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WEBCAST: George Marshall on Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change

September 1, 2014 by David Thorpe

George Marshall, whose brain is wired up to talk about climate change.

Why, despite overwhelming scientific evidence, do we still ignore climate change? And what does it need for us to become fully convinced of what we already know? An interview with George Marshall, author of a groundbreaking new book called Don't Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change.[read more]

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Call for Imaginative Design to Build Green Infrastructure in Our Cities

August 29, 2014 by David Thorpe

Arup's vision of a fully greened city.

Cities Alive: Rethinking Green Infrastructure from the Landscape Institute and Arup shows how the incorporation of green infrastructure with imaginative design can help to create healthier, safer and more prosperous cities. It calls for green infrastructure to have a much more influential role in the planning and design of cities and urban environments.[read more]

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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]

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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]

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Help Wanted to Identify Cities Photographed from Space to Fight Night Pollution

August 25, 2014 by David Thorpe

Is this where you live?

Crowdsourcing is being used to identify cities, in tens of thousands photographs taken at night by astronauts, in an effort to reduce their energy consumption and light pollution.[read more]

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A Building Made From Cannabis? Yes, Seriously - With Hempcrete

August 22, 2014 by David Thorpe

Sustainable housing built with hemp

Ever heard of building with cannabis? Hempcrete is a building material with many interesting properties for those interested in sustainability and construction or renovation. It combines a cannabis (hemp) shiv with a lime matrix to give it high elasticity and vapour permeability to help create a healthy building that actually locks up atmospheric carbon.[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]

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Miami's 21st Century Economy is Taking Shape at Florida International University

August 21, 2014 by Peter Smith

Miami and the 21st Century Economy

News of Miami's economy tends to be dominated by the city's volatile - and often controversial - real estate market. Gleaming condos towering over Biscayne Bay and multi-million-dollar cash deals between off-shore LLCs give it an extravagance that is hard to ignore.[read more]

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Is the Economist's Cities Liveability Index Biased?

August 20, 2014 by David Thorpe
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Would you live here?

The Economist magazine has produced another edition of its annual liveability index for cities. Once again, Melbourne tops the list, with the remaining cities in the top 10 coming from predominantly white countries. Does this mean that the list is biased? How seriously should we take it?[read more]

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Pop-Up Rowhomes Promote Housing Fairness in D.C.

August 20, 2014 by Peter Smith

Pop-Up Rowhomes in DC

Arguably no American city has transformed itself during the early years of the twenty-first century as much as Washington, DC. That transformation is fueling a debate unlike most others that we’ve become accustomed to in the nation’s capital. It’s a debate about the appeal of pop-ups.[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]

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Five Years to Build a Transit System in Baltimore

August 18, 2014 by Peter Smith
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Baltimore Transit System

Baltimore is like most other American cities. It has a half-built transit system. It is patiently trudging through the decades-long process required to build each additional metro line. But while Baltimore waits for its metro system, it did something that most other American cities have not.[read more]