Cities

Urbanism

The man who thinks Manhattan isn’t dense enough

New York City may not be the best example of a place that hasn’t lived up to its potential for greater density.Photo: Randy von LiskiCross-posted from the Natural Resources Defense Council. New York County, which comprises all of Manhattan, is …

Cities

Fat city: The way your neighborhood is built could be killing you

Road to ruin.Photo: Alfonso SurrocaCrappy urban development isn’t just ugly and noisy and dirty. It is turning out to be lethal. One Toronto study looked at how the quality of a community’s streets can affect people’s health, factoring into drastically …

Urbanism

Bringing a dead public plaza to life in Dallas

Cross-posted from the Natural Resources Defense Council. Although it sometimes makes “ugliest building in the world” lists, I rather like I.M. Pei’s iconic Dallas City Hall, featuring his trademark architectural triangles. Photo: Chris Zúniga But I’ll grant that it is …

Cities

Minneapolis to open 12 vacant lots to gardening

Minneapolis is opening up 12 vacant lots across the city to groups that will turn them into community gardens, because a lot strewn with tomatoes and strawberries sure beats one strewn with empty McDonald's cups. There's a long tradition of …

Cities

Win-win situation: Using competition to change behavior

Ready, set … change!Photo: Jon MarshallA couple of weeks back, I went to a conference at the Garrison Institute, located in a former monastery in the Hudson River Valley of New York. The presenters included municipal officials from around the …

Biking

Project Aura bike lighting system puts wheel reflectors to shame

Project Aura is the brainchild of two Carnegie Mellon students, who challenged themselves to make a bike lighting system that would make night riding more secure. Currently, most bike lights focus on the front and back of the bike, and …

Cities

Say Earthalujah! Reverend Billy preaches the green gospel

The Reverend wants you to believe the Earth can be saved! Amen.Photo: Brennan CavanaughThe Reverend preaches: “It’s not easy for Americans to slow down their consumption. No, it ain’t! We’ve got to help each other out. Give each other the …

Cities

U.S. infrastructure needs a $2 trillion make-over

Like those bridges and roads and trains tracks you've got there? Want to keep them? That'll be $2 trillion. That's how much the Urban Land Institute estimates the U.S. needs to invest in infrastructure just to keep what's already in …

Coal

Will Rahm Emanuel, Chicago’s new mayor, deal with the city’s coal pollution problem?

Will new Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel get tough on coal?Photo: Daniel X. O’NeillChicago has a major coal problem. The city’s Fisk and Crawford coal-fired power plants, which have been operating for nearly 100 years and were rebuilt more than 40 …