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Problem Solving Must-Reads: Tiny Homes for the Homeless

Plus: A focus on greenspace in Memphis, and gamifying street safety

Here at The Citizen, we do problem-solving journalism, looking for ideas and solutions to move the region forward and make a better city. Here are some other great ideas for solving the world’s problems, from media outlets around the globe:

Oslo Is Using A Safe-Street Design App That Crowdsources Ideas From Kids

Photo: Fast CoExist

Attention, Open Streets lovers: Oslo, Norway hopes to completely ban cars in their center city within three years. Until then, a new app Traffic Agent gamifies safe-street design to get kids involved in creating safer streets. When kids notice a dangerous situation on the street, they can report it as a “secret agent” for the city. The app was developed by children, for children, satisfying the desire of many kids to be spies, listen to mysterious music, and send secret messages to a headquarters and each other. The app pins the location of any report a child makes. But the best part is that the adults are actually listening! For example, when students reported feeling safer walking through a private yard on the way to school, Oslo contacted the owners to purchase the yard and create a permanent path there. (via Fast CoExist)

Tiny House Community Aims to Turn Homelessness Into Homeownership

The Tiny House craze—which has reached absurd heights in recent years—has started to produce some true civic innovations. Specifically, tiny homes are being used as a viable solution to the homelessness epidemic in America. A community of tiny homes in Detroit is being built to give to those experiencing homelessness and other low-income families, giving them the ability to own the small house. The first tiny home was debuted last week, and the developer, Cass Community Social Services, plans to have 25 total homes across two blocks by the end of next year. The houses, which range from 250- to 400-square-feet, can accommodate individuals or couples with all of the amenities you’d expect to find in a larger home. (via Huffington Post)

Memphis Is Doing Greenspace Right Again

Photo: CityLab

For over 50 years, Memphis has been criticized for its approach to green space. The city planned around urban sprawl development, only building parks as an afterthought. Now, the city is trying to turn things around by focusing more on greenery. Memphis is home to one of the 20 largest urban parks in the nation, yet what should have been a point of civic pride was allowed to fall into disrepair. Local nonprofits have stepped in to redesign and conserve the park, which will have dedicated spaces for rest and ecological restoration along with a rail line to connect the entire park. (via CityLab)

Photo header: Huffington Post

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