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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]

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]

Mending Library Repairs Clothes and Connects People on SF's Skid Row

September 30, 2015 by Shareable .

Travel guides generally warn tourists to steer clear of the Tenderloin District, San Francisco's version of skid row. For 14 years, however, Michael Swaine mended clothes for people in the heart of the district. Once a month, he set up his cart, with its antique treadle sewing machine, and got to work repairing pants, tops, jackets, bags, or whatever else a needle and thread could save.[read more]

Brooklyn Aquaponics Pioneer Talks Tilapia

September 30, 2015 by Seedstock Sustainable Agriculture

The rooftop venture VertiCulture Farms, established in 2012, is an indoor aquaponic farm that offers fresh produce and fish to the surrounding area through several sales channels. The founders hope their rooftop farm model will illustrate the potential of aquaponics in cities.[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]


Cloud Computing: Understanding the Environmental Benefits of Modern Technology

September 28, 2015 by Ryan Kidman

Environmental sustainability is an essential aspect that many businesses are taking advantage of. As the world becomes more conscious of their contribution to the demise of natural resources, many have begun to look for ways to reduce their carbon footprint by going green[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]

Pope Francis Presses U.S. Leaders to Act on the Environment

September 25, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

In a speech at the White House, Pope Francis reiterated the central arguments of his encyclical — that climate change and environmental degradation are crises that must be addressed today if we are going to create a more equitable world.[read more]

Is Solar Really Cheaper Than Fossil Fuels?

September 24, 2015 by GBIG Insight

If you want to be smart on solar, you have to hold one key distinction in your mind at all times – system costs vs. total lifecycle costs.[read more]

Why Chicago is Selling Parking Lots

September 24, 2015 by Metropolitan Planning Council

Earlier this month, the City of Chicago announced that it would sell four city-owned parking lots in River North, one of the city’s fastest-growing and most popular neighborhoods. The lots are located within a few blocks of the Chicago Transit Authority “Chicago” station on the Brown and Purple Lines, just north of Merchandise Mart.[read more]

Pioneering San Diego Business Builds Urban Edible Landscapes

September 23, 2015 by Seedstock Sustainable Agriculture

Established in 2008, Urban Plantations was one of the nation’s first edible landscaping companies. Offering year-round organic gardening and landscaping services to corporate, residential and assisted-living clients, this small company of 11 continues to grow while providing jobs and quality organic food to residents in the San Diego area.[read more]


Growing Your Garden and Other Great Ways to Go Green

September 23, 2015 by Ryan Kidman

Do you know why the veggies you get from the farmers’ market taste so much better than the veggies you buy at the store? Because more often than not, the veggies you get at the farmer’s market are much fresher than the veggies you purchase at the grocery store.[read more]

The Evolution of Streets in Cincinnati’s Neighborhood Cores

September 22, 2015 by Joe Nickol

Cincinnati streets need to adapt again to changing transportation, demographic and employment demands. What does this mean for urban development and the street design that supports it?[read more]

The Invisible Design Features of Cities

September 22, 2015 by CC Huang

To the untrained eye, beautiful skylines, impressive subway systems, and lively public parks characterize great cities. However, there are also a number of invisible design features that characterize the best cities – urban growth boundaries, transit-oriented development, walking and biking pathway density, and small blocks are among the most important of these design features.[read more]

Why We Should Reframe America's Approach to Pollution

September 21, 2015 by David Levinson

Instead of addressing pollution through a regulatory regime, we should use pollution charges to allow the market to allocate the scarce resource of clean air, water, and land. A levy would be imposed on polluters proportionate to their pollution.[read more]

Small Projects, Deep Roots: Building Community through Crowdfunding

September 18, 2015 by Project for Public Spaces

Founded in 2009, ioby (“in our backyards”) is a crowd-resourcing platform that helps neighborhood advocates turn ideas for their community into a reality. Their groundbreaking web-based tool combines crowd-funding and resource organizing to support resident-led projects that help turn our shared public spaces into places that are safer, greener, and simply more fun.[read more]

Placemaking the American Backyard

September 18, 2015 by Joe Nickol

The American backyard has become a full-on development strategy in placemaking, real estate development, and establishing new market potential in counter-intuitive locations.[read more]

Placemeter Measures the Flow of People Through Urban Spaces

September 17, 2015 by The Dirt ASLA

Placemeter aims to provide an “accurate, flexible, and continuous measurement of how people and vehicles move about your city.”[read more]

Goldman Sachs and the Evolution of Sustainable Investing

September 17, 2015 by Marc Gunther

Several big Wall Street banks–Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America/Merrill Lynch–are becoming increasingly interested in SRI which, interestingly, has been rebranded “sustainable, responsible and impact” investing by US SIF, an industry group.[read more]

Outdoor Preschools Bring Affordable Education to Parks

September 16, 2015 by Shareable .

Originating in Europe in the 1990s, outdoor preschools offer affordable learning to families by drastically reducing the overhead costs of an indoor classroom.[read more]

A Connectivity Case Study in Saarbrücken, Germany

September 16, 2015 by Canin Associates

Saarbrücken is a German city along the French border with a population of around 176,000 residents. Like most German cities, Saarbrücken’s core is a mix of walkable streets, urban buildings, and historic sites. Despite this, city leaders and residents are concerned about the future connectivity, mobility, and livability of their city.[read more]

Boulder Gets “Bee Happy” to Prevent Hive Loss

September 15, 2015 by City Parks Blog

Recognizing their importance, and in alignment with regional and national trends to support bee-safe practices, Boulder’s City Council recently took major steps to encourage citywide bee-friendly initiatives. The city passed Resolution No. 1159, A Resolution Concerning the Use of Neonicotinoid Pesticides in the City of Boulder, in May 2015, and declared September 2015 Pollinator Appreciation Month – a cross-departmental effort with the goal of encouraging our community to celebrate our pollinators and take steps to protect them.[read more]

Integrated Building Management: Tangible Benefits in Efficiency, Comfort, Safety and Security

September 15, 2015 by Dijana Hoffmann

More than ever, commercial buildings are multi-purpose in use and therefore present building operators with increasingly complex challenges. At the same time, scarcer resources and growing costs demand more efficient operation of properties.[read more]

The Waste Biz: A Comprehensive Look At Recycling Industry Woes

September 14, 2015 by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

Single stream: The ability to toss all of our recyclables into one bin has increased overall rates of recycling… but it’s also led to more contamination of materials. Furthermore, many of us toss items into our bins that may not be recyclable.[read more]

Uber’s New Wave of Urban Design. Are Cities Ready?

September 14, 2015 by Lisa Nisenson

As transportation network companies expand into shared ride services, they are laying the groundwork for a new kind of transit oriented development based on flexible transportation.[read more]