Creating green neighborhoods in urban environments is key to the health and well-being of residents, writes Jad Daley of the Trust for Public Land. "A serious strategy for health equity in America must include a massive, nationwide commitment to greening our cities -- starting with low-income neighborhoods where health-damaging stresses are worst," Daley argues.
Vancouver, British Columbia; London; and Stockholm are most at risk of a housing bubble, after five years of price increases, according to a UBS index. Sydney, Munich and Hong Kong also are in danger, while San Francisco is the top overvalued market in the US, though UBS doesn't find it in bubble territory.
Erie County, N.Y., is offering residents an emergency-preparedness app. With the "ReadyErie" app, smartphone users can prepare their own emergency plans, receive alerts and get information on road closures, evacuation routes and various emergency services.
About 2 million motorists a year visit the extremely winding Lombard Street in San Francisco, and the San Francisco County Transportation Authority is thinking about turning it into a toll road to reduce traffic.
The Los Angeles City Council has approved a bill that would require the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to source 100% of its electricity from clean energy sources. "This is an enormous step forward that will help preserve our environment and lead us to a more sustainable future," said Councilman Paul Krekorian, co-author of the bill.
The parks and recreation department in Columbia, Mo., surveyed residents about the impact the MKT Trail had on those living nearby. Nearly all surveyed residents expressed satisfaction with the trail, while 89% said it improved their quality of life.
Fire departments in Pleasant View, Tenn., and Broome County, N.Y., have created fire safety houses in trailers to teach children about safety. Lessons in the Broome County trailer also cover burn prevention and calling 9-1-1.
A $150 million walkable sculpture by British architect Thomas Heatherwick will find its home in Hudson Yards, a 28-acre Manhattan development under construction. The 4.5 acres of park there will also include a garden insulated from subterranean train tracks and supplied by a groundwater-catchment system.
Several studies have suggested that time spent in nature can be as helpful to reducing stress as receiving a big raise at work. A study by Stanford University found that a 90-minute walk in a park resulted in reduced activity in the participant's prefrontal cortex, which is linked to both stress and depression.
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