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There's No Plan B for the Retail Chain That's Making Its Stores and Supply Chains More Sustainable

March 31, 2015 by David Thorpe

It's all part of Plan A. There's no Plan B

A major retail chain is making exceptional efforts to revamp its stores so that they are much more sustainable. It's just unveiled the latest of these, in Newcastle. The chain is Marks & Spencer (M&S) and the policy behind the campaign is called Plan A designed to make the whole corporate effort sustainable right down the supply chains.[read more]

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]

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]

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]

How Arborists can Work with Developers to Preserve Green Infrastructure Under Pressure

March 24, 2015 by Leda Marritz

Green Urbanism Trends and Meaning

David Dockter, from the Planning and Community Environment and Public Works in Palo Alto, explains how to work with developers to overcome the urban pressures on the needs of – and for – trees. He describes how he helps them understand the benefits, and shows how he uses building permits and planning tools as levers.[read more]

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The Fused Grid: A New Model for Planning Healthy and Liveable Developments

March 23, 2015 by Luis Rodriguez

Neighborhoods and Development Design

Much has been written about the importance of making our cities healthy and liveable and about what can be done to make them that way. However, much less has been written about when and how we should implement those principles and attributes that are essential to making our cities healthy and liveable.[read more]

7 Ways in which Trees and Vegetation are Essential for Cities and Health

March 23, 2015 by Kaid Benfield

Urban Trees and Public Health

The National Arbor Day Foundation has a simple app on its website that allows visitors to see how a city changes as it adds tree cover and other vegetation. Using a little sliding tool, one can gradually change the illustration from one with few trees to one with abundant trees, and the difference is striking.[read more]

Greening the Street for Better Public Spaces

Green Streets

Streets perform a necessary function in the life of cities, like the arteries of a complex, urban organism. As the Project for Public Spaces notes, city streets “animate the social and economic life of communities” by serving as primary sites for community interaction and exchange.[read more]

New Alliance Aims to Set Accreditation Standards for Garden Cities

March 20, 2015 by David Thorpe

Letchworth, where it all began

A process has begun to create a set of standards to define a garden city following concern that the idea has been appropriated by certain developers who would not necessarily develop the most sustainable plans, and to champion the idea to the public.[read more]

New Mexico Black Chamber of Commerce Chairman Leads Way on Aquaponics for Food Security

Food Security

After Michael McNair investigated why some black farmers in the state experienced water shortages, he learned about aquaponics from watching videos on YouTube. In a moment of epiphany, he realized that aquaponics would work not only for these farmers, but for the entire state of New Mexico.[read more]

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Gaps Identified in European Law to Ensure Healthy Indoor Air Quality

March 19, 2015 by David Thorpe

A good internal environment is essential for health.

Between 30-50% of excess winter deaths can be attributed to cold indoor temperatures, but the requirements for indoor air quality and thermal comfort are not comprehensive and clear enough in eight surveyed European countries, according to a new study from Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE).[read more]