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

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

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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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American poverty is moving to the suburbs

American poverty is moving to the suburbs

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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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Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which creates less carbon pollution?

Delivering packages with drones can reduce carbon dioxide emissions in certain circumstances as compared to truck deliveries, a new study from University of Washington transportation engineers finds. In a paper to be published in an upcoming issue of Transportation Research Part D, researchers found that drones tend to have carbon dioxide emissions advantages over trucks when the drones don’t have to fly very far to their destinations or when a delivery route has...

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Urban Scholar Highlight: Christopher Meek

Urban Scholar Highlight: Christopher Meek

​Christopher Meek

Christopher Meek is a faculty member in University of Washington’s Department of Architecture and a director in the Integrated Design Lab in the Center for Integrated Design, located in the Bullitt Center. He teaches during the school year and the rest of his time is focused on research on high-performance buildings. We sat down with him to learn more about his work.

Urban@UW: What are your current research interests...

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Cities Seek Deliverance From the E-Commerce Boom

With a major increase in residential deliveries, new urban delivery challenges have also arrived. That’s due in part to the failures of urban planning and the nature of the trucking business. While matters of public policy like public transit, bike lanes, and walkability fall within the purview of planning boards and municipal departments of transportation, freight has always been a purely private-sector enterprise. That means cities don’t even have reliable data on...

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Toward greener construction: UW professor collab sets markers for carbon across life of buildings

Toward greener construction: UW professor collab sets markers for carbon across life of buildings

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A University of Washington-led research group has taken an important step toward measuring — and ultimately reducing — the global carbon footprint of building construction and long-term maintenance.

The Carbon Leadership Forum is a collaborative effort among academics and industry professionals based in the UW’s College of Built Environments that studies reducing carbon emissions over a building’s entire period of use, or life cycle.

There is...

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First UW Livable City Year project reports delivered to the City of Auburn

First UW Livable City Year project reports delivered to the City of Auburn

Image Credit: UW Livable City Year

Teams of University of Washington students have been working throughout this academic year on livability and sustainability projects in the City of Auburn. The yearlong Livable City Year partnership has given students a chance to work on real-world challenges identified by Auburn, while providing Auburn with tens of thousands of hours of study and student work.

Livable City Year connects UW faculty with projects based in Auburn, which are then incorporated into...

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How future superstorms could overwhelm today’s wastewater infrastructure

How future superstorms could overwhelm today’s wastewater infrastructure

Image Credit: Robert Lawton - CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

The current Seattle rainstorm, and many like it this year, are overwhelming our city’s wastewater pipes, and some sewage may be dumping into the Puget Sound as we speak. But even in a normal year, King County dumps about 800 million gallons of raw sewage into its waterways. That’s because, when it rains too much in too short a time, “pipes start to flow too full,” School of Public Health professor...

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New report on driverless cars highlights potential challenges, solutions for Seattle’s roads

New report on driverless cars highlights potential challenges, solutions for Seattle’s roads

Credit: SounderBruce [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Over the next decade, driverless vehicles will make their way along Seattle roadways, possibly bringing relief to one of the most congested cities in the United States. Or, according to a new report out of the University of Washington, they could make things worse. UW’s Tech Policy Lab has partnered with Challenge Seattle to develop this research.

Read more in Geekwire.

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Universities establish joint center to use data for social good in Cascadia region

Universities establish joint center to use data for social good in Cascadia region

University of British Columbia, left, and University of Washington, right, have formed the Cascadia Urban Analytics Cooperative with the help of Microsoft.

In an expansion of regional cooperation, the University of British Columbia and the University of Washington today announced the establishment of the Cascadia Urban Analytics Cooperative to use data to help cities and communities address challenges from traffic to homelessness. The largest industry-funded research partnership between UBC and the UW, the collaborative will bring faculty, students and community stakeholders together to solve problems, and is made possible thanks to a $1-million gift from Microsoft.<...

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

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

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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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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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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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