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Taking Down a Freeway to Reconnect Neighborhoods

Taking down a freeway—as radical as that sounds—is not a new idea. Paris, Milwaukee, Seoul and New York are among the cities who’ve removed them.

Taking down a freeway—as radical as that sounds—is not a new idea. Paris, Milwaukee, Seoul and New York are among the cities who’ve removed them. In San Francisco, two major freeways—the double-decker freeway that rounded the Embarcadero and the Central Freeway that cut through Hayes Valley—were demolished and replaced with surface boulevards after being damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta quake. These neighborhoods have since enjoyed a renaissance through freeway demolition that healed scarred communities.

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Exploratory Learning: A Toolkit to Turn Elementary School Kids Into 'Neighborhood Detectives'

This San Francisco classroom taught kids to value their neighborhoods by mapping, walking and meeting them.

As Neighbor Day approaches, we here at GOOD would like to suggest that kids take a break from all that in-class activity and explore the world right outside their door. In collaboration with two wonderful first grade teachers, we’ve put together this terrific tool kit: the projects within it demonstrate that, for elementary school kids in particular, there are a million things to learn and discover while taking a walk around the block.

The Neighborhood Tool Kit takes its inspiration from Ms. Linnea and Mr. James’ first grade class at Children’s Day School in San Francisco. The school is located in the heart of the city’s Mission District where a walk in any direction provides a unique sensory experience. The 22 students set out on several journeys: from home to school, and from school to local business and landmarks (like the historic Mission Dolores across the street or the busy Bi-Rite Market two blocks south). Sights, smells and sounds of the streets were experienced and recorded. Maps were made. Interviews with neighbors, teachers, family members were conducted. Stories were written, art created.

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Mixing It Up in the 21st Century

GOOD asks author and architect John Kriken about the gap between dense, urban living and the American Dream.

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Beautiful Photographs of Infrastructure: The Underpinnings That Make Civilization Civilized

A new photo essay at Pictory reveals the beauty—and necessity—of infrastructure.



Obsessed with infrastructure? Go faster than a freight train to Infrastructure: The Underpinnings That Make Civilization Civilized, Pictory's gorgeous photo feature guest curated by writer Todd Lapin of Telstar Logistics. It includes such beauties as this photo of San Francisco's East Portal Tunnel by Troy Holden, above.

"Almost by definition, infrastructure is the framework of modern life we rely upon each day." writes Lapin in his introduction. "It’s so ubiquitous to us that it usually seems invisible — until the moment when you need it most and it’s not there. That’s when infrastructure becomes the most beautiful thing in the world."

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