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Politics & Legislation

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European Countries Lack Harmony on What Makes A Near Zero Energy Building

April 21, 2015 by David Thorpe

Nice building – but how does it perform?

A new report finds that many European countries still lack a definition of near zero energy buildings, and are not doing nearly enough to save their residents money and reduce carbon emissions. Where definitions exist, they are not very comparable between nations. But where definitions are legislated for, the market is driving improvements.[read more]

Urban Farming Ramps Up in Sacramento with Passage of New Ordinance

Local Ordinances and Urban Farming

Food and agriculture activists have something to celebrate this year in Sacramento, California. On March 23, 2015, the City Council passed an urban farming ordinance that paves the way for food security and an inner city agricultural economy.[read more]

The Race for Africa's Largest City: The Beauty and Beast of a City

April 11, 2015 by Future Cape Town
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The Future of Lagos

 

The people of Lagos will be going to the polls early on Saturday, April 11th to spend the day standing in queues. In this election, close to 6 million people are registered as voters in Lagos State, almost three times as many registered voters in the City of Cape Town at 1.9 million in 2014.[read more]

How New Ordinances Will Revitalize Los Angeles River Communities

March 31, 2015 by Global Site Plans - The Grid
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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]

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]

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]

Colorado May Pass Bill to Create Farm-to-School Food Supplies

Colorado kids could be getting much more local fresh food.

Colorado may pass a bill that would create state-wide farm-to-school supply chains to improve children's diets. House Bill 15-1088 seeks to build the capacity of farmers by helping them overcome economic hurdles and connect with school districts interested in serving fresh, local products to their students.[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]

Drones Will Elevate Urban Design

March 16, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

Drones and Design

The FAA recently released long-awaited guidelines for commercial drones. Despite many skeptics’ expectations of stringent laws that would ground the drone industry in the US, these proposed regulations are pragmatic and will undoubtedly lead to growth and innovation.[read more]

University of Iowa's Toolkit Helps Communities 'Start the Conversation' on Local Food Systems

Local Food Support

A new Agricultural Urbanism Toolkit produced by the Iowa State University’s Community Design Lab offers communities the planning tools necessary to prioritize and ignite urban farming projects.The Toolkit includes process, practice and case studies to help jump-start local urban agriculture programs.[read more]