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The energy sector in Germany is shifting towards renewables, and you can see similar effects across the globe. And cities are the ultimate area where you can start that trend, because of the density of cities you have shorter routes, and there is the chance to make do without cars.

Benjamin Stephan, Deutsche Welle

Category Archives: Environment & Ecology

May 30, 2016
EU Cities May Take Lead in Air Pollution Action
DW

Ministers and mayors have signed a pact to increase cities’ efforts to tackle air pollution within the European Union. It comes as national European governments are poised to water down air pollution limits.

Climate Rewiring Government-Citizen Relationships
Newsweek

Today, federally funded teams are attempting to learn from the failures of modernist-planning as they try to protect low-income communities from storm surges and heat waves as the climate continues to change and weather becomes more destructive.

LA Opens 67-Mile Urban Mountain Hiking Trail
Gizmodo

The Backbone Trail, as it’s called, has been over 40 years in the making. It wasn’t as much an infrastructural challenge to sculpt the trail, but rather a political one. About 180 parcels of land — worth more than $100 million — in several different cities were turned over to the public to complete the […]

Funding CA Rail With Cap and Trade Hits Roadblock
Streetsblog

Results of the most recent Cap and Trade auction announced yesterday, where only 2% of carbon credits were sold, pose risks to Caltrain electrification funding, the High Speed Rail project, and other state transportation and housing goals.

California Must Commit to Long-Term Cap-and-Trade
California High Speed Rail Blog

The state legislature needs to step up and pass legislation to ensure that cap-and-trade exists well beyond 2020. But that would likely require a 2/3 vote, and that’s going to be hard – even if Democrats retake a 2/3 majority in the legislature this year.

Portal Launched For Net Zero Energy Buildings
Business Standard

Ministry of Power and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched India’s first integrated web portal designed to promote and mainstream Net Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) in India.

Philly Using Rain Gardens to Protect Rivers
Philadelphia Inquirer

This week marks the fifth anniversary of a consent agreement signed with state environmental regulators, and the city says it has met its target of keeping more than 600 million gallons of rain out of the aging sewer system each year.

May 26, 2016
‘The Urbanist’ Podcast: Water
Monocle

We’re all hydrated and ready to go. This week we look at water-sensitive urban design, unpack our relationship with the ocean, discover the joys of cycling by the river and examine the devastating effects that water can have.

Sense of Place and Urban Ecology
The Nature of Cities

Sense of place—including place attachment and place meanings—can help people appreciate ecological aspects of cities.

Spring Comes Earlier to Urban Environments
Voice of America

Spring comes earlier to dense cities, and while that might be great for city gardeners and outdoorsy types, it might be bad for native birds and insects.

Who Will Replace Old Water Pipes?
Food and Water Watch

Aging pipes are putting our clean drinking water at risk. It’s time to fund the fixes we need to our water systems – and here’s how we can do it.

LA’s Water Supply More Reliant on Stormwater Management
Planning Report

TPR continues to track the evolution of water management in Southern California with Gary Hildebrand, deputy director at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works overseeing water resources, and Marty Adams, director of water operations at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

Green High-Rise Stays Cool in Hot Singapore
Inhabitat

Designing comfortable housing that doesn’t require a ton of energy in equatorial Singapore is a challenging feat, but group8asia have risen to the task by creating an eco-friendly high-rise complete with passive ventilation and luscious green roofs.

May 25, 2016
Obama Administration’s New Step Toward Clean Transport
NRDC

On April 22 (Earth Day), the Department of Transportation officially proposed new performance standards for transportation infrastructure. As Secretary Anthony Foxx stated, “We are…taking a hard look at how to track progress on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transportation.”

Two Groups Sue Houston Over Flooding
Houston Press

The suit, filed in the United States District Court, Southern District of Texas on Wednesday morning, alleges that careless decisions have caused “hundreds of homes in the Memorial City area” to suffer “repeated and horrific flooding,” according to court documents.

Bay Area’s Future Depends on Sea Level Management
San Francisco Chronicle

An abundance of scientific studies says the bay’s average tide could climb several feet or more by 2100, with most change coming in the decades after 2050. It’s an inexorable shift that threatens low-lying neighborhoods as well as the fish, birds and wildlife that need tidal flats to survive.

How Places Are Bracing for the Next Disaster
PBS Frontline

Preparations for coming disasters in many states are still hamstrung by political divisions, financial constraints, bureaucratic red tape and pushback from developers and residents who want to build in at-risk areas, according to climate and industry experts.

Portland Tries to Teach Climate Change, Gets Backlash
Los Angeles Times

This winter, a small group of advocates, teachers, parents and students began meeting each week at a church in Portland, Ore., to figure out how their schools could do a better job of preparing the next generation to fight climate change.

Impact of Oil Sands Production on Air Pollution Found
Scientific American

In one of the first studies of its kind, scientists have found that tar sands production in Canada is one of North America’s largest sources of secondary organic aerosols—air pollutants that affect the climate, cloud formation and public health.

Photos: Experiments in Re-Encoding Environment
Boom California

In the summer of 1966, dance pioneer Anna Halprin and her husband, landscape architect Lawrence Halprin, embarked on a series of experimental, experiential, cross-disciplinary workshops in northern California that blurred the boundaries of architecture, choreography, ecology, music, cinematography, and being itself.

Opportunities for Growth in Urban Green Spaces
All Over Albany

Emily Menn, a Troy real estate developer and landlord, has been working on green space in Troy for the last eight years. And she’s transformed a neglected double lot into a budding downtown oasis.

May 24, 2016
SF’s Foray Into Park Reservations Ends Poorly
Slate

San Francisco’s Recreation and Parks Department tried to start renting small sections of Dolores Park to picnickers who reserve online, including corporate groups; but the city had to immediately suspend the grass-reservation program amid public outcry.

Sustainable Future Starts With Urban Nature
The Nature of Cities

Besides the policy and technological shifts that have dominated much of the global discussion of sustainability, there are cases of urban nature (greening, restoration and protection of ecosystems) being utilized, through simple and incremental actions, to reconcile the conflicting ideals of social, economic, and environmental sustainability.

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