This Week in Sharing: Land Use, Minimalism, and Open Source

From OpenSource.com

Data collection plus education equals sustainable development in Haiti: "... accurate data can be hard to find in undeveloped countries where education measures can suffer from limitations in collection and reporting mechanisms, or can even be skewed to meet political needs. ... This situation is particularly true in Haiti, where data collection systems are weak. A new data collection system called PhiCollect is working to solve this problem by creating a comprehensive assessment system that can evaluate a student's intellectual growth."

Open source plus education equals progress in racial and financial equality: "The potential role that open source can play in bridging racial inequality is profound. ... Critics contend that if the US does not invest in the education of minorities, then the ramifications could be catastrophic. Moreover, there is a strong correlation between poverty and race and numerous reports that show minorities lagging in educational opportunities, achievement, and attainment.The potential role that open source can playing in bridging poverty is also profound and should not be dismissed. The rates on poverty have also not changed in 30 years either. In 2010, over 46.2 million Americans lived in poverty according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the highest poverty level in 17 years. In 2012, the working poor represent arguably the largest, and fastest growing, economic class in the US."


A still from the BBC's The Planners. Photo credit: BBC.

From TheAtlanticCities.com

Graham Hill nods to detractors and carries on with minimalist pitch: "Graham Hill, who ... has become a sort of poster child for the minimalist lifestyle in the United States, is aware of his detractors. He made a passing reference to the Gawker piece when he gave a talk this week at the Museum of the City of New York ... And then, with no hint that he was fazed by the criticism, he went on to give his presentation about the way life has been supersized in the United States – bigger cars, bigger houses, bigger Cokes – and why he thinks that living smaller is the economically rational, environmentally desirable, and forward-thinking way to go. ...The theme of the night was 'Small + Shared = Green.'"

The BBC follows land-use planners around with TV cameras: "[The] new BBC documentary series The Planners is almost racy. The series sets itself up to follow municipal planners across the country, recording largely civil, occasionally bleep-filled exchanges between officials and objectors. Set in three carefully chosen, photogenic spots – medieval Chester, winsomely pretty Gloucestershire and the relatively wild Scottish Borders – it’s partly bucolic downtime escapism and partly a sidelong look at the state of Britain today. And yes, it’s actually fascinating."

From StreetsBlog.org

North American streets have plenty of room for bikes: "I tire of hearing the incessant 'we don’t have space for bicycles' whine, especially in North American cities. The space is right there if you want it to be there. Removing car lanes to create cycle tracks is, of course, doable. So many cities are doing it. Not making cycle tracks for those who cycle now, but for the many who COULD be cycling if it was made safe."

Commuters in cars gain more weight than commuters on foot or bike: "According to an Australian research team, active commuting is an effective defense against gaining weight. Among a sample of 822 Australian adults tracked over four years, people who walked or biked to work gained about two pounds less, on average, than daily car commuters."

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