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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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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Tuesday, April 9, 2013 - 12:01pm
A Walking Revolution: Movement Making Americans Happier & Healthier
THE NEXT BIG HEALTH CARE BREAKTHROUGH! — which could cut rates of heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, and Alzheimer’s by at least 40 percent and save Americans $100 billion a year — comes from a place you’d least expect. On your block. At the park. Everywhere. So what’s this amazing treatment, which also happens to be easy, enjoyable and virtually free? It’s as simple as taking a walk.
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Thursday, January 17, 2013 - 9:03am
Common Ground: It's All Happening at the Park
Parks stand as the foremost symbol of the commons because they are literally common ground—a place where everyone can come and rub shoulders, interact, share an experience, get to know one another better. They are the foundation of community and democracy.
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Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - 2:39pm
Mitt Romney: What Is This Man Planning for America?
As the presidential campaign reaches fever pitch—with Super Pac attacks appearing constantly on TV and both candidates sharpening their debate zingers—I feel guilty about my growing obsession with it all.
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012 - 9:01am
The Rise and Fall and Rise of Great Public Spaces
It’s a dark and wintry night in Copenhagen, and the streets are bustling. The temperature stands above freezing, but winds blow hard enough to knock down a good share of the bicycles parked all around.
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Monday, July 2, 2012 - 1:31pm
America The Possible: A Manifesto For A Brighter Future
In America the Possible : A Manifesto —a riveting two part excerpt in Orion Magazine from a forthcoming book— environmental strategist and scholar Gus Speth crafts a practical agenda for the future of the American Dream that brims with optimism, decency and common sense.
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Thursday, June 14, 2012 - 8:30am
Commons Champion: Elinor Ostrom (1933-2012)
Elinor Ostrom, who shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in economics for her lifelong work studying how communities share resources, died June 12. She was 78. The only woman out of 69 Nobel Laureates in economics honored since 1969, Ostrom taught political science at Indiana University.
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Thursday, May 31, 2012 - 9:00am
Bicycle Brilliance and the Greening of America’s Streets
You can glimpse the future right now in forward-looking American cities—a few blocks here, a mile there where people riding bicycles are protected from rushing cars and trucks.
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