At DigitalGlobe we spend a great deal of time focused on urban areas, where the majority of the world’s people now live, and thus where the majority of commerce, conflict, and change take place. Earlier this year an interesting thought crossed my mind: “What would a perfect city look like from space?” Would it have large open venues or lots of public transportation? Would there be an abundance of parks or the tallest skyscrapers in the world? How would this vision of idyllic urban design change depending on where in the world you were?

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In many neighborhoods, income’s influence on a neighborhood can manifest itself physically in different ways.  Well paved roads and better maintained buildings are just two signs of a wealthier neighborhood.  The amount of vegetation, even in densely urban areas, can also be a predictor of the relative wealth of a neighborhood.  Known as the “gray-green divide”, the amount of trees and green space can be an indicator of the income level of the neighborhood.

What is the Gray-Green Divide?

The gray in the phrase, “gray-green divide”, refers to the dominant color from roads, sidewalks, and rooftops that strikes the viewer when looking at an aerial or satellite image of a lower-income neighborhood.  In contrast, higher-income neighborhoods tend to have more vegetation in the form of trees and landscaping that provide a “greener” view to the imagery.  The disparity is even more evident when viewing a lower-income neighborhood that back ups to a wealthier one.

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In the last ten years, technology has changed the way we work and communicate with others — and it’s also changed how we interact in the classroom. In fact, some educators argue that technology can improve the classroom by eliminating the need for a physical one, and allow students to learn remotely, from wherever they do their best work. While it’s still too early to know if this is the most effective way to teach, it’s important to stay-to-update on these innovations in education and see what we can learn from them. In these TED talks, students and educators share their …

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