One dispute in the literature about sprawl and obesity is whether the impact of sprawl is significant compared to the impact of social class. It could be argued that obesity is primarily a function of poverty and lack of education, rather than of automobile dependency.
After 12 years of Depression and 4 years of a very bloody World War II, America was in the mood for a new way of living, with new buildings on freshly developed parcels on the edges of cities. The cities needed paint, tuck pointing and much more, but the new subdivisions caught the nation's imagination along with heavy government subsidy and regulatory support. The Federal Housing Administration and its various derivatives like Fannie Mae were pumping mortgage money into single-family housing.
In a recent article entitled "Gentrifying Into the Shelters", the New York Times blamed homelessness on middle-class New Yorkers who dare to move into the city's poorer neighborhoods.
Normally, sidewalks in residential areas are surrounded by short planting strips with grass and (sometimes) street trees. But in Seattle recently I saw something interesting: a planting strip that I would guess is twice the size of a typical one. I thought the king-size strip was a very nice touch in two ways. First, it narrows the street and calms traffic. Second, it beautifies the street.
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) plans to expand the Circle Interchange, an interchange at the confluence of the Dan Ryan, Kennedy and Eisenhower Expressways (Interstates 90/94 and 290), and Congress Parkway in Chicago. IDOT is proposing to construct three flyover ramps as part of their four year, $450 million dollar improvement plan. Two ramps will go over Harrison Street (west of Halsted and just east of South Des Plaines Street). Another ramp will go over Halsted Street (south of Van Buren Street) and will divide the Greektown neighborhood.
The following post comes courtesy of Global Site Plans' The Grid. CNU and Global Site Plans recently teamed up to syndicate Grid content, as its contingent of writers presents a view on the opportunities and issues of urbanization all across the world. CNU will carry select posts from the Grid direct on the CNU Salons.