Bits of Interest

I have been actively avoiding taking in too much of the news lately, as I have reached a point where it is just wearing me out.  My hope is that with a break coming up for Thanksgiving that everyone can take a deep breath, focus on family and friends (and some football) and we can start moving past the never ending doom-scroll.  Having said that, I have come across a few articles that I thought were interesting that I wanted to share.

15 Minute City Map

I have talked about the concept of the 15 minute city in previous posts – where it is possible to meet your basic needs within a fifteen minute walk or bike ride from where you live.  The ultimate goal of the concept is to improve both sustainability and the overall health of citizens by creating everyday opportunities for physical activity.  Fast Company recently had an article on a new tool that allows you to map out local services in your area/neighborhood to see how close your neighborhood comes to the ideal.  You can view the article and link to that mapping tool here.  It’s a fun exercise to play with, and I do plan on using this as part of our next move as walkable neighborhoods and an ability to not need a car for every shopping or dining trip is high on my wish list for our next house.

Chipotle and Food Transparency

Chipotle now allows you to see the impact you have on the planet by choosing to support responsibly sourced ingredients versus conventional ones.  The actual data will show up on your Chipotle receipt making it easy to access and understand.  The information provided factors in elements like carbon emitted into the atmosphere, water used, antibiotics avoided, soil health, and support for organic farmland.  The initiative is powered by How Good, an independent research company with the world’s largest database on food sustainability.  You can find more info here on this initiative and on How Good in general.

Redesigning a Spanish Downtown

Fast Company has an interesting article that you can view here, about how Barcelona is looking to redesign areas of its downtown to make them more citizen friendly.  In central Barcelona, one in three streets will soon become “green axes” that prioritize pedestrians and cyclists over cars.  Twenty-one intersections will be converted to public squares, so no one is more than 650ft from a small park.  The plan is to be implemented over the next ten years and is aimed at creating a more sustainable and living city.  Currently 60% of public space is actually used by cars, so the whole idea is to give space back to people.  This plan does not completely exclude cars, which is politically a minefield, both in Barcelona and most other cities, which helps make the overall plan more executable.  In my opinion, anything that helps reduce air pollution, increase physical activity and gives more people access to green spaces is a strong step in the right direction.

The Free Range Viking

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