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I Found Out What it's Like in the Middle of the Tour de France... Report and Photo Essay from Yesterday

July 7, 2015 by Mark K Ames

Noisy, fast and exhilarating

The cyclists ride at breakneck speeds whilst all around them there is ordered chaos. Boozey kids run alongside, shouting and jumping up and down. I took a ride in the Tour de France, and here’s what it’s like to be right in the middle of the world’s most famous cycling race.[read more]

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What Should Be Our Correct Reaction To The Greek Tragedy?

July 6, 2015 by David Thorpe
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It's not just the IMF that are to blame

What should be our correct reaction to the Greek tragedy? How on earth did they get into this mess in the first place? Why did nobody see this coming? Greece was living beyond its means. It was profligate and didn't save for the future. And we aren't like that, are we?[read more]

Five Cities Celebrating National Birthdays across the Globe

Celebration!

Cities play a vital role by providing the space for people to publicly congregate. By designing public spaces for the community, we are investing in the culture and pride of our countries, and setting the stage for greater civic engagement. Let’s take a look at how five cities around the world celebrate their national birthdays.[read more]

Whose Job Is It to Worry If a City's Water Supply is Sustainable?

July 6, 2015 by Dean Saitta

Dam right it's not the planner's job

Land use planning is typically a local governmental concern, while water planning and allocation occur on multiple local, state, and federal levels. The traditional disconnect between planning and land use decisions and current and future water supply realities can preclude a sustainable balance between water supply and growth.[read more]

Conservatives, Light Transit, Baltimore and the Urban Question

July 6, 2015 by Klaus Philipsen

Good transit? Not if short-term thinking prevails

Baltimore's Red Line, a nearly $3 billion transit project, is a fully designed surface-subway light rail line, shovel ready and even recommended by the Federal Transit Administration to receive the very scarce and coveted "New Starts" funding. Maryland’s governor, Larry Hogan, has delivered a fatal blow to it. Why?[read more]

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Using Waste Heat From a Refuse Incinerator to Grow 5,000 Tons of Tomatoes

Bessières Mayor Jean-Luc Raysseguier at the site

A small town in France, Bessières, is implementing a widely replicable project: using waste heat from the incineration of unrecyclable municipal waste in a cogeneration plant to heat nearby greenhouses that will produce 5,000 tons of tomatoes a year, as well as saving greenhouse gas emissions.[read more]

Is Cheap Roof-Mounted PV Redefining the Design Rules for Net-Zero Buildings?

Net Zero Court zero emissions office building

Designing buildings for low energy and indoor environmental quality are not necessarily compatible goals. In a recent professional development workshop survey on net-zero buildings, the most popular design solution was a short, deep plan building with the majority of the budget invested in roof-mounted PV.[read more]

The Life and Legacy of Richard Haag, Influential Landscape Architect

July 2, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

Richard Haag: Influential

An appreciation of Richard Haag’s nearly five decade-long careers as a landscape architect, activist, and teacher in the context of changes in the practice of landscape architecture in the U.S., providing a lens through which landscape architects can study urban ecological design.[read more]

The Beautiful Marriage of Affordable Housing and Transport-Oriented-Development in Brazil

Minha Casa Minha Vida

How Minha Casa Minha Vida (MCMV – “My House My Life” in English)—Brazil’s affordable housing program—is transforming current patterns of urbanization in the country. MCMV has been responsible for a third of all housing projects in Brazil in 2013 and is helping to bridge the way we think about housing and TOD.[read more]

Count Me In: Urban Greening and the Return of Primates in Kampala

June 29, 2015 by The Nature of Cities
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Monkeying about in the city

In this article, I present a case of a municipally initiated effort to ‘green’ the city of Kampala with the motive of addressing climate change mitigation. This initiative has its good aspects, enhancing green patches and biodiversity, but also comes with problems depending on the choice of species planted for greening the city.[read more]

LEGO to Spend $150m to Make All Its Products Sustainable by 2030

June 29, 2015 by Glenn Meyers

No more plastic waste?

LEGO says it is looking for a way to find sustainable alternatives for making its cute little building blocks and it is putting its money where its mouth is. It will spend $150,000,000 to create a “LEGO Sustainable Materials Centre” that will research new raw materials. The company has pledged to make all of its products from sustainable sources by 2030.[read more]

Can a Building That Communicates Apartheid's Violence Help to Heal Its Wounds?

June 29, 2015 by Future Cape Town

The proposed building

A proposed project for the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) in Cape Town seeks, according to Jaun van Wyk, its young South African architect, “advocate the awareness of such ferocious and inhumane realities in an effort to encourage violence prevention and ultimately embrace reconciliation”.[read more]

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Meet the Businesses Aiming for 100% Renewable Energy

June 29, 2015 by David Thorpe

The launch at Formula E

Following the webinar last week on Sustainable Cities Collective about the many cities committed to aimng for 100% Renewable Energy, leading businesses are publicizing their own commitment to the same target and chalenging others to follow their example, citing the many benefits of doing so.[read more]

Designing The Sustainable Supermarket Of The Future

June 29, 2015 by Glenn Meyers

Sustainable architecture students

The University of Applied Sciences in Salzburg, Austria has a Smart Building program that teaches students how to design and build residential and commercial buildings using sustainable materials that maximize energy efficiency. “The course Smart Building offers a holistic approach. Planning and innovation are essential."[read more]

What's the Point of Taking the Tour de France to a City That Already Cycles?

June 29, 2015 by Mark K Ames

See cycles by cycle or car?

This Saturday the Tour de France is starting in the Dutch city of Utrecht. It's a compact and charming university city stuffed with cycle tracks and people on bikes. So, in a city that already has a mainstream cycling culture, will the Grand Depart be all of that big deal for the Dutch?[read more]