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Building & Design

Will Proposed Change to LEED 2009 Kill the Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs?

October 12, 2015 by Chris Cheatham

The U.S. Green Building Council is soliciting comments on its proposal to change the prerequisites of the current LEED 2009 rating system increasing the minimum energy performance thresholds.[read more]

Biomimicry Tools to Inspire Designers

October 8, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

“Biomimicry is about learning from nature to inspire design solutions for human problems,” said Gretchen Hooker with the Biomimicry Institute at SXSW Eco in Austin, Texas. To enable the spread of these exciting solutions, Hooker, along with Cas Smith, Terrapin Bright Green, and Marjan Eggermont, Zygote Quarterly (ZQ), gave a tour of some of the best resources available for designers and engineers of all stripes:[read more]

Solutions Farms Combats Family Homelessness with Aquaponics Training in Vista, CA

The nonprofit’s Solutions Farms aquaponic training program provides “an opportunity for homeless families to regain their financial viability, their place in the community, their security and their happiness,” according to the project’s website.[read more]

WE TEST: Big Data – Small Actions

October 6, 2015 by Walk21 Vienna

The WE TEST approach involves the use of data and experimentation to achieve citizen involvement, build the case for pedestrian and public space schemes and fast track implementation.[read more]

State of Emergency for Housing and Homelessness in Portland and City Club Affordable Housing Forum

October 6, 2015 by Taz Loomans

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales has declared a state of emergency for housing and homelessness in the city. With a vacancy rate of 2.5-3.2%, less than half of that in a healthy housing market, and a 30% increase in rents in that last 5 years, it certainly feels like a state of emergency to everyone from the homeless to the working poor to artists and even to middle class professionals.[read more]

How Infill Development Can Help Stop Urban Sprawl

Managing Mexico´s urban growth has been a challenge for decades. In the 1970s, Mexico transitioned from rural to urban and its cities expanded rapidly with little control and oversight. This uninhibited growth was a direct consequence of the institutional framework around urban and territorial planning, housing policy, and a lack of leadership in place at the time. As a result, in the last 30 years although population doubled, the area of developed land grew seven-fold.[read more]

Why is Cebras por la Vida Important for Bogotá?

October 1, 2015 by Walk21 Vienna

Designing and building a city thought the eyes of pedestrians’ needs brings dignity and quality to urban life. Cebras por la Vida is an effort to bring back the fun and the seriousness to the process of reclaiming our city[read more]

Each Street Redevelopment Is a Chance for the City

September 30, 2015 by Walk21 Vienna

Often cities trust in engineers’ or architects’ knowledge to design the public realm. But is it possible to do a good job without walking and experiencing the street?[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]

Energy Use in Buildings: What’s Culture Got to Do with It?

September 29, 2015 by TheCityFix - produced by WRICities

When the March 11, 2011 earthquake in Japan caused a series of energy shortages throughout the country, the national government recommended that office buildings cut back on air conditioning during the summer months in order to reduce power usage. Through a campaign called “Super Cool Biz,” the government encouraged office workers to adjust to this change by wearing cooler outfits, like short sleeve shirts.[read more]

Where Have All the Masons Gone?

September 28, 2015 by David Levinson

The quality of masonry in the built environment has dropped significantly in the past century.[read more]

5 Steps to Activating Your Neighborhood This Weekend

September 25, 2015 by Joe Nickol

Instead of waiting for some outside entity to come in with the ‘big fix’ or nixing ideas out of fear, what if we try ideas in real time and begin to change our own story? What if we could get that started over the course of just one weekend?[read more]