Skip to content Skip to site navigation

Cities

Comments

The Wrong Side of the BedZed

Problems in one green community won't keep U.K. from building more Four years ago, a housing complex called BedZed opened in south London with the ambitious goal of running entirely on renewable energy. Well, things haven't gone quite as planned. BedZed's biomass-fueled electric system was unreliable, forcing it to go on the national energy grid. Its natural sewage-recycling system, out of commission for seven months, has not been replaced because of expense. But even so, residents are living the good green life: well-insulated buildings, solar panels, and a wind-driven ventilation system lower electricity usage, and community gardens and a car-sharing …

Read more: Cities

Comments

Cars pollute the dictionary too

I don't want to rock your world too severely, but it's come to my attention that cars cause problems. If you're not the U.S. government, you may have heard about this global-warming thing, caused in part by driving. There's also a metric truckload of other health and environmental nightmares caused by monoxides, dioxides, hydrocarbons, and other yummy emissions. Meanwhile, our car-propelled reliance on fossil fuels keeps us hooked on Mideast oil like some kind of red, white, and blue crack-smoking eagle. On top of all that, finding a parking space is a mother. But there's a lesser-known victim of car …

Read more: Cities

Comments

Move Thyself: A tribute to fallen cyclists, and cycling away the gas-price blues

Tonight in some 200 U.S. cities (and six other countries), cyclists will be joining in the Ride of Silence to pay tribute to bicyclists who've been killed or injured on public roadways. And there are a lot. From the Seattle Times article: In 2004, in Seattle there were 258 bicycle collisions with cars -- resulting in 224 injuries and one death, according to the city's Department of Transportation. Um, make that 260, and 225 injuries. My two collisions that year went unreported. (Stupid minivans!) And from the Oregonian: The most recent Oregon Department of Transportation statistics show 14 bicyclists died …

Read more: Cities

Comments

Countries May Have Shifted During Flight

China builds new airports; still not as pollutey as U.S. China plans to build 48 new airports in the next five years, spending $17.5 billion on construction and continuing expansion of existing hubs. The country is already the premier buyer of Boeing and Airbus planes, and has vowed to buy 100 planes every year until 2010. (For perspective: China's new hubs will bring its total to 190 airports, serving a population of 1.3 billion people -- a far cry from the U.S., where more than 10,000 airports serve less than a quarter that many people.) Expansion of the energy-sucking, pollution-spewing, …

Read more: Cities, Climate & Energy

Comments

Read and Green and Urban All Over

Plans for an eco-city in China inspire a green neighborhood in London The world's largest eco-city is soon to be built in China, on an island at the mouth of the Yangtze River near Shanghai. Dongtan, being developed by London's Arup Urban Design, will consist of village-style neighborhoods and will emphasize pedestrian-friendliness, renewable-energy generation, and self-sufficiency in water and food. The city aims to generate zero carbon emissions and will have no landfill. It should be able to support a population of 80,000 by 2020, which may be not a moment too soon, as an estimated 300 million people will …

Read more: Cities, Living

Comments

Sue and Improved

States to sue Bush admin over weak fuel-economy standards for SUVs Stop us if this sounds familiar: A group of states plans to sue the feds over lax environmental regulations. At this point, the feds have more suits than Armani! Their federalism federalisn't! Take my states ... please! (Hey, we have to liven these stories up somehow.) The latest suit -- to be filed this week by 10 states and two cities -- is over the Bush administration's recently released changes to fuel-economy standards for SUVs and light trucks. The plaintiffs, led by California Attorney General Bill Lockyer, hope to …

Read more: Cities, Politics

Comments

Who’s on the Right Side of the Road Now?

Brits change habits to save gasoline; Americans don't Starting in 2008, new drivers in Britain will be tested not only on the anxiety-producing three-point turn, but also on their ability to drive in a manner that conserves gasoline. The country hopes to produce a new generation of eco-aware motorists who accelerate and brake smoothly and change gears early to save fuel. Other countries have instituted similar initiatives, like the Netherlands, which estimates that savvy drivers can cut fuel use by nearly a third. It's almost like they take their effect on the environment seriously. Meanwhile, in the U.S., whining about …

Read more: Cities

Comments

Have You Hugged Your Tree Today?

On Arbor Day, appreciate the trees Urban forest cover in many U.S. cities has declined about 30 percent over the past 10 to 15 years, according to the green group American Forests, and that's just not cool. Literally: loss of trees means loss of shade, more AC, and higher energy costs. On Arbor Day (you remember that today's Arbor Day, right?), it's worth remembering the many benefits trees provide. Urban trees reduce pollution and prevent storm water runoff. They boost surrounding property values by up to 25 percent. One study showed that hospital patients who can see trees from their …

Read more: Cities

Comments

Ford Too Shall TerraPass

Ford teams up with TerraPass to help drivers offset emissions Like the man said, the times they are a-changin'. Slowly, but a-changin' nonetheless. Ford Motor Co., manufacturer of all things carbon-emitting, is partnering with TerraPass, a carbon-offset company. Tomorrow, Ford is expected to announce a new "Greener Miles" program, whereby customers can visit a website to calculate the amount of carbon dioxide they produce in a year of driving, then invest money -- from $29.95 to $79.95, dependent on vehicle, miles traveled, etc. -- in clean-energy projects to offset their impact. Greener Miles contributors get a sticker to show off …

Read more: Cities

Comments

How Wendy Brawer put green on the map

Don't let Wendy Brawer's urban address fool you -- this New Yorker has a soft spot for nature. After all, she's the founder of Modern World Design, an eco-design firm, and has spent the last 11 years at the helm of the Green Map System, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping citizens all over the world document and map their local environmental resources. Wendy Brawer with two Green Map System staffers. Photo: Paper Sky. It all started with a map of New York City. With U.N. delegates swarming in for several weeks of preparation for the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, …

Read more: Cities