More trees equals less crime in urban neighborhoods: Study

Greener neighborhoods have significantly fewer crimes than non-vegetated areas.

Do you feel more safe or less safe if you down the street from a small urban park? It has been thought to work both ways. Burglars could be concealed by shrubs or a sidewalk lined with trees could obstruct a clear view of the street.  But then, crime might be deterred because a green space could encourage people to spend more time in public areas.




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Denser cities are smarter and more productive

Density brings people and firms closer together.

One of the most important, and at times contentious topics in urban development is density.  Density plays an important role in economic growth. Density brings people and firms closer together which makes it easier to share and exchange information, invent new technologies, and launch new firms.



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The rising consumer markets in Africa

Young, urban African consumer generation on the rise.

There is tremendous potential in Africa and most investors and businesses know this by now.  Africa is the world’s second fastest growing region, second to Asia.  And it may come as a surprise to most that Africa’s single-largest business opportunity is the rising consumer market.



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New tech boom in San Francisco brings jobs but also worries

tech boom

Twitter and other tech start-ups are gravitating toward San Francisco.

Twitter will be moving into its new headquarters in downtown San Francisco this month.  It will occupy three floors of an 11-story 1937 Art Deco building that has sat shuttered for five years. Outside, its blue bird logo will replace the former main tenant’s sign, whose analog clocks remain frozen at 9:18, 4:33 and other times past.

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Birds in cities sing at higher pitch: study


“Because sounds bounce and travel in different ways, birds have to use songs that can cope with this”.

Birds living in urban areas sing at a higher pitch to reduce the impact of echoes from surrounding buildings, a study claims. Higher-pitched songs travel further in built-up areas because their echoes fade more quickly, meaning the following notes are clearer and easier to pick out.


PodPonics – shipping containers transformed into miniature hydroponic farms



PodPonics is new hope for urban agriculture. The startup, based in Atlanta, is pursuing a new kind of recycling.  They are transforming old shipping containers into miniature hydroponic farms that can be used to grow food anywhere. Matt Liotta started PodPonics in 2010 and it is already supplying about 200 pounds of leafy greens a week using six converted containers.  About one acre’s worth of produce can be produced in each “pod” which is in only 320 square feet. PodPonics crops use 90% less water than traditional farms, no pesticides, less fertilizer, and go from harvest to your plate in just a matter of hours! (Pics)


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City dwellers suffer more stress and anxiety than their rural counterparts


Different parts of the brain are used depending on where you live.

People born and bred in cities were more likely to suffer anxiety or mood disorders than their rural counterparts.  People living in the countryside are less likely to suffer stress and anxiety than city dwellers because their brains are wired differently, a study has found.