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Urban Forests for Health and Safety

June 30, 2014 by Gerdo Aquino
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Urban Greenery and Public Health

In Curitiba and Edmonton, along with other cities that are pursuing “Million Trees” initiatives, local governments have caught on to the fact that investing in the urban forest and its role as collector and purifier of storm water is undoubtedly one of their best flood insurance options.[read more]

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The 2014 Solar Decathlon: 17 Countries Compete to Design Sustainable Housing

June 25, 2014 by David Thorpe

Solar Versailles displays astonishing innovation

This Friday is the start of the Solar Decathlon 2014 in Versailles, Paris, France. It is an international competition created by the US Department of Energy in which universities from all over the world meet to design, build and operate grid-connected, super-efficient, energy self-sufficient housing.[read more]

Pitfalls and Potential: Climate Change Vulnerability in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Dhaka and Climate Change

According to various reports from the United Nations, future temperatures are likely to warm anywhere from 3 up to 6 degrees Fahrenheit by the year 2100, and scientists have been warning us that “the world is ill-equipped to deal with the impacts of warming.”[read more]

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Obama Announces $1bn National Disaster Resilience Competition for Communities

June 16, 2014 by David Thorpe

Obama at the University of California on Saturday.

President Obama has announced a competition worth nearly $1 billion for communities that have experienced natural disasters to compete for funds to help them rebuild and increase resilience to future disasters. Prospective entrants can learn from these recently-announced winning adaptation plans by communities recovering from Hurricane Sandy.[read more]

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Key Performance Indicators for Eco Cities in the Asia-Pacific Region

June 12, 2014 by David Thorpe

An Asian-Pacific vision of an eco-city.

China and Singapore are building eco-cities, of which Tianjin is one example, at the same time compiling guidelines on how to design and implement low carbon towns, with matching indicators, which are already being applied by a partnership across the Pacific in the Americas.[read more]

Planning for Climate Change and the Urban Future

Climate Change and City Prep

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and ICLEI, the largest worldwide association of local governments, released a study last week showing how climate change has become a priority for cities across the globe, entitled the “Urban Climate Change Governance Survey."[read more]

In New Orleans, a Delicate Balancing Act

June 11, 2014 by The Dirt ASLA

NOLA Water Problems

As Louisiana has spent $13-14 billion rebuilding New Orleans' pumping stations by attempting to protect them from being destroyed themselves as they were during Katrina — the city continues its careful balancing act between the cultural and ecological.[read more]

The Rise of Resilience: Linking Resilience and Sustainability in City Planning

June 10, 2014 by The Nature of Cities
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Urban Resilience and Risk

Cities around the world are making plans, developing agendas, and articulating goals for urban resilience, but is urban resilience really possible? Resilience is being used in many cases as a replacement for sustainability. Resilience and sustainability need to be linked, but with care and clarity.[read more]

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NEW VIDEO: Urban Infrastructure Initiative for Linking Business with Cities

June 6, 2014 by Matthew Lynch

Cities and business can both become more sustainable together.

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development's Urban Infrastructure Initiative is a unique global project that has demonstrated the value of early collaborative engagement between cities and business for sustainable development.[read more]

Six Ways that Thoughtful Community Planning can Help Fight Climate Change

June 5, 2014 by Kaid Benfield

Climate Change and Local Planning

It is almost a tautology to declare that our future, and that of our children and their children, depends on how we shape our communities for the 21st century and beyond. Here in the US, we’re going to be growing, and growing a lot: how we manage that growth will affect everything.[read more]

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Historic Mansion Uses Sea Water to Heat Itself and Save a Fortune on Oil Bills

June 3, 2014 by David Thorpe

Plas Newydd in Wales - now heated by the sea.

More and more thermal heating systems are using heat pumps to take heat energy from the sea, rivers and lakes to heat and cool buildings. These systems are easily replicable with current technology anywhere where there is a body of water nearby, and so could be of use in coastal, lakeside and riverbank locations.[read more]

10 American Cities Lead the Way With Urban Agriculture Ordinances

Urban Agriculture Ordinances

Small growers and urban farms are springing up across the nation, but many cities lack the infrastructure, zoning laws and foresight to truly leverage this transition. Over the past several years, however, city governments, often working with local stakeholder groups and food policy councils, are changing that.[read more]