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Can Ornamental Plants Remain in the Gardens of California Under Drought?

June 24, 2015 by The Nature of Cities

Drought-tolerant plants

With California's current drought, is there a place for ornamental gardens in the state? We’ve been studying this question for a number of years in Los Angeles and its surrounding municipalities, and here is our advice.[read more]


What Singapore Can Teach All Cities About Using Urban Green Infrastructure To Mitigate Megadroughts

February 17, 2015 by Warren Karlenzig

Singapore, where landscaping protects from extreme weather effects.

NASA's new report on the likelihood of megadrought in the Central and Western US is a harsh yet timely wake-up call for cities and the need for green infrastructure, which is often the best way to deal with problems of water scarcity, quality, flooding, and urban heat islands, according to John Parker, Chief Economist, Impact Infrastructure.[read more]

Designing with Nature: Insights for Drought Resilience and Carbon in Elqui Valley, Chile

January 25, 2015 by The Nature of Cities

Design and Natural Integration

Measures taken in cities to improve their adaptation to drought and for carbon sequestration are usually based on an efficient use of water and energy. But nature and rural areas near cities can provide key ideas to address these issues which are more in line with local needs and nature.[read more]

Simplicity: A Vital Part Of The Drought Solution

January 9, 2015 by Mark LeChevallier

Droughts and Problem Solving

As California continues to search for answers to combat what could be the region’s worst drought in 500 years, experts are starting to look more and more at “the box,” that is, more courses of action that are focused on the value of lower-tech, lower-cost solutions.[read more]


World Bank Warns of Severe Threat to Food Supplies from Climate Change

November 24, 2014 by David Thorpe

The increase in droughts with 4° of warming

A new report from the World Bank, 'Turn Down the Heat' is warning that already global warming of around 1.5°C above pre-industrial times is locked into the Earth's atmospheric system, and unless we act now to reduce emissions, warming of probably 4 degrees will occur within our century, and everyone will feel the impact, particularly the poor.[read more]

Urban Forests for Health and Safety

June 30, 2014 by Gerdo Aquino

Urban Greenery and Public Health

In Curitiba and Edmonton, along with other cities that are pursuing “Million Trees” initiatives, local governments have caught on to the fact that investing in the urban forest and its role as collector and purifier of storm water is undoubtedly one of their best flood insurance options.[read more]

This Is Your Global Food Supply On Climate Change

August 13, 2012 by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

OK, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I think that this year’s climate extremes are linked to human-caused climate change.  We might not really have the definitive answer on whether that is true for 20 years, but I would like nothing better than to be proven wrong about the linkage I’m making today.  From a global...[read more]

Americans Need To See The Clear Benefits Of Water Reuse

June 18, 2012 by Mark LeChevallier


There is a finite amount of water available on Earth, and currently an even more finite amount that we can readily use. With this in mind, the implementation of water reuse offers an essential, viable and drought-proof solution for managing our limited natural resources, and a concept that more communities need to embrace.[read more]

Design Competition Seeks New Models That Rethink Water Use in Face of Climate Change

July 20, 2011 by The Dirt ASLA

Drylands Design, a new ideas competition sponsored by the California Architectural Foundation in partnership with the Arid Lands Institute at Woodbury University and the AIACC Academy for Emerging Professionals and created in honor of architect William Turnbull, is seeking submissions for “retrofitting the American West.” The goal...[read more]