Dotte Agency

By Matt Kleinmann | We believe everyone has a right to a safe and healthy neighborhood. Follow along for stories about design with social and public health impact.

Families could get supermarket discounts if they hit NHS exercise targets

Families could get discounts on their supermarket shopping if they hit weekly exercise “step targets” under radical NHS proposals.<p>Free bikes, sprinting tracks on pavements and outdoor public gyms are also proposed as part of efforts to drive out couch potato lifestyles and reward those who try to …


Boston Neighborhoods Asking for Slower, Safer Streets

Rather than focusing only on which streets are most dangerous, Boston officials asked which neighborhoods wanted safety improvements to slow traffic, …

Urban Design

Architecture Could Be The Best Weapon Against Extremism

As the fight over Confederate monuments turns deadly, New Orleans-based designer Bryan C. Lee Jr. has been working to bring artists and historians together to create new symbols across the city that are inclusive of all people, through his firm Colloqate Design.FS


Young Food Justice Leaders Speak Out

Youth have the energy, idealism, creativity, and conviction needed to move the food movement forward.Nowhere is this fact more apparent than at a …


Imagine: A City Built for Cycling

A new book by Steven Fleming, founder of bike-centric planning consultancy Cycle Space, lays out a utopian city built around bicycles as the main …


Dockless Bikeshare Coming to New York, With or Without Permits

"A California company will dump 300 dockless share bikes across the Big Apple on Monday — and they don’t have permission from the city to do it," …


The future of Portland housing depends on biking, and vice versa

The bikeways in Montreal inspire people to give cycling a try; but it’s there proximity to ample and affordable residential housing that seals the …


What’s Behind the Growing Backlash to S.F. Bike-Share Expansion

(Photo by Paul Wasneski)A Ford GoBike stripped of its parts and hung on a tree drew cheers on social media last weekend — a particularly brutal sign …


Single-Payer Would Be a Good Start, but Real Health Equity Means Tackling Economic Disparities

In the current US health care debate, we need to think beyond national health insurance to health equity. To transform our health care system into a …

Health Care

No, poor people don't eat more junk food than everyone else

Fast food isn’t actually that cheap.<p>Fast food is frequently blamed for damaging our health. As nutrition experts point out, it typically has excessive amounts of fat, salt, and calories per serving. More broadly, it’s seen as a key factor in the growing obesity epidemic in the US and throughout the …

Fast Food

How Design Thinking Became a Buzzword at School

The trendy concept is in high demand among educators, but its specifics are vague.<p>At a recent teaching conference in Richmond, Virginia, a session on “design thinking” in education drew a capacity crowd. Two middle-school teachers demonstrated how they had used the concept to plan and execute an …

Design Thinking

Reevely: Ottawa looks to save builders (and buyers) millions on new subdivisions

We can save millions of dollars on new suburban roads by building bike tracks next to them instead of painting bike lanes on them, the city has …

Bike Lanes

Building a Social Scene Around a Bike Path

The “crown jewel” of New Orleans’s cycling network isn’t just a way to get around town. It also promises a vibrant space to live, shop, and grab a drink.<p>In a city known for bar-hopping, endless festivals, and maybe even a little debauchery, a bike path isn’t the likeliest place for a budding social …


The Square on 21st

Over the years, the City and County of Denver's Community Planning and Development Department created an initiative to increase green space to underserved areas. As a result, Denver's first pop-up park emerged. With a tight deadline, the City leaned on CU Denver students to design and build the …

On streets, Boston doesn’t practice what Walsh is preaching

Mayor Marty Walsh keeps issuing slick, ambitious plans that herald a greener, less auto-dependent Boston. But somehow, the city just missed another …

Urban Design

Urban Health Has Dodged a Bullet

Funding to fight lead poisoning, opioid addiction, and chronic disease could have vanished with the “skinny repeal” of the ACA.<p>With Republicans’ latest attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act defeated in the wee hours of Friday morning, millions of Americans are breathing a sigh of relief.<p>Based …

Affordable Care Act


Sustainable Transport

Can San Jose Revitalize Local Food and Farms in Silicon Valley?

San Jose, California is a sprawling city of contradictions. Once a bedroom suburb for San Francisco commuters, in recent years it has exploded to a …

Silicon Valley

A Fresh Idea to Improve Food Access

Every Friday afternoon at 3:30 p.m., a school bus parks outside the South End Community Health Center in Boston, opens its doors, and invites local …

Health Care

An Open Data Hub That Builds Better Citizens

A new platform from Esri acts like a social network built on civic duty.<p>More than 100 American cities host online open data portals brimming with information on crime, housing, transit, traffic, and neighborhood boundaries. Such initiatives have promised to make government more transparent, …

Open Data



Let’s Train ‘Extension Agents’ for the 21st Century

As the government scales back its engagement with problems of the real world, institutions of higher education must fill the gap.


A promising new coalition looks to rewrite the politics of urban housing

An end to defensive planning could unleash huge change.<p>An innovative new political coalition in Washington, DC, is trying to remap the contours of the urban housing debate by uniting poverty advocates, real estate developers, affordable housing proprietors, and urbanists under the banner of more …


What Keeps Bike Share White

It’s not a lack of interest, but a lack of information.<p>It’s no secret that bike-share systems across the country have an equity problem. Bike share works best in high-density, mixed-use neighborhoods—the types of places that have seen rents skyrocket and the affluent move in. Even as systems have …


Pedal-ins and car burials: what happened to America's forgotten 1970s cycle boom?

‘Bicycle madness’ once saw US bike sales outstrip cars, and spawned ambitious plans for 100,000 miles of cycle paths. Then the music stopped<p>“The bicycle’s biggest wave of popularity in its 154-year history,” gushed Time magazine in 1970 at the start of America’s five-year love affair with the bike. …


Do you live in a food desert?

A home’s value is based on how much a buyer would likely be willing to pay to live there. It’s not just about how the home itself appeals to a buyer, …

Can a better-designed bike helmet make people safer on the road?

In the middle of downtown Los Angeles' bustling Arts District, you’ll find the headquarters of Thousand occupying one of the few work/live lofts left in the area.<p>It's a company that makes bicycle helmets, but think less duck-billed head gear and more Steve McQueen in the 1960s.<p>Gloria Hwang, the …


Coming soon to India: Electric buses that can swap batteries at petrol pump-like facilities

A storied truck-maker and an ambitious upstart are coming together, in further proof that India’s electric mobility ecosystem is gaining traction.<p>On July 18, Ashok Leyland, the country’s second-largest truck-maker, announced a strategic partnership with SUN Mobility, a transportation solutions …

Electric Vehicles

Do-It-Yourself Farmer Grows Strawberries In The Air

Hezam Kittani didn't want U.S. handouts to help him grow strawberries.<p>He wanted to be a do-it-yourself berry farmer — and to teach others to follow in his footsteps.<p>Strawberries were barely grown in the West Bank, where Kittani lives, before 2009. Today they're a 250-ton yearly crop. And that's …