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More Building Materials of the Future

September 2, 2014 by Glenn Meyers

Building materials.

The gap between material science and actual construction is very far and very wide. It can take decades to move a breakthrough in engineering from a lab to a building site. But as architects and engineers face bigger challenges — from earthquakes to dwindling resources to sheer cost — a new generation of smart materials is emerging.[read more]

Should Bike Sharing Be Subsidized? Or Privatized?

September 1, 2014 by Marc Gunther

Bike sharing.

I’m a fan of bike sharing, and a satisfied, albeit irregular, customer of Capital Bikeshare, the convenient and well-managed public bike-sharing system in Washington, D.C., which now extends into the suburbs of Maryland and Virginia. But, so far, at least, no big-city bike sharing system of which I am aware is financially self-supporting.[read more]

Renewable Natural Gas: Turning Waste into Energy [INFOGRAPHIC]

September 1, 2014 by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

Renewable natural gas.

For those of us on a more human time frame, the methane and other gases emitted from decomposing organic matter work just as well as the stuff you have to frack out of the ground… and, as you can see in the infographic below, create all sorts of opportunities to deal with wastes more efficiently, and to even create a few jobs.[read more]

Toronto Approves 755 Storeys of New Development

September 1, 2014 by Brandon Donnelly

New building in Toronto.

Earlier this week, Toronto City Council approved the equivalent of 755 storeys of new development, a lot of which will end up in the downtown core. The translates into 6,887 new housing units and roughly 4 million square feet of new commercial space. The Globe and Mail called it the Manhattanization of downtown.[read more]

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WEBCAST: George Marshall on Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change

September 1, 2014 by David Thorpe

George Marshall, whose brain is wired up to talk about climate change.

Why, despite overwhelming scientific evidence, do we still ignore climate change? And what does it need for us to become fully convinced of what we already know? An interview with George Marshall, author of a groundbreaking new book called Don't Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change.[read more]

Greenhouse Frames: Finding the Best Option For You

September 1, 2014 by Greenhouse Gnome

Greenhouse frames.

While you’re busy making all the decisions for your new greenhouse, from the lighting you’ll use to the site where you’ll build it, don’t forget about the greenhouse frame. This basic part of the structure, the bones of the operation, may seem insignificant, but they are in fact vital to your greenhouse’s existence.[read more]

Sharing Activist Reveal Plan to Turn Los Angeles Into a Sharing Mecca

September 1, 2014 by Neal Gorenflo

Sharing economy.

"One day it occurred to me that I didn’t know many people in my own neighborhood, and I wanted to find a way to do that. I felt like if we were ever going to make real change, it was going to have to happen from the ground up. I found the time bank on the internet and just showed up at a potluck."[read more]

Tokyo Governor Explains His Vision for Cycling in the City

September 1, 2014 by Byron Kidd

Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe.

In principal the Governor supports the installation of street level bicycle lanes, over sidewalk level lanes and is committed to expanding Tokyo's network of bicycle lanes across the city. This sounds like wonderful news until he elaborated on his answer.[read more]

Who Are Our Streets For?: A Q&A with 2014 Lee Schipper Scholar Madeline Brozen

August 31, 2014 by TheCityFix - produced by EMBARQ

Madeline Brozen and the Meaning of Streets

 

Madeline Brozen is a Program Manager within UCLA’s Complete Streets Initiative and a recipient of the 2014 Lee Schipper Memorial Scholarship. Her research focuses on urban design policy, with an emphasis on how cities can shift from car-oriented streets to infrastructure that supports bicycling and walking.[read more]

The Top Ten Best Busking Hotspots in the World

August 31, 2014 by Project for Public Spaces

Street Life

In 2011 I went to forty major cities in thirty countries on five continents to film street performers. Traveling like that, it doesn’t take long to start to feel that city centres are nothing but a tool set up to help people get from point A to point B via a Starbucks. Only one thing continued to stand out: the buskers.[read more]

Make No Little Plans

August 31, 2014 by Brandon Donnelly

Water in Chicago

I’m a big fan of Chicago. Having now visited, I can say that everyone was right when they told me that I was going to love it. But I don’t want to talk about any of these things today. I want to talk about something much more specific that stood out to me last weekend: Chicago’s relationship to both the water and the street.[read more]

How Would You Get Around Your City With No Gasoline?

August 31, 2014 by Mark K Ames

Gas Shortages and Transit Options

The fuel crisis that occurred in the 1970's led to a renaissance for the bicycle. There had been hopes the renaissance would be long-lived, but when the oil started flowing again and the streets filled with cars the bicycle boom was quickly over.[read more]

A Must-Read: The Updated Urban Bikeway Design Guide

August 30, 2014 by The Dirt ASLA

Biking, Design, and Urbanism

 

In the year 2000, the District of Columbia had three miles of bike lanes. Today, the district has roughly 80 miles of bike infrastructure, including the first lanes in historically underserved Ward 8. Many other U.S. cities have made similar investments.[read more]

Public Consultation is Broken

August 30, 2014 by Brandon Donnelly

For new developments, the process works more or less like this: The developer makes an application to the city. The city reviews it and then agrees to move towards a public/community meeting. Once a date is set, notices go out, and the developer secretly hopes that no one will show up.[read more]

Building for BRT: A Q&A with 2014 Lee Schipper Scholar Erik Vergel-Tovar

August 30, 2014 by TheCityFix - produced by EMBARQ

Building Bus Rapid Transit

Erik Vergel-Tovar, no stranger to TheCityFix, is a PhD candidate in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he researches the rich relationship between bus rapid transit (BRT) and the built environment.[read more]

Disappointed with Gardening Ideas You Find Online? OpenFarm Wants to Change That

August 30, 2014 by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

Online Gardening Ideas

I love to share gardening ideas I find, or have even tried, but I know that there will always be specifics of a planting situation for which I can’t account. Soil quality, rainfall, sunlight, and pests are just a few of the elements that will play into the success of any gardening project, and they can vary widely.[read more]

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Call for Imaginative Design to Build Green Infrastructure in Our Cities

August 29, 2014 by David Thorpe

Arup's vision of a fully greened city.

Cities Alive: Rethinking Green Infrastructure from the Landscape Institute and Arup shows how the incorporation of green infrastructure with imaginative design can help to create healthier, safer and more prosperous cities. It calls for green infrastructure to have a much more influential role in the planning and design of cities and urban environments.[read more]

Bees as Bellwether: Studying Colony Loss In the United States

Bee Loss and Environmental Risk

If you keep bees, have an interest in bees or have ever heard the often muttered phrase ‘Colony Collapse Disorder’ or CCD, you may have heard of Jonathan vanEngelsdorp, research scientist for the University of Maryland and former State Apiarist for Pennsylvania.[read more]