Nearly a week was required just to get a basic description together of the damage done by Hurricane Katrina to New Orleans, Louisiana in 2005. Assessing Hurricane Harvey won’t be any easier. If Katrina is the template we know that lower income and racialized groups will be bearing the brunt of this, big time.
An item from Thursday’s Washington Post is a good starting point regarding this multi-layered event and its consequences.
Media largely blind to Harvey’s devastating impact on poor Communities.” Hurricanes don’t care if you’re rich, poor, white, or black—but that doesn’t mean that every person is equally vulnerable to a storm.”
Houston’s human catastrophe started long before the Storm. Decades of neglect, inequality, and disenfranchisement mean that all Houstonians, but especially the poorest and most vulnerable, have been left utterly undefended
Consider how inappropriate regional development makes Houston so vulnerable.
See also: (1207) Hurricane Harvey
image: screenshot of newsreel from Texas Archives holdings
In 1945 the world really stood in awe of the English-speaking countries. Still comparatively lucky they are, yes, but not for long with nonsense like this:
Just like greater Toronto! Social difficulty alongside the exciting real estate action in the Commonwealth’s other big, rich country.
Three items to help us gather some thoughts around the growth in the number of elderly persons occurring now in North America. How will the built environment affect the cognition and emotional life of seniors?
The isolation of aging in an auto-oriented place
No place to grow old. How Canadian suburbs can become age-friendly
irrp.org (26-page .pdf)
What helps Minnesota seniors age in place?
U researcher has some clues. It’s the little things
like benches and safe crosswalks
Who will buy Baby Boomers’ homes?
Want to stop your brain from getting old?
Live in a walkable neighbourhood
image: Tasha Lutek via Flickr/CC
News from the United States these days is pretty grim for working people and many a town there is long in need of greatness. Something tells us, when we read about what seems like a burned out working class or ex-working class, that a lot more than protectionism, reserve bank gyrations and interest rate fiddlings will be required to restore a general prosperity to America. Public health seems a bigger part of the story than is generally accepted. To wit, a couple of recent features:
Maybe the economy isn’t the reason why so many American men aren’t working. Many experts have blamed a poor job market, but new research indicates that an overlooked cause may be poor health
An intractable problem. For the last half-century, Milwaukee has been caught in a relentless social and economic spiral
You really gotta sometimes wonder about this whole Internet thing. Shades of redlining on the webs.
image: Flashback via flickr/CC
Backlash. We think that’s what you call it when an idea turns and inflicts a set of consequences. In this case, it’s the sprawl so enthusiastically embraced in so many parts of southern Ontario in the 1980s and 1990s. For lots of folks, SUVs and monster homes are still working well. For others, not so much. It seems a confluence of resources, inequality and a stunning lack of imagination are problematic indeed when it comes to community design. To wit, recent pieces at cbc.ca/news. Woods and basements, people.
So, there’s not a single independent book shop in Canada’s ninth largest municipality, Brampton? Wow.
For a balanced, critical reflection on this:
All roads lead to Brampton
image: Curly via Flickr/CC
A high value stop on the interwebs for anyone looking into suburban poverty: from New York University’s Furman Center and The Stoop.
The dream revisited: suburban poverty and segregation
For even more: #dreamrevisited