Today’s Solutions: May 19, 2022

From Montreal to Portland, cities across North America are starting to rethink all that cement that’s used to pave the streets. Alleys and alley sides, in particular, are being effectively imagined as people-friendly pathways, parks, and lushly planted urban habitats that stand in stark contrast to the usual asphalt paths that are lined with metal dumpsters. It makes so much sense to transform these spaces into natural places: studies show access to nature is associated with good health—but it also correlates with wealth. The families with large front yards and backyards and lush neighborhood parks are wealthier.

Less-expensive homes, multifamily structures, and dense housing often sit next to asphalt alleyways. These residents share their outdoor space with traffic and trash bins and can’t easily grow food or relax in the shade of trees. By transforming hard alleys into soft, green spaces, cities can provide everyone with access to nature. Montreal is a shining example of how to do this as the city has already created an official Ruella Verte (“Green Alley”) program encompassing more than 250 back routes that have been turned into gardens, play spaces, and neighborhood gathering spots. And not only is this good for the well-being of people, but it also helps to clean up the air in crowded cities.

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

“Blue Corridors”: using science and animal instinct to save fish populations

We’ve all marveled at the intrepid salmon swimming against the current, up waterfalls, and avoiding predators to return to its native spawning grounds, or at least we’ve all seen it on a nature show. This ... Read More

The Local Infrastructure Hub: helping US cities get infrastructure funding

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill was signed into law six months ago and has the potential to transform the United States in essential ways that address climate change and wealth inequality. Before that happens, though, states ... Read More

New desalination system uses Teflon-like membrane to make seawater potable

Clean drinking water is already in short supply in many places around the world, but the situation is only expected to get worse with climate change. Figuring out ways to desalinate brackish water or seawater ... Read More

How scientists are bringing human eye cells back from the dead

Scientists from Switzerland and the US were able to achieve something miraculous—some might even say Biblical: bringing dead human cells back to life! The team published a study that opens by defining death as the ... Read More

Turns out the job market isn’t all doom and gloom after all

Life is a surprising adventure, experiencing ups and downs when we least expect it, so, of course, just as we come out of a global pandemic there looms the possibility of an economic recession. Amid ... Read More

MIT system uses machine-learning to reduce traffic and car emissions

As if idling in a line of cars at a red light forever wasn’t bothersome enough, vehicles emit greenhouse gasses while they’re stopped in traffic. Not only that, exposure to excess vehicle emissions while idling ... Read More