Get your offices into a walkable town center!

By Geoff Dyer
Published: August 10, 2012
Better! Cities & Towns

So far, this series has taken on three of the essential components of a healthy walkable town center: hotels, retail and multi-family residential. But, traditionally, our town centers were not simply a collection of residences and shops. They formed the commercial and civic centers of our towns and cities — an economic development engine that attracted the industries that gave all those homes and shops a reason (and means) for existing in the first place. Of course — and you know the story — as we moved into the suburbs in the post WWII era, we placed our offices into “office parks” in our campaign to separate the activities of our daily lives and reconnect them through compulsory car trips.

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You Are Where You Eat: Re-Focusing Communities Around Markets

By Project for Public Spaces
Published: July 18, 2012
Project for Public Spaces

Picture yourself at the supermarket, awash in fluorescent light. You’re trying to stock up for the next couple of weeks, since it’s a busy time of year. You grab some granola bars (and maybe even a box of pop tarts), some frozen dinners, a box of macaroni with one of those little packets of powdered cheese stuff. And oh, they’re running one of those promotions where you can get ten cans of soup for, like, a dollar each. Perfect! Dinner for the next two weeks. On the way to the register, you swing by the produce aisle to grab a bunch of bananas. Like many people these days, you’re trying to eat healthy, and breakfast is the most important meal of the day!
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NYC’s Rooftop Farming Boom Continues With World’s Largest in The Bronx

By Stephen Del Percio
Published: June 14, 2012
Sustainable Cities Collective

Thanks in part to Zone Green, the world’s largest rooftop farm could soon grace the top of one of New York City’s largest food distribution centers. Yesterday, the City’s Economic Development Corporation released an RFP for a 200,000-square-foot rooftop farm at 600 Food Center Drive in the Hunts Point section of The Bronx. Once harvested, the farm’s bounty would be distributed from the City’s 329-acre Food Distribution Center at 600 Food Center Drive – one of New York City’s largest. Built in 1969, the facility is currently occupied by Sultana Distribution and Citarella.

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A Blueprint for a Profitable Urban Farm

By Nate Berg
Published: June 5, 2012

For cities littered with vacant properties, urban agriculture has become the “why not?” option. The land is just sitting there, so it might as well be used for something. The urban farms and community gardens that have sprouted on some of these sites have become community projects and some have even turned into businesses. Most, though, are small-scale efforts. But they may not have to be. A new report [PDF] from the environmental nonprofit Global Green USA argues that even a modest plot of land could potentially become a job creator and profit maker.

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