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Sustainability

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]

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]

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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]

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]

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]

Rochester, Minnesota Aquaponic Startup Takes Farm-to-Fork to a Whole New Level

Minnesota Aquaponics

Many restaurants boast a farm-to-fork experience, but how many diners are able to eat food harvested right before it arrives on their table? Fresh with Edge, which is headquartered in Rochester, Minnesota, makes such a thing possible.[read more]

Book Report: Happy City

August 28, 2014 by Christopher Berggren

Quality of Life in Urban Spaces

In 'Happy City, Transforming Our Lives through Urban Design' by Charles Montgomery, the author presents a refreshing perspective of cities as urban laboratories, where social equitability can be achieved through relatively low-cost redesigning.[read more]

Twelve Contemporary Art Projects Exploring Sustainable Development

August 28, 2014 by This Big City

Sustainable Development and Art

There’s some sustainable creativity afoot a few kilometres outside of Milan. Running for the third year, Ecoismi is an outdoor art project that looks at the topics of environmental protection and sustainable preservation. Ecoismi has brought together artists from across Europe.[read more]

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How Sustainable Transport Lost 100 Years

August 27, 2014 by David Thorpe

The Columbia electric bus in 1900.

130–100 years ago the world looked like it was on a path to electric-powered transportation, with bicycles, inter-city electric trains and electric buses and cabs. Instead, gasoline and the internal combustion engine became widespread and sustainable transport lost a century of progress. Urban planning might have been very different.[read more]

São Paulo wins 2014 City/State MobiPrize by Empowering Citizens and Fostering Innovation

August 27, 2014 by TheCityFix - produced by EMBARQ

Sao Paulo Wins the Prize

São Paulo is empowering citizens to create transport solutions by fostering innovation and opening data. The São Paulo department of Transport (SMT) founded the Mobility Laboratory (MobiLab) on the principles of innovation, transparency, and public participation.[read more]