Vacant lots are full of nature. How do we keep them that way?: “Vacant lots are islands of wildness in the urban jungle: small and scraggly yet bountiful and biodiverse, a place to enjoy nearby nature and a home to city creatures. Yet there’s a tension inherent to them. Unless people protect vacant lots, they’ll eventually be developed — and they are “often considered a neighborhood eyesore, a place for crime and trash,” write researchers in the journal Sustainability. “Vacant lots are usually deemed a local problem for neighborhood residents.”

Who will save LA’s trees?: “It’s a pretty precious resource in cities, and you don’t want to take them down—you want to be adding to them,” he says. Instead, since 2000, many neighborhoods in the LA region have seen a tree canopy reduction of 14 to 55 percent, according to a University of Southern California study published in 2017.”

Marvel at Bodys Isek Kingelez’s spectacular cityscapes made of everyday materials: “On the third floor of New York’s Museum of Modern Art, a gallery is currently filled with colorfully fantastical visions of the future. Crafted by the late Congolese artist Bodys Isek Kingelez, the cityscapes are part of Bodys Isek Kingelez: City Dreams, the first retrospective of his work.”

Californians approve bond measure that will provide $200 million for Salton Sea: “Supporters said they hope the infusion of funding for the Salton Sea will help state officials get moving with the construction of ponds and wetlands on sections of the exposed shoreline, as envisioned under a 10-year plan released last year. The projects along portions of the shoreline are intended to help control lung-damaging dust while also creating wetlands to revitalize bird habitats.”

How to Design Our Neighborhoods for Happiness: “The way we design our communities plays a huge role in how we experience our lives. Neighborhoods built without sidewalks, for instance, mean that people walk less and therefore enjoy fewer spontaneous encounters, which is what instills a spirit of community to a place. A neighborly sense of the commons is missing.”

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