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Top Reads, Week of 5/13

Check out our top three reads of the week. They cover the challenges and opportunities facing American communities right now. This week, we’re reading an excerpt from Alexander Garvin's latest book on vibrant downtowns, contemplating what constitutes a “good job” and learning about health equity in rural America.

Have something to add to our list? Let us know on Twitter at @LISC_HQ

Lessons for Any Downtown
Alexander Garvin, Next City

“Any downtown that is growing will have to expand and improve the public realm so that it can accommodate an increase in people and activity. New York City has been particularly effective in doing this without acquiring additional property by reconfiguring territory used by pedestrians, moving vehicles, and parking. In each instance, the number of people downtown increased substantially and, with them, safety and retail spending. Some of the most effective examples are along Broadway in Manhattan.” Continue [+]...

“Their findings offer a sliver of hope for the future of the American worker. About 22 million jobs — over one in five across the metropolitan areas in the study — pay more than the median wage. They include some surprises. For all the talk that you need a bachelor’s degree these days to become a registered nurse, 66 percent of available registered-nursing jobs did not require one. Many make do with an associate degree. Neither did 46 percent of openings for executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants. Nor did 53 percent of the searches for computer-user support specialists. All the positions cleared the wage floor.” Continue [+]...

To Improve Health Equity, Rural America Must Be Part of the Frame
Whitney Kimball Coe, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

“So while many rural places lack more recognizable financial and civic resources, those assets take alternative forms: personal and family relationships; cultural cohesion; connection to place; or civic and religious infrastructure. Our devotion to social and civic rituals affect our mental and physical well-being, and can even extend how long we live. And a growing body of research shows that social connection is at the heart of good health.” Continued [+]...


The views and opinions expressed in the articles above are those of the authors and publications we are listing, and do not necessarily reflect LISC’s perspective.