Cities

Northwest mountain towns become home efficiency lab

The American pet-food industry spends more on research and development each year than the American utility industry does, according to a mind-blowing line in Thomas Friedman’s Hot, Flat, and Crowded. In most competitive industries, companies spend perhaps 8 to 10 …

The secret life of green roofs [SLIDESHOW]

The city of Portland, Ore., is aiming for 49 total acres of eco-roofs in the city by 2013 (the city’s paying up to $5 per square foot to any home or business that builds one). But what about green roofs …

Towns invest in smarter streets … in Mississippi

Two Mississippi towns want better options than auto-only streets, and now they’ve made it official. The towns of Tupelo (pop. 36,223) and Hernando (pop. 6,812) each passed Complete Streets legislation that ensures roads will be built and maintained for walkers, …

St. Louis votes for better transit, despite Tea Party campaign

Here’s some good news: St. Louis citizens want robust mass transit, and they’re willing to pay for it. Despite a Tea Party opposition campaign, St. Louis County voters on Tuesday approved a half-cent sales tax increase to stabilize and eventually …

Imaginary, underwater subway lines are always the most convenient route

Transit Authority FiguresFor publicly transitive folks like myself, why does it seem that the fastest way between two points is an imaginary subway line? And a watery one, to boot! If I were an East Coaster, I’d definitely submerse myself …

Making my neighborhood more walkable, sociable, sustainable, and safe

This weekend, I wrote a somewhat abstract post about how America’s built spaces prevent many Americans from connecting with the supportive social networks essential to health and happiness. Let’s zoom from the lofty down to the concrete. Let’s talk about …

A firestorm of comments over LaHood’s big bike speech

LaHood steps up at the National Bike Summit on March 11.Courtesy BikePortland via FlickrFour weeks ago Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood climbed on a table and declared the reign of the almighty auto was finished. Federal transportation funding would no longer …

The Seattle project

Courtesy Michael @ NW Lens via FlickrOn a wintery, gusty morning last Saturday, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn rode his bicycle down from his north-side home to a downtown architecture and design firm for a rather unmayoral event. Some 60 or …

My family (yours, too) needs rich social spaces–not cars–to be happy

Lisa’s fantastic essay, “Say it loud: I’m childfree and I’m proud,” had 196 comments last time I checked. If you haven’t read it, you really should. I’ll wait here. … It got me thinking. Pardon a weekend ramble. Me and …