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They [Diplomats] can’t be forced in court to pay a [traffic] fine, so there’s no legal redress against them. All that the government or the local authority can do is to try to use persuasion, which, as we all know, doesn’t work.

a former British diplomat, who asked not to be named, Guardian Cities

Category Archives: Environment & Ecology

September 26, 2016
Costa Rica Has Been Fossil Fuel-Free for 2 Months
Mashable

Costa Rica’s electric grid ran exclusively on renewable energy for 150 days so far this year, the country’s power operator said late last week. Half of those days were achieved in only the last few months.

Cap-and-Trade May Not Be Working
Streetsblog California

At last week’s California Air Resources Board hearing to discuss its plan for meeting climate change goals, the cap-and-trade system that has underpinned much of the state’s efforts got raked over the coals. But not by the industries subject to the emissions cap.

Tapping Storm Flows to Boost CA’s Water Supplies
News Deeply

State officials are promoting stormwater capture as a new way to boost the reliability of local water supplies. Steven Kuo of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power explains how the city has made this a focus of its water management for decades.

The Edge: The World’s Greenest Building
Brandon Donnelly

OVG Real Estate describe themselves as “the largest real estate technology company in The Netherlands” and they have recently completed The Edge, which is being called the greenest office building in the world. It received a 98.36% sustainability score from BREEAM-NL.

Mission Bay May Need Tidal Barriers, Huge Levees
SFGate

San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood might need large levees or a tidal barrier to help protect it from the impacts of sea level rise in coming decades, a study released Monday and done with the city’s participation concludes.

September 25, 2016
How Do We Make Urban Nature’s Value Visible?
The Nature of Cities

Is the rich value of urban nature and its services appreciated by citizens and policy makers enough to place them as co-equals at the planning table with transportation, sanitation, housing, and economic development? Do they understand nature as a key element of a city?

September 22, 2016
Boise Completes Its Greenbelt
Planetizen

Decades in the making, Boise’s 26-mile Greenbelt now spans the length of the city following completion of the last remaining one-mile segment.

The Making of a National Park City
The London Economic

What exactly is a National Park City? Last night I went to the Southbank to hear it explained by a collection of the environmentalists, GPs, firefighters, therapists, economists, sewage experts, CEOs, conservationists, photographers, poets, and geographers.

White House Puts Real-Time Climate Data Online for Planners
Thomson Reuters Foundation

A new website powered by the White House and partners including Google and Microsoft, aims to pull real-time climate data from NASA satellites and other sources for planners preparing for the effects of climate change, its founders said on Thursday.

Mayors Will Play Their Part in Delivering on the Paris Agreement
Huffington Post

For nearly two decades, the United Nations’ international climate change negotiations were largely diplomatic affairs, built on rhetoric and only that. And yet even as these conversations stagnated, a revolution was underway at the local level.

September 21, 2016
City Living Helps Birds Stay Parasite-Free
Next City

Urban living can be a mixed bag for birds. They have to adjust their songs to be heard over traffic, and can collide with windows, but cities also provide reliable food sources. New research suggests there’s another benefit: they don’t have to raise someone else’s chicks.

Landscape Design Can Aid Disaster Recoveries
Construction Dive

To protect communities, ASLA suggests using green infrastructure to help absorb, divert and retain water for future use. During droughts, conservation and re-use are key principles, so landscape architects can use native plant design to help store and protect the water supply.

Is Human Composting the Future of Urban Burial?
Pacific Standard

Funeral practices hide death from view, often at the expense of the environment. Can we die with dignity — in a way that saves the Earth — simply by embracing death?

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