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Building & Design

Revealed: Best and Worst US Cities for Income and Mobility – and Why

May 6, 2015 by Bradley Calvert

Income and Mobility

The Equality of Opportunity Project at Harvard University recently released a very fascinating study on the economic opportunities of children. The study looks at where children grow up and what their anticipated income will be once they are older.[read more]

Do Urban Growth Boundaries Work to Prevent Sprawl?

May 6, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

Directing Urban Growth

Urban growth boundaries are held up as one of the most effective tools for limiting sprawl. But do they actually constrain unplanned development? When they succeed, it’s because there is widespread political support for limiting growth and directing it to urban centers.[read more]


How Vertical Farming Can Make You a Better Eater

May 5, 2015 by Evan Bromfield

Growing fresh, clean, and local produce that reduces pollution

Healthy, or sick, which would you choose? Though the data has been there for years, there is a growing awareness in America about how powerful the relationship between our diets and our health is. That’s obvious, but what might not be so obvious is how much easier it’s going to be to support that relationship.[read more]

Reconnecting People with Nature through Architecture and Design

May 5, 2015 by The Nature of Cities

Putting Nature in View

Poorly conceived design divides us in urban areas from our wilds and has contributed to seeing nature as something isolated from us; this actually diminishes us. This post details how architecture and urban design can bring us back to nature, in schools, cities, workplaces and hospitals, with numerous benefits.[read more]

Racial Segregation and Income Inequality in American Cities

May 5, 2015 by Brandon Donnelly

Addressing Urban Inequality

There are significant racial income gaps in the United States. According to City Observatory, the average black household earns 42% less than the average white household in America. This goes a long way towards explaining events like those that have recently beset Baltimore.[read more]

What Does Urbanism Actually Mean? Mike Lydon Explains

Tactical Urbanism is Mike's new book

For all the buzz that tactical urbanism has received in the past several years, there’s still a lack of public consensus about the movement’s exact meaning, impact, and potential for change. Mike Lydon and Anthony Garcia, Principals of Street Plans Collaborative, take on these questions.[read more]

Mayor Faces Opposition in Fight Against Light Pollution in Quesnoy-sur-Deûle, France

Light Pollution in France

Should the street lights be turned off at night to save energy and reveal the night sky, or is it dangerous? A town in France is seeing this globally significant debate being played out in its own corridors of power. Some say it makes the streets unsafe, others that it is good for wildlife. Who can decide?[read more]

Is Tesla's Home-Powering Battery a Game-Changer?

May 4, 2015 by Brandon Donnelly

Tesla and Energy Innovation

Recently, Elon Musk announced something called the Powerwall home battery. Measuring about 3′ x 4′, the shield looking battery pack will charge using the electricity generated from solar panels (or from the grid when rates are at their lowest) and then power your home.[read more]

Harnessing Youth Innovation: Are You Up for The Urban Challenge? Deadline in 4 Days

May 4, 2015 by Ivan Bruce

Jakarta Urban Challenge

The Jakarta Urban Challenge, run by Connect4Climate and the New Cities Foundation, allows young innovators to put their creativity into action to truly make a difference in their own city while also potentially having a global impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions to help curb climate change. Results will be announced at this year's New Cities Summit.[read more]

Nature as the Textbook: A Review of Nelson's Cultivating Outdoor Classrooms

Outdoor Classrooms

Consider the instances of discovery you had as a child. Learning what plants need to grow, what it takes to build a fort, or how to protect yourself against rain, wind, and heat. There is something to be said about reading books about the four seasons and then seeing leaves change colors as summer turns to fall.[read more]

ADVANCE: A Framework to Expand Access to Green Building for All

The US Green Building Council's New Program

The largest barrier to entry for many new audiences for green building is finding the right starting point for easily digestible, high-quality, credible resources and expertise. ADVANCE is a new framework for new, underserved organizations and communities wherever they are on the path to sustainability to assist them along that path.[read more]

Road Construction: A Sustainable Use for 'Trash Ash?'

May 3, 2015 by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

Trash Ash Recycling

I still struggle with burning trash as a form of “renewable” energy. While this approach does reduce landfill waste, and extracts energy without drilling or mining, it does create its own byproducts. While we tend to focus on emissions, ash is another resulting material that ends up in landfills.[read more]