Why Architects should care about public health

Why Architects should care about public health

Pixabay: Free-Photos: CC0 Creative Commons:

Andrew Dannenberg, an Affiliate Professor at the School of Public Health and the College of Built Environments, writes about the importance of architects recognizing human health: while architects have long recognized the importance of human health —including physical, mental, and social well-being — as part of their mission, implementation sometimes reflects a spirit of compliance more than of aspiration. Design that is limited to preventing harm by meeting building codes and standards forfeits...

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

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

CC0 Public Domain: Maxpixel:

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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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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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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Urban lifestyles help to protect the Puget Sound ecosystem

Urban lifestyles help to protect the Puget Sound ecosystem

Moore Ruble Yudell: Labeled for reuse

As the state of Washington estimates that the Puget Sound area will grow by more than 1.5 million residents within the next two decades. That is expected to have profound effects on the environment as more and more people move to undeveloped areas. Christopher Dunagan with the Puget Sound Institute explains why urban lifestyles help to protect both rural and urban habitat.

Continue Reading at Encyclopedia of the Puget Sound

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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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Growing Up in the University District

Growing Up in the University District

Andrew Hopkins: Flickr: CC BY-SA 2.0

Vikram Jandhyala sees Seattle’s University District evolving into an “innovation district” — a place where public and private sectors work together to develop socially beneficial technologies. Think Silicon Valley, where Stanford University faculty and students launch new companies or work on their new technologies with existing tech giants.

As the University of Washington’s vice president for innovation strategies and head of the UW CoMotion program, which pairs the research...

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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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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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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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Welcoming the residents of Tent City 3

Welcoming the residents of Tent City 3

​Wikimedia, Joe Mabel, CC-BY-SA-3.0

Winter is approaching, and with it the need for shelter for our neighbors who find themselves without permanent housing only grows.

Earlier this year, at the request of the Tent City Collective – a group of students, alumni and Tent City 3 residents – our University engaged in a public process to assess whether we should host Tent City 3 for 90 days during the winter quarter. As a result of your feedback, and thanks...

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October Recap: Urban Transporation, Health, and Justice

October Recap: Urban Transporation, Health, and Justice

Compiled by Urban@UW.

October has seen a lot of research and engagement surrounding urban design, health, and transportation from University of Washington’s urban scholars and practitioners. Here at Urban@UW we’ve kicked off our Livable City Year program, reflected on our first full year of work and collaborations, and are planning for our symposium on Urban Environmental Justice in a Time of Climate Change (November 7-8).The Livable City Year Program is in its first year...

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