Comments for Per Square Mile https://persquaremile.com Tue, 02 Jun 2015 14:30:43 +0000 hourly 1 Comment on ■ Income inequality, as seen from space by Jym Dyer https://persquaremile.com/2012/05/24/income-inequality-seen-from-space/#comment-5333 Tue, 02 Jun 2015 14:30:43 +0000 https://persquaremile.com/?p=3252#comment-5333 =v= Three years later, the New York Times ran a story about planting oaks in Oakland, mentioning this very blog:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/24/us/tree-project-aims-to-put-the-oak-back-in-oakland.html

During those three years, I’ve bike-commuted daily through West Oakland, and in that time I saw six young street trees that were taken out by cars and not replaced. Also, the established street trees were “limbed up” by the city so that the lower canopy’s shade is off somewhere else, and is much less effective at traffic-calming. The main route through here is called Mandela Parkway, where a freeway once stood (imposed atop a thriving African-American community and damaging it greatly). There is a linear park with a recreational path in the median — you can see it to the right of the photo above — and those trees have been limbed up as well.

Similarly, some trees on private property alongside the streets were limbed-up and other foliage removed to discourage the homeless. The city also has public housing for few blocks and did the same to the trees on that property, removing shade.

Overall the trend has been less canopy and coverage over the last three years along what is supposed to be a parkway.

The side streets fare a bit better, the established street trees haven’t declined very much, but I haven’t seen any new plantings. A group named Growing Together is planting fruit-bearing trees all around Oakland, and the project mentioned in the Times is very welcome here.

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Comment on ■ Urban trees reveal income inequality by J4Zonian https://persquaremile.com/2012/05/17/urban-trees-reveal-income-inequality/#comment-5132 Fri, 24 Oct 2014 22:46:40 +0000 https://persquaremile.com/?p=3196#comment-5132 Of course this is true; anyone who’s paying attention has known it their whole adulthood at least. But it’s nice to have proof, here and from the sky, on your revisit to the subject. But it’s not that simple.

Some people will use this as a way to say rich people don’t have an outsize impact on Earth, etc. etc. It’s important to keep this understanding in context–that rich people want trees near them; they also want roads, shopping centers and movie theaters with plenty of parking where there used to be trees, often they want to live far from work so they can have trees and shopping centers with plenty of parking where there used to be trees. And they want nice things, many of which are made out of wood. (Of course the US “poor” may actually use more wood, since they get cheap furniture and have to replace it every 5 years, but we’ll get to that.) In any case, that whole combination, along with other factors, means the rich export their deforestation to poor countries. I guess you could say they export their deforestation to poor neighborhoods in their own cities, too, but that’s a different scale of poverty, as we’ll get to. They do that local exporting by living in private developments with private armed guards around their private trees inside their private walls, meanwhile pushing for tax cuts that rob everyone else of the money to have trees near them. The rich do the same on an international scale, too, with trade agreements for example, that rob poor countries’ poor people and then hand them crappy pay for crappy jobs cutting down trees near them (or making them move to where there are some trees left for this week) and taking the trees (not the value-added objects made from them) for their nice things.

And finally, the difference between the US poor and the real poor (not to minimize the hardship of being poor in the US). If you have just 4 things–a bed, a roof, clothes in a closet and food in a refrigerator–you have more than 85% of the people on Earth have. Most of the poor in the US are still among the richest 15% or so of people on Earth, so there are different degrees of having trees and having… not even shrubs. Among the questions we should be asking is How do we get trees to the folks who don’t have them? Or better, how do we stop keeping people from getting and having trees? And food in a refrigerator? and health care, so they can recover completely from falling out of trees? And the best education so they can tell you about their trees and their stomas and xylem and phloem…?

