Why Good City Living Is a Human Right

Many of our cities still bear the scars from past centuries' segregation policies. So new urban movements want to take advantage of urban population growth to make the city a better place. 

What's the Latest Development?


Social movements like the New Urbanist and Eco Cities are working to root out unjust urban policies, born of prior centuries' segregation laws, by taking advantage of city infrastructure and economic policy. "Urban planning built around public transport and walkable spaces has enormous potential to make urban color and class lines more porous and thus create cities that are at once more just and sustainable." Affordable housing developments built in cities' empty cores can help revitalize local economies and strengthen sustainability projects to help communities live better together. 

What's the Big Idea?

As humanity trends toward city living, issues of urban justice have never been more relevant. Many American cities, like Baltimore, still bear scars from the segregationist policies of centuries gone by when public facilities, even entire city blocks, were legally divided along racial lines. But with more than half the world living in large population centers, creating a more equitable society will mean offering different cross sections of the population improved access to city resources like housing, education and political institutions.

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Is this why time speeds up as we age?

We take fewer mental pictures per second.

(MPH Photos/giphy/yShutterstock/Big Think)
Mind & Brain
  • Recent memories run in our brains like sped-up old movies.
  • In childhood, we capture images in our memory much more quickly.
  • The complexities of grownup neural pathways are no match for the direct routes of young brains.
Keep reading Show less

Trauma in childhood leads to empathy in adulthood

It's not just a case of "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger."

Mind & Brain

  • A new study suggests children who endure trauma grow up to be adults with more empathy than others.
  • The effect is not universal, however. Only one kind of empathy was greatly effected.
  • The study may lead to further investigations into how people cope with trauma and lead to new ways to help victims bounce back.
Keep reading Show less

Why are so many objects in space shaped like discs?

It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?

Videos
  • Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
  • Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
  • Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.