable efforts since then to intensify outreach, coordinate services, facilitate permanent housing and expand safe temporary shelter options. However, these efforts are still too...

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Developing ‘breakaway’ tsunami resistant buildings

Developing ‘breakaway’ tsunami resistant buildings

​NOAA: Labled for reuse

The best designs can also be the most surprising. A promising new concept for tsunami resistant buildings features breakaway walls and floors on lower levels that, when removed by forceful waves, strengthen the structure and better protect occupants seeking safety on higher floors.

Thanks to a $1 million National Science Foundation Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation grant, CEE faculty will be developing a new structural system to better protect communities during tsunamis. The...

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Homeless artists showcase work at UW

Homeless artists showcase work at UW

​Wikimedia commons: ARUP LODH World of Art: GNU Free documentation

One way to humanize the homeless is through art. “Telling our stories: art and home(lessness)” is a show Oct. 11-Dec. 15 featuring the work of six artists living in a low-barrier supportive housing project. They are part of an artists’ collective developed out of collaboration with University of Washington researchers, the Downtown Emergency Service Center and residents at 1811 Eastlake, a low-barrier supportive housing project.

“We have so much talent...

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