They are redefining green

Cameron Sinclair and Kate Stohr

Art: Nat Damm Cameron Sinclair and Kate Stohr Founders, Architecture for Humanity Sausalito, Calif. Cameron Sinclair and Kate Stohr, both 36, founded Architecture for Humanity in 1999 to promote architectural and design solutions to social and humanitarian crises. Their motto: “Design like you give a damn.” (That’s also the name of their book.) Since its founding, Architecture for Humanity has established a network of more than 40,000 professionals who donate their time and expertise to build everything from much-needed facilities in disaster-stricken spots like Haiti and New Orleans to “Football for Hope” centers across Africa, where the love of sport …

he's redefining green

Sammy Slade

Art: Nat Damm Sammy Slade Member, Board of Aldermen Carrboro, N.C. Sammy Slade, 35, has a vision for Carrboro, N.C., a bustling, densely populated town that borders Chapel Hill. Where other people see a conventional burg with lots of single-family houses and lawns, Slade sees one big community farm for a post-oil era. Bikes, pedestrians, and vegetable carts would take over the roads, and the lawns would give way to densely planted veggie beds and grassy chicken runs. He helped launch Carrboro Community Garden in 2008, which quickly grew into a highly productive public space. Every year, he and his comrades from Carrboro …

One Giant Leap for Greenkind

40 people who are redefining green

Four decades after the first Earth Day, the circle of people working toward a cleaner, greener world has expanded way beyond treehugging hippies, red-paint-throwing protesters, posturing politicos, and card-carrying members of enviro groups. To mark this milestone, we’ve found 40 unexpected people who are altering the green landscape. Nat Damm Erika Allen Projects Manager, Growing Power Chicago, Ill. Erika Allen grew up on a farm in Rockville, Md., working in the fields with her father. “We didn’t have a TV and we relied on a wood stove, but we were known as the ‘food family’ because we had so much …


‘Save transit’ rallies start up around U.S.

Courtesy Atlanta Journal ConstitutionThe rallies that get all the attention these days are about stopping new initiatives, like health-care reform. But here we’ve got rallies about defending part of the shared social fabric. Off-duty public transit workers in Atlanta plastered large red X’s on buses and trains (with permission) to highlight the severe budget shortfall that threatens as much as 30 percent of the city’s transit network. Riders joined them in calling on state legislators to protect the transit network, asking for both short- and long-term relief for the system, which has a $120 million operating deficit. It’s the first …

The uncommon good?

Colorado Springs experiments by slashing public services

Courtesy Jasen Miller via FlickrCivic-minded urbanist types like to experiment with collective projects. Apparently, so do people who don’t like civic projects, taxes, public parks, pools, police officers, or firefighters. Famously anti-tax Colorado Springs launched an astounding experiment this year: More than a third of the streetlights in Colorado Springs will go dark Monday. The police helicopters are for sale on the Internet. The city is dumping firefighting jobs, a vice team, burglary investigators, beat cops — dozens of police and fire positions will go unfilled. The parks department removed trash cans last week, replacing them with signs urging users …

Heads we win, tails we win

Good news for Earth Day: We can reduce climate pollution and boost the economy, all at once

Putting a price on carbon pollution is an important part of tackling climate change. It’s a way of leveling the playing field, removing an unfair advantage that fossil fuels have always had over clean alternatives. However! Pricing carbon is not the only part of tackling climate change. It’s not even necessarily the most important part, particularly in next decade. It’s certainly the least popular part, since, at least in isolation, it raises prices for every voter and slows GDP growth (if only a little). There are other, complementary policies that have the potential to increase economic productivity, offsetting the drag …

Happy effing Earth Week

Deep thoughts from founder Chip Giller

Every year as Earth Day approaches, there’s a moment when we here at Grist stare at each other around a conference table and say, “What the hell are we going to do this time?” I imagine it’s the same way the window dressers at Macy’s feel when the winter holidays are approaching. How do you make an annual event feel fresh, exciting, and fun? One obvious solution, of course, is profanity. Last year, our “Screw Earth Day” campaign was a wildly successful reminder that eco-awareness shouldn’t be limited to one day; this week, we’re launching the similarly sailor-worthy “Earth: FML.” …


Britain’s ‘Coed Darcy’ shows the value of sparkling new towns

Sim Darcy: An illustration of the Welsh urban villageCourtesy The Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment Coed Darcy is an oddly named urban village that’s going to be built from the ground up over the next 20 years in southern Wales. It’ll have an impressive 4,000 compact homes, plus commercial space and 1,300 acres of parks and greenery. It’s also got a high-profile engineer–the Prince of Wales, whose Foundation for the Built Environment is building it on a brownfield formerly occupied by a BP oil refinery. The idea is to unite the best of British village traditions with 21st century …

The New Bottom Line

As the economy begins to rebound, businesses are again focused on commodities that may be in short supply when manufacturing shifts back into high gear. Oil, refined fuels, steel, and electricity are among many things that may be harder to get or just harder to afford. But what about the one commodity that is needed by almost every part of the supply chain, including the workforce – – water? According to the World Health Organization, more than one billion people live without a reliable water supply and at least another billion drink from unsanitary water resources that result in catastrophic …

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