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Best Practices

Four Improvements Cities Can Make For Families

April 1, 2015 by Bradley Calvert

Every city is different and some face many more challenges than others in becoming more family friendly. But despite these challenges there are solutions and beginnings that nearly all cities could start adopting relatively quickly to create an environment that is more supportive of families.[read more]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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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]

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]

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]

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]

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]