Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Monday, December 27, 2010
“We spend all this time thinking about cities in terms of their local details, their restaurants and museums and weather,” West says. “I had this hunch that there was something more, that every city was also shaped by a set of hidden laws.”
West and Bettencourt discovered that all of these urban variables could be described by a few exquisitely simple equations. For example, if they know the population of a metropolitan area in a given country, they can estimate, with approximately 85 percent accuracy, its average income and the dimensions of its sewer system. These are the laws, they say, that automatically emerge whenever people “agglomerate,” cramming themselves into apartment buildings and subway cars. It doesn’t matter if the place is Manhattan or Manhattan, Kan.: the urban patterns remain the same. West isn’t shy about describing the magnitude of this accomplishment. “What we found are the constants that describe every city,” he says. “I can take these laws and make precise predictions about the number of violent crimes and the surface area of roads in a city in Japan with 200,000 people. I don’t know anything about this city or even where it is or its history, but I can tell you all about it. And the reason I can do that is because every city is really the same.”
It suggests, for instance, that modern cities are the real centers of sustainability. According to the data, people who live in densely populated places require less heat in the winter and need fewer miles of asphalt per capita. (A recent analysis by economists at Harvard and U.C.L.A. demonstrated that the average Manhattanite emits 14,127 fewer pounds of carbon dioxide annually than someone living in the New York suburbs.) Small communities might look green, but they consume a disproportionate amount of everything. As a result, West argues, creating a more sustainable society will require our big cities to get even bigger. We need more megalopolises.There's a lot more to the article and the thinkers it features, including this insight from Jane Jacobs: The city wasn’t a skyline — it was a dance.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Consider this post a placeholder - I hope to develop it more when time permits. The most striking elements of Civics 101 for me related to the two areas noted in the header. (Note: the images used here are merely illustrative, not drawn from course materials).
Friday, December 17, 2010
Friends of the Legacy Trail are having an Open HouseJoin the Friends of the Legacy Trail at an Open House on Tuesday, Jan.4, 2011, at the Phillippi Estate Park. Preview the upcoming programs, events and Legacy Trail improvements. (MORE)
Season of Sharing: volunteers contribute over $5 million in service hours
Twelve artists were selected by the Public Art Committee to display their work at high profile locations throughout downtown. The installations began in October and the pieces will be on display until November 2011. At that time, the City Commission with input from the Public Art Committee and the community, will choose one sculpture to become part of the City’s permanent art collection.
For more information about "Intersections" contact Dr. Clifford Smith, public art staff liaison: 941-954-4195.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010
North Sarasota neighborhood enhancementsThe Sarasota County Commission Tuesday awarded a nearly $2.2 million contract for the construction of neighborhood enhancements, including sidewalks, road widening and roundabouts, in the north Sarasota area. (MORE)
County approves $1.75 million grant for Ringling College
County approves $1.75 million grant for Ringling College Sarasota County's venture into the film industry advanced Wednesday, Dec. 8, as county commissioners approved a grant of $1.75 million to Ringling College of Art and Design to develop a post-production facility on the campus. (MORE)
Resource One Plans Relocation to Sarasota County, 36 New JobsResource One Inc., which manufactures and distributes environmentally friendly cleaning products, plans to relocate from Largo, to Sarasota County and add 16 jobs in 2011, according to company President Duncan Yull. (MORE)
"Skip a Week" of irrigation this winter
The Southwest Florida Water Management District is encouraging residents who irrigate their lawns to "Skip a Week" of watering during the cooler months of December, January and February.(MORE)
Connect with Community Connections.
Friday, December 10, 2010
... autopsies and lighthouses are useful examples of what economists call a public good — "something that we all need, that will make our lives better, but that the market will not and cannot provide," says Charlie Wheelan, who teaches public policy at the University of Chicago. More - with some intriguing comments.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Following the May launch of the agency's new web site, we wanted another communication tool that will allow us to further connect with citizens. We will be providing news and notes that don't necessarily warrant a press release but are still informative and interesting!
We also hope it will be a place for good, honest discussion about hot topics here and beyond Sarasota County, so your comments and questions will always be welcome!
The Sheriff's Office blog is here - additional press info here.