Matching Grants in Seattle 
Wednesday, August 12, 2009, 05:43 PM - Inspiring
Seattle is an inspiring story of community development and smart funding strategies.

The city began with small neighbourhood matching grants to community groups. $1000-5000. What they did with the money was up to them. No strings.

Amazing what came out of this program. This is the after shot of the previous. Community gardens that neighbours created for themselves.

The only conditions were that the neighbourhood group had their own matching funds either in cash or in-kind. This was a neglected park washroom before.

This was an empty space under an overpass.

It has grown so large and gained such momentum that it has changed the face of planning in Seattle. It now takes place through decentralized neighbourhood councils in collaboration with city councillors. Each neighbourhood makes its own neighbourhood plan.

These photos are courtesy of Jim Diers from a PPT presentation at the Asset-Based Community Development Forum, Coady Institute. Check out his book "Neighbour Power."

Different Ways to Learn 
Monday, January 26, 2009, 02:01 PM - Inspiring
My friend Natasha's son Samuel asked her how long he would have to be in school. She told him plus or minus 15 yrs and more if he wanted to go to university. He said, "I'm not going to university, mom, I'm going to space."

Chebucto Wilderness Coalition 
Wednesday, March 26, 2008, 04:25 PM - Inspiring
photo: WRWEO

This coalition (grown out of WRWEO and 5 Bridges Wilderness Heritage Trust) has been in the works just over a year and has already mobilised the support of over 35 organizations and three levels of government. The purpose of the CWC is to protect approximately 9,800 hectares of public lands just outside of Halifax near Tantallon. Nova Scotia is only at 8% of its committed 12% of protected wilderness. This would boost it close to a percentage. Halifax is one of the few cities where you can be on a wilderness trail, a kayak or a canoe in under 20 minutes. Interestingly, the coalition has kept its structure lean and informal allowing it to move quickly and easily without getting bogged in bureacracy. Is there a lesson here?

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Why we Love Amsterdam 
Friday, November 23, 2007, 07:07 PM - Inspiring

Amsterdam had over 465,000 bikes in 2006; that is over half the population riding. (Traffic and Infrastructure (in Dutch). City of Amsterdam. Wikipedia.)

and David Bowie's "In the Port of Amsterdam" (check out youtube video)

Below youtube video on bike rush hour traffic....
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The Pluck and Honesty of Morales 
Tuesday, March 27, 2007, 10:37 AM - Inspiring
10 commandments to save the planet, humanity and life

1-Acabar con el sistema capitalista
1-End the capitalist system

2-Renunciar a las guerras
2-Renounce wars

3-Un mundo sin imperialismo ni colonialismo
3-A world without imperialism or colonialism

4-Derecho al agua
4-Right to water

5-Desarrollo de energi­as limpias
5-Development of clean energies

6-Respeto a la madre tierra, Pachamama
6-Respect for Mother Earth

7-Servicios basicos como derechos humanos
7-Basic services as human rights

8-Combatir las desigualdades
8-Fight inequalities

9-Promover la diversidad de culturas y economias
9-Promote diversity of cultures and economies

10-Vivir bien, no vivir mejor a costa del otro
10-Live well, not better at the expense of others

Some Bolivian friends say that he is not without his issues. But you've got to hand it to him. He is making full use of his platform. Nationalized the oil companies. Everyone thought they would pull out. They didn't.

See a BBC interview with Evo Morales below..
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