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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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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Black life is draining out of Seattle, census shows

Black life is draining out of Seattle, census shows

Tim Thomas

​South King County has long been a place where people with modest incomes could find a home. Now more people are coming, driven by high rents in Seattle. And a University of Washington School of Sociology researcher has found that African-Americans are among the most affected by this wave of displacement. Tim Thomas of the University of Washington discovered the trend while digging deep into Census data. “There’s this massive shift...

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USGS, partners launch a unified, West Coast-wide earthquake early warning system

USGS, partners launch a unified, West Coast-wide earthquake early warning system

​Wikimedia commons: Arg : CC BY-SA 2.0

The U.S. Geological Survey and university, public and private partners held an event April 10 at the University of Washington to introduce the ShakeAlert earthquake early warning program as a unified, West Coast-wide system. The event also introduced the first pilot uses of the earthquake early warning in Washington and Oregon.

The first Pacific Northwest pilot users of the system are Bothell, Wash.-based RH2 Engineering, which will use the alerts to...

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The creation of the Burke-Gilman Trail

The creation of the Burke-Gilman Trail

Image Credit: Matthew Rutledge/Flickr, CC BY-2.0.

On Sunday, Sept. 12, 1971, hundreds of people began marching toward Matthews Beach Park along the shores of Lake Washington north of Sand Point. Families, couples, adults and senior citizens converged on the park in two streams – one from the south, one from the north. They marched there that sunny late-summer afternoon along old railroad tracks, on a route that dated to the 1880s. The “hike-in” and rally was organized by UW professor emeritus...

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Honoring Women Collaborators at Urban@UW

Honoring Women Collaborators at Urban@UW

credit: Jessica Hamilton

In honor of International Women’s Day, we are highlighting just some of UW’s brilliant female professors, scholars, and and change-makers with whom Urban@UW is proud to collaborate. Click on their names to explore their work.

Leadership:

Thaisa Way, Executive Director, Urban@UW; Department of Landscape Architecture

Executive Committee:

Margaret O’Mara, Department of History

Susan P. Kemp, School of Social Work<...

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Julian Agyeman: A Brief Reading List

Julian Agyeman: A Brief Reading List

Urban@UW and Julian Agyeman

Julian Agyeman, Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University, will be delivering a talk at the University of Washington on February 28 at 7:30pm. Agyeman was originally trained as an ecologist and biogeographer before turning to critical urban studies and environmental social science. Agyeman’s scholarship challenges basic notions of sustainability through his concept of ‘just sustainabilities,’ which aims to enhance equity and justice for both humans and ecosystems, now...

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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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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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First Livable City Year projects underway; kickoff event Oct. 6

First Livable City Year projects underway; kickoff event Oct. 6

Jen Davison, Urban@UW, University of Washington

Not even a week has passed since the start of the quarter, and already a group of University of Washington public health students is deep into discovering the cultural flavor and identity of each neighborhood in a nearby city.

The project is a sizeable challenge: Students will pour over census and public health data, interview residents, photograph neighborhoods and summarize their findings in a report. The end result will help officials in...

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September Recap - News, Big Data, and Monthly Hightlights

September Recap - News, Big Data, and Monthly Hightlights

Cropped image from Flickr user Eric Fischer under CC 2.0.

September is nearly gone, but this was not a very sleepy month. The University of Washington has started the new school year and the past month has seen some tremendous developments for urban thinking and the City of Seattle.

KQED published a piece about urban heat islands and how changes in landcover from hard-scapes and lawns to gardens and natural plantings would yield cumulative cooling effects—but in a surprising way, where day...

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August Sees New Grants, Project Launches, and Original Research and Writing

August Sees New Grants, Project Launches, and Original Research and Writing

Wikimedia Commons and Patrick Rodriguez - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

August was a busy month at the University of Washington and the Seattle region when it comes to urban research, writing, and project launches. Take a look at what’s been happening.

Urban@UW will be running a half-day workshop as part of the Eighth International Conference on Social Informatics (SocInfo 2016.) Our workshop seeks to bring together researchers and practitioners to explore how we can apply urban data science to the challenges of...

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NEH Awards $179,000 for Urban-Nature Summer Institute at UW

NEH Awards $179,000 for Urban-Nature Summer Institute at UW

Wikimedia Commons and Movez

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded nearly $180,000 for a new summer institute on the urban environment at the Simpson Center for the Humanities at the University of Washington.

The institute, City/Nature: Urban Environmental Humanities, examines how Western cultures have historically viewed city and nature as separate—and how a more integrative understanding can serve an increasingly urbanized world. It uses Seattle’s complex environmental history as a window into...

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Study: Perceived threats from police officers, black men predict support for policing reforms

Study: Perceived threats from police officers, black men predict support for policing reforms

Wikimedia Commons

At a time of intense national attention on law enforcement and race, a new University of Washington study suggests that racially based fear plays a role in public support for policing reforms.

The research, conducted by UW postdoctoral researcher Allison Skinner and published online July 12 in the open-access journal Frontiers in Psychology, used a series of experiments to gauge participants’ level of support for policing reforms in relation to whether they felt threatened by...

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