The goal of Livability Live is to keep you in touch by providing regular posts and analysis from Partners President, our hardworking staff, and the diverse associates of the organization– it’s a way for us to share the most interesting and current information on the subject of livability. This blog space is your best source for up-to-date ideas about relevant issues, links to interesting articles, and personal commentary about subjects that share our focus.
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Streets that accomodate and support the needs of all road users are an important part of a livable community. Streets should be welcoming and safe for walkers, wheelchair users, cyclists, public transit passengers, and motorists of all ages and abilities. Unfortunately, many American streets are incomplete in this regard, but the "complete streets" movement seeks to complete the streets and make communities for livable for all.
An article published in the Washington Post earlier this week highlights the dramatic decline of the United States Postal Service and the financial difficulty that it is facing today. Since the passing of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) in 2006, the postal service has started running massive deficits has been forced to lay off tens of thousands of workers. To remedy this financial mess, the USPS has increasingly started to sell historic Post Office buildings, often centrally located on valuable tracts of land, to raise money.
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A new report released by the Brookings Institute finds that the percentage of adults working past the traditional retirement age of 60 has been continuously increasing, but the rate at which it increased grew dramatically during the recession. According to the report, between 1989 and 2007, the percentage of 60-64 year olds participating in the workforce grew at a rate of 0.4% per year. Since 2007, however, that number has jumped to a 1.5% increase per year. Workers in the 64-69 and 70-74 age ranges saw similar increases.
On Thursday, the National League of Cities released The 10 Critical Imperatives Facing Cities in 2014
, its annual report highlighting ten of the most pressing issues facing cities across the United States. Partners board member and incoming NLC President, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker explained during the report's unveiling, "This is not a wish list just of cities. This is a wish list of the people who live in America. That’s 80 percent of the population of America that’s being represented through us."
The ten items on the list were:
- Fragile Fiscal Health
- Deteriorating Transportation Infrastructure
- The Shrinking Middle Class
- Inadequate Access to Higher Education
- The Need for Affordable Housing
- A Less-Than-Welcoming Return for Veterans
- Gang Violence
- A Broken Immigration System
- Climate Change and Extreme Weather
- Lack of Public Trust
Click here to read the full report from NLC, which includes an overview of initiatives being taken by cities in their own efforts to tackle these ten challenges and create more livable communities for their residents.
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The goal of most urban designers is to ensure the inhabitants of their cities are both happy and healthy. While we can measure the physical well-being of the residents of a city with relative confidence through data and health records, finding empirical evidence to represent the happiness of a city is much more difficult. In the new book Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design, Canadian author and urbanist Charles Montgomery examines the different ways in which urban designers can affect the mindsets of residents in their cities and promote happiness most effectively.