Jay Walljasper

Jay Walljasper, editor of OnTheCommons.org and author of All That We Share and The Great Neighborhood Book, writes widely about cities, community, sustainability and travel. On The Commons is a commons movement strategy center.

Articles by this author

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Saturday, May 2, 2015 - 10:15am
Little Town on the Prairie Steps It Up
It’s like a small-town scene from Norman Rockwell, updated for the 21 st Century. A Latino family strolls leisurely through the park, immersed in conversation. Coming up fast behind is a blonde woman in designer exercise gear and earplugs, intent on maintaining her power-walking pace. Bringing up...
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Friday, April 17, 2015 - 6:45am
'Better, Not More' Is Rallying Cry for a New Economy
Environmental activist and filmmaker Annie Leonard has a knack for looking at familiar things in a new light that opens possibilities for transformation. Her short film The Story of Stuff offered an “a-ha” moment for many of its 12 million viewers by revealing the ecological price tag of a hyper-...
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Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 11:45am
A Day in the Life of America’s Most Walkable Suburb
Suburban life has always been synonymous with long hours in the car-- going to work, school, the grocery store, the mall, soccer practice and friends’ homes. Some people even drive to take a walk. That’s changing now, just like the stereotype of suburbs as places where everyone’s white, married...
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Tuesday, January 20, 2015 - 8:30am
11 Reasons Why Transit, Bikes & Walking Are Moving Us To a Brighter Future
According to the pundits and prophets who dominate the media, the future of transportation is all figured out for us. Cheaper gas prices mean we can still count on our private cars to take us everywhere we want to go in the years to come. The only big change down the road will be driverless autos,...
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Friday, November 21, 2014 - 12:00pm
Walking is Going Places: Foot Power, Happiness, and the Common Good
Walking is going places. Humans’ most common pastime--forsaken for decades as too slow and too much effort-- is now recognized as a health breakthrough, an economic catalyst and a route to happiness. Real Simple magazine (circulation: 2 million) declared “walking America’s untrendiest trend” in its...
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Monday, October 13, 2014 - 9:15am
Bring Home Best-in-the-World Ideas to Make Sure Your City Thrives
Imagine a major city where 35 percent of all traffic is people on bikes. Or think even bigger--an entire nation where 27 percent of all trips are pedal-powered. This is not some Utopia dreamed up by a 24-year-old after too many handcrafted beers. These are real places located in modern societies...
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Thursday, September 25, 2014 - 1:15pm
These Streets Are Made for Walking
More than 4500 pedestrians (see earlier Commons magazine story ) are killed by motor vehicles every year on the streets of America. This is not an inevitable fact of modern life. These deaths are preventable, as shown by the dramatic decline of pedestrian fatalities (as well as bicyclists and...
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Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 1:45pm
A New Vision to Fix the Tragedy No One Ever Thinks About
More than 4500 pedestrians are killed by motor vehicles every year on the streets of America--more than those who died in the horror of 9/11. A recent report from the National Complete Streets Coalition studying ten years of data found that 16 times more people were killed crossing the street than...
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(Photo: istock) Views
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 3:30pm
Who Gets to Decide What a City Can Do with Broadband Internet?
“(W)ithout power and independence, a town may contain good subjects, but it can have no active citizens.” That was the conclusion of Alexis de Tocqueville after touring a youthful American Republic in the early 1830s, as recorded in his classic Democracy in America . Today we are engaged in a...
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Biking along the green lanes in downtown Vancouver, B.C. early May 2013. (Photo: flickr / cc/ Gary Howe) Views
Thursday, July 10, 2014 - 7:30am
How to Inspire Millions More People to Bike
You can see big changes happening across North America as communities from Fairbanks to St. Petersburg transform their streets into appealing places for people, not just cars and trucks. “Over the past five years we’re seeing an infrastructure revolution, a rethinking of our streets to accommodate...
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