- Posted 17 March 2008 inPublished by The Brooklyn Eagle
An article by Transportation Alternatives in the Brooklyn Eagle explains the rationale behind and strategy of the Complete Streets movement, which seeks to reclaim street space for pedestrians, cyclists, the disabled, and surface transit.
- Posted 13 March 2008 inPublished 12 March 2008 by New York Times
With high energy prices, distance really makes a difference. Remote Gordo, California is seeing what may be the highest gas prices in the country; but it's not just gas that's expensive. Their distance from larger cities makes everything cost more - a difference that will just be amplified as energy prices soar.
- Posted 12 March 2008 inPublished 12 March 2008 by Fortune Magazine
Scotland wants to become a global force in marine energy - harnessing the restless waves off the Orkney Islands, where the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean meet. The idea is to turn their unique location into a benefit: by 2020, according to some estimates, Scotland could produce as much as 1,300 megawatts, enough to power a city the size of Seattle. The Orkneys are already home to the European Marine Energy Centre, the world's only test facility for tidal and wave energy.
- Posted 10 March 2008 inPublished 1 January 2008 by Land Lines (the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy)
Clearly an across-the-board reduction in CO2 production will require a more carbon-efficient relationship between transportation and land use, and in the industry and infrastructure that support them. If 60 percent of new development were compact as opposed to conventional sprawl, the total aggregate reduction in national CO2 production over trend would be in the order of 10 percent. This change in the trend, in combination with stringent fuel economy standards, would be sufficient to lower aggregate GHG production attributable to cars and trucks to below 1990 levels.
- Posted 7 March 2008 inPublished 5 March 2008 by The Sacramento Bee (Calif.)
Turning a problem into a solution: cities in California are the first in the U.S. to investigate a process of waste management that converts garbage to energy. The goal is to reduce the millions paid annually to haul municipal waste to a dump -- and possibly earn revenue though electric generation.
- Posted 5 March 2008 inPublished 4 March 2008 by The Age (Melbourne, Australia)
Making roads for people, rather than cars? That's the plan in Darebin, Australia. Darebin Council's new transport plan is the first in the Melbourne region to explicitly give priority to trams, pedestrians and cyclists on key roads. Changes in lights, lane arrangements and the like will change the relative attractiveness of the different modes of transport.
- Posted 4 March 2008 inPublished 4 March 2008 by Common Current
A new report by Warren Karlenzig, author of How Green Is Your City?: The SustainLane City Rankings, ranks the largest 50 US cities by their readiness for $4+ a gallon gas and $100+ barrel oil prices. This unique study considers a variety of factors, including city resident public transit use, city carpooling rates, metro public transit ridership, metro area sprawl, telecommuting, biking and walking-to-work rates, and use of heating oil.
- Posted 4 March 2008 inPublished 26 February 2008 by San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
United by the fact that climate change poses a major long-term challenge to delivering high-quality drinking water, eight of the nation’s largest water agencies announced the formation of an unprecedented coalition, the Water Utility Climate Alliance (WUCA). The alliance will work to improve research into the impacts of climate change on water utilities, develop strategies for adapting to climate change and implement tactics to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
- Posted 3 March 2008 inPublished 1 March 2008 by Permaculture Activist
Spend a few minutes surfing most of the peak oil websites, and you will quickly arrive at the grim conclusion that civilization is doomed, or worse—we oil-addicted humans are all going to die of starvation or be killed in the violence of a society in its death throes. Time to close your web browser and open Post Carbon Cities, a reference manual that offers a cautiously optimistic and pragmatic assessment of the looming twin crises of peak oil and climate change.
- Posted 3 March 2008 inPublished 29 February 2008 by Richard Heinberg
Post Carbon Institute Senior Fellow Richard Heinberg, on the psychological aspects of working to counteract the problems caused by peak oil and climate change. His "pep talk" reaches out to those working hard to make sure their families, their communities, and their planet are safe in a situation with many unknowns.
- Posted 29 February 2008 inPublished 1 January 2008 by New Towns
The compact, walkable neighborhood built around public transit rather than the private car has long been one of the ideals of new urbanism. Now significant new research confirms with hard numbers the advantage of transit-oriented development over conventional suburbia. With the United States in the midst of a light-rail building boom, it’s a great time to be finding this out.
- Posted 28 February 2008 inPublished 18 February 2008 by The Guardian (UK)
One hopes that the government department responsible for energy to heat homes, power cars and so on would be on top of two key issues - a switch to a low-carbon economy and the possibility that oil might run out sooner than we thought. But the UK's BERR seems to be dropping that particular ball.
