This week in community development: 6/15/14

Every week, Praxia Partners shares important community-building news. Check out what we’ve been reading this week.

Building community

  • The Atlantic published a fascinating piece about how wise city planning can improve safety and reduce sexual violence. Neil Pudukone focuses on how New Delhi can establish mixed-use neighborhoods, stating:

Most of New Delhi is built according to what urban planners sometimes call “single-use” design: sections of the city are devoted almost exclusively to one use (industrial, institutional, retail, or residential) and separated from each other by open space, roads or other barriers. […]  This is in contrast to “mixed-use” planning, which carefully integrates residential, retail, institutional, and cultural spaces into the same area—areas that are easily accessible by walking, bicycle, or mass transit. There are many reasons planners favor mixed-use design, including smaller carbon footprints and increased access to economic opportunity. Easy and efficient access to work, leisure, home, and childcare makes juggling responsibilities much easier, particularly for women. […] But one of the most important benefits of mixed-use planning is what the urbanist Jane Jacobs famously called “eyes on the street.”

Economic opportunity

  • A new study indicates that younger Latinos are struggling disproportionately with unemployment. The Rockefeller Foundation notes: “While young Latino men have more work experience on average than their peers, the unemployment rate for Latino males aged 16-24 is 2.4 percentage points higher than the unemployment rate for white males of the same age, and double the unemployment rate of all American workers.”
  • john a. powell, Director of UC Berkeley’s Haas Institute shared a thoughtful post about economic opportunity and the concentration of wealth in America today, prompted by his reflections on economist Thomas Piketty’s much discussed book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century. powell writes, “Americans are often told that raising taxes on the wealthy will kill jobs and harm the economy. In fact, it is concentration of wealth that threatens our economy and our democracy.”
  • The NAACP is emphasizing the important role that homeownership plays in the creation of intergenerational wealth this June, which is National Homeownership Month. NAACP Interim President and CEO, Lorraine C. Miller comments:

    Homeownership remains the primary source of wealth creation for most Americans, especially members of our communities. We are pleased to work with Wells Fargo to educate and connect members of our community to these housing forums and sustainable pathways to homeownership and economic security.


  • Inclusion at Praxia PartnersJune is Pride Month! Happy Pride to all. GLAAD recently published a list of the most LGBTQ friendly cities in the US. Does yours make the list?
  • In honor of Father’s Day, the National Organization for Women takes stock of how feminism has improved the lives of men as well as women. Advances include the progress of LGBTQ rights, ending domestic violence for all, and enhancing economic justice.

Environmental stewardship

    • President Obama’s UC Irvine’s commencement address focused on the challenge that climate change presents. (From the Wall Street Journal: “President Barack Obama on Saturday renewed his call to curb carbon emissions, saying the scientific debate on climate change is over and announcing a nearly $1 billion competition to fund measures coping with the effects of extreme weather.”) Watch more below, via C-SPAN.

What do you think was the most important community development story this week? Share your insights and thoughts below or by email.

For news about solar power and sustainability, visit Community Renewable Energy’s blog.

About Holly

Holly Jensen is a writer and poet who has worked with nonprofits and businesses for over a decade. She also serves as editor of The Ghazal Page, an international literary journal.
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