Givens, Darin. “Looking at Atlanta’s Built-environment History through Transit Maps.” ATL Urbanist. 21 Dec. 2014. Web.
Blogger Darn Givens allows for his readers to better understand how the transit system of Atlanta has regressed since 1946. He includes a map of the “Atlanta streetcar system circa 1946”.(Givens) This map is significant because we are able to see how these historic neighborhoods of Atlanta were footsteps away via the streetcar. Now, car usage has peaked due to the lack of accessible public transportation. We also see a comparison between other transit systems in America. Givens incorporates visuals such as transit map collections from Atlanta, Boston, and Chicago. Givens also shows us the statistics of the 2013 ridership, with Atlanta trailing behind in dead last. We are forced to see the flaws in our MARTA rail lines. The furthest eastbound rail line ends in DeKalb County. If these rail lines were extended to reach other metropolitan areas, ridership numbers would increase just as much as those in Boston and Chicago. Our streetcar system is also remotely miniscule when comparing to that of Detroit, Charlotte, Tampa, New Orleans, and especially Philadelphia.
Stephens, Erica. “Nature Enhances the Built Environment.” Crew Atlanta Blog. 17 Nov. 2015. Web.
The author introduces herself as a person who is very into nature, and takes her personal experience with nature to blend it with her architectural knowledge. She lets us know that there is a relationship between architecture and landscape architecture, the only difference is “the material that is used to craft the space.” (Stephens) Stephens gives the reader tips that give perspective on the importance of landscape. The use of native plants cuts down on irrigation needs. She suggests a substitute to grass, Dwarf Mondo Grass, which isn’t grass at all but short-growing evergreen. Rather than growing large trees next to large buildings for shade, roof gardens are a great alternative. This doesn’t cause damaged foundations and floors as opposed to large trees with even larger root systems. Parking lots tend to get flooded from stormwater runoff, but a bioswale system just might be the solution to that problem. And lastly, adding water features “not only create pleasant sounds and visual stimulation, the sounds can mask surrounding undesirable sounds such as a nearby freeway.”(Stephens)
Green, Jared. “How to Create a Culture of Health: Remake the Built Environment.” The Dirt. 30 Nov. 2015. Web.
Jared Green’s main concern in his article is health and healthcare. These two things go hand-in-hand with society and your environment. Out of the 17 developed Western countries, we rank 15th. Shocking isn’t it? Green suggests that’s because we’re having too many investments in expensive healthcare, when we need to be focusing on transforming the built environment, “so everyone can benefit from walkable neighborhoods and live in healthy, sustainable homes.”(Green) A healthy built environment coincides with a healthy culture. For Americans, the age of 75 is our life expectancy, which in comparison with the other 26 developed Western countries, is the worst. We have invested our money and technology into healthcare systems for the elderly, which is just one of the issues. “The U.S. spends much more than other developed Western countries on healthcare, topping out at 17 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) or about $3 trillion per year.” (Green) Not only is so much money put into our healthcare systems, just to be mainly focused on usage towards the elderly, but one-third of the youth are obese or overweight and only 25 percent of young adults are educated and healthy. The other 75 percent are ineligible for military service because of this. The idea of the built environment being a main factor in the lack of health is shown through a study from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Randomly selected families living in public housing were asked to move to poverty free neighborhoods. After a course of 3 years, their mental health had improved. Green references a director at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Dr. Donald Schwartz. Schwartz’s work continues to show “the relationship between better homes and health.”(Green)