Infrastructure

Cities

Why buildings haven’t gotten more efficient in 20 years

Everything single part of a building has become significantly more energy efficient over the past 20 years, yet buildings are using the same amount of energy they always have. Why?

Politics

Boehner’s last stand: House leader wants to kill transit funding

Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives announced plans to eviscerate funding for buses, trains, and other mass transit. This time, they may have gone too far.

Cities

Austin gets a super swank zero-energy suburb

How do you build a (nearly) net-zero-energy suburb in 2008, at the nadir of the economic crash, when no bank in the country is convinced you’ll be able to sell your more energy-efficient but pricier homes?

Transportation

A bill of goods: With their latest transportation bill, GOP sides with the suburbs

House Republicans rolled out a proposal for a new transportation bill on Tuesday, and if you believe what they say, the future looks a whole lot like the past. But bike boosters, pedestrian advocates, and environmentalists won’t go backwards without a fight.

Cities

Maine to create car-free town with ‘really narrow streets’

Residents of the yet-to-be-built town of Piscataquis Village, Maine will keep cars from overrunning their town by making their streets too narrow to shove any but the cutest vehicles down them, reports Market Urbanism.

Biking

Virtuous cycle: 10 lessons from the world’s great biking cities

A six-month tour of the best cycling cities on the planet turns up some handy tips for U.S. bergs. Among them: Build bike infrastructure and they will come riding -- and if they ride, they’ll push for more bike infrastructure.

Cities

New York City could open up 1,200 acres of rooftops for farming

Given how valuable space is in New York City, the city's rooftops are strangely empty. But a proposal from the city's planning department could change that by making 1,200 acres of commercial rooftops available for urban farmers to open greenhouses across the city.

Cities

This old house: Why fixing up old homes is greener than building new ones

A new study finds that retrofitting old buildings is almost always more eco-friendly than building new ones, and provides the most immediate bang for the buck in the fight against climate change. The implication: Save old cities and we might spare the planet as well.

Green Cars

Almost all U.S. car use is within an electric car’s range

Because it takes longer to fill up an electric vehicle than to fill a gas tank, and because EV infrastructure is still limited, the most common criticism of EVs goes something like “OMG RANGE ANXIETY.” And, sure, no one wants to get stuck in their big metal bucket on the side of a highway until a tow truck can haul your ride to the nearest charger. But two Columbia Ph.D. students have parsed real actual data (from the National Household Travel Survey) to show that, in the daily lives of most people, range anxiety just shouldn’t be a thing.

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