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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]

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]

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]

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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]

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]

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]

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]

Acclaimed Minnesota State Capitol Undergoing $272M Restoration

March 29, 2015 by Global Site Plans - The Grid

State Capitol Restoration

 

State Capitol Buildings are incredibly important pieces of architecture in the United States of America. The history of each building’s origin and development over their lifetime can be quite fascinating. Here is the story of Minnesota’s State Capitol Building.[read more]

The Waste Biz: Apple Expected To Accept Any Old Cell Phones For Recycling

March 29, 2015 by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

Cell Phones and Recycling

I always take the easiest route when it comes to recycling my old cell phones: I leave it with the retailer from which I’ve bought a new one. If you want more value than convenience, though, your options are about to expand: Apple plans to expand its Reuse and Recycling Program to include non-iOS phones.[read more]

Local and Regional Authorities Key Partners in Disaster Risk Reduction

Government and Disaster Risk Reduction

The United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, which took place in Sendai, Japan, March 14th-18th, resulted in a historic agreement by the international community to reduce disaster risk, and recognized local authorities and the local level as essential to achieving this.[read more]

Lessons on Post-Resilience from Venice, 2015

March 28, 2015 by The Nature of Cities

Resilience in Venice

“Stronger than the storm.” I can’t get this phrase out of my head, nearly one week into my sabbatical move to Venice, Italy. It just so happens that we arrived on a week when the moon and the winds lined up to create 'acqua alta' (high water) for six days in a row.[read more]

10 Places to Learn to Be A Farmer Across the Nation

Places to Learn Farming

The average age of American farmers is 58.3 years, according to the U.S. Census of Agriculture. Young farmers are needed, and those who are inexperienced have a variety of farmer training programs (many of them focusing on sustainability) from which to choose.[read more]

Historical Baumanskaya, Moscow Metro Station Closes for Renovations

March 28, 2015 by Global Site Plans - The Grid

Moscow Subway Renovation

On February 8, 2015 the Baumanskaya Metro Station, in Moscow, closed for 11 months of renovations. The renovations will include changing its escalators, which were installed with its opening in 1944. They are currently the oldest working tunnel type escalators in the world, as well as the oldest in Moscow.[read more]

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Pacific Cities Resolve to Improve Urban Resilience and Upgrade Informal Settlements

March 27, 2015 by David Thorpe

News from the Pacific Urban Forum 2015 

The Pacific Urban Forum 2015 met over the last week on the island of Fiji, under the theme of “Towards a New Pacific Urban Agenda: Harnessing Opportunities in a Post-2015 Environment”, to discuss how the emerging needs of cities in the region can meet the present challenges.[read more]

Building A Community Through Play

March 27, 2015 by Bradley Calvert

Community Play and Participation

KaBoom! are a non-profit whose goal is to increase access and opportunity to play, particularly in disadvantaged communities. This past weekend I was afforded the opportunity to participate in a playground build with them. It left me with a sense of pride having been involved with such a great community building experience.[read more]