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'Eco-city' Vancouver Votes Down Tax to Fund Public Transit. Shouldn't It Learn From Hong Kong?

July 3, 2015 by Brandon Donnelly
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Sky Train at Rupert Station

Earlier today it was announced that Metro Vancouver voted “no” to a 0.5% sales tax increase that would have been used to fund a $7.5 billion regional transportation plan. So why is it that Asian transit operators seem to be so much better than North American transit operators at recovering their costs through fares?[read more]

How to Double Building Energy Efficiency in Your Area With the UN's SE4ALL [Video]

July 3, 2015 by Celina Plaza

Introduction to the Building Efficiency Accelerator.

Watch this webinar to discover how to double the rate of energy efficiency improvements in the building sector in your area by 2030, under the United Nation’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Global Energy Efficiency Accelerator Platform initiative.[read more]

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20 City and Regional Governments Pledge to Save 5% of Global Carbon Emissions

July 2, 2015 by David Thorpe

Full infographic in the article

Twenty local city and regional governments, representing over 220 million people and $8.3 trillion GDP, have committed to a series of ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions totalling 5% of all global emissions, with many more due to report over the summer, according to the Compact of States and Regions.[read more]

Untamed and Unleashed: Landscape Architecture and the Meaning of 'Wild'

July 2, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

An eye for cover design

Introducing LA+ (Landscape Architecture Plus), a new interdisciplinary journal of landscape architecture from the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. Its provocative first issue, LA+ WILD, explores the shifting concept of “wild.” In the midst of the 21st century’s global environmental crisis, what is truly wild?[read more]

How Consumers View Informal Traders in Cape Town [Infographics]

July 2, 2015 by Cape Town Partnership

Vital to the economy

Supporting informal traders is a direct means of redistributing economic control. In this survey, people shopping at traders in the Cape Town Central Business District were asked questions in order to understand how the consumers interact with the sector. Here are the results.[read more]

100% Renewable Energy For Cities – Is It Possible? Our Webinar Report

July 1, 2015 by David Thorpe

PV wall in Barcelona

On 24 June SCC hosted a webinar on Can cities go 100% renewable energy?The answer is not only 'yes' but 'many already are'. Here is a report of the webinar.ContextArthouros Zervos, chair of REN21 launching the new Renewables 2015 Global Status...[read more][read more]

Is Cheap Roof-Mounted PV Redefining the Design Rules for Net-Zero Buildings?

Net Zero Court zero emissions office building

Designing buildings for low energy and indoor environmental quality are not necessarily compatible goals. In a recent professional development workshop survey on net-zero buildings, the most popular design solution was a short, deep plan building with the majority of the budget invested in roof-mounted PV.[read more]

The Life and Legacy of Richard Haag, Influential Landscape Architect

July 2, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

Richard Haag: Influential

An appreciation of Richard Haag’s nearly five decade-long careers as a landscape architect, activist, and teacher in the context of changes in the practice of landscape architecture in the U.S., providing a lens through which landscape architects can study urban ecological design.[read more]

The Beautiful Marriage of Affordable Housing and Transport-Oriented-Development in Brazil

Minha Casa Minha Vida

How Minha Casa Minha Vida (MCMV – “My House My Life” in English)—Brazil’s affordable housing program—is transforming current patterns of urbanization in the country. MCMV has been responsible for a third of all housing projects in Brazil in 2013 and is helping to bridge the way we think about housing and TOD.[read more]

Count Me In: Urban Greening and the Return of Primates in Kampala

June 29, 2015 by The Nature of Cities
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Monkeying about in the city

In this article, I present a case of a municipally initiated effort to ‘green’ the city of Kampala with the motive of addressing climate change mitigation. This initiative has its good aspects, enhancing green patches and biodiversity, but also comes with problems depending on the choice of species planted for greening the city.[read more]

LEGO to Spend $150m to Make All Its Products Sustainable by 2030

June 29, 2015 by Glenn Meyers

No more plastic waste?

LEGO says it is looking for a way to find sustainable alternatives for making its cute little building blocks and it is putting its money where its mouth is. It will spend $150,000,000 to create a “LEGO Sustainable Materials Centre” that will research new raw materials. The company has pledged to make all of its products from sustainable sources by 2030.[read more]

Can a Building That Communicates Apartheid's Violence Help to Heal Its Wounds?

June 29, 2015 by Future Cape Town

The proposed building

A proposed project for the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) in Cape Town seeks, according to Jaun van Wyk, its young South African architect, “advocate the awareness of such ferocious and inhumane realities in an effort to encourage violence prevention and ultimately embrace reconciliation”.[read more]

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Meet the Businesses Aiming for 100% Renewable Energy

June 29, 2015 by David Thorpe

The launch at Formula E

Following the webinar last week on Sustainable Cities Collective about the many cities committed to aimng for 100% Renewable Energy, leading businesses are publicizing their own commitment to the same target and chalenging others to follow their example, citing the many benefits of doing so.[read more]

Designing The Sustainable Supermarket Of The Future

June 29, 2015 by Glenn Meyers

Sustainable architecture students

The University of Applied Sciences in Salzburg, Austria has a Smart Building program that teaches students how to design and build residential and commercial buildings using sustainable materials that maximize energy efficiency. “The course Smart Building offers a holistic approach. Planning and innovation are essential."[read more]

What's the Point of Taking the Tour de France to a City That Already Cycles?

June 29, 2015 by Mark K Ames

See cycles by cycle or car?

This Saturday the Tour de France is starting in the Dutch city of Utrecht. It's a compact and charming university city stuffed with cycle tracks and people on bikes. So, in a city that already has a mainstream cycling culture, will the Grand Depart be all of that big deal for the Dutch?[read more]

Modi Launches India's Smart Cities and Housing for All Initiatives

Ahmedabad – beacon of smart development

Today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi formally launches the government’s ambitious Smart Cities initiative, which aims to tackle key issues resulting from India’s rapid urbanization. In addition, the ‘Atal Mission’ and ‘Housing for All by 2022’ will also be announced.[read more]

Reshaping Growth Centers with Open Space = Smart Growth

June 26, 2015 by Klaus Philipsen

Germany does it well

It is time to look more carefully at what happens inside the development envelopes about open space. In retrofitting suburban centers open space is the ace card. Requirements and fees are not there to repel or sink development but to make it more valuable in the long run. Only shortsighted developers would fight that.[read more]

2030 Districts: Communities Collaborating to Reach Inspirational Goals with Measured Performance

June 26, 2015 by GBIG Insight

The plan

If buildings are a major contributor to climate change, then what’s the solution? Reductions in energy use, water use, and transportation emissions, of course. For almost a decade, The 2030 Challenge has provided an inspirational, measurable goal for properties to reach for – and measures for figuring out how we’re doing.[read more]