The US Energy Information Administration estimates that clothes dryers account for 6% of household energy use - third behind refrigerators and lighting. There's an easy and almost free way to avoid using that energy - but many people are finding legal restrictions on their use. Ontario is among a number of places that is considering striking down the clothesline bans that have been common in North America and parts of Europe, arguing that they are environmentally irresponsible. Laws seeking to overturn clothesline bans are now pending in Connecticut, Vermont and Colorado.
In June, 2008, a 5-day national training session will take place at Tufts University to increase citizen and planner leadership capacity in communities and their local governments to initiate and lead a change process to become a sustainable community. This sustainable communities approach has a substantial track record of successful implementation – possibly the most extensive in the world - in over 100 municipalities in Sweden, U.S., and around the world. The objective of the training is to prepare potential local leaders – including citizens, local officials, planners, or municipal staff – to be able to lead a process involving sustainability education, communication, and a strategic implementation process.
"Green" construction could cut North America's climate-warming emissions faster and more cheaply than any other measure, environmental experts from Canada, Mexico and the United States reported on Thursday. North American buildings account for about 35% of the continent's total carbon dioxide emissions.
Green roofs can significantly cut energy costs in buildings, reduce the urban heat island effect, cut down on stormwater problems, and as a bonus, make buildings more attractive and provide habitat. This conference is the place to learn more about them from all angles - from policy to installation and maintenance. Organized by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities and the City of Baltimore.
A report by Edward J. Blakely for the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Urban Planning for Climate Change provides advice on planning for cities' uncertain futures as they are shaped by global climate change. His first-hand experience as the Executive Director of Recovery Management provides illuminating examples of the kinds of issues that today's cities face.
The Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) is the leading organization promoting walkable, neighborhood-based development as an alternative to sprawl. CNUXVI will be taking place in Austin, Texas. How do we make New Urbanism flourish in the suburbs and boomtowns of high-growth America? Join new urbanist practitioners for four days of speakers workshops, tours, and other events addressing the theme of bringing New Urbanist principles to bear on burgeoning metropolises.
Even if we stop all emissions today we will still impact climate in the 22nd century - what communities can do now to adapt to the changes they will see in their climate. The international organization ICLEI can help communities choose their paths, as it did in Keene, NH, where several concrete goals were set to help the community protect itself from future uncertainties.
City and county governments have the ability and opportunity to help California achieve its emissions reduction goals because they are the agencies responsible for creating local community land planning policy. Many cities and counties in Northern California have already done so with impressive results, and even more are following their lead.
Alex Steffen of WorldChanging on why developing low-emissions vehicles is nowhere near as important as developing more compact, efficient and livable cities. Focus on new automotive technologies can distract us from the much more effective strategy of building in less-consumptive ways.