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Why Smart Growth Cities are Safer, Healthier, and Wealthier

Americans living in sprawl bear $625 billion in extra costs. The public costs are an extra $400 billion each year.

Developing countries are projected to gain 2.2 billion new urban residents up to 2050. Governments and city leaders have a choice: they can develop cities that are sprawled and auto-dependent, or ones that are connected, compact, and coordinated. Upon the result depends people's safety, health and wealth.[read more]

From Village to City, We Are What We Throw Away

March 31, 2015 by Chuck Wolfe

Urban Waste and Identity

We clothe our discarded items in different forms and colors, but our built environments always have small places devoted to what we throw away. This observation is not new. But this element of daily life creates a legible catalog of best practices followed by residents, municipalities and private contractors.[read more]

South Africa's Hopes of Planning Better Cities and Communities

March 31, 2015 by Future Cape Town

South Africa Urban Development

Sizwe Mxobo is the recent recipient of the Young Planner of the Year award. His original ideas on informality and achieving ‘social cohesion’ in his city have caused a stir in the urbanist community and are making even the most laidback Capetonians to sit up a little and listen to what he has to say.[read more]

How New Ordinances Will Revitalize Los Angeles River Communities

March 31, 2015 by Global Site Plans - The Grid

Using planning policy to improve communities.

In recent years, momentum has been building finally to recognize the Los Angeles River as an integral part of the city’s cultural identity and to use planning policy to improve its communities. After many years of painful neglect, the river now has the potential to help nurture future communities and public spaces.[read more]

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European Mayors Band Their Cities Together to Fight Climate Change

March 30, 2015 by David Thorpe

The Covenant of Mayors

Mayors of 30 cities in Europe have signed a joint initiative on climate change in which they pledged to undertake to "reduce by at least 40% (their) greenhouse gases by 2030", in line with the European Union's goal and pledged to collectively purchase clean energy technology to make it more competitive.[read more]

How Thoughtful Street Design Is Helping Communities and the Economy

March 30, 2015 by Kaid Benfield

Street Design and Communit Impact

Streets re-designed with all users in mind - pedestrians, transit users and bicyclists as well as drivers of motor vehicles - generally deliver measurable increases in safety, non-polluting forms of transportation, and economic benefits, says the National Complete Streets Coalition in a new report.[read more]

Breaking Trad: Newly-Weds Who Realize They Don't Have to Move to the Suburbs to Breed!

March 30, 2015 by Bradley Calvert

Recently the Associated Press ran a story on parents seeking to maintain an urban lifestyle for their families. Primarily focused on a few of us families in Seattle the article talks about more families choosing to remain in the city, particularly Downtowns.[read more]

Pricing Congestion to Invest in Sustainable Transport: Lessons from London

London and Sustainable Transport Investment

In 2003, London adopted a program of congestion pricing that now places a roughly $17 (£11.50) daily fee on motor vehicles entering central London. The effort was expected to reduce car traffic, air pollution, and emissions in the area, and has since been lauded as a major success.[read more]

Seattle's Emerging EcoDistrict

March 30, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA
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Seattle District Planning

EcoDistrict planning and design can accelerate local efforts to improve sustainability. They offer a framework through which communities can plan initiatives that address climate change by providing clean energy, conserving wildlife habitat, and encouraging low-impact development and also social equity.[read more]

4 Ways to Pitch a Smarter Built Environment

March 30, 2015 by GBIG Insight

Smarter buildings and communities start with smarter marketing and communications. Which words do you choose – smart, green, profitable, eco, resilient, healthy, clean, high tech, cool, secure, fun? Whether we like it or not, we are all in sales and this kind of messaging matters.[read more]

Can France's Plan to Use Planning for Social Engineering Really Work?

March 30, 2015 by Global Site Plans - The Grid

Immigants and the poor would be put in richer neighborhoods.

The French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, has unveiled shocking measures to change struggling neighborhoods, by forcing richer ones to take a greater share of the poor and disadvantaged in an effort to tackle the crime and social problems of ghettos. Can he succeed?[read more]

Chronicling Britain's Urban Nature Movement

March 29, 2015 by The Nature of Cities

British Urban Green Spaces

The newest title in The New Naturalist Library, 'Nature in Towns and Cities' by Dr. David Goode, is true to the series’ dual goals of “recapturing the enquiring spirit of the old naturalists” and “maintaining a high standard of accuracy in presenting the results of modern research.”[read more]

City Park Conservancies: A Treasure Trove of New Knowledge

March 29, 2015 by City Parks Blog

City Park Conservancies

The report 'Public Spaces/Private Money' cites the value that private partnerships and their resources have brought to parks but also cites the growing concerns around equity and the possibility of displacement of public agency resources and responsibility.[read more]