New Clear Vision


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Archive for the ‘Jay Walljasper’

Walking Revolution

April 19, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Ecology, Jay Walljasper

A Path to Health and Wellbeing Is Right Under Our Feet

by Jay Walljasper

The next big healthcare breakthrough — which could cut rates of heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, and Alzheimer’s by at least 40 percent and save Americans $100 billion a year — comes from a place you’d least expect. On your block. At the park. Everywhere.

So what’s this amazing treatment, which also happens to be easy, enjoyable and virtually free? It’s as simple as taking a walk.

“Walking is like medicine for my patients,” says Dr. Bob Sallis — a Kaiser Permanente family practitioner from Fontana, California—describing the connection between how much time his patients spend walking and their overall health. “If walking was a pill or surgical procedure, it would be on 60 Minutes.”

“Being physically active is one of the most important things people of all ages can do for their health,” explains Joan Dorn of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She notes that walking ranks #1 as Americans’ favorite physical activity, and that doing it for as little as 30 minutes is one way to achieve significant health benefits. (more…)

Bike Commuting

April 11, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Ecology, Jay Walljasper

One of the Best Ways to Stay Healthy…

by Jay Walljasper

It’s always a pleasure when scientific studies confirm your own long-held opinions, especially when what you think flies in the face of all conventional wisdom.

For instance, who knew that chocolate éclairs and triple fudge caramel brownies actually contain fewer calories than a 12-ounce glass of skim milk? Or that every $1,000 you spend on lavish vacations before the age of 65 will, over the long run, provide you with more retirement income than if you’d stashed that same $1,000 in a 401k?

Well, to be honest, I made up the fact about the éclairs. And the one about vacations, too.

But here’s bona fide scholarly research that excites me in the same way: Biking for transportation appears more helpful in losing weight and promoting health than working out at the gym. (more…)

Bicycling Means Business

November 13, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Economy, Jay Walljasper

Cities Discover Good Biking Attracts Jobs and Talent

by Jay Walljasper

“Biking is definitely part of our strategy to attract and retain businesses in order to compete in a mobile world,” says Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak as we pedal across the Mississippi river on a bike-and-pedestrian bridge. “We want young talent to come here and stay. And good biking is one of the least expensive ways to send that message.”

“I was having dinner with a creative director that a local firm was eager to hire for a key post,” Rybak adds.  “He was an American living in Europe, and we spent most of the evening talking about the importance of biking and walking to the life of a city. He took the job.”

Minneapolis has invested heavily in biking — creating a network of off-street trails criss-crossing the city, adding 180 miles of bike lanes to city streets, launching one of the country’s first bikeshare programs, and creating protected lanes to separate people on bikes from motor traffic — which is why it lands near the top of lists ranking America’s best bike cities.

“We moved from the suburbs to downtown Minneapolis to allow our employees to take advantage of the area’s many trails and to put the office in a more convenient location for commuting by pedal or foot,” explained Christine Fruechte, CEO of large advertising firm Colle + McVoy, in a newspaper op-ed. “Our employees are healthier, happier and more productive. We are attracting some of the best talents in the industry.” (more…)

Good Fellows

September 12, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Economy, Jay Walljasper

Young People’s Fascination with Detroit Is Only Part of the Story…

by Jay Walljasper

Sprinkled among gloom-and-doom stories coming out of Detroit is some unexpected good news: the city’s growing appeal to young people.  According to plentiful media reports, well-educated twenty-somethings are streaming into the Motor City to test out new ideas, explore art and music projects or launch D-I-Y revitalization initiatives.

The real story is a bit more complex than that, but you can spot a number of once-dormant corners of the city now pulsing with activity thanks to young entrepreneurs.  Corktown, in the shadow of the much-photographed ruin of Detroit’s train station, sports pubs and restaurants that would fit in Brooklyn or Portland.   (more…)

Material Manifestations

August 09, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Ecology, Guest Author, Jay Walljasper

What Do We Lose When Experiences Go Extinct? 

by Chris Desser 

Over many years as an activist, attorney and artist working on environmental campaigns, Chris Desser began to wonder about the sensual pleasures that will disappear from our lives as more and more species go extinct. That was the genesis of her “Catalog of Extinct Experiences” — a multimedia installation at San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center planned for the Fall of 2013.

“At its most basic, as we lose these experiences we lose ways of coming to consciousness,” Desser explains. “These things are all part of the commons — these experiences belong to all of us.

Some of the exhibits that she is planning for the exhibition include: images of endangered landscapes preserved in jars, like extinct species preserved in formaldehyde; recordings of soundscapes from rainforests, deserts and other threatened places; vials of perfumes made from endangered plants; honey flavored by various flowers, with empty jars for extinct species; commissioned and curated work from other artists.

(more…)

Hard-Working Spirit

August 01, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Economy, Jay Walljasper

Community-Based Revitalization in Southwest Detroit

by Jay Walljasper

Cities are complex hives of human activity that highlight all that’s inspiring and troubling about modern life, often at the same time.

New York’s revitalized districts sizzle with creative fervor yet other parts of town struggle with poverty and drugs. Chicago’s Lakefront exudes prosperity while pockets of the West and South sides look like they’ve been bombed. Even an economically challenged city like Philadelphia sports charming, bustling Center City neighborhoods along with extensive post-industrial ruins.

We expect extremes in American cities — except in the case of Detroit, which all too often viewed as one, big, monolithic mess. Folks elsewhere can’t even imagine the existence of beloved spots in the city like Riverwalk, Campus Martius, Eastern Market, the Dequindre Cut trail, cozy neighborhood restaurants or hot music clubs. (more…)

Another Urban Myth?

July 26, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Ecology, Economy, Jay Walljasper

Renaissance in Detroit Challenges ‘Food Desert’ Perception

by Jay Walljasper

In many people’s minds, Detroit stands apart from other major American cities as an unredeemable disaster.

It’s a lost cause, they say, and we’d do better investing scarce resources toward revitalizing other cities with better prospects for the future.

So what makes Detroit different in the public imagination than other cities grappling with population loss, budget deficits, unemployment, crime, racial divisions and political corruption?

In large part, it’s disinformation. For example, the widespread belief that the city is a food desert with no supermarkets or any sources of fresh produce is, like many myths about Detroit that have grown up over the past 30 years, simply not true. (more…)