February 2019 Newsletter
Healthy Placemaking, and more
Here are a few articles related to this month's theme on Healthy Placemaking.
Give them a peek! Then scroll down for Local stories, events and a unique funding opportunity.
How placemaking can empower urban communities, not tear them apart
In a new Brookings article, Jennifer S. Vey from the new Anne. T and Robert M. Bass Center for Transformative Placemaking grapples with how "placemaking" is defined and how to distinguish the term from gentrification.
"Rather than misguidedly condemning placemaking, we need to be far more bullish about advancing placemaking efforts that benefit existing residents and workers — while also employing housing, economic development, workforce, and social policies and practices that do the same. This is what transformative placemaking means. It isn’t about replacing one thing or group for another. Rather, it’s about building upon all that’s already there to make a place stronger and more durable than it was before."
People are happier in states that spend more money
on public places like parks and libraries
"A new study published in the journal Social Science Research finds that Americans report greater levels of happiness in states that spend more money on public goods such as parks, libraries, infrastructure and public safety.
Because they’re available to all, spending on public goods tends to be less politically contentious than other spending categories, such as antipoverty programs or unemployment benefits. Patrick Flavin of Baylor University suspected spending on these types of goods would be linked to higher levels of happiness in a given state. By devoting resources to amenities that otherwise would probably not exist, “government can help to create and sustain communities that are more enjoyable to live in,” Flavin writes.
If money buys happiness, in other words, then so does government spending on public goods."
More Green Space, Less Crime, Depression in Poor Areas
Keith Green has an unusual fascination with vacant lots. Even on vacation. Out for dinner in Shanghai one recent night, he came across a sight that stopped him short. “Everyone else is taking pictures of the skyline,” he said. “I’m taking a picture of a vacant lot.”
Abandoned properties don’t attract many tourists. In Green’s hometown of Philadelphia, vacant lots attract crime, from dumping trash, tires and broken appliances to stashing weapons and drugs. Green is leading an effort to rid Philadelphia of these blights in low-income communities. It’s a massive job. The city has an estimated 40,000 vacant lots.
But Green is witnessing how a little green space can make a big difference in areas plagued with poverty and crime.
If that's not enough!
How to Turn A Place Around:
A New Edition of the Book that Started the Placemaking Movement
Read it here
On February 5th, 2019, Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and City Council unanimously adopted Ordinance 11621, formalizing the City's vision for Complete Streets and its commitment to building the city's streets and transportation network differently going forward.
We are proud of the Living Streets Alliance for supporting the initiative through the process and for our AALC partners, the American Heart Association and the Vitalyst Health Foundation, for their roles in the process.
What's Transportation Got to Do with Health:
Transportation systems influence the design and operation of our communities. But whether you’re walking, riding a bike, taking transit, or driving a car, how often do you consider the connection between your mode of transportation and your well-being?
Join the Arizona Partnership for Healthy Communities, Vitalyst Health Foundation, Living Streets Alliance, Phoenix Revitalization Corporation and Ability360 to learn how investments in transportation infrastructure and policies are also investments in health. This panel will discuss the many ways transportation impacts health, including equitable access to opportunity, physical activity, air quality, and safety.
Wednesday, March 13th
Ability360 Conference Center, Phoenix
2019 Arizona Healthy Communities Conference
- Hear from national experts about strategies to reduce health inequities
- Learn how local leaders are changing the built environment to improve health outcomes
- Discover how rural and urban communities in Arizona are taking a cross-sector, collaborative approach to create health and well-being
- Explore funding opportunities for this work and how to leverage these funding tools
Maricopa County Funding Opportunity:
Opening Doors to Physical Activity and Healthy Eating
Maricopa County Dept. of Public Health is offering grant funding of up to $5000, per site, to increase the number of spaces in under-served areas, so those community residents can:
- play, exercise and take part in recreational activities
- grow healthy food and participate in nutrition related activities