- Posted 27 February 2008 inPublished 21 February 2008 by The Arizona Republic
A solar-thermal power installation planned for southern Arizona will be among the world's largest, representing "a departure from small research projects in favor of full-blown power generation." Solar thermal generation is most appropriate for hot climates and can generate electricity even when the sun is not shining.
- Posted 26 February 2008 inPublished 20 February 2008 by Environment News Service International Dialy Newswire
The state of California is offering a series of workshops for mayors, local planning directors, and county supervisors about what cities and counties can do to reduce the climate impact of their planning decisions. According to the California Attorney General, "these workshops will launch the first statewide movement to reduce the negative impact of local planning decisions on global climate."
- Posted 25 February 2008 inPublished 23 February 2008 by The Times Colonist (Victoria, B.C.)
Amsterdam may soon join the ranks of European cities with low emission zones in their central cities. The measure, which has yet to be approved by the council, would not only ban vehicles older than 15 years, but also includes several other measures to encourage non-automotive transportation.
- Posted 22 February 2008 inPublished by A View from the Peak (blog)
The Oakland, California peak oil task force is the latest to issue a final report. The top recommendations of the Oil Independent Oakland Action Plan include adopting the Oil Depletion Protocol, planning for mixed-use Urban Villages, and developing a public transit master plan. From task force member and peak oil researcher David Room.
- Posted 21 February 2008 inPublished 20 February 2008 by Global Public Media
The world will have to suffer a deep economic downturn before serious attempts are made to kick the oil habit, according to Robin West, chairman of PFC Energy, the Washington-based oil consultancy. Summary of a recent interview with award-winning investigative journalist David Strahan.
- Posted 20 February 2008 inPublished 7 November 2007 by The Daily Nexus (Santa Barbara, Calif.)
The City of Santa Barbara's Energy Ordinance, passed in November 2007, seeks to make the city 40 percent more energy efficient than any other locale in the United States. It makes Santa Barbara the first city in the nation to adopt the Architecture 2030 Challenge, aiming to tighten energy standards by 10 percent every five years and make buildings 20 percent more energy efficient than California state standards.
- Posted 19 February 2008 inPublished 17 February 2008 by The Star Tribune (Minn.)
Stormwater tunnels under Minnesota's Twin Cities, mostly built with unreinforced concrete or masonry, collect storm water from streets and rooftops and take it to the Mississippi River. Increased urban runoff and heavy rains frequently fill some tunnels to capacity, creating pressures they weren't designed to handle. With greater demands expected due to climate-change weather patterns, this aged infrastructure is a looming, though unseen, problem.
- Posted 18 February 2008 inPublished 18 February 2008 by USA Today
Many communities working on climate change focus on cutting emissions and conserving energy, but some planners say that's not enough. 'If we don't take steps to adapt, we're missing half the picture.' Many coastal towns are taking steps toward the necessary adaptations they will have to make to a changing environment.
- Posted 14 February 2008 inPublished 9 February 2008 by The Guardian (UK)
The City of London has made two bold moves in the last week to promote a pleasanter city and more sustainable transport. One piece was a modification of their congestion charge, which increases the charge for less-efficient vehicles to enter the city. The second is a plan for a remarkable network of "cycle superhighways" within the city to make cycling safer and more efficient.
- Posted 13 February 2008 inPublished 17 January 2008 by TIME Magazine
The US's first suburb, Levittown, is launching a program to encourage energy efficiency upgrades in its homes. Volunteers are going door-to-door to publicize house upgrades that could improve the community's carbon footprint by 20%. But "having a green neighborhood and a green home are two different things" --although greening the houses is a step forward, the suburban form creates much greater impacts by requiring car use.
- Posted 12 February 2008 inPublished 23 January 2008 by SouthAfrica.info
South Africa has been experiencing energy crises for the past few weeks due to insufficient generator capacity and other problems. Among the problems in urban Johannesburg is traffic confusion, which causes pollution and economic losses. The national Central Energy Fund has determined that the economic impact merits an immediate investment in retrofitting traffic lights ("robots") in Johannesburg with solar panels.
- Posted 11 February 2008 inPublished 11 February 2008 by Business Week
Brave new cities like Dongtan and Masdar are striving to show the way to a greener urban future. But is the money put into these glitzy new projects well spent? Or could it be put to better use revamping our existing cities? Post Carbon Cities manager Daniel Lerch is quoted in this article.
- Posted 11 February 2008 inPublished 11 January 2008 by Wall Street Journal
Local governments around the globe are coming up with some of the most innovative ways to cut energy use. There are lessons here for places of all sizes, mixing new and old technologies and strategies.