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Building & Design

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]

Design Thinking for a Post-Industrial Century

August 26, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

Gas Works Park in Seattle. Landscape Park Duisburg-Nord in Germany. Ariel Sharon (Mount Hariya) Park in Tel Aviv. Freshkills Park in Staten Island, NY. The High Line, in Manhattan. And the 606, Chicago’s newest rail-to-trail park. These landmark places transform the remnants of industrial landscapes into new parks.[read more]

Repost: 15 Genius Tips for Living in Small Spaces

August 25, 2015 by Jillian Glover
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Erin Boyle of Reading My Tea Leaves and Gardenista and her husband live together in seriously small quarters—a 240-square-foot studio, to be exact. She agreed to share her surprising tips about how to make it work (and not drive each other crazy)…[read more]

Times Square Debate Lays Bare the Importance of Proactive Public Space Management

August 21, 2015 by Project for Public Spaces

Mayor Bill de Blasio caused quite a stir around New York City yesterday as he floated the idea of tearing up the pedestrian plaza in Times Square. This statement was the culmination of several days of debate centered around predatory panhandling and the square’s growing number of “street performers.”[read more]

Brooklynites Stand Strong Against Proposed Highrises in Brooklyn Bridge Park

August 20, 2015 by Project for Public Spaces

Brooklyn Bridge Park stretches along roughly 85 acres of prime East River waterfront space along the northern edge of Brooklyn. New Yorkers can visit the park for a number of events or just to relax in one of the borough’s most beautiful spots, which offers spectacular views—maybe even the city’s best—of the Manhattan skyline.[read more]

Better Building Benchmarking = More Energy Savings

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) recently released a real-time building monitoring and scoring platform called LEED Dynamic Plaque, enabling building managers to benchmark, monitor, and improve their building’s performance on an ongoing basis. The program has been recognized as a “game-changer” in building certification schemes.[read more]

New Partnership Helps California Businesses Get Solar Power for Less

August 10, 2015 by Glenn Meyers

Renew Financial, a leading clean energy finance company, and SolarCity recently announced a partnership that creates a unique financing option for small and medium-sized businesses that combines low-cost SolarCity-structured financing with Renew’s PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) program through the CaliforniaFIRST program.[read more]

Google’s Headquarters Falls Short on Sustainability Details

August 10, 2015 by Tyler Caine

The design of Google’s new corporate campus has radiated across the media recently complete with shiny renderings and a snappy video. Pulling no punches, Google went straight for design professionals known for making a big splash: Thomas Heatherwick and Bjarke Ingles. This dynamic duo hopes to help Google craft a physical image of a company that has helped define the digital universe. As can be expected, the company that sharpens the bleeding edge of virtual space did not want to stand beholden to an existing image of glass, corporate towers.[read more]

Advancing Green Building Technologies, One Condo Suite At a Time

August 5, 2015 by Brandon Donnelly

At night when the sun isn’t out and the panels on the roof aren’t able to produce energy, the suite “borrows” electricity from the building. But during the day when the sun is out, the suite powers itself and then returns any borrowed electricity to the building.[read more]

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How Sustainable Cities Collective Members Are Building a Better Future

July 29, 2015 by David Thorpe
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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]

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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]

The Benefits of Harvesting Rainwater

July 28, 2015 by Kay hebbourn
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It's free! Use it!

As well as helping to keep our gardens green, the water that falls from the skies can help us to run our homes. A rising number of people across the UK are installing rainwater harvesting systems in their properties to harness the potential of this natural resource.[read more]