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Climate Change

Smog One Day, Blue Skies the Next: Beijing Gets a Breath of Fresh Air

For the first time in a long time, the color of Beijing’s sky was a perfect azure blue.[read more]

President Obama's Clean Power Plan and PEER

President Obama and the EPA recently announced the final version of the Clean Power Plan, the centerpiece of the Obama administration’s plan to alter the dangerous impact human activity has had relative to climate change. It’s a historic beginning.[read more]


Let's Use Solar Energy to Power Air-Conditioning, Save Billions and Cut Emissions

September 29, 2015 by David Thorpe

Let solar power cool you off – no sweat!

According to the NREL, "air conditioning currently consumes about 15% of the electricity generated in the United States. It is also a major contributor to peak electrical demand on hot summer days, which can lead to escalating power costs, brownouts, and rolling blackouts".[read more]

Day 1 of Cities & Transport International Congress Talks Climate Action, Inclusive Development

September 11, 2015 by TheCityFix - produced by WRICities

Today marked the first day of the Cities & Transport International Congress in Rio de Janeiro. More than 100 city leaders and experts assembled to speak on sustainability, mobility and urban planning.[read more]


How Smart Growth Puts California on the Path to 2030 Climate Success

September 9, 2015 by Christopher Busch

California Climate Change Action

California wants to reduce emissions 40% by 2030. Smart growth policies would help the state achieve this target,save the government billions on infrastructure and health costs, and save residents thousands annually in transportation costs, all while empowering economic growth and housing equality.[read more]

The Greening of Sports to Save the Planet

Sports is a $1.3 trillion global industry, with over $450 billion of this spent in the US. And small wonder – sports figures and celebrities have the greatest influence on us, aside from family. Sporting events occur constantly and can reach every one of us. Sports engage us on a visceral level and have the power to forge lifelong allegiances, create rivalries, and symbolize a city or even a country. Think of Brazil with soccer, Canada with hockey, Norway with skiing, Kenya with running, and so forth.[read more]

Heading to the Field: the Urban Decarbonization Research Project

August 27, 2015 by Laura Tozer

Cities are increasingly adopting ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, such as 80% reductions by 2050. To make that ambition a reality, people in cities are trying out new initiatives ranging from local government’s financial incentives for solar energy to community group’s efforts to develop alternative, low-carbon economies using sharing. However, research has shown that these attempts are experimental and uncertain in their long-term impact.[read more]

Why Cities Should Invest in Beekeeping

Cities looking for sustainable economic growth might consider investing in a seemingly unlikely source: urban beekeeping. Contrary to what one might expect, urban bees survive better, produce more honey, and are healthier than rural bees.[read more]


How Sustainable Cities Collective Members Are Building a Better Future

July 29, 2015 by David Thorpe

Towards the green city [This is Singapore]

This is my last post for the time being on Sustainable Cities Collective and I want to take the opportunity to explain how I have come to understand the great value that it has. What will life be like for urban citizens in the future? The answer may depend upon whether you or your descendants will be living in a city which has implemented many of the ideas already covered on this website.[read more]


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]

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]