Living

Is that a tram stamp?

Inspired transit: Portland gets around

Photos: flickr users b and Jason McHuff Portland, Oregon, is consistently ranked as one of the country’s most livable cities (and it was a Fast City in 2007). And it continues to show solid growth despite having the second lowest per capita transit spending of the 28 largest U.S. metropolitan areas. A system of trains, streetcars, buses, and aerial trams give the city one of the most diverse transportation portfolios in the world. In this episode of e2, we find out how have city planners integrated transportation planning into their decision-making over the past 40 years? This story provided by …

Feed me, Seymour

Garden Girl TV: Indoor gardening, part one

I’ve taken over a small section of my house, the sun porch, and dedicated it to my indoor garden project for apartment dwellers as well as for the seedling factory for all my outdoor garden beds. This part of my house is south facing and gets pretty good natural light. I wanted to capitalize on the natural light so all the shelves in this area are up off the floor about fourteen inches so that as many shelves as possible can get the direct sunlight.  I measure the room and the space and then I draw out my ideas. By …

The new, new urbanism

Cleveland, worker-owned co-ops, and new ideas for a flailing economy

Is the way forward for our ailing economy to be found along the banks of Lake Erie? Despite talk of a recovery, the national economy remains in shambles. In Sunday’s New York Times, reporter Peter Goodman brought devastating news: Economists fear that the nascent recovery will leave more people behind than in past recessions, failing to create jobs in sufficient numbers to absorb the record-setting ranks of the long-term unemployed. Call them the new poor: people long accustomed to the comforts of middle-class life who are now relying on public assistance for the first time in their lives–potentially for years …

Stream of conciousness

Seoul reengineers a freeway into a stream [VIDEO]

Photo: Fast Company Most metropolis’ are so busy building the future that they don’t have time to re-think the past. Not so with Seoul, South Korea. In 2003, the city demolished a downtown freeway to restore an ancient stream that once flowed beneath the thoroughfare. More than 75 percent of the scrap material from the demolition was re-used to reconstruct and rehabilitate the stream banks and create a commercial corridor. In this episode of e2, we’ll see how the Cheonggyecheon is now a thriving tourist destination, proving that going backward can sometimes lead to an even bigger step forward.   …

But I'm a fun guy

Ask Umbra on organic mushrooms, dog toys, and revisiting cloth napkins

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, I’m a big fan of organic produce (especially when the local version isn’t at hand or I’m eating it raw), and I’m also one of those folks who is obsessed with mushrooms. When I come across organic mushrooms, though, my curiosity is piqued: What don’t I know about the conventional mushroom market that warrants an organic alternative? Are these underground crops doused with pesticides, too? I’d love for you to shed some light on my fungal-farming ignorance. MarkTryon, N.C. A. Dearest Mark, Did you hear the one about the mushroom that asked …

An unwelcome status update

Does Facebook deserve the hell it’s catching from Greenpeace?

Social networking giant Facebook has been taking heat from enviros recently for its decision to site a massive new data center in Prineville, Ore. The issue? Pacific Power, the utility that serves Prineville, gets most of its power from coal, the enemy of the human race. Greenpeace International has started a Facebook group opposing the move. Facebook, clearly feeling some heat, responded to the controversy over the weekend. Its new data center will involve all sorts of efficiency efforts, but the company’s main argument is that the dry, temperate climate in Oregon will allow it to forego any mechanical chillers …

Smellin' mighty fined

AXE bodyspray pays for stinking up the atmosphere

The AXE effect? Air pollution! Photo: Unlisted Sightings via Flickr Calling all smelly guys who AXE too much: We’re scenting you an order to cease and desist your deodorizing. California says your BO paranoia is stinking up the aerosols. Wouldn’t want to get a whiff of the $1.3 million in fines just to smell like a million dollars, now would eau?

Abandonment issue solved

Amusement park grows amid rail line ruins

Photo: TreeHuggerIt’s one of Lima’s most unusual spaces: a set of structures that were going to be the railways of an electric train. In 1986, the project was dropped and the construction was left as-it-was. For years, these concrete columns and pass ways ‘adorned’ Lima’s landscape with no purpose, until this February. Spanish group Basurama, known for projects like the ‘You are what you drop‘ installation, thought this was an amazing place to make an urban intervention and came up with an amusement park. The Ghost Train park features amazing bright colors and games made with recycled materials such as …

Give 'em a heart time about it

How (not) to work out climate vs. weather at the office

Eat their heart out, Al Gore! Even if your climate change-doubting colleague doesn’t snow the difference between weather and climate, you can patiently teach him the truth without being such a beef jerky. But if that doesn’t work, urine trouble!

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