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Today on CityLab

Friday, July 31, 2015

San Francisco's Humble Request to Luxury Developers: Pitch in for Public Transit

A new impact fee asks residential towers to pay their fair share.
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L.A.'s Bold Plan to Bring Car-Share to the Poor

A new electric vehicle pilot would provide access and savings to those who need it most.
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A New Yorker's Delightfully Stereotypical Map of America

Pretty much nothing exists outside Manhattan.
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How Mass Incarceration Takes a Toll on the Environment

Both prisoners and surrounding communities are affected by this under-studied issue.
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Where Coyotes Are Thriving in Los Angeles

A pilot study from the National Park Service shows that these urban animals can and do make their homes downtown.
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This Map Shows What San Francisco Will Look Like After Sea Levels Rise

The San Francisco Bay threatens to flood the city, but little is being done to prepare.
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Nathan Benderson Park Sarasota, FL

Small Gator at the bottom of the sun reflection

Nathan Benderson Park Sarasota, FL

Situated just west of Interstate 75 in tropically beautiful Sarasota, Florida, Nathan Benderson Park is a unique 600-acre community park providing the public access to a picturesque 500-acre lake and an exciting world of recreational pursuits.

Athletes look forward to rowing on the park’s world-class 2,000-meter sprint rowing and training course, while families and visitors can get on the water in a kayak, rowboat or stand up paddle board, find a scenic spot to enjoy an afternoon picnic, or walk, run or bike our peaceful, neatly manicured trails encircling the shimmering lake. The choices are virtually endless, and every moment takes place amid the sights and sounds of Florida’s pristine natural beauty – with the possibility of seeing an osprey, splashing fish or blooming flowers along the way.

Rising Sea Levels

Interesting program that lets you look at the impacts of your community if sea levels rise.  The map above shows the impact from a 10 feet rise of sea level at Sarasota, Florida. The islands and near in shore line shown in bue become inundated. Most of the community (including my neighborhood) stays high and dry.

You can check out your own  community by clicking the link below and adding your city.

Most research projects a sea level rise of 3 to 6 feet by the year 2100 so we have 85 years to mitigate and prepare. But a recent study projects a 10 feet rise in 50 years.

There are of course many things we can and should do.  We should continue and increase efforts use less carbon based fuels, with increased reliance on wind, solar, tide, and nuclear power. We should reduce the amount of power we use by becoming more efficient. And we should begin to lower our population. If we can successfully get every couple to limit themselves to no more than 2 children each we begin a long and slow drop in total population, eventually reaching a more planet friendly and sustainable human population. We are already doing this in economically well off nations - we need to extend this effort to poor parts of the world where most of the population increase is taking place.

The problems for coastal communities are not insurmountable.  We have already required that all new construction or reconstruction lift the first living grade above the flood surge level.  New buildings are therefor now a full story above street level. If we believe that sea levels are sure to rise then we can lift that first living level another ten feet.

Raising Chicago

The City of Chicago was raised from  4 to 14 feet.  The homes were jacked up, and new basement foundations were built underneath.  The streets and sidewalks were also raised.  This massive effort was done not because of rising water levels but to get enough elevation to drain the city.

Coast cities can follow this model, or abandon coastal areas.  And this will be driven by the value of the land.  Many coastal areas are very valuable and will be raised - when it becomes absolutely clear that they must be raised,  and not before. It is at that time that property owners and governments will be galvanized into action.

Chicago was built on a swamp adjacent to Lake Michigan and the Chicago River. Poor drainage caused flooding and typhoid fever and dysentery were major problems. Streets often became impassable.

In 1856, engineer Ellis Chesbrough wrote an ambitious plan to correct the problem. A new sewerage system was proposed and much of the entire city had to be lifted so that the system would drain by gravity. The plan was adopted by the City. Part of the plan was to raise the elevation of most of the buildings and streets to provide sufficient fall to drain. The illustration above shows the raising of one major building.

Raising a block of buildings on Lake Street

Contractors lifted half a city block on Lake Street, between Clark Street and LaSalle Street.  Businesses continued to operate and people came continued to use the buildings went, shopped and worked in them. In five days the entire assembly was elevated 4 feet 8 inches clear in the air by a team consisting of six hundred men using six thousand jackscrews, ready for new foundation walls to be built underneath. The spectacle drew crowds of thousands, who were on the final day permitted to walk at the old ground level, among the jacks.

 Chicago's buildings were jacked up 4 to 14 feet.  New foundations were built beneath them.  New storm sewers were placed on top of the streets and the streets were filled up to the level of the front doors of the raised buildings.

