Neighborhood noise — mapped
How loud is your neighborhood? The noise level of every address in your city may soon be mapped with HowLoud — a model that takes a sound profile of a site (e.g., vehicle flow, flight patterns, and nearby attractions) and uses physics to calculate noise intensity. To see how it works, go to HowLoud.com and enter a Los Angeles or Orange County address. Don't live there? HowLoud is currently raising funds to map all of the U.S. and Canada.
What drives transportation innovation? Is there a clear formula? A report from the TransitCenter sheds light on the topic. It studies six major metropolitan areas experiencing revitalization in urban transportation — Charlotte, Chicago, Denver, New York City, Pittsburgh, and Portland — and identifies three elements that lead to ground-breaking transportation policy. Spoiler alert: Local advocacy and civic engagement are key. View the full report, "A People's History of Recent Urban Transportation Innovation," at transitcenter.org/peoples-history.
Riparian conservation networks
Connecting conservation areas is crucial to accommodate migrating species and combat habitat loss. But designating land corridors is often difficult. Researchers argue for developing a network of protected river corridors. "Our spatial analysis suggests that they could connect protected areas and have a higher rate of conservation management than terrestrial lands," they write, noting that the geographic "backbone" of a riparian connectivity network is already in place and that many existing laws and policies favor protecting river environments. Their paper appears in the November issue of Biological Conservation (tinyurl.com/pmuj3rj).
— Ilima Loomis
Loomis is a freelance writer in Maui, Hawaii.
Media is a regular column on print and electronic media. E-mail materials to Mary Hammon, Planning's assistant editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.