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Pacific Cities Resolve to Improve Urban Resilience and Upgrade Informal Settlements

March 27, 2015 by David Thorpe

News from the Pacific Urban Forum 2015 

The Pacific Urban Forum 2015 met over the last week on the island of Fiji, under the theme of “Towards a New Pacific Urban Agenda: Harnessing Opportunities in a Post-2015 Environment”, to discuss how the emerging needs of cities in the region can meet the present challenges.[read more]

Wet Matter: New Ways of Understanding Our Oceans

March 26, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

Oceans and Understanding

Wet Matter, Harvard Design Magazine’s latest issue, asks us to reconsider our oceans, which cover the vast majority of our planet. Edited by Pierre Bélanger, ASLA, the issue brings together a range of fields and an array of lenses to “unlearn our binary, dichotomous relationship with the ocean.”[read more]

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New Project to Develop Training for Tomorrow's Leaders of Sustainable Cities

March 24, 2015 by David Thorpe

How to train tomorrow's sustainable city leaders?

A new three year educational program called ESSENCE is to create innovative international training materials for tomorrow's leaders of smart, sustainable cities using blended learning techniques. It involves five universities from different European cities and enrolment is open now.[read more]

The U.S. Federal Government Just Got a Lot Greener

March 24, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

President Obama signing a new executive order on sustainability

President Obama signed a new executive order which will guide agencies toward sustainable operations. From planning for resiliency to natural disasters and climate change to implementing stringent stormwater management practices, it addresses aspects of landscape, architecture and community planning.[read more]

Why Are the Two Most Sustainable Forms of Transport Missing from the UN Sustainable Development Goals?

Sustainable Development and Transportation

In a forthcoming international agreement that will steer development policy and funding for the next 15 years, the question remains whether walking and biking as transport modes will be recognized as a proven way of creating more sustainable cities.[read more]

Watch the Film They Don't Want You to See: Under The Dome

March 20, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

Under the Dome, a Chinese documentary film that exposes the truth about pollution in China, has been watched by more than 200 million viewers there. While it was first supported by the new Chinese environmental minister, it has since been removed from public view by the Chinese government censors.[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]

Congregations Practice Faith through Environmental Leadership

February 24, 2015 by Kaid Benfield

Faith and Environmentalism

A growing, multi-denominational religious movement is placing environmental protection at the center of its teaching and practice. Expressed in part by the phrase "creation care," these leaders believe that protecting the earth is a religious value, and that environmental stewardship is a moral responsibility.[read more]

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What Singapore Can Teach All Cities About Using Urban Green Infrastructure To Mitigate Megadroughts

February 17, 2015 by Warren Karlenzig

Singapore, where landscaping protects from extreme weather effects.

NASA's new report on the likelihood of megadrought in the Central and Western US is a harsh yet timely wake-up call for cities and the need for green infrastructure, which is often the best way to deal with problems of water scarcity, quality, flooding, and urban heat islands, according to John Parker, Chief Economist, Impact Infrastructure.[read more]

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Tea Party Activists, the ICLEI and Sustainability in Southwest Virginia

February 17, 2015 by Jim Pierobon

Anti-ICLEI Roanoke County Supervisor, Al Bedrosian 

Membership of the ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives), which helps to guide – but imposes no mandates – on regions trying to sustain their economies, has been cancelled in Roanoke County, Virginia, by local Tea Party activists on political grounds.[read more]

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Would You Really Call Frankfurt The World's Most Sustainable City?

February 11, 2015 by David Thorpe

Hong Kong is ranked 8th

The multinational construction firm Arcadis has produced its own list of the world's most sustainable cities, out of a sample of 50 cities from 31 countries worldwide, but do the criteria used mean it has any value?[read more]

Towards a More Resilient Relationship Between Cities and Water

February 11, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

Cities and Water and Resiliency

Fifty percent of Americans live in coastal cities now threatened by extreme storms brought on by climate change, said AIA NY President Tomas Rossant. Architects, landscape architects, urban designers, and engineers need to collaborate to save our coastal cities.[read more]