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Burlington, Vermont: A City Powered by Renewable Energy

April 1, 2015 by Global Site Plans - The Grid

Renewable energy transition in Burlington

Burlington, Vermont, located in the American Northeast, became the first city in the country to become completely powered by renewables at the start of 2015. This is a small revolution in a country where carbon levels remain at particularly high levels.[read more]

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There's No Plan B for the Retail Chain That's Making Its Stores and Supply Chains More Sustainable

March 31, 2015 by David Thorpe

It's all part of Plan A. There's no Plan B

A major retail chain is making exceptional efforts to revamp its stores so that they are much more sustainable. It's just unveiled the latest of these, in Newcastle. The chain is Marks & Spencer (M&S) and the policy behind the campaign is called Plan A designed to make the whole corporate effort sustainable right down the supply chains.[read more]

American Recycling: Time to Revalue and Recoup

March 31, 2015 by Tyler Caine

Closing the Recycling Gap

 

Within the realm of broad sustainability efforts in this country, recycling could be considered one of the veterans. Recycling programs have existed in America since the 1990’s, but they still have not yet reached their maturity, falling short of refined systems streamlined for maximum impact at minimum cost.[read more]

Five Ways to Do Urban Stadiums and Arenas Right

March 31, 2015 by Kristen Jeffers

Urban Stadiums and Community Communication

A major battle going on in placemaking circles is that of sports teams and sports venues. How should they be financed? Should they be in open fields or should they take up blocks of downtown districts? What happens to the displaced homeowners and renters? What happens when they fall into disrepair?[read more]

From Village to City, We Are What We Throw Away

March 31, 2015 by Chuck Wolfe

Urban Waste and Identity

We clothe our discarded items in different forms and colors, but our built environments always have small places devoted to what we throw away. This observation is not new. But this element of daily life creates a legible catalog of best practices followed by residents, municipalities and private contractors.[read more]

Why Smart Growth Cities are Safer, Healthier, and Wealthier

Americans living in sprawl bear $625 billion in extra costs. The public costs are an extra $400 billion each year.

Developing countries are projected to gain 2.2 billion new urban residents up to 2050. Governments and city leaders have a choice: they can develop cities that are sprawled and auto-dependent, or ones that are connected, compact, and coordinated. Upon the result depends people's safety, health and wealth.[read more]

South Africa's Hopes of Planning Better Cities and Communities

March 31, 2015 by Future Cape Town

South Africa Urban Development

Sizwe Mxobo is the recent recipient of the Young Planner of the Year award. His original ideas on informality and achieving ‘social cohesion’ in his city have caused a stir in the urbanist community and are making even the most laidback Capetonians to sit up a little and listen to what he has to say.[read more]

How New Ordinances Will Revitalize Los Angeles River Communities

March 31, 2015 by Global Site Plans - The Grid

Using planning policy to improve communities.

In recent years, momentum has been building finally to recognize the Los Angeles River as an integral part of the city’s cultural identity and to use planning policy to improve its communities. After many years of painful neglect, the river now has the potential to help nurture future communities and public spaces.[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]

How Thoughtful Street Design Is Helping Communities and the Economy

March 30, 2015 by Kaid Benfield

Street Design and Communit Impact

Streets re-designed with all users in mind - pedestrians, transit users and bicyclists as well as drivers of motor vehicles - generally deliver measurable increases in safety, non-polluting forms of transportation, and economic benefits, says the National Complete Streets Coalition in a new report.[read more]

Breaking Trad: Newly-Weds Who Realize They Don't Have to Move to the Suburbs to Breed!

March 30, 2015 by Bradley Calvert

Recently the Associated Press ran a story on parents seeking to maintain an urban lifestyle for their families. Primarily focused on a few of us families in Seattle the article talks about more families choosing to remain in the city, particularly Downtowns.[read more]

Pricing Congestion to Invest in Sustainable Transport: Lessons from London

London and Sustainable Transport Investment

In 2003, London adopted a program of congestion pricing that now places a roughly $17 (£11.50) daily fee on motor vehicles entering central London. The effort was expected to reduce car traffic, air pollution, and emissions in the area, and has since been lauded as a major success.[read more]

Seattle's Emerging EcoDistrict

March 30, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA
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Seattle District Planning

EcoDistrict planning and design can accelerate local efforts to improve sustainability. They offer a framework through which communities can plan initiatives that address climate change by providing clean energy, conserving wildlife habitat, and encouraging low-impact development and also social equity.[read more]

4 Ways to Pitch a Smarter Built Environment

March 30, 2015 by GBIG Insight

Smarter buildings and communities start with smarter marketing and communications. Which words do you choose – smart, green, profitable, eco, resilient, healthy, clean, high tech, cool, secure, fun? Whether we like it or not, we are all in sales and this kind of messaging matters.[read more]

Can France's Plan to Use Planning for Social Engineering Really Work?

March 30, 2015 by Global Site Plans - The Grid

Immigants and the poor would be put in richer neighborhoods.

