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Category Archives: Health Care

Redefining Walkability Examining equity and creating safer streets for all in DC

The Urban Institute’s walkability report: “When the District of Columbia launched its Vision Zero initiative in 2015, a pedestrian or cyclist had been dying on the city’s streets every 21 days. Now, seven years into an initiative intended to eliminate traffic-related deaths by 2024, the District has gone backward: in 2021, a pedestrian or cyclist died in the nation’s capital every 18 days.  For the pedestrians and cyclists who navigate American cities, safe streets not only entail usable sidewalks and bike lanes, they also entail everything that makes someone willing to walk or bike through a neighborhood, such as a comfortable environment and freedom from fear of arrest, among other goals. In decades past, transportation planners and policymakers in cities across the country demolished Black neighborhoods to add highways and invested in public transit systems that provided unequal access to communities of color. As a result, walkability across the US is highly racialized, with communities of color living in less-walkable neighborhoods that have fewer street lights, higher speed limits, and more police stops per capita. Based on new research, we seek to expand the definition of walkability beyond the quality of infrastructure to emphasize equity and to inform policymakers who are working to meet Vision Zero goals. We have developed several indexes to reflect many of the issues that affect walkability in neighborhoods across Washington, DC. These indicators include measures that reflect access to resources, environmental quality, policing, infrastructure quality, and traffic safety. We also developed an index of neighborhood demographic information to pinpoint where investments can best address historical injustice in infrastructure planning and funding. When exploring the walkability scores below, you can use the priority neighborhoods checkbox to highlight communities that scored above the 68th percentile on the equity index. Although no single measure of walkability can fully encompass the challenges pedestrians face, these maps can begin to show the different stories of these indexes and the scope of changes needed to ensure safe, convenient, and comfortable walking throughout the District…” [“A pedestrian or cyclist is killed every 18 days in the District” / Axios]

See also Popular Science – The resurgence of open public streets is a centuries-old idea. “Nearly a century ago, a skyscraper architect designed a future city that transformed streets into outdoor gathering spaces. That idea is making a comeback.”

Why Roe v. Wade must be defended

The Lancet – Editorial | Volume 399, ISSUE 10338, P1845, May 14, 2022. DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(22)00870-4: “Abortion presents a profound moral issue on which Americans hold sharply conflicting views.” So begins a draft opinion by Associate Justice Samuel Alito, leaked from the US Supreme Court on May 2, 2022. If confirmed, this judgement would overrule the… Continue Reading

How a Digital Abortion Footprint Could Lead to Criminal Charges

TIME: “Getting away with breaking the law in the digital age is tricky. Almost everything one does—whether it’s making a Google search for “how to clean up a crime scene,” purchasing suspicious items on Amazon, or merely having been in the proximity of a crime scene with a cell phone that had its location services… Continue Reading

62 world-changing ways companies are addressing the climate crisis

Fast Company: “The climate category of Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Awards recognizes projects designed to mitigate the impacts of climate change, limit emissions, help build resiliency to climate disasters, or otherwise help solve issues of climate crisis. See the finalists and honorable mentions below, and read about the winner, a startup helping turn old… Continue Reading

57% of Americans say masks should be required on airplanes and public transportation

Pew Research Center: “A majority of U.S. adults (57%) say travelers on airplanes and public transportation should be required to wear masks, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. A smaller share (42%) say travelers should not be required to wear masks in these situations. In April, a federal judge in Florida struck down… Continue Reading

How the issue of abortion touches Americans personally

Pew Research Center: “Americans report a wide variance in how much thought they have given to the issue of abortion personally. Overall, 36% of adults say that prior to taking the survey, they had given “a lot” of thought to issues around abortion. An identical share say they had given “some” thought to the issue, while… Continue Reading

Growing share of Covid-19 deaths are among vaccinated people, but booster shots substantially lower the risk

CNN: “Since Covid-19 vaccines became widely available, there has been a wide gap in deaths between the vaccinated and unvaccinated. But recent Covid deaths are much more evenly split as highly transmissible variants take hold, vaccine protection wanes and booster uptake stagnates. Breakthrough infections have become more common in recent months, putting vulnerable populations at… Continue Reading

Managers, What Are You Doing About Change Exhaustion?

Harvard Business Review: “Summary. How can leaders help their teams combat change exhaustion — or step out of its clutches? Too often, organizations simply encourage their employees to be resilient, placing the burden of finding ways to feel better solely on individuals. Leaders need to recognize… Re-orgs, leadership transitions, new technologies. Pre-Covid, many employees already… Continue Reading

Finding Purpose & Meaning In Life: Living for What Matters Most–A Free Online Course from the University of Michigan

Open Culture: “From the University of Michigan comes a course for our disorienting times–Finding Purpose and Meaning In Life: Living for What Matters Most. Taught by Vic Strecher, a professor in the Schools of Public Health and Medicine, the course promises students this: In this course, you’ll learn how science, philosophy and practice all play… Continue Reading

Digital Security and Privacy Tips for Those Involved in Abortion Access

EFF: “Legislation deputizing people to find, sue, and collect damages from anyone who tries to help people seeking abortion care creates serious digital privacy and security risks for those involved in abortion access. Patients, their family members and friends, doctors, nurses, clinic staff, reproductive rights activists, abortion rights counselors and website operators, insurance providers, and… Continue Reading

‘Burnout tech’ seeks to identify signs of workers’ mental distress by reading Slack messages and email

Quartz: “Whether employees are griping about the background music before a virtual all-hands meeting, or spending their day gleefully sharing the dankest memes over Slack, these casual communications may contain within them the early warning signs of burnout, according to purveyors of new technology intended to monitor worker discontent. Just as technology exists to monitor… Continue Reading