GOOD

GOOD Ideas for Cities: Supporting Food Truck Culture In New Orleans

Vendors and creatives have devised a plan to combat and alter the archaic laws suppressing the growth of the food truck community in New Orleans.

In recent years, New Orleans has become an urban incubator for creative ideas, drawing artists and entrepreneurs together to help guide the city towards a positive future. This meeting-of-the-minds atmosphere has revealed a simple truth about the city: New Orleans has a lot of archaic laws in dire need of a modern overhaul.

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GOOD Idea for Cities: Re-Energizing a Neighborhood's Pride

An update from Dallas: The Elmwood Neighborhood Revitalization team works with a local community to create a renewed sense of vibrancy in its streets.



Just outside of Dallas, Texas lies Elmwood, a large community with a small-town vibe. Established in 1924, Elmwood now faces problems familiar to many cities of its size. Through growing pains and economic recessions, the city's small commercial district had dwindled, resulting in vacant storefronts that attract vandalism. The result is a civic image that doesn't represent the active and vibrant surrounding neighborhood.

With a push from GOOD Ideas for Cities Dallas, the Elmwood Neighborhood Revitalization team focused on bringing local businesses back to Elmwood by transforming the area to a street art destination where pop-up shops and street fairs could take place. The team focused on cleaning up the business district, enforcing basic code violations—such as contacting absentee business owners with unkempt properties—and beautifying neglected pockets of the city, like a mural they painted on a building (above). To immediately reenergize the area, the team organized the Elmwood Street Fair in October, featuring local art, music and food.

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GOOD Ideas for Cities: A Board Game to End Homelessness

An unlikely solution from a L.A. furniture designer allowed a homelessness campaign to reduce their processing times to house the homeless by 40%.

Housing the homeless is one of the most complex social issues facing Los Angeles. With countless bureaucratic steps and agencies, it takes six to nine months to house a homeless veteran; and sometimes longer. That waiting period can be detrimental when someone's health and general well-being are on the line.

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GOOD Ideas for Cities: Developing Local Support for Portland's Public Schools

85% of people in central Portland have no children of school age. A hackathon uncovered ways to help connect those residents to their local school.

When a team from Wieden + Kennedy confronted its challenge to engage the community in public schools for GOOD Ideas for Cities Portland, a surprising statistic came to the forefront: 85% of people in central Portland have no children of school age. With so few residents with a natural link to education, Portland’s public schools are struggling to develop community support.

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Toto, We're Not in Jersey Anymore: The Nets' Design Goes Hipster

What might seem a "basic" or "boring" approach to branding is much deeper than meets the eye.


As the Nets prepare the move from suburban New Jersey to a brand-new arena among the brownstones of Brooklyn, the team's redesigned logo has attracted both fans and foes. The stripped-down, black-and-white icon surprised many fans for its departure from trends in sports logo design. Unlike the overly rendered, multi-dimensional logos of other NBA teams—the Knicks and the Grizzlies, to name two—the Nets are positing themselves as minimalists. With a simple shield bearing the team's name and a basketball branded with the letter 'B,' the logo looks more akin to a 1930s woodcut print than a modern-day NBA graphic.

What might seem a "basic" or "boring" approach to branding—two adjectives common on basketball forums over the past 24 hours—is much deeper than meets the eye. The press release from the Nets frames the new imagery as a homage to New York City: “[The brand identity] incorporates a timeless black and white color palette of the old New York subway signage system, including its clean ‘RollSign’ typeface,” the team writes. Though hip-hop mogul Jay-Z is credited with designing the logo and color scheme, it is likely that designer Timothy Morris, who has provided graphic work for Jay-Z on other projects, had a major hand in the final logo.

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Why Reality Hasn't Gone Virtual: Google Goggles and the 'Headset Problem'

It isn’t enough that our gadgets work well—they have to look good too.


One of the greatest forgotten Saturday Night Live sketches is called "Virtual Reality Books." In the faux-informercial, a spokesman dons a virtual reality headset and glove, while Phil Hartman narrates: "In an age of fiber optics and laser technology, books have just been left behind. That is, till now." We see that the spokesman has been virtually transported into a suburban living room, where a copy of Moby Dick rests on a table. "Welcome to the ultimate reading experience," Hartman continues. "It's like reading a book in your living room—only better!"

The sketch aired in 1994, at the tail end of a technological era when virtual reality was the thought to be the next frontier. Huge sums of money poured into computer hardware during the late 1980s, resulting in a slew of wearable goggles, headsets, and other accessories intended to introduce virtual reality to popular culture. Yet as evidenced by the SNL sketch, virtual reality was more of a curiosity that was never taken entirely seriously by most consumers.

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