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Cities are Built of Steel and Cement. How Can We Make These More Sustainable?

July 28, 2015 by David Thorpe

Build more with less

Everybody knows that we use raw materials inefficiently but there are great knowledge gaps in what to do about it. The authors of Sustainable Materials Without the Hot Air want to fix this by looking in detail at the production of materials to figure out the most effective way to reduce their environmental impact.[read more]

Quantifying Stormwater Benefits of Trees Part 2: Single-Event Stormwater Models

July 28, 2015 by Leda Marritz

Help from HydroCAD 

An introduction to various methods to quantify the stormwater benefits of tree stormwater control measures (Tree SCMs). It addresses Hydrologic and Hydraulic (H&H) models and Single-Event Stormwater Models. It follows a post on quantifying these benefits for tree benefit calculators and for stormwater credits.[read more]

Should Bicycles Be Allowed in Pedestrian Zones?

July 28, 2015 by Mark K Ames

Should this be allowed in a pedestrian zone?

Last week I visited the Dutch city of Zwolle, the Netherlands City of Cycling in 2014. It's a pretty, historic city surrounded by countryside and has a pedestrianised heart. But what I saw there made me reconsider banning bicycles from pedestrian-only areas, but not for the reasons that you might think of.[read more]

The Case For Congestion Charging to Manage Traffic

July 28, 2015 by Brandon Donnelly

Pay to drive in

The very few cities that have actually had significant success at reducing traffic congestion – notably Singapore, London and Stockholm – have done this through cordon-based congestion pricing wherein if you pass the cordon, you pay the congestion charge. Should other cities copy them?[read more]

Buildings: Our Biggest (and Most Underutilized) Asset for Improving How Cities Perform

A quiet moment in Wuxi, China

It’s time for leaders from both the public and private sectors to pay attention to buildings as a way of improving how their cities perform. High performance buildings (and their cousins: net zero, or near-net zero buildings) are a boost to health and productivity. Here's how to begin.[read more]

Five Ways to Save Lives with Urban Design

July 28, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

Cut traffic deaths.

Globally, 1.24 million people are killed in traffic accidents every year, with more than 90 percent of these deaths occurring in low and middle-income counties. A review of Cities Safer by Design, a report by the World Resources Institute, which presents five basic urban design elements that create safer travel environments.[read more]

The Benefits of Harvesting Rainwater

July 28, 2015 by Kay hebbourn

One of the main lures of these harvesting solutions is the fact that they can help to bring living costs down. Mains water bills have been rising over recent years and this trend looks set to continue. However, by capturing and using the rain that falls over their properties, people can reduce their bills. 

As well as helping to keep our gardens green, the water that falls from the skies can help us to run our homes. A rising number of people across the UK are installing rainwater harvesting systems in their properties to harness the potential of this natural resource.[read more]

Cape Town: Three Ports + One City = More Jobs?

July 27, 2015 by Cape Town Partnership

Three ports, one city. How will the improved efficiency of Cape Town’s three transfer nodes benefit the city, and the nation?


Three ports, one city. How will the improved efficiency of Cape Town’s three transfer nodes benefit the city, and the nation?[read more]

A Smartphone App to Help Choose the Best Walking Route

July 24, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

Rate the route

Most smartphone map apps give you several direct routes to get from Point A to Point B, but the quickest or most convenient path isn’t always the most enjoyable. Those interested in finding the most beautiful, walkable route to their destination can now try Walkonomics.[read more]

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Why Cities Need Youth Innovation for a Low Carbon Future

July 24, 2015 by Ivan Bruce

Young winners, designers of a walking app

More than ever, we need young people involved in creating sustainable cities. This can be achieved by establishing and strengthening networks that provide opportunities for young aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators to get involved and learn from like-minded groups of individuals on a global scale.[read more]

Sane Governance in the Digital City

July 24, 2015 by Klaus Philipsen

City of numbers

Can tactical urbanism, Internet journalism, direct action, "open data", crowd-funding and social networking provide a local governance solution that is at once local and complex and accessible and less corrupted?[read more]

How to Choose the Right Plants and Take Care of A Green Roof

July 24, 2015 by Glenn Meyers

It's a roof. Take care of it.

The results of a five year study by the Chicago Botanic Garden list nine plants rated "excellent" and 67 rated "good" for use in a green roof environment. Meanwhile, Sasha Aguilera, Design Consultant for Xeroflor Canada, an industry leader in pre-vegetated roofing, has put together some suggestions for green roof maintenance and design.[read more]

7 Proven Principles for Designing a Safer City: A Visual Look

The compact, connected city is safer

Traffic accidents kill more than 1.2 million people every year, nearly the same amount that die from HIV/AIDS. But there’s an undervalued approach to making the world’s roads safer—good urban design. 7 design principles can help cities dramatically reduce road deaths. Here’s a visual look.[read more]

Will Metro’s TOD Projects Gentrify Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles?

July 23, 2015 by Global Site Plans - The Grid

The community of Boyle Heights has expressed their discontent and disappointment at the lack of inclusion in the planning process. They have vocalized that as proposed, this project is not taking into account their needs, culture, and current socio-economic situation.

The community of Boyle Heights has expressed their discontent and disappointment at the lack of inclusion in the planning process. They have vocalized that as proposed, this project is not taking into account their needs, culture, and current socio-economic situation.[read more]

How Crowdfunding Is Creating Permanently Affordable Real Estate and Vibrant Streets

July 23, 2015 by Shareable .

New York City streets: no longer so mean.

Faced with the rising rents for commercial properties in cities, the New York City Real Estate Investment Cooperative is helping to turn vacant municipal properties into “vibrant streets filled with local culture and dignified workers” using crowdfunding: small investments by a large number of people in permanently affordable, commercial real estate.[read more]

Barcelona, Medellín and the Right to Housing

July 22, 2015 by This Big City

A conversation starter

Barcelona and Medellín both suffer from the same problem of guaranteeing the right to housing. And this is exactly what is presented in the exhibition called Piso Piloto, or Pilot Project, hosted at the same time in both cities. It is an attempt to foster the exchange of experiences and knowledge regarding housing and its relationship with public space.[read more]

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City Leaders: $164m Up For Grabs in the 3rd 100 Resilient Cities Challenge

July 22, 2015 by David Thorpe

Cities are woefully unprepared for the future

Cities around the world are now able to apply for a slice of $164 million from The Rockefeller Foundation in its 100 Resilient Cities Challenge. The opening of the third and final round of this challenge was announced yesterday at the “Cities for Tomorrow” conference.[read more]

Transition Streets: A New Way to Build Resilience From the Bottom Up

July 22, 2015 by Shareable .

This bus is heading for a sustainable city. Hop on!

Transition Streets is a toolkit for neighborhood transformation and community building. A project of Transition US, it's as simple as neighbors coming together to explore carbon-saving and resilience-building actions in the areas of food, water, waste, energy, transportation, all the while building relationships together.[read more]