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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]

In Plessis-Gassot Garbage Provides First-Ever Source of Methane Energy in France

August 27, 2014 by Global Site Plans - The Grid

France, Methane, and Garbage

The commune of Plessis-Gassot in the Île de France region has just opened a power plant that will furnish the amount of energy equivalent to the consumption of 41,200 households, thanks to methane produced by the fermentation of non-recyclable waste.[read more]

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How WW1 Killed a Dream of a Solar-Powered World

August 26, 2014 by David Thorpe

The world's first solar power plant in 1913.

The world is marking the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, not only the bloodiest the world has ever seen, but the start of the West's involvement in carving up the Middle East and interfering in its politics for the sake of oil. It also marked the end of the world's first solar power station, in Egypt.[read more]

Sustainable Design Innovation: Perez Art Museum Miami

August 25, 2014 by The Dirt ASLA

Sustainable Museum Design

The built and natural environments merged to form something new and amazing in Miami: The Perez Art Museum. One of the most fascinating recent uses of integrated design, the museum features a hanging garden and a complementary, tropical landscape filled with native plants and irrigated by the building itself.[read more]

Can Personal Rapid Transit Replace 90% of Cars on the Road?

August 22, 2014 by TheCityFix - produced by EMBARQ

Personal Rapid Transit

Sustainable urban mobility can come from multiple sources. Personal rapid transit (PRT) combines public transport with personalized routing. Though their designs vary, PRT systems generally consist of four- to six-passenger pods that are autonomously controlled while traveling along guide-ways.[read more]

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Map Reveals 39 Cities That Could Heat Themselves Using Rivers or Sea

August 21, 2014 by David Thorpe

London could heat itself from the Thames.

London could heat itself using the River Thames, and Bristol could be warmed by the River Avon in the future, if the potential identified by a new heat map of England is unleashed. It identifies 39 English cities that could take advantage of heat pumps and nearby bodies of water to deliver low carbon heat via district networks.[read more]

What Does Public and Private Sector Investment in Transport Look Like?

August 21, 2014 by TheCityFix - produced by EMBARQ

Investment in Transit

Congestion, high levels of air pollution, and traffic crashes are consequences of a culture of investment that has focused for decades on the automobile. These externalities can cost up to 10 percent of a country’s GDP, and the world’s vehicle fleet is projected to double by 2050.[read more]

Is LEED v4 Better or Just Newer?

August 20, 2014 by Tyler Caine

The New LEED

Although the latest incarnation of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system has been around for almost a year, projects have still been able to enjoy the more familiar likeness of LEED 2009. However, the window of time for the grace period of the system transition continues to close.[read more]

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Possibly the World's First Battery-powered Train Is Undergoing Trials

August 19, 2014 by David Thorpe

Batteries included

Trials of what is thought to be the UK's – and possibly the world's – first battery-powered train have begun by network operator Network Rail. A battery-powered train would not have to use diesel and could run on non-electrified track.[read more]

The Making of a Livable City: Inspiration for a Sustainable, Healthy Beijing

August 19, 2014 by TheCityFix - produced by EMBARQ

Sustainable Beijing

Each year, 440,000 people move to Beijing in search of economic opportunity and better lives. Their rural to urban migration is a driver of economic growth, part of a larger plan to catalyze economic development through urbanization across China.[read more]

Madrid, Spain Launches IBM Smarter Cities Project

August 16, 2014 by Global Site Plans - The Grid

Spain Smarter Cities

The City of Madrid, Spain has announced the signing of an agreement aimed at improving the lives of its 3 million citizens. This environmental services management project, signed with INSA around IBM’s Smarter Cities technology, is supposed to improve the quality and efficiency of city services.[read more]

The Need to Develop Flora and Fauna Biometric Tools for Urban Planning

August 15, 2014 by The Nature of Cities

Urban Flora and Fauna

Collectively, researchers over the past 60 years have collected a good deal of data on urban biodiversity and impacts on urban plants and animals. From urban gradient studies to patch dynamic studies, we have a plethora of empirical data that suggests how various urban designs would impact various species.[read more]