UW gets federal money to boost early-warning system for West Coast earthquakes

UW gets federal money to boost early-warning system for West Coast earthquakes

​Wikimedia: FEMA: Public Domain

The U.S. Geological Survey has awarded $4.9 million to six universities and a nonprofit to help advance an early-warning system for earthquakes along the West Coast. The federal agency says the ShakeAlert system could give people seconds or up to a minute of warning before strong shaking begins. The University of Washington, Central Washington University and University of Oregon are among those receiving grants. Congress provided $10.2 million to the USGS earthquake hazards program earlier...

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Opportunity abounds as Washington builds the modern electricity grid

The Horn Rapids Solar, Storage, and Training Project—which would be the largest solar installation in Washington, and one of a relative few anywhere with a significant amount of energy storage incorporated—embodies a long chain of public and private sector efforts that have positioned the state, and the broader Pacific Northwest, as a leader in the grid modernization and energy storage industries.

Grid modernization—a broader term for what is also...

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What city ants can teach us about species evolution and climate change

What city ants can teach us about species evolution and climate change

By Yair Haklai (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Acorn ants are tiny. They’re not the ants you’d notice marching across your kitchen or swarming around sidewalk cracks, but the species is common across eastern North America. In particular, acorn ants live anywhere you find oak or hickory trees: both in forests and in the hearts of cities.

That’s why they’re so interesting to Sarah Diamond, a biology professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. ...

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Justice Dept. rules intensify crackdown on sanctuary cities

Justice Dept. rules intensify crackdown on sanctuary cities

Wikimedia Commons: Burzum: CC ASA 3.0

The Justice Department escalated its promised crackdown on so called sanctuary cities in late July, saying it will no longer award coveted grant money to cities unless they give federal immigration authorities access to jails and provide advance notice when someone in the country illegally is about to be released.

Under old rules, cities seeking grant money needed only to show they were not preventing local law enforcement from communicating with federal...

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Birds versus buildings: Rural structures pose greater relative threat than urban ones

Birds versus buildings: Rural structures pose greater relative threat than urban ones

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About one billion birds are killed every year when they unwittingly fly into human-made objects such as buildings with reflective windows. Such collisions are the largest unintended human cause of bird deaths worldwide — and they are a serious concern for conservationists.

A new paper published in June in the journal Biological Conservation finds that, as one might suspect, smaller buildings cause fewer bird deaths than do bigger buildings. But the research...

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There’s a map for that

There’s a map for that

Wikimedia Commons: Public Domain: USGS

If you own a cell phone or a mobile device you’re likely creating data that could be mapped. “When you add a Yelp review or geotag a tweet you’re actually volunteering geographic information, you are mapping,” said UW Tacoma Assistant Professor Britta Ricker. Most of us use maps to determine our location, to find out how to get from point A to point B. Ricker, who teaches in the university...

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Does commercial zoning increase neighborhood crime?

Does commercial zoning increase neighborhood crime?

​CC0 Public Domain: PixaBay: PublicDomainPictures

In the run-up to the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump told The New York Times that America’s urban centers are some of the “most dangerous,” crime-filled places in the world. Even though experts were quick to point out that violent crime has actually declined in all but a handful of America’s largest cities and urban areas, the view of cities as dense, dirty, and dangerous and suburbs as spread out, pastoral,...

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MetroLab to hold annual summit in Atlanta

MetroLab Network—a national network of 40 city-university partnerships focused on urban innovation—will be hosting their Annual Summit in Atlanta from September 13-15 (in partnership with the City of Atlanta and Georgia Tech). The Summit will bring together leaders from local government, universities, industry and non-profit and is an opportunity to share, discuss, and present on the impact of data, analytics, and technology on local government. Martin O’Malley (Former Governor of Maryland) and...

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As metro areas grow, whites move farther from the city center

As metro areas grow, whites move farther from the city center

CC0 Public Domain: Pixabay: SaddleRoad

In the middle of the 20th century, cities began to change. The popularity of the automobile and the construction of interstate highways fueled the growth of suburbs, while discriminatory housing policies segregated neighborhoods and helped create the phenomenon of “white flight” away from downtowns.

Decades later, the average white person still lives farther from the city center than the average person of color, a University of Washington researcher says, even with...

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The biggest cliché in tech is hurting cities

The biggest cliché in tech is hurting cities

CC BY-ND 2.0: Flickr: Marc Van dir Chijs

If you don’t live in Silicon Valley, chances are you live in its close relative: “the next Silicon Valley.” The label has been slapped with abandon on towns, cities, regions, or sometimes entire countries. All it takes is an uptick in job growth, an influx of startups, or a new coding bootcamp for the cliche to come roaring into headlines and motivational speeches.

In 2008, Margaret O’Mara developed an...

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Partnership with CMMB launches new center on smart, connected communities

China Multimedia Mobile Broadcasting - Vision (CMMB) has awarded the University of Washington Department of Electrical Engineering (UW EE) a $1.5 million gift to establish a new research center. The CMMB Vision-UW Center on Satellite Multimedia and Connected Vehicles will focus on the development of the next generation of smart cars and ubiquitous connectivity.

“UW EE is dedicated to the advancement of smart cities,” UW Department of Electrical Engineering Professor and...

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How a rising minimum wage affects jobs in Seattle

Three years ago, Seattle became one of the first jurisdictions in the nation to embrace a $15-an-hour minimum wage, to be phased in over several years. Over the past week, two studies have purported to demonstrate the effects of the first stages of that increase — but with diverging results.

Mark C. Long, professor in the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, shares his perspective on the issue.

Continue...

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What the bond between homeless people and their pets demonstrates about compassion

What the bond between homeless people and their pets demonstrates about compassion

​AFGSC.af.mil : Labeled for reuse

A video camera captures an interview with a man named Spirit, who relaxes in an outdoor plaza on a sunny afternoon. Of his nearby service dogs, Kyya and Miniaga, he says, “They mean everything to me, and I mean everything to them.”In another video, three sweater-clad dogs scamper around a Los Angeles park, while their companion, Judie, tells their backstory. And in still another clip, Myra races her spaniel mix, Prince,...

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Lake Union building earns awards for energy savings

Lake Union building earns awards for energy savings

Wikimedia Commons: CC Public Domain: Leonardo.Stabile

Henbart LLC announced recently that a year-long study led by the University of Washington’s Integrated Design Lab confirmed that upgrading to View® Dynamic Glass technology in the Lake Union Building significantly saved energy and improved the tenant experience. The report verified annual energy savings of 17.7 percent or 351,604 kWh – roughly $28,000 a year or enough electricity to power 33 homes. The Lake Union Building is a 45-year old building located at 1700 Westlake Avenue N. along...

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American poverty is moving to the suburbs

American poverty is moving to the suburbs

​CCA:by:2.0 : Wikimedia commons

In his inaugural address, US president Donald Trump listed out the problems he saw in a declining America. At the top of his list: “Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities.” It was not the first time Trump had spoken of urban poverty. “Our inner cities are a disaster,” Trump said in the third presidential debate of 2016. “You get shot walking to the store. They have...

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