Many smaller structures were simply moved a new location. "Never a day passed," noted a visitor at the time, "that I did not meet one or more houses shifting their quarters. One day I met nine."

The raising of Chicago showed the energy can can do spirit of the rapidly growing city.  "Nothing," noted an early historian, "better illustrates the energy and determination with which the makers of Chicago set about a task when once they had made up their minds, than the speed and thoroughness with which they solved the problem of the city's drainage and sewage."

  1. Raising of Chicago - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


      In January 1858, the first masonry building in Chicago to be thus raised—a four ...Street—was lifted on two hundred jackscrews to its new grade, which was 6  ...

    Street GradesRaising - Encyclopedia of Chicago


      In the late 1850s, the streets on most of the South Side and parts of the North and West Sides were raised by an average of between four and five feet, though in ...

    Ask Geoffrey: 10/29 | Chicago Tonight | WTTW


      Oct 29, 2012
      Ask Geoffrey: 10/29. Chicago Tonight | October 29, 2012 12:05 pm ... Encyclopedia of Chicago article on Street GradesRaising· Gaper's Block article on City  ...

    Raising the Chicago streets out of the mud -

    1. › News › Politics

      The task of raising the Briggs House, a hotel at Randolph and Wells Streets, ... The city tried grading its streets so that water ran into the Chicago River, and  ...

    Raising Chicago : chicagology


      The entire front of first-class buildings on the north side of Lake Street between La Salle and Clark streets is now rising to grade at the rate of about twelve inches  ...

    Chicago: its history and its builders ... - Page 7 - Google Books Result

      Raising the grade of the streets was one of the remarkable features of the city's growth,... The Chicago Tribune of April 9th, 1857, took up the subject vigorously.

    City Streets: How Chicago Raised Itself Out of the Mud and ...


      May 5, 2005 - In 1855 and 1856, the city passed a series of ordinances ordering thegrade level of the streets to be raised between four and 14 feet.

Animated Presidential Primary Maps

This animated map shows how the states voted in every presidential election since the Civil War.

Thanks to City Planner Greg Dreyer for sharing on Facebook.

Diverging Diamond Interchange

The diverging diamond is an interesting transportation improvement. Read about it at:

This type of interchange is proposed on I-75 and University Parkway.

Below is a link to the video that was shown regarding the diverging diamond concept.  The video is about 8 minutes in length and I would definitely recommend watching it if you have the opportunity. It will be constructed at I-75 and University Parkway in Sarasota and Manatee Counties.

100 Years Since the Eastland Disaster - 844 Died

Rescue efforts are shown on the SS Eastland excursion boat, which was chartered to take thousands of Western Electric Company's employees to a picnic but capsized just 20 feet from the wharf at Chicago, Ill., July 24, 1915. The death toll was 844, 70 percent of them under age 25.

Click to read the article.

Hokey Pokey

    Hokey Pokey - Kids Dance Song - Children's Songs by The ...
    Jan 28, 2014 - Uploaded by TheLearningStation
    Hokey Pokey, is a popular children's dance song from our award-winning CD, "All-Time Children's ...

    Hokey Pokey - Kids song - YouTube
    Oct 3, 2014 - Uploaded by Francesca Arnett
    The hokey cokey (United Kingdom), hokey pokey (United States, Canada, Ireland, Australia), hokey tokey ...

    Just Dance Kids 2 - Hokey Pokey (Wii Rip) - YouTube
    Nov 20, 2011 - Uploaded by beyre83
    Just Dance Kids 2 - Hokey Pokey. ... 0:12 You put your right hand in,you shake it all aaboout you do the hokey ...

    The Hokey Pokey Song with Actions - Debbie Doo - YouTube
    Jun 16, 2013 - Uploaded by Debbie Doo Kids TV
    The Hokey Pokey Song is a traditional and old time favorite song that will improve your child's listening and ...

    Frozen Songs Hokey Pokey Rhymes - YouTube
    Apr 14, 2015 - Uploaded by Nursery Rhymes
    Frozen Elsa Anna Hokey Pokey And Frozen Cartoons for Kids And Frozen Songs Hokey Pokey Rhymes.

    The Hokey Pokey - Song for Kids by Little Fox - YouTube
    Feb 19, 2013 - Uploaded by LittleFoxKids
    You do the Hokey Pokey And you turn yourself around, That's what it's all about. You put your right foot in ...

Feeling Guilty

Feeling guilty. We will miss Hurricane Ian that is headed for our home near Sarasota, Florida. We are in the Pacific Ocean on a cruise heade...