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Best Practices

Imitate to Innovate: Vitoria-Gasteiz Shows How Cities can Address 21st Century Challenges

July 27, 2015 by This Big City

Before and after the tram

The Spanish city of Vitoria-Gasteiz has recently transformed itself from a congested and car-dominated city into one of the most pedestrian and bicycle-friendly places in Europe. It didn’t achieve this by going at it alone. Its key to success was learning from others.[read more]

Could A City Really Be Redesigned To Build Happiness? An Interview With Charles Montgomery

July 27, 2015 by Walk21 Vienna

Planning for fun

Could a city really be redesigned to build happiness? One major aspect of liveability relates to how happy we can feel in the public spaces we inhabit. We talk to one of the leading authors in the field of urban happiness, Charles Montgomery, who will be a plenary speaker in the upcoming Walk21 conference in Vienna.[read more]

China’s Pedestrianization: Reviving a Tradition of Walking for Healthier Cities

Increasing footfalls in Beijing

Although China has rapidly urbanized in the past few decades, many cities across the country are still not easily walkable. Creating vibrant, walkable streets is becoming an urgent priority. China has therefore designed and put forward its national urbanization plan which encourages pedestrianization.[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]

Sam Adams On The Main Challenges Faced By Modern Cities

The ex-mayor of Portland and Director of WRI US Climate Initiative.

Sam Adams is the former mayor of Portland and Director of WRI US Climate Initiative. He believes that integrated strategic planning for the city is the most efficient path to a sustainable future. In September, he will be at the Mayors´ Summit and the Cities & Transport International Congress in the session “Cities in the new climate economy”.[read more]

Reusing Existing Urban Soil for Planting    

July 20, 2015 by Leda Marritz

Most urban sites have some amount of mineral soil in place when the time comes to install plant material, yet these soils are often assumed – erroneously – to be unsuitable.[read more]

'One Planet' Home Wins Planning Battle

July 20, 2015 by David Thorpe

The 'hobbit house' can live!

A zero energy roundhouse, built by a young family, has been saved from demolition following an appeal to the local planning authority. Their campaign to save their house touched the hearts of thousands, who wrote in support, but this wasn't what saved the home.[read more]

Don’t Build Here: Site Selection Strategies to Protect Nature – And Ourselves [VIDEO]

Where shouldn't you send this man?

How to reduce the environmental impact from the site selection process for buildings, and achieve the Sensitive Land Protection credit for the LEED v4 BD+C rating systems. Also, learn how to utilize tools such as the NRCS web based soil surveys, FEMA Flood Map Service Center, and NatureServe.[read more]

How to Quantify the Stormwater Benefits of Trees Part 1: Overview of Models and Calculators

July 14, 2015 by Leda Marritz

They soak up water, don't they?

Trees can provide significant stormwater benefits and can be integrated even into the densest urban areas. Many cities have tree requirement ordinances. The use of Tree Stormwater Control Measures (SCMs) is rapidly growing, so there is also a growing need to quantify tree stormwater benefits. Here's how.[read more]

Using Urban Universals to Frame City Life

July 9, 2015 by Chuck Wolfe

image © Chuck Wolfe

A discussion of two photographs; about how urban residents interact with each other and the streets around them. What are the roles of form, function and design in each photograph? What scenes emerge from journeys from home to work, and the locations between? In the end, what really matters in cities, regardless of place and time?[read more]

Meet Some of the Greenest Schools on Earth [PHOTOS]

Ng Yuk Secondary School in Hong Kong

We hope you enjoy the photos here featuring images from several of the schools nominated for the 2015 Greenest School on Earth award. They include schools from Croatia, Singapore, Lebanon and Hong Kong.[read more]

California: Leading the Way on Green and Well-Performing Buildings

3,500 LEED-certified buildings!

Green building has long been part of California’s approach to a wide array of energy, water, environment, and development priorities. There are more than 3,500 LEED-certified green buildings in the state, totalling over 500 million square feet of real estate. Over 14 percent of the entire state building portfolio is LEED certified.[read more]