Beyond Streets & Avenues: Simple Visual Guide to Different Types of Roads: “They’re not just named at random,” explains Edwards. And while “there’s no rule book for building a city there are naming conventions that are surprisingly strong — ones you’ll find across the world. There are exceptions, but if you comb through postal service guides, state departments of transportation and dictionaries you can start to decipher a code behind our roads.”

The High Line Effect: Are Our New Parks Trojan Horses of Gentrification?: “Parks are now for yuppies. Some of us might still have an image of green and open public spaces as being places where people of all incomes, races, backgrounds, and interests can mingle, freeing themselves from a system of which the city grid is the very embodiment. There is a long history of landscape architects designing and municipalities decreeing parks to be not just places where those with means could enjoy their leisure, but also artificial Edens where the working class could escape from their grim places of working and living. The latter option is becoming more and more difficult to find.”

Why Is Greenspace Different From a Park? “Greenspace is the non-place padding put between buildings to set them back from the street. Greenspace has a negative impact in many neighborhoods because it artificially spaces things out around it, reducing the amount of destinations within walking distance. It can also burden private property owners if they are required by law to landscape and maintain their greenspace.”

The Secret Life of Urban Crows: “But what if I were to tell you that the crows you spy in your yard are almost always the same individual crows? That those birds—usually two, a male and a female known as a territorial pair—don’t live there but fly in every day from 20 miles away? During the day urban crows rummage and build nests in a specific spot, in a specific neighborhood, then decamp for the evening to a massive, crowded roost outside the city—their own crow planet— and report back to the neighborhoods each morning. Like you, they commute to work.”

Can Virtual Reality Help Us Tackle Climate Change?: “Their new, 8-minute film Tree lets users experience life as a kapok tree from the moment it pierces through the earth to its death in a slash-and-burn farming operation. “Deforestation is a bigger contributor to climate change than the entire transport industry combined,” Zec emphasises, yet it’s not common knowledge. In addition to forest degradation, it accounts for 10 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.”


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