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GOOD Ideas for Cities: Enticing Tourists into City Centers

A plan from Richmond, Virginia uses supergraphics and green space to encourage freeway travelers to make a stop in their city.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WUDYSBsXaI

Richmond, Virginia has a beautiful downtown and vibrant arts community, but its freeway exits are less than enticing. Unfortunately, these are all that many tourists see of Richmond as they travel to other locations. How can the city use these gateways to give travelers a taste of the city's history and culture? At GOOD Ideas for Cities RVA, the whyRVA team tackled the challenge of bringing these tourists into Richmond who might otherwise not make the stop.

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GOOD Ideas for Cities: Promoting Activity on an Urban River

Richmond, Virginia is planning a revitalization of its riverfront. How can the city ensure that economic and cultural development also happens there?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMiftW3NluA

In Richmond, Virginia, a massive revitalization plan has been announced for its James River, which will bring new parks, walking trails, and public spaces to the downtown riverfront. But how can the city ensure that economic and community activity—people, in other words—also come to the river? At GOOD Ideas for Cities RVA, the James RVA team revealed their plan to encourage, share, and promote activities along the river, making it a social and cultural destination for the city. By giving the river an online personality, James RVA, the team hoped to create a social media presence for the river, one that you could friend on Facebook or tag on Instagram. A website and app would collect and map references to the river, creating a vibrant picture of what was happening there. A program with local businesses would also encourage development with incentives to create river-themed tours, retail, or pop-up eateries that could bring economic growth to the area.

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What's Different About Virginia's Ultrasound Bill?

Virginia's ultrasound bill caused an uproar, but there are similar bills in seven other states. Here's why Virginia hit a nerve.


Across the country, local legislators regularly cast votes to restrict abortions in their states. Most Americans never hear about it. But this week, Virginia's latest attempt to prevent women from securing abortions crashed and burned on the national stage—this time, over the issue of "vaginal probing." The state's "informed consent" bill mandated that all women seeking abortions would first have to undergo an ultrasound; practically, it meant that women in the first 12 weeks of their pregnancies would be forced to have a probe inserted in their vagina, then moved around in there until the doctor could produce an ultrasound image of a fetus.

As the bill moved through the Virginia legislature, the national news media began to wise up to these particulars, sparking outrage among pro-choice activists, progressive voters, and regular people. Journalists and politicians alike began to call it "state-mandated rape." Meghan McCain told Rachel Maddow that her friends "who are not into politics" have been texting her, wondering what this "vaginal probing" really means.

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Outsourcing Education: Does It Matter If Someone in India Corrected Your College Paper?

That paper you think was corrected by a professor actually might have been marked up by someone halfway across the globe.

Plenty of American businesses have outsourced jobs across the globe, and now colleges are jumping on the bandwagon. Colleges are hiring online "tutors" to check student work for grammar and other English mistakes and provide the kind of feedback students used to get from professors or teaching assistants before budget cuts resulted in staff layoffs and unmanageably large class sizes.

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