April 8, 2014

Beyond Bricks and Sticks

A weekly digest of current trends in housing and community development. The discussion examines topics from infrastructure to community fabric.

Can Intersections Lead to Stronger Neighborhoods & Empowered Residents?

(RECAP: In Portland, Oregon, thanks to a nonprofit called City Repair and thousands of citizen participants, intersections have become community gathering spaces. What’s more, this intersection transformation is spreading to other cities across North America.)

Data Dashboard

(RECAP: Created to help researchers, reporters and residents understand how their local areas are changing, the new MetroTrends Data Dashboard transforms complex datasets into easily accessible, interactive charts and maps. Data are available on the local level, with comparisons to the U.S. as a whole.)

Is There a Better Model for Housing Vouchers?

(RECAP: A new article suggests that a cocktail of intensive counseling, aggressive landlord outreach and slightly higher financial aid may help more housing voucher programs succeed.)

Building the Facebook of Neighborhoods

(RECAP: Nearly a third of Americans can’t pick out a single person in their neighborhood by name. Nextdoor’s gamble is that the Internet can be the go-to online social network for the people we live among—the missing bridge between us and those with whom we share a spot on the map.)

10 Lessons in More Engaging Citizen Engagement

(RECAP: As more people choose to live in cities, local governments find themselves facing increasingly complex issues in city-making. Smart cities realize engaging the broad public in the city-making process leads to better answers and a deeper public ownership of our future.)

Seniors Rush to Yoga

(RECAP: Andrew J. Carle, director of the Senior Housing Administration at George Mason University, said an increasing number of [Virginia] retirement communities are offering yoga classes as part of their fitness programs. "The future of senior housing will include science-based wellness activities like yoga.")

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