How the brain’s desire for space, survival, and pleasure is creating inequality in our neighborhoods and communities

Santa Marta’s painted houses, a colorful favela in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Santa Marta’s painted houses, a colorful favela in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Santa Marta’s painted houses in Rio De Janiero, Brazil’s most famous favela. credit: Culture Trip

Communities are often defined by the space they inhabit. In Brazil, for example, informal housing settlements are known as favelas a term that was used to describe displaced colonial soldiers in the 1800s. Upper-class neighborhoods are known as asfalto — literally translated as “asphalt.” As the name implies, the architecture and quality of housing construction in upper-class neighborhoods are far beyond that in the favelas. While each community's economic and cultural differences are seemingly innumerable, there is one common thread between them: both were planned by a human mind.

The brain is undoubtedly the most complex organ in the…

When accounting for life expectancy, the U.S. contributed more than 25% of the worldwide total of life years lost.

Photo by Cade on Unsplash

More than 600,000 Americans have died because of COVID-19. But, researchers are just starting to understand the human toll wrought by the pandemic.

Outside of a total death count, scientists can estimate the number of “life years” lost due to accidents or other causes — a calculation that takes life expectancy into account. For example, if a person is estimated to live to 80 years old but dies at 50, it can be said they lost 30 “life years.”

Using this calculation, researchers at PEW Trusts found that the pandemic not only was responsible for 380,000 deaths in 2020 but…

How a worsening climate is making people poor, and making it harder to escape poverty.

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Climate change impacts all facets of daily life. It is the reason that our air quality is declining, food sources are being impacted by drought, and housing developments are being dictated by flood risk. Governments around the world are working to mitigate these impacts by creating tax incentive programs for business owners to speed-up the development of green technology. However, right now, the world’s poorest are paying the highest price of climate change. Without significant intervention from both public and private entities, climate change is set to rapidly increase poverty and make it more difficult to escape.

According to estimates…

Photo by Alexander Lemann on Unsplash

It’s been just 50 days since President Joe Biden took office. Yet, his administration has spent an average of $1 billion per day to create or preserve affordable housing around the country.

This puts Biden on pact to reach his promised $640 billion investment in affordable housing over the next decade by next year. But, the spending isn’t as frivolous as these numbers may seem. Biden has shown there’s a clear, evidence-based strategy behind the money.

First, Biden asserted that addressing housing affordability requires keeping people who are at risk of experiencing homelessness in their homes. Without these efforts, the…

Get ready to ride the eviction wave

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A federal judge in Texas ruled on February 25 that the federal eviction moratorium that’s been in place since September is unconstitutional.

US District Judge J. Campbell Barker of the Eastern District of Texas said the ban represented an imaginary power created by the government which exceeds the powers granted under Article 1 of the constitution. The ruling stems from a challenge to the moratorium fomented by state property managers back in October 2020.

“Although the Covid-19 pandemic persists, so does the Constitution,” Judge Barker wrote in his decision

The Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) order prohibits landlords from evicting…

A bill soon-to-be introduced in the Nevada state legislature could revolutionize the tech economy

credit: Planetizen

During his biennial State of the State address on January 19, 2021, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak announced a new way to lure “groundbreaking technology” companies to the Silver State.

Known as “Innovation Zones,” the proposal would allow companies like Facebook and Tesla to create their own semi-autonomous governments in Nevada. Companies operating in these zones can impose taxes, form school districts and courts and provide government services.

So far, the idea is just that — an idea. Formal legislation has not been introduced in Nevada’s state legislature yet, and it’s unclear if it will be introduced in 2021. …

Here’s a look at the real costs of the GOP’s views on poverty.

Photo by Tom Parsons on Unsplash

February 15, 1986: Ronald Reagan addressed the nation about welfare reform. During his 15-minute radio speech, Reagan described poverty as a family crisis, one that is “concealed behind tenement walls or lost in the forgotten streets of our inner cities.” Children were being born to children, he said, many of whom were underweight and malnourished. Without serious reforms to the welfare system, America was on the brink of “creating a permanent culture of poverty as inescapable as any chain or bond; a second and separate America, an America of lost dreams and stunted lives,” Reagan warned.

The 40th President of…

Soaring home prices, low supply, and remote work could sending the housing market into a frenzy

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The housing market is set to eclipse last year’s gains thanks to low supply and soaring demand. That isn’t necessarily good news.

According to a recent study by Redfin, scarcity of available homes is bolstering the pandemic-driven seller’s market, a trend that will continue for at least the first half of 2021.

“The main thing going on is scarcity of homes for sale. There’s nothing there, so people want it even more,” Seattle Redfin real estate agent Scott Petrich said in a statement.

“Potential homebuyers who don’t have a good amount of savings are having a very hard time getting…

Tech-savvy, highly-educated, and environmentally conscious, Millennials represent a drastic turn-of-face for the luxury home market

Photo by Scott Lorsch on Unsplash

Tatiana and Shannon Harris started their blog — Power Couple Life — as a way to regale followers with glimpses of their lives as luxury travelers, gourmet foodies, and full-time adventurers.

After seven years, the couple decided to settle down and purchase a home in Austin, Texas — a city Zillow expect to be one of the hottest housing markets in 2021. When push came to shove, the couple said they focused their home search around three criteria: green, fresh, and beautiful.

“We started our blog and social media in 2013,” Tiana said in a statement. “Combining sustainability and luxury…

David Kilcullen, CEO of Cordillera, said Jan. 6 looked like what happened in Ukraine, Serbia, and Georgia in the 1990s

credit: REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo via

After watching supporters of President Donald Trump and right-wing agitators storm Capitol Hill on January 6 in an effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election, guerilla warfare expert Dr. David Kilcullen is concerned that a colour revolution is brewing in the US.

“Revolutions often begin with massive peaceful protests over a contested election. These lead to violence, which triggers a government crackdown, which provokes insurrection, international condemnation and, often, regime change,” he said in a statement.

As the Special Advisor for Counterinsurgency to former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, and senior counterinsurgency advisor to General David Petraeus, Kilcullen…

Robert Davis

Journalist covering housing, police, and government.

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