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Building & Design

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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]

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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]

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]

Why The Zoning Debate In Seattle Has Lacked ‘First Principles’

July 27, 2015 by Chuck Wolfe

Where to put affordable housing?

A guest opinion last week in Seattle's Crosscut went back to zoning basics after several articles and opinion pieces--in Crosscut and other media--attempted to dissect a key issue identified in affordable housing discussions.[read more]

Imitate to Innovate: Vitoria-Gasteiz Shows How Cities can Address 21st Century Challenges

July 27, 2015 by This Big City

Before and after the tram

The Spanish city of Vitoria-Gasteiz has recently transformed itself from a congested and car-dominated city into one of the most pedestrian and bicycle-friendly places in Europe. It didn’t achieve this by going at it alone. Its key to success was learning from others.[read more]

Could A City Really Be Redesigned To Build Happiness? An Interview With Charles Montgomery

July 27, 2015 by Walk21 Vienna

Planning for fun

Could a city really be redesigned to build happiness? One major aspect of liveability relates to how happy we can feel in the public spaces we inhabit. We talk to one of the leading authors in the field of urban happiness, Charles Montgomery, who will be a plenary speaker in the upcoming Walk21 conference in Vienna.[read more]

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Why Cities Need Youth Innovation for a Low Carbon Future

July 24, 2015 by Ivan Bruce

Young winners, designers of a walking app

More than ever, we need young people involved in creating sustainable cities. This can be achieved by establishing and strengthening networks that provide opportunities for young aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators to get involved and learn from like-minded groups of individuals on a global scale.[read more]

How to Choose the Right Plants and Take Care of A Green Roof

July 24, 2015 by Glenn Meyers
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It's a roof. Take care of it.

The results of a five year study by the Chicago Botanic Garden list nine plants rated "excellent" and 67 rated "good" for use in a green roof environment. Meanwhile, Sasha Aguilera, Design Consultant for Xeroflor Canada, an industry leader in pre-vegetated roofing, has put together some suggestions for green roof maintenance and design.[read more]

Will Metro’s TOD Projects Gentrify Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles?

July 23, 2015 by Global Site Plans - The Grid

Tempers are Boyle-ing

The community of Boyle Heights has expressed their discontent and disappointment at the lack of inclusion in the planning process. They have vocalized that as proposed, this project is not taking into account their needs, culture, and current socio-economic situation.[read more]

How Crowdfunding Is Creating Permanently Affordable Real Estate and Vibrant Streets

July 23, 2015 by Shareable .

New York City streets: no longer so mean.

Faced with the rising rents for commercial properties in cities, the New York City Real Estate Investment Cooperative is helping to turn vacant municipal properties into “vibrant streets filled with local culture and dignified workers” using crowdfunding: small investments by a large number of people in permanently affordable, commercial real estate.[read more]

Revealed: the Top 10 Countries for LEED Green Building Certification in 2015 [infographic]

...outside the USA.

There are LEED projects in more than 150 countries and territories, representing every continent except for Antarctica. LEED is being used in highly industrialized nations and newly developing ones, and is helping to demonstrate the enormous power and potential of the emerging green economy. Here are the top 10 countries outside the USA.[read more]