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

(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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(Photo: Opensource.com/ Creative Commons) Views
Saturday, May 24, 2014 - 1:30pm
How a Commons Way of Life Helps Curb Climate Change
It’s easy to not think about the looming climate crisis. For one thing, it’s depressing to ponder the misery ahead if we don’t take drastic steps now to curb greenhouse emissions. It’s even more depressing when you consider that even the most modest steps to reduce carbon use in the US have been...
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Sunday, April 20, 2014 - 10:22am
How the Commons Way of Life Helps Curb Climate Change
It’s easy to not think about the looming climate crisis. For one thing, it’s depressing to ponder the misery ahead if we don’t take drastic steps now to curb greenhouse emissions. It’s even more depressing when you consider that even the most modest steps to reduce carbon use in the US have been derailed by corporate lobbyists and ideological zealots.
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Sunday, February 23, 2014 - 10:40am
Robert Ogilvie Helps Make the Most of Commons Around Us
One of the most familiar commons across North America is, unfortunately, one of the most underused—the school buildings and grounds that exist in every community.
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Sunday, December 8, 2013 - 8:39am
Walking: A New Movement for Health and Happiness
Researchers have discovered a “wonder drug” for many of today’s most common medical problems, says Dr. Bob Sallis, a family practitioner at a Kaiser Permanente clinic in Fontana, California.
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Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - 11:58am
Bike Lanes To Somewhere: On Race, Health, and Equity
Rev. Kenneth Gunn’s ministry at Chicago’s Bread of Life Church encompasses both the Bible and bicycles. He organized a bike club that regularly rides from the South Side church to Lake Michigan and along the Lakefront Trail.
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Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 6:56am
Saving the Planet, Starting in Your Own Backyard
After 40 years of what felt like progress in protecting our environment, the ecological crisis now seems to be worsening. Climate change, caused by greenhouse gas emissions, is heating up. The massive exploitation of the tar sands in Canada might be the tipping point, from which we can never return. Fracking for natural gas and oil threatens underground water supplies. The oceans are being massively overfished.
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Monday, July 22, 2013 - 11:38am
Connections, Community & the Pursuit of Happiness
At one point in my life, my neighbors and I were fighting battles on two fronts to protect our community. Our modest Kingfield neighborhood in Minneapolis was threatened on one side by the widening of a freeway, which would rip out scores of homes, and on the other side by the widening of an avenue, which would escalate traffic speeds on an already dangerous road.
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Sunday, June 2, 2013 - 4:55pm
Bicycling Surges Across the Country, Outpacing Critics’ Complaints
Former New York mayor Ed Koch envisioned bicycles as vehicles for the future, and in 1980 created experimental bike lanes on 6 th and 7 th Avenues in Manhattan where riders were protected from speeding traffic by asphalt barriers. It was unlike anything most Americans had ever seen--and some people roared their disapproval. Within weeks, the bike lanes were gone.
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