Make Tech Easier: 4 Useful Apps to Connect You to Your Neighbors. “How well do you know who lives next to you? Want to connect with your community? Do you have a great idea that could benefit your local community but don’t know how to get it off the ground? The following online services provide useful apps to connect you to your neighbors. You’ll make friends, connect with local businesses and engage in community projects and events in no time.” I had heard of Nextdoor but not the other three.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health: Google Street View Derived Built Environment Indicators and Associations with State-Level Obesity, Physical Activity, and Chronic Disease Mortality in the United States. “We utilized 31,247,167 images collected from Google Street View to create indicators for neighborhood built environment characteristics using deep learning techniques. Adjusted linear regression models were used to estimate the associations between aggregated built environment indicators and state level health outcomes. Our results indicated that the presence of a crosswalk was associated with reductions in obesity and premature mortality. Visible wires were associated with increased obesity, decreased physical activity, and increases in premature mortality, diabetes mortality, and cardiovascular mortality (however, these results were not significant). Non-single family homes were associated with decreased diabetes and premature mortality, as well as increased physical activity and park and recreational access. Single-lane roads were associated with increased obesity and decreased park access.”
Mashable: How to use Nextdoor, Facebook, Slack to help neighbors amid coronavirus. “Like so much of the world right now, helping neighbors at this moment is likely going to require moving some activities online. Mashable spoke with Prakash Janakiraman, co-founder and chief architect at Nextdoor, and Naomi Gleit, vice president of product at Facebook, about how to best support neighbors using each platform. They’re not the only digital tools you can use to help neighbors right now — there are likely creative ways to use almost any platform to help others — but some of Janakiraman and Gleit’s updated tools can fulfill specific neighborly tasks.”
New York Times: Porches, Yards, Driveways, Parking Lots: Where the Neighborhood Is Now. “We walk the dogs across the meadow in the rain. We don’t talk much. We say the same things over and over, and yet somehow there’s comfort in the repetition. Yesterday someone wrote on the town listserv that certain dog owners had been spotted in the meadow less than six feet away from each other. Suddenly, everybody’s a cop, yardsticks in their minds. People are scared, and with good reason. But distance — the idea of distance. Were we so close to begin with? How far will we be from each other after this is over? The dogs, off leash, circle back to us. I’ve got the sense they know what’s going on, if not the particulars. But something is most definitely up. For starters, how come we’re all home all the time?”
Phys .org: The community-led movement creating hope in the time of coronavirus. “COVID-19 represents a major rupture in the status quo and calls for new forms of response. Perhaps this is why thousands of new ‘mutual aid’ groups have sprung up internationally. Many of these groups have swelled to several thousand members within a few days….But the rapid growth of this movement creates a steep learning curve for group organizers. Just as in wider society, mutual aid groups must grapple with political differences and structural inequality.”
EHS Today: COVID Community Vulnerability Map Helps Allocate Resources. “The interactive map identifies populations down to the census block level that are at risk for severe outcomes upon contracting a virus like COVID. Severe outcomes include hospitalization, organ failure and mortality. Additionally, the map surfaces the socioeconomic and environmental factors, such as lack of access to transportation or nutritious food, that put patients at greater risk. The map is also overlaid with points of interest, such as hospitals, food sources and transportation, in relation to the at-risk communities.”
Lakeshore Public Radio: In Oregon, Neighbors Use Social Media To Offer — And Ask For — Help. “Orders to stay home leave many people glued to their screens. In rural Oregon, some people are turning their time on social media into tangible help for neighbors coping with coronavirus.”