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Comment on ■ Which reads faster, Chinese or English? by David https://persquaremile.com/2011/12/21/which-reads-faster-chinese-or-english/#comment-4987 Wed, 03 Sep 2014 09:12:56 +0000 https://persquaremile.com/?p=1825#comment-4987 I can read and write in both Chinese and English fluently. One of the special things in reading Chinese is, you can skip a lot of words and still get what it means or guess it what it means before you even read the whole sentences because some individual words already give the meaning out so while I was reading Chinese I can skip a lot of it, thus it’s faster than reading in English. I think when we are reading English, we still have to scan through all the words. We can’t simply just skip words and get what it means. But the other interesting thing is, reading Chinese in a longer period is way more tiring than reading English. All english words only are consisted by 26 letters. But Chinese characters just has way too many. Even I am fluent in reading/writing Chinese, my brian must be processing very hard inside of me, and turning the visual Chinese characters into certain meanings, while reading enlgish doesn’t have much that trouble. So reading english can go longer way than Chinese. But again, few Chinese characters can express more meanings than the same amount of english words. In the end, I love both languages. And I feel I’m very lucky to know both of them well. There are a lot of information are hard to translate from Chinese to english, and vice versa. Knowing these two languages, I really feel I can communicate with people in the entire world. :)

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Comment on ■ How much has San Francisco changed? I’ll let you know by Wake https://persquaremile.com/2014/08/14/back-to-sf/#comment-5842 Fri, 22 Aug 2014 16:08:53 +0000 https://persquaremile.com/?p=6475#comment-5842 It will be interesting to see what changes jump out at you. Change happens so rapidly in the world today and California is one of the most dynamic places for change on the face of the earth. Not a place I would want to live, but the ideas and growth are fascinating.

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Comment on ■ If the world’s population lived like… by Viktor https://persquaremile.com/2012/08/08/if-the-worlds-population-lived-like/#comment-5475 Tue, 19 Aug 2014 05:54:42 +0000 https://persquaremile.com/?p=3993#comment-5475 As I know, people in cities live much more eco-friendly. They consume less fuel for transportation, use less territory for living and less resources are wasted because of more efficiency and labour division. It might be important adjustment.

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Comment on ■ Income inequality in the Roman Empire by nubwaxer https://persquaremile.com/2011/12/16/income-inequality-in-the-roman-empire/#comment-4948 Sat, 16 Aug 2014 21:48:27 +0000 https://persquaremile.com/?p=1793#comment-4948 here’s a much clearer infographic.

http://front.moveon.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Infographic-1-01.jpg

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Comment on <![CDATA[World's population if it lived in Europe]]> by RelevantFact https://persquaremile.com/2014/07/30/worlds-population-if-it-lived-in-europe/#comment-5841 Fri, 15 Aug 2014 14:47:53 +0000 https://persquaremile.com/?p=6462#comment-5841 The boundaries of the Beijing administrative unit include several large rural districts. If the population density stats used for the infographic include those rural areas instead of just the four core urban districts (or the four core urban districts and the four ‘suburban’ districts) then that would explain why it’s so sprawling.

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Comment on ■ U.S. not dense enough for high-speed rail? Think again by Super https://persquaremile.com/2011/05/27/u-s-not-dense-enough-for-high-speed-rail-think-again/#comment-4529 Thu, 14 Aug 2014 16:20:30 +0000 https://persquaremile.com/?p=1165#comment-4529 “Given the success of Spain’s rail system”

And it also has bankrupted Spain to the demise of a number of government services, like healthcare. Don’t think Spain would be a positive example for you.

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Comment on ■ How far should you live from work? by Nella Ferlito https://persquaremile.com/2012/08/22/commute-time/#comment-5513 Fri, 01 Aug 2014 21:13:19 +0000 https://persquaremile.com/?p=4143#comment-5513 Is there any information about governmental efforts to encourage living close to one’s workplace? I’d like to hear of it — I don’t seem to be able to find anything.

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Comment on <![CDATA[Web Urbanist: "A moment of silence"]]> by Dan Staley https://persquaremile.com/2014/06/02/web-urbanist-a-moment-of-silence/#comment-5833 Mon, 23 Jun 2014 02:50:33 +0000 https://persquaremile.com/?p=6405#comment-5833 No way this is “sustainable”.

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