At U.N. Happiness Summit, A Coal Pile in the Ballroom

I spent the day last Monday at the United Nations by invitation of the Bhutanese government (along with about 600 other guests). The event was called “High Level Meeting on Well-being and Happiness: Defining a New Economic Paradigm.” I thought, “It must not be very high-level if I am invited.” Nonetheless, there I was among 600 activists, economists, NGO workers, bankers, et al from around the world, listening to speeches by prime ministers and Nobel laureates. Except for the monks, I was the only man not wearing a necktie. But that wasn't what disturbed me about the meeting.

Ten Examples of Architecture as a Collective Action

Thanks to contemporary media, architectural news and knowledge is more accessible than ever: every day, design and architectural journals both online and off deliver fresh news about iconic buildings, luxury museums, beautiful villas, eco-friendly houses, and much more. But these stories often reflect the designers’ personal perspectives and concentrate on a limited portion of the world.

The Boom in Biking Benefits Everyone, Not Just Bicyclists

For the past year powerful voices around Washington have singled out programs to improve biking and walking as flagrant examples of wasteful government spending. 

Since last summer, proposals have flown around the Capitol to strip away all designated transportation funds for biking and walking—even though biking and walking account for 12 percent of all trip across America but receive only 1.6 percent of federal funding. 

Hacking As A Civic Duty

Despite reports that suggest the economy and employment are on an upswing, the situation remains dire for many American cities and the people who live in them. Cities across the South and the Midwest whose economies relied on now-dormant factories are beset by bankrupt or corrupt government institutions, while many residents live in extreme poverty. In the nation's metropolitan centers for culture and commerce, a tech-savvy generation of precarious workers face uncertain employment prospects and mounting debt.

Dog Parks, Humans and the Commons

Dog parks are popping up everywhere. They're among the most popular urban amenities and demand for them has been steadily increasing since the first one was introduced in Berkeley, California in 1983. In 2010 there were 569 dog parks in the 100 largest U.S. cities and the popularity of dog parks continues to grow They offer dogs a place to play off-leash, get some exercise and socialize, and they're good for humans too. Dog parks provide us an opportunity to get outside, meet our neighbors and spend quality time with our pets.



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