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The Rewards of Renewal

The New York Times

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Poor neighborhoods in the United States lack quality play spaces for children, also known as play deserts. An organization is enabling communities across the nation to build their own playground.

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The Power of the Playground

The New York Times

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Great minds from Plato to Piaget have recognized the importance of play in healthy child development, but with bullying becoming more prevalent on school playgrounds and increased pressure to maximize school hours to boost performance on standardized tests, schools are struggling to implement mea...

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As climate changes, cities grapple with big rains

Minnesota Public Radio

Radio / 5-15 Minutes

While some parts of the United States struggle with drought, others are faced with more water than they know what to do with. Minnesota reconstructs roads and drainage systems in order to be more prepared for the large amounts of rain fall they are now receiving.

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The Suburb That Tried To Kill the Car

Politico Magazine

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Cars heavily influence building planning in the U.S. due to a historical preference for suburbs, but a town in Illinois improved its economy by thinking like a city. They created transit-oriented development which prioritizes pedestrians and attracts millennials.

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Green Roofs in Big Cities Bring Relief From Above

The New York Times

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New York City black tar roofs cause a number of environmental problems, including air pollution, heat absorption that raises energy consumption, and storm water runoff in the sewer system. Efforts to turn these old roofs into green spaces cool the buildings, enable the containment of more rainfal...

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Hot, Crowded and Smart

Next City

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For the past three years, water levels in the San Antonio Edwards Aquifer have decreased to uncomfortable levels and drought periods may continue as the population booms. The San Antonio Water System organization has set up rules to limit water use and has recycled water for conservation frugal i...

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How cities are searching for solutions among massive mounds of data

The Globe and Mail

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New York City suffered from fires that erupted in overcrowded, run-down apartments. Then the city sleuthed through residential records and found that landlords who foreclosed let their properties fall apart and ignored safety-code violations. Greater Toronto wants to expand upon New York City’s m...

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Oklahoma schools district offers insight as EPISD, YISD consider shutting schools

El Paso Times

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Tulsa Public Schools drew on expertise across many sectors and extensive neighborhood input to address the issue of thousands of empty seats in local schools. Through a community-focused process, they were able to mindfully close under-utilized schools and better maximize the community's resource...

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How One Weekend in Dallas Sparked a Movement for Urban Change

Next City

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A Dallas urban neighborhood was dilapidated with abandoned storefronts and offered no vitality for pedestrians. A group of artists and community members created Build a Better Block, in which local artisans and small businesses took over a vacant block and transformed it for a limited time to en...

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Hard Times for Recess

The New York Times

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Despite strong evidence that school-based physical activity improves children’s cognitive skills, concentration and behavior, schools under pressure to produce quantitative results and increased bullying have drastically cut back on recess in recent years. An an Oakland-based nonprofit organizati...

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