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Though dismayed by the insular Vote Leave mentality, Barber thinks he knows why people succumb to it. “The nation state is too large for meaningful participation of citizens,”

Benjamin Barber, Guardian Cities

Category Archives: Environment & Ecology

June 23, 2016
Volkswagen to Pay $10.2B for Emissions Scandal
The Hill

Citing an unidentified source, the AP said VW will spend the money to settle claims in the wake of last fall’s revelation the company installed software on its diesel vehicles designed to skirt federal emissions testing.

Solar Panels Have Gotten Thinner Than Hair

One of the reasons I think solar photovoltaic power is going to take over the world is that it is scalable in a way no other power source can be. It can be used to build multi-hundred-megawatt power plants, or it can be scaled down. Way down.

What To Make of Jane Jacobs’ Critique of Parks
The Nature of Cities

While it’s true that Jacobs changed the way we think about cities, relatively little is ever said about her views on urban parks. In honor of the 100th anniversary of Jacobs’ birth, we took a moment to revisit her views on “the uses of neighborhood parks” as she laid them out in The Death and […]

‘Natives-Only’ Urban Tree Policy Compromise Resilience
Horticulture Week

Planting only native species in towns and cities fails to maximise trees’ usefulness, according to an international research team led by Dr Henrik Sjöman of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, a regular speaker at UK industry events.

NYC To Get Thousands of Heat Deaths As Climate Changes

The number of hot days is expected to triple by the year 2080 and beyond, causing death by heat exhaustion, dehydration or heart and respiratory conditions, said the main author of a study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

D.C. To Make Lead Container Rules Stricter Than E.P.A.’s

On the same day the D.C. Public Library announced it found excessive lead contamination in four libraries, city officials said they will lower the maximum acceptable level of lead in public drinking water, making the District’s standards far stricter than those required by the Environmental Protection Agency.

June 22, 2016
Great Lakes Governors Approve Waukesha’s Pumping Plan
Cleveland Plain Dealer

Eight governors of the Great Lakes states today approved an unprecedented challenge to the Water Resources Compact, agreeing to allow the city of Waukesha, Wis., to pump millions of gallons per day from Lake Michigan.

Can Plant-Filled Dumpsters Save The Gowanus Canal?
Next City

Dumpsters aren’t often a welcome addition to any neighborhood, but a community board in Gowanus, Brooklyn, voted unanimously last week to let a developer install 10 in neighborhood parking spaces this summer.

Tokyo’s Urban Cap-And-Trade Exceeds Goals
Cornell Chronicle

Cornell and Tokyo governmental researchers have pored over five years of data from the city’s cap-and-trade program – the world’s first such program that focused on urban buildings – and found it achieved more than a 20 percent reduction in emissions.

How Bucharest Accidentally Created Europe’s Largest Urban Park

Urban parks in densely populated cities are more often the result of decades of meticulous planning than of neglect, but the recent designation of Bucharest’s rich Văcărești wilderness shows that mother nature remains the most powerful landscape architect.

Are Green Building Rating Tools Failing Nature?

While green building rating tools have been evolving and are refined in response to industry driven imperatives, as well as government and climate council policies, they have been focussed primarily on the built form side of the sustainability equation, and have left nature as a secondary consideration.

Life in Missouri’s Fading Old Lead Belt

Just an hour south of St. Louis sits the Southeast Missouri Lead District, home to the largest lead deposits in the world. Some 150 years ago, the area boomed alongside its lead mines, an exploitation of natural resources that altered economic fortunes as well as the physical terrain.

June 21, 2016
Beijing’s Famed Edible Bug Market to Close
Atlas Obscura

Beijing’s Donghuamen Night Market has been selling bug delicacies for over three decades, but its time selling edible scorpions on a stick, among other items, is now drawing to a close.

Quebec to Fast-Track Light Rail Environmental Review

In order to meet the project’s tight deadline, everything that can be fast-tracked will be, a source familiar with the dossier said. The plan is to have the electric, fully automated 67-kilometre rail line running by 2020.

Stressful Urban Life Causes Premature Aging, in Birds

Researchers from Lund University in Sweden have shown that birds of the species Parus major, commonly known as the nesting great tit, are at an increased risk of dying young when they’re reared in an urban environment.

London Begins Bee Tracking Project

If you were in east London this morning, you might have seen something pretty weird. Five hundred bumblebees — each with a unique numbered “license plate” glued to its back — were released from a rooftop in the city.

To Build Sustainable Cities, Women Are Priority
New Security Beat

Last month, the world came to Copenhagen to focus on how to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for girls and women. But to fully leverage the new SDG agenda in service of girls and women, this community needs to engage new partners and players, move beyond our comfort zones, and leverage the data revolution.

June 20, 2016
Rotterdam Will Benefit From Floating Dairy Farm

A Dutch collaboration is pushing the boat out with an idea of how to feed growing city populations despite decreasing amounts of space in which to produce food. The Floating Farm will produce various kinds of milk and yogurt from its location docked in the port of Rotterdam.

Why Are Chinese Cities Banning a Mode of Green Transit?

Over the past decade, China has been undergoing the biggest adoption of alternative fuels for transportation, ever. Although this transition isn’t being led by green cars like the Tesla or the new lines of “eco” buses that are popping up in an increasing number of the country’s cities, but e-bikes — electric bicycles.

Can the Dutch Help U.S. Cities Learn From Rising Seas?

About two-thirds of the Netherlands sits at or below sea level, and dam-builders and water engineers there have been keeping the ocean at bay for centuries. Their expertise is increasingly in demand as coastal cities begin to plan for rising seas.


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