Cities

Local power: tapping distributed energy in 21st-century cities

Hammarby Sjostad “eco-cycle”Source: HammarbySjostad.de Residents of Hammarby Sjöstad, a district on the south side of Stockholm, Sweden, don’t let their waste go to waste. Every building in the district boasts an array of pneumatic tubes, like larger versions of the …

Breaking Through Concrete: Stories from the American urban farm

A return to the land, and fresh food, in the backyards of the Delta

January 2011 update: Many of the photos have been removed from this series so they can be published in a Breaking Through Concrete book, forthcoming this year from UC Press. We drive south down Route 61 (aka The Blues Highway) …

Follow a drop of water

How we poisoned the Passaic

In June 1983, Newark’s close knit Ironbound community was overrun by investigators in Hazmat suits after EPA officials found dioxin at the Diamond Alkali chemical plant site.Photo: wirednewyork.comOn the morning of June 2, 1983, the governor of New Jersey declared …

Why urban businesses have better advertising

It’s no secret that there are lots of chain businesses in sprawling areas and relatively more independent businesses in urban cores. The blog Discover Urbanism has a fascinating explanation of how the built environment determines the kinds of businesses — …

Can we just drive less after the Gulf spill? If only it were so easy …

Photo: Stephan Geyer via FlickrNPR reporter Brian Mann went talking to gas-station customers in upstate New York to find out what they’re thinking about the Gulf of Mexico oil leak and their own responsibility as gas-buyers. He gets some interesting …

The love child of a tractor and a bicycle

Some people really put the “alternative” in alternative transportation. Just meet the Monsterbike. After a few weeks with it, and you’ll have Monsterquadriceps. Via thecityfix.com.

New Urbanist progress in Atlanta

Sick of those bloggers going on about sustainable urbanism and walkable neighborhoods? You might like the film version: the new American Makeover project has a short video about the Glenwood Park, a New Urbanist project in the sprawl epicenter of …

Tailpipe fumes are five times worse for bikers than for drivers, study finds

Well this is a bummer: A Belgian study finds that bicyclists on urban streets inhale tens of millions of toxic nanoparticles with each breath, taking in five times as much as drivers and pedestrians on the same streets. The U.K. …

VIDEO: Is Gulf seafood safe to eat after oil spill?

New Orleans is world-famous for its seafood, but the Gulf Coast oil spill has left the future of the industry and those who rely on it for their livelihoods in jeopardy as fishing grounds close and diners fear for the …