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Establishing social norms ×
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This Big City

Tere García Alcaraz

16 March 2015

Caracas, Venezuela

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Last year, Venezuela became an urban laboratory for architects and urban designers who believe in the implementation of participatory processes and collaborative design techniques in order to change communities who li...

The New York Times

Kim Severson

3 March 2015

Seattle, Washington, United States

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America loses about 31 percent of its food to waste. Driven by environmental, social and economic pressure, more and more cities are starting mandatory compost programs.

The New York Times

Elizabeth Stuart

22 January 2015

Cairo, Egypt

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Muslim women in Egypt are expected to marry young and to stay close to home, and if they do not, they can be subjected to abuse or heavy criticism by men in the household. Save the Children’s Choices program offers ed...

NBC News

Tracy Jarrett

21 January 2015

South Carolina, United States

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America's teacher workforce is disproportionately white and female, with black males constituting only 2 percent of instructors. The Call Me MISTER initiative, based out of Clemson University, provides test prep, tuit...

The New York Times

David Bornstein

8 January 2015

United States

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In reporting about problems, reporters continually run the risks of inadvertently legitimizing negative behaviors by making them appear more pervasive — and therefore more normal — than they actually are. Some journal...

The New York Times

Tina Rosenberg

20 November 2014

Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia

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Colombia has attempted to decrease murder and homicide rates by setting up curfews for teenagers, forcing bars to close earlier in the evening, and creating gun laws to prevent the carrying of weapons. As a result of ...

The New York Times

Vivekananda Nemana

Ankita Rao

13 November 2014

Odisha, India

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India has had a problem in which 620 million people openly defecate outdoors, causing harm to hygiene, sanitation, food, and water resources. The president of India funded an initiative to build public toilets for th...

The New York Times

Donald G. McNeil Jr.

10 November 2014

Kayes, Mali

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800-1500 Words

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When a case of the Ebola disease struck a little girl in Africa, health officials in Mali collaborated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization to contain the illness and q...

The Guardian

Calestous Juma

31 October 2014

Nigeria

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The media could help countries still affected by Ebola by focusing on Nigeria, where they defeated the virus through effective public institutions that protected the public interest, such as rejecting cash but accepti...

Next City

Gregory Scruggs

30 July 2014

Porto Alegre, Brazil

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Support and popularity for bicycle use and culture has grown in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Following a deadly incident killing two cyclists at a bicycle event, the city has seen a demonstrative outpouring of support. City ...

Public Radio International (PRI)

Rhitu Chatterjee

17 July 2014

Bawani Khera, Haryana, India

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India’s free school lunch program is one of the world’s largest anti-poverty programs. Despite its many shortfalls, the program feeds 120 million of the country’s poorest school children. The idea is that if children ...

The Seattle Times

Linda Shaw

14 July 2014

Mercer Island, Washington, United States

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In the Renton School District, teachers found that only a very few fifth-graders could solve problems with the skill that, in other schools, was common in third or even second grade. So they turned math lessons into c...

The New York Times

Tina Rosenberg

3 July 2014

Port Chester, New York, United States

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We know how to prevent diabetes - but the U.S, medical system, with its twisted priorities, doesn’t cover prevention. A new program at the YMCA aims to build structured, effective prevention measures.

The New York Times

David Leonhardt

10 June 2014

Wilmington, Delaware, United States

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Delaware has been working to make sure that all college-ready graduates, regardless of socioeconomic status, make it to college. With financial reasons standing in the way of many qualified students, the state has wor...

Mother Jones

Tim Murphy

1 June 2014

Richmond, California, United States

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Since Richmond, California’s Office of Neighborhood Safety began paying stipends to its “fellows” – the dozens of young men it works with at any given time who are deemed to be at high risk of gun-violence involvement...

Minnesota Public Radio

Dan Kraker

27 May 2014

Tucson, Arizona, United States

Radio

5-15 Minutes

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Tucson has slashed its per capita water consumption by more than a third, and one of the more startling ways it's done that is by reusing water after it's flushed down the toilet or run through a washing machine.

The New York Times

Helen Coster

14 May 2014

Kenya

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Positive peer pressure - most specifically encouraging community influencers to lead by constructive example - has served as the key to adoption of various technologies and practices to improve quality of life for peo...

CivicStory

Susan Haig

23 April 2014

Princeton, New Jersey, United States

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To play their part in environmentally friendly solutions to a trash problem, the city of Princeton, NJ has implemented a program curbside composting program that has already grown from 160 participants to over 900. Th...

The Seattle Times

Claudia Rowe

14 April 2014

Oakland, California, United States

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The Rainier Scholars program in Seattle places fifth graders, who are all minorities, in special coursework through middle and high school, finally offering rigorous college coaching. In Oakland, CA, the National Coll...

Los Angeles Times

Noam N. Levey

5 April 2014

Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

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Though in the past Hawaiians were dying fast from infectious diseases, today they are among the healthiest people in the world due to universal health care for all.

The Economist

The Economist

26 February 2014

Sweden

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Sweden's "Vision Zero" program has used a comprehensive approach to infrastructure and regulation to drastically reduce traffic-related deaths, making Swedish roads the safest in the world.

Fayetteville Observer

Greg Barnes

22 February 2014

Atlanta, Georgia, United States

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Civic leaders in the U.S. struggle to effectively help their distressed neighborhoods. East Lake, Atlanta, created a replicable model that mixes residents of differing socio-economic status, and focuses on education a...

NationSwell

Catherine Cheney

19 December 2013

Henderson, North Carolina, United States

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Obesity has become a health crisis for many women in the African-American community, but a group known as GirlTrek is working to change this by making exercise a social norm and creating supportive connections between...

The New York Times Magazine

Paul Tullis

19 September 2013

Lassen Volcanic National Park, California, United States

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Between climate change and an ever increasing population, wildfires are becoming more and more of an annual challenge to mitigate, with firefighters and policy makers walking a thin edge between the need for natural b...

The New York Times

Courtney E. Martin

4 September 2013

New York, New York, United States

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Sexual assault, rape, and sexism are social problems that young women face and many feel powerless to create change. Non-profit organizations such as SPARK and WAM have trained teenage girls to be advocates for thems...

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