This is not an easy problem to solve. But the state cannot just throw up its hands. It has a moral obligation to ensure that as many children as possible escape failing schools for ones that give them a fighting chance. And history has shown that districts can dramatically improve educational opportunities for minority children — and reduce racial isolation — with voluntary transfer plans and especially with high-quality magnet schools that attract middle-class families. This problem is especially urgent in New York’s second-largest city, Buffalo, where federal civil rights officials are enforcing an agreement intended to expand minority access to the better schools in a dysfunctional system, which has suffered from years of abysmal leadership and middle-class flight. Today nearly half the city’s public schools either have low graduation rates or rank in the bottom 5 percent of state schools in math and English.
The Autobahn 7, Germany’s longest highway, runs straight through Hamburg. Over the years, it’s grown more and more congested, now carrying about 152,000 cars and trucks per day.
To deal with the increasing traffic, the city is turning to a pretty conventional solution: widening virtually the entire stretch of the highway that runs through the city.
But to deal with the noise — and the way that the highway has severed neighborhoods that were connected before it was built in the 1980s — Fast Company reports that the city has come to a pretty interesting solution: they’re burying a few miles of the highway and covering it with parks, community gardens, and housing development.