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The Future of Community Design

Voting rights and immigrant advocates in Georgia argue that many immigrant communities are unable to fully access election materials due to a lack of non-English ballots and a limited number of available languages.
City centers have had a rough couple of years. But there is a way forward if they have the fortitude to take it.
Installing broadband in the region is extremely difficult and expensive because of low population density and a rugged topography. But millions in federal funding has some officials hopeful that more residents will get connected.
The New Orleans City Council voted to hire an outside investigator for its inquiry into Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s “smart city” plan to avoid potential conflicts of interest. Cantrell called the investigation a “spectacle.”
State and local officials have promised the electric vehicle maker free land, a state-owned training center, a new interchange along I-20 and tax breaks in exchange for a local factory that would create 7,500 jobs.
The state has poured $500 million into expanding Internet connectivity in rural areas but many residents are still experiencing extremely slow speeds, impacting their ability to do their jobs.
The House approved a bill that will speed up juvenile arraignments, extend hold times for youths and allow GPS monitoring for repeat offenders. But some worry the tough-on-crime approach is ineffective.
Hearings regarding allegations of bid rigging and a formal City Council investigation into the city’s “smart city” program began on Wednesday. The initiative would have installed “city-directed” broadband and infrastructure.
A study found the Pennsylvania county had the most homes and businesses, primarily in rural areas, with the slowest Internet connections in a 10-county region. The poor quality of broadband has become an equity issue.
Population growth is slowing or reversing just about everywhere in the country. That has enormous implications for our future economy and prosperity.
The AARP Livability Index, which relaunched this week, scores towns, cities and counties for the services they provide based on several metrics, including housing, transportation, environment and health.
The city’s Department of Transportation found that, during the 13-month pilot program, 22 percent of riders used scooters for commuting and 12 percent used them for running errands. The average trip was 15 minutes and cost $6.63.
Private geographic information companies, rich with useful data, have transportation solutions that governments need to start using.
Earlier this month, the California city launched its Mobile Assistance Community Responders program, which sends trained civilians to respond to emergency mental health crises, allowing police to focus on violent crime response.
When urbanists gather, too often the bias is to the issues faced by coastal cities and the Sun Belt. The sense of Midwest irrelevance has always been a part of the American psyche.
To help address hiring and retention issues, the city police plan to hire 35 civilians this year to investigate low-level crimes, internal affairs complaints and cold cases. The department currently has 519 civilian employees.
A new report found that as many as 300,000 households in the city and St. Louis County lack high-quality Internet access and 25 percent of homes in the city do not even have a computer.
Many are hopeful that the “ghost” library will increase accessibility for residents who don’t have a public library nearby. But some worry the staffless design could create frustrations if patrons experience technology issues.
Shouldn’t being able to live in an affordable, safe and sanitary home be considered a human right? There are several ways local leaders could attack the problem.
Gov. Tate Reeves signed a bill into law this week that will oversee how broadband funding is allocated across the state and help connect more residents. It will be headed by former state Sen. Sally Doty.
With miles of second-floor walkways, Minneapolis and St. Paul have struggled to make them appealing without hurting retail businesses at the street level. Then the pandemic hit.
Public stairways were originally built by the hundreds into the hills for a walking workforce that has nearly disappeared. But fans praise the role of the unique transportation system and continue to use them today.
It’s a fast-growing, multibillion-dollar industry that provides lots of jobs and consists mostly of small businesses. But it’s poorly understood by economic developers.
Local government agencies are working to reform building inspection requirements after a condo building collapsed in Surfside, Fla., last year, but some engineering experts say the proposed packages aren’t strong enough.
A proposed 43-mile route would connect North Carolina’s Johnston, Wake and Durham counties. Total cost could top $2 billion, with the feds paying half. The trains could carry as many as 12,000 people a day.
L.A. Metro bucked digital privacy concerns when it turned to technology to monitor and enforce dedicated bus lane rules. The move is a win that places the rights of bus riders above the privacy of offenders.
The $185 million construction project will be substantially completed by May 31. Hurricane Hanna, the February freeze in 2021 and the COVID-19 pandemic have all impacted the timeline.
New Jersey’s largest city, having already replaced 23,000 lead service lines to improve drinking water, will upgrade its water treatment plant to enhance taste, boost capacity and keep water costs low.
The city’s Planning Board voted unanimously to forward the Expanding Housing Affordability policy after changes were made to improve infrastructure impacts. But some believe the changes were also politically motivated.
The increasing restrictiveness of copyright threatens our commons of creative work that anyone can borrow from and build on. The public domain needs a physical capital where it could be celebrated and encouraged.
The $8 million, three-year pilot program will provide legal defense, in and out of court, to low-income renters who have experienced financial hardship due to the pandemic and are at risk of housing instability.