Evolution for Everyone

As readers of this blog know, I am increasingly using evolution to make a difference in a practical sense, in the formulation of public policy through the Evolution Institute and in my own community through the Binghamton Neighborhood Project. I chronicle my odyssey in my newest book, The Neighborhood Project: Using Evolution to Improve My City, One Block at a Time, which will be published by Little, Brown this summer.

One of my projects, in partnership with the City of Binghamton and United Way of Broome County, is a friendly competition among neighborhoods to turn vacant lots and other neglected spaces into wonderful community places. In the process of designing, implementing and maintaining their parks, the neighborhoods become empowered to take charge of their own affairs in other respects. The project is richly informed by evolutionary science, as I describe in an article titled “The Design Your Own Park Competition: Empowering Neighborhoods and Restoring Outdoor Play at a Citywide Scale“, which will be published in a special issue of the American Journal of Play, based on a symposium held at Binghamton in September 2010 as part of the project.

The DYOP competition is suddenly in the spotlight as one of 9 out of 450 entries to make the short list of the Philips Livable Cities Award, a global competition to support ideas that improve the quality of life within cities. The short-listed entries will be advertised nationally on CNN and on the Livable Cities Award website. The final judging will be made by a distinguished panel, which will consider a public vote as part of their decision. The top three entries win cash prizes of 75,000, 25,000, and 25,000 Euros, respectively, which in our case would be used directly to help implement the parks.

Please take a moment to vote for the project by visiting the Philips Livable Cities Award Website. Even better, please forward this message to others so that they can vote also. All of the projects are meritorious but DYOP is by far the most science-based in its design and assessment. It can serve as a model for other cities and winning the Philips Livable Cities Award can go a long way toward publicizing it worldwide.

Thanks very much and please contact me at dwilson@binghamton.edu if you would like to discuss publicizing and supporting the DYOP in more detail.


  1. #1 film izle
    February 15, 2011

    I mean, really?? I’m a scientist, and just reading that even made *my* eyes glaze over. If one thing they’re trying to convey is the importance and relevance of the scientist’s research to GQ readers, what percentage of the readers are really going to walk away with a deeper understanding of what Dr. Jamieson does by reading that description? It would have been a small thing to ask each participant to submit a layman-friendly version of their research (their “elevator talk” description, for example) for GQ to include.

    Finally–one of the “scientists” is Dr. Oz. What is he doing in there? One, I would think he’s already well-known enough; why not save that spot for another scientist? Two, yes, I know he’s actually done research and published, and is on the faculty at Columbia. Fantastic. He’s also a serious woo peddler, who has even featured everyone’s favorite “alternative” doc, Joseph Mercola, on his talk show, and discussed how vaccines may be playing a role in autism and allergies (despite mounds of evidence to the contrary). This seems to completely contradict their goal of “research funding as a national priority,” since Oz is often (and Mercola is always) highly critical of “mainstream medicine.” I really don’t understand his inclusion, and think it’s to the detriment of the rest of the campaign.

  2. #2 dma ergr
    February 25, 2011



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