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Innovation

Banks Should Lend World’s Top 500 Cities At Least $1bn to Tackle Climate Change – NCE-2015 Report

July 7, 2015 by David Thorpe

All cities must become low carbon

Multilateral development banks, donors and others should lend the world's top 500 cities at least US$1 billion to help them implement low carbon urban development strategies by 2020, according to the New Climate Economy 2015 report, published today by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate.[read more]

How to Create A Sustainable Community with Public Works [infographic]

June 30, 2015 by Kiva Bottero

The figures speak for themselves

This infographic provides an in-depth look at sustainable communities, highlighting their environmental necessity, as well as their financial practicality. It suits both communities both big and small in order to reduce energy demand, utilize renewable power, and lessen their environmental impact.[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]

Four Months to Dream Up a Smart City Plan for Mumbai

From slumdogs to smart canines?

How can Mumbai become a Smart City that the nation is proud of? The recently published Draft Development Plan (DP) for Mumbai was so poorly received by various stakeholders that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis scrapped it and it has to be reworked in just four months.[read more]

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Using GIS Analysis To Achieve Zero Traffic Casualties

June 18, 2015 by Julio Carrillo

Vision Zero in Austin, Texas

In the city of Austin, Texas, USA, there have been 699 traffic fatalities since 2004, so its Comprehensive Planning unit is embarking on a Vision Zero traffic safety initiative, and using a GIS analysis of traffic incidents to tackle this aim. Here's a glimpse of how it works.[read more]

After 350 Years of Innovation Saint-Gobain Looks to Building a Sustainable Future

The company’s new HQ in Philadelphia

It is extremely rare for an organization of any type or size to mark 350 years in existence, never mind 350 years of continued success and innovation. On June 3, I spent the day with representatives of sustainable building materials manufacturer Saint-Gobain, a USGBC Platinum-level member, in celebration of their 350th anniversary.[read more]

Does This Change Everything? What the Pope Says About Climate Change

June 16, 2015 by David Thorpe

The cover of Pope Francis' Climate Change Encyclical

An encyclical signifying the support of the Catholic Church for action against climate change has been leaked, in advance of the speech Pope Francis was due to make this week. In it he calls for a change in lifestyles and energy consumption in order to avert the "unprecedented destruction of the ecosystem". But he says much more...[read more]

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Rise of the Commonauts: A New Social Tool Tackling City-Dwellers' Taboo on Talking to Strangers

June 15, 2015 by Thomas Groetschnig

Wear a sticker and make a friend

COMMONAUTS is an urban intervention initiative and a social tool, designed to encourage face to face conversations between strangers in public spaces and other social environments of common interest such as open air festivals, cafés, plazas, bars, art exhibitions or popup markets.[read more]

Green Line and Related Bus Network Improvements Have Increased Access to Jobs by >50%

June 15, 2015 by David Levinson

Green Line to jobs

A new analysis from the University of Minnesota’s Accessibility Observatory has quantified how much the Green Line light-rail transit route and related changes to the regional bus network changed residents’ ability to reach jobs by transit. Accessibility often increased by over 50 percent.[read more]

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Work Starts on Europe's Largest Urban Permaculture Passivhaus Eco-Community

June 15, 2015 by David Thorpe

The site will contain 68 homes.

Work is starting today to develop the site of the largest permaculture-based, Passivhaus urban eco-community in Europe, in Leicester, England. When finished, the settlement will contain 68 homes for rent at affordable rates for essential workers.[read more]

Google Creates Company to Improve Cities

Sidewalk Labs will solve urban challenges

Google has created Sidewalk Labs to solve urban challenges with technology by developing products, platforms and partnerships to accelerate progress in the areas of mobility, efficient transport, cost of living, use of natural resources and government efficiency.[read more]

World Wildlife Fund HQ's Green Roof Is Washington's 3rd Largest

Sedums galore!

WWF's U.S. HQ's green roof was built to conserve resources, limit waste & pollution, and protect the environment. It has 11 types sedum plants, a solar water heating system and is the 3rd largest green roof in Washington DC.[read more]