The French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, has unveiled shocking measures to change struggling neighborhoods, by forcing richer ones to take a greater share of the poor and disadvantaged in an effort to tackle the crime and social problems of ghettos. Can he succeed?[read more]

City Park Conservancies: A Treasure Trove of New Knowledge

March 29, 2015 by City Parks Blog

City Park Conservancies

The report 'Public Spaces/Private Money' cites the value that private partnerships and their resources have brought to parks but also cites the growing concerns around equity and the possibility of displacement of public agency resources and responsibility.[read more]

Chronicling Britain's Urban Nature Movement

March 29, 2015 by The Nature of Cities

British Urban Green Spaces

The newest title in The New Naturalist Library, 'Nature in Towns and Cities' by Dr. David Goode, is true to the series’ dual goals of “recapturing the enquiring spirit of the old naturalists” and “maintaining a high standard of accuracy in presenting the results of modern research.”[read more]

Acclaimed Minnesota State Capitol Undergoing $272M Restoration

March 29, 2015 by Global Site Plans - The Grid

State Capitol Restoration

 

State Capitol Buildings are incredibly important pieces of architecture in the United States of America. The history of each building’s origin and development over their lifetime can be quite fascinating. Here is the story of Minnesota’s State Capitol Building.[read more]

The Waste Biz: Apple Expected To Accept Any Old Cell Phones For Recycling

March 29, 2015 by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

Cell Phones and Recycling

I always take the easiest route when it comes to recycling my old cell phones: I leave it with the retailer from which I’ve bought a new one. If you want more value than convenience, though, your options are about to expand: Apple plans to expand its Reuse and Recycling Program to include non-iOS phones.[read more]

Local and Regional Authorities Key Partners in Disaster Risk Reduction

Government and Disaster Risk Reduction

The United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, which took place in Sendai, Japan, March 14th-18th, resulted in a historic agreement by the international community to reduce disaster risk, and recognized local authorities and the local level as essential to achieving this.[read more]

Lessons on Post-Resilience from Venice, 2015

March 28, 2015 by The Nature of Cities

Resilience in Venice

“Stronger than the storm.” I can’t get this phrase out of my head, nearly one week into my sabbatical move to Venice, Italy. It just so happens that we arrived on a week when the moon and the winds lined up to create 'acqua alta' (high water) for six days in a row.[read more]

10 Places to Learn to Be A Farmer Across the Nation

Places to Learn Farming

The average age of American farmers is 58.3 years, according to the U.S. Census of Agriculture. Young farmers are needed, and those who are inexperienced have a variety of farmer training programs (many of them focusing on sustainability) from which to choose.[read more]

Historical Baumanskaya, Moscow Metro Station Closes for Renovations

March 28, 2015 by Global Site Plans - The Grid

Moscow Subway Renovation

On February 8, 2015 the Baumanskaya Metro Station, in Moscow, closed for 11 months of renovations. The renovations will include changing its escalators, which were installed with its opening in 1944. They are currently the oldest working tunnel type escalators in the world, as well as the oldest in Moscow.[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]

Building A Community Through Play

March 27, 2015 by Bradley Calvert

Community Play and Participation

KaBoom! are a non-profit whose goal is to increase access and opportunity to play, particularly in disadvantaged communities. This past weekend I was afforded the opportunity to participate in a playground build with them. It left me with a sense of pride having been involved with such a great community building experience.[read more]

Why Young Urbanists Made Their Own City Plan for Helsinki

March 27, 2015 by Future Cape Town

Young Urbanists and City Planning

“You don’t need to be a professional to speak up and make a difference in your city.” An interview with Timo Hämäläinen, a planning activist and Urban Finland blogger based in Helsinki about his team's alternative vision and plan as a means to lobby for change in Helsinki.[read more]

The City Dwellers Who Are Growing Food in India, China and Brazil

Urban Gardens are a Global Movement

According to the US Department of Agriculture, around 15 percent of the world’s food is now grown in urban areas. Urban agriculture enhances sustainability, secures public space, and provides much needed food security and health benefits for communities. We look at examples from three continents.[read more]

A Sustainable Food One-Stop Shop: New Orleans Business Combines Urban Farm, Grocery Store

Food Innovation in New Orleans

For many area residents in New Orleans’ 17th Ward, Hollygrove Market & Farm is their only source of affordable, local fresh food. HM&F goes out of its way to provide healthy food choices by letting customers choose from purchasing single items or CSA-style food boxes.[read more]

San Francisco Adaptive Reuse: From Church to Tech Office

March 27, 2015 by Global Site Plans - The Grid

San Francisco Building Redevelopment

When it comes to finding available, unique spaces in San Francisco, tech companies like Twitter, AirBnB, and countless others take on a hermit crab approach. Limited space, dense urban conditions, and nightmarish building regulations make it nearly impossible to build from the ground up.[read more]

Three Ways São Paulo Companies Helped Curb Traffic Congestion

Sao Paulo Traffic Solutions

São Paulo’s population is growing—and so is its traffic congestion. Residents of South America’s largest city take more than 43 million trips daily, nearly 30 million of which are in vehicles, mainly private cars. São Paulo‘s average commute time by car is around 1.5 hours.[read more]