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January 17, 2019

How your online shopping snarls traffic on city streets

Package delivery curbside

This past holiday season, to the delight of retailers, saw shopping records broken left and right. Amazon set a sales record over the long Thanksgiving weekend. Cyber Monday hit a record $7.9 billion in sales. Online holiday shopping, at a predicted $126 billion, would mark an all-time record. That also means a record number of online deliveries. The strong retail economy…


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January 16, 2019

The deed to your Seattle-area home may contain racist language. Here’s how to fix it.

Seattle floating homes

Starting in the 1920s, covenants in force throughout the region allowed only white people to own property in most neighborhoods in Seattle. The covenants were outlawed in the 1960s, but now a new state law allows property owners to strike them from a property deed. They date back to a time when racial discrimination was…


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January 9, 2019

Carbon accountability: progress in work to reduce embodied carbon in construction materials

An iceberg floats past an ice shelf in the North Atlantic.

“We acknowledge that we hold this world in trust and recognize the immediate threat climate change and its impacts pose to current and future generations,” reads a statement signed this fall by more than 100 construction-related companies and nonprofits. “We must act urgently and collaboratively to transform the built environment from a leading driver of…


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December 12, 2018

Urban Ecologist/Superhero

Christopher Schell

UW Tacoma Assistant Professor Christopher Schell is a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as evidenced by the Black Panther coffee cup and Black Panther bobble head on his desk. Schell is a scientist, not a superhero; but if he were to assume a secret identity he might be dubbed, “Coyote.” Schell is an urban…


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December 7, 2018

What if Alaska’s earthquake happened here?

A vehicle heavily damaged during the 2001 Nisqually Earthquake

Last Friday, a 7.0 earthquake rattled Anchorage, Alaska. Amazingly, no one died — and revamped building codes enacted in the wake of the state’s deadly 1964 Good Friday quake meant the city was more prepared than most. Outside of a few structure fires, damage was kept to a minimum. But striking images of tectonic apocalypse…


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December 6, 2018

Climate change consequences ‘already being felt’ in communities across U.S.

Firefighters extinguish a fire

As California’s catastrophic wildfires recede and people rebuild after two hurricanes, a massive new federal report warns that these types of extreme weather disasters are worsening in the United States. The White House report quietly issued Friday also frequently contradicts President Donald Trump. The National Climate Assessment was written long before the deadly fires in California this…


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December 4, 2018

Can an app help avoid bike-car collisions on the Burke-Gilman Trail? UW students are testing it

The beginning of the Burke-Gilman Trail

The possibility of a crash occurs every few minutes at the Burke-Gilman Trail: A bicyclist is cruising past alders and maples that conceal traffic. A motorist has just turned toward Lake Washington, and can’t see trail users approaching the road from either side. In the future, a navigation app might warn them both, if an…


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November 29, 2018

UW’s Marina Alberti to lead new NSF-funded research network to study impact of cities on Earth’s evolutionary dynamics

Sea gull perched on metal chain hanging in an urban area

Here in what is called the Anthropocene era, humans and our urban environments appear to be driving accelerated evolutionary change in plants, animals, fungi, viruses and more — changes that could affect key ecosystem functions and thus human well-being. These interactions between evolution and ecology are called “eco-evolutionary feedback.” The National Science Foundation has awarded a five-year,…


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November 27, 2018

Parks help cities – but only if people use them

Seattle's freeway park

Written by Thaisa Way, faculty director of Urban@UW and Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture in the College of Built Environments. In cities, access to parks is strongly linked with better health for both people and neighborhoods. Children suffer higher rates of obesity when they grow up in urban areas without a park in easy reach. Because low-income neighborhoods have fewer green spaces, poorer…


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November 21, 2018

Urban Freight Lab will help UPS evaluate its new e-bike delivery service in Seattle

UPS cargo e-bike in Hamburg

Seattle is one of the most congested cities in America, in part due to delivery trucks taking up space on crowded streets. One solution could be for companies to make deliveries using bicycles instead. UPS announced today that it will be pilot-testing deliveries with cargo e-bikes in downtown Seattle. This test is expected to last a…


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Urban@UW shares stories of urban research, teaching, and engagement by the University of Washington community through original publication and amplification of externally published articles, in order to bring visibility to the great work across the university. For communications inquiries, please email urbanuw@uw.edu

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