In orlando, america’s theme park capital, low income black residents can’t breathe the air

In orlando, america’s theme park capital, low income black residents can’t breathe the air

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The struggle for environmental justice in low-income and Black communities continues. This is most certainly the case in Orlando, Florida. In the heart of one of the premier tourist destinations in the United States, the theme park capital of America, the residents of a historically Black community are having trouble breathing due to air pollution — reflecting a nationwide problem.

The community in question is the predominantly Black neighborhood of Parramore in...

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Does the big boss really matter in big-city school districts?

School district superintendents are often nice people, but boring. They rarely have much effect on what happens in classrooms, where the most interesting and productive changes occur. But because the nation’s two largest districts, New York and Los Angeles, are looking for new superintendents, I forced myself to read a trenchant new guide for superintendent success by two scholars who think the man or woman at the top is important.

...

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Urban Scholar Highlight: Rachel Fyall

Urban Scholar Highlight: Rachel Fyall

Rachel Fyall is an Assistant Professor in the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, and the Faculty Chair of Urban@UW’s Homelessness Research Initiative. We sat down with her last quarter to discuss her work.

What you do at the UW and what led you to your current research interests?

The main thing I study and teach about is the role and interaction of nonprofits with...

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Shocker: It’s mostly men moving to Seattle for tech jobs

Shocker: It’s mostly men moving to Seattle for tech jobs

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For every four men who moved to Seattle for a tech job in the last decade, only one woman did, too, according to a recent analysis that looked at the trend of tech transplants nationwide.To industry experts and academics, the findings from the careers website Paysa.com came as no surprise. The data is more of the same — evidence of a gender void in the technology sector that has been well-documented but...

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Should Seattle declare war on parking to fight climate change?

Should Seattle declare war on parking to fight climate change?

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Make no mistake: The rising cost and declining amount of on-street parking downtown are part of a much bigger plan to reduce Seattle’s carbon footprint.University of Washington traffic engineer Mark Hallenbeck is adamant that Seattle should not go down the same road as Oslo. “Removing parking might have an environmental benefit, but the backlash from it might be so bad,” he said, that drivers will be up in arms, and...

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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