Cities

Slumming it

Urban design lessons from the world's poorest neighborhoods

Pavlina Ilieva and Kuo Pao Lian aren't out to sugarcoat slums. But they suggest that those who live in the most privileged enclaves could learn a lot.

LEED was an offer they couldn't refuse

How Chicago became the city of green shoulders

What started as a simple beautification project -- flower planters, parkways, and whatnot -- eventually led Chicago to take on the larger challenge of green building. A leading architect describes how leadership from the mayor's office, key changes in the city's building permit program, and cooperation from developers made it happen.

How green was my roof

Chicago takes the LEED in eco building

Skyscrapers and other enormous buildings are environmental horror shows. So you might think that Chicago -- birthplace of the skyscraper and home to nine of the world's 100 tallest buildings -- is like a City of the Eco-Damned. Not so. The Windy City has plenty of proof that it's building a foundation on building green.

Take a Michigander

Michigan governor’s race: Snyder vs. Bernero

Michigan Republican Rick Snyder is a high-tech venture capitalist, a one-time Nature Conservancy board member, and a Smart Growth backer who talks about investing in transit and reining in sprawl. And he could well become governor of a state with huge challenges and huge opportunities to reshape its economy. For enviros searching for the elusive "green Republican," he's worth tracking.

'The Suburbs' and bright green urbanism

Friday music blogging: Arcade Fire

You can bet an artist is grappling with questions of place and home and belonging when she belts out a line like, "Sometimes I wonder if the world's so small / that we can never get away from the sprawl ... Dead shopping malls rise like mountains beyond mountains / And there's no end in sight."

Flowing, flowing, flowing into the future

How to restore the Colorado River

Jonathan Waterman, author of Running Dry: A Journey from Source to Sea Down the Colorado River, brought together two experts from either end of the river to talk about what's happened to the Colorado over the years, and how to get more water flowing in the future.

Dyspepsia: the choice of a new generation

How bad are the next few years going to suck?

Really bad. That's how bad they're going to suck.

pay up

PACE homeowners must pay up before refinancing, Fannie and Freddie say

Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac said today that homeowners must pay off PACE assessments before refinancing their mortgages.

color inside the lanes

Guerrilla art takes bike activism to the streets [SLIDESHOW]

In homage to those positive and creative forces pushing non-gas pedals across the nation, we invite you to strap on a helmet and steer yourself through these artistic examples of bike activism taken quite literally to the streets.

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