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Climate Change

In a More Volatile World, New Models Are Needed

April 11, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

Modeling Bahavior Innovation

Today, we understand how our world is shaped by complex, dynamic systems. While landscape architects have been fast to embrace ecological systems thinking, they have been slower to see how systems thinking can transform our ways of imagining, visualizing, and then intervening in the environment.[read more]

California's Drought in Perspective

April 9, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

California and the Drought

Scientists are calling the current wave of drought, which began to spread across California, much of the Southwest, Texas, and Oklahoma in 2011, the worst since the 1950s. While it has ebbed in Texas and parts of the Southwest, California and other states continue to bear the brunt of this epic change in rainfall.[read more]

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Five Cities with Top Game-Changing Sustainability and Resilience Projects

April 8, 2015 by Warren Karlenzig

Game-Changing Cities

Game-changing mega-projects in these five cities promise cross-cutting impacts including low-carbon mobility, recreation, green infrastructure, societal improvements, and mobile communications. By planning diverse and ambitious results, these resilient plans take years to decades, but promise massive rewards.[read more]

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67 Examples of Cities Showcasing Energy Efficient Building Policies

April 7, 2015 by David Thorpe

Tthe first hospital in the world to earn Platinum certification under the LEED for New Construction rating system. Photo courtsey of McConnell Photography

Approximately 74% of 67 cities examined in a report published last week are implementing incentives for a greener built environment, 61% have enacted green building policies for municipal buildings and 49% are pursuing sustainable community policies.[read more]

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European Mayors Band Their Cities Together to Fight Climate Change

March 30, 2015 by David Thorpe

The Covenant of Mayors

Mayors of 30 cities in Europe have signed a joint initiative on climate change in which they pledged to undertake to "reduce by at least 40% (their) greenhouse gases by 2030", in line with the European Union's goal and pledged to collectively purchase clean energy technology to make it more competitive.[read more]

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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]