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thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
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Chicago's New High Tech Lamp Posts Will Track People & Pollution

Chicago's New High Tech Lamp Posts Will Track People & Pollution | green streets | Scoop.it

Starting this summer, the city is installing a network of high tech lamp posts that will keep track of all kinds of information about the environment and people passing by through sensors. The data collected by Web-connected sensors will be used to help urban planners make the city safer and make traffic flow better. All of this while also tracking environmental factors like air quality.

More information at the article.

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Norm Miller's curator insight, July 9, 12:09 PM

great use of technology

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Eco-Friendly Architectural Projects Raising Awareness of Earth's Biomes

Eco-Friendly Architectural Projects Raising Awareness of Earth's Biomes | green streets | Scoop.it
The largest natural biome in the world is the maroon colored Taiga, a Russian word for forest, covering large parts of Canada, Europe and Asia with coniferous forests.

The term “Boreal” forest refers to the southern part of this biome and has heavier tree cover while the Taiga refers to the northern portion which is a mostly barren area that borders the Arctic treeline. In order to understand how biomes work, scientists and researchers have created projects like Biosphere and Eden.

The design refers to the integration of architectural structures into natural ecosystems, emphasizing a symbiotic relationship between buildings, landscapes, people and nature.

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Smart Cities: Technology, Sustainability & Innovation for a Better World

Smart Cities: Technology, Sustainability & Innovation for a Better World | green streets | Scoop.it

They only occupy two per cent of the Earth’s land mass, but cities today use a huge amount of the planet’s natural capital, consuming 75 % of global resources and generating 80 % of global greenhouse gas emissions.

As the world population grows to 9 billion by 2050, the number of those living in urban areas will swell by 3 billion to 6.3 billion. With demand for energy and resources set to spike on the back of urban population growth, smart cities have emerged as the modern answer to the wave of urbanisation sweeping across the globe.


What defines a smart city?

Put simply, smart cities integrate diverse technologies to reduce its environmental impactUsing a more formal definition from a recent report by the United Cities and Local Governments, smart cities use new technologies, innovation and knowledge management to become more liveable, functional, competitive and modern, bringing together six key fields of performance: the economy, mobility, the environment, citizenship, quality of life and management.


More details at the link...

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9 Essential Green Elements for the Development of Sustainable Cities

9 Essential Green Elements for the Development of Sustainable Cities | green streets | Scoop.it

Many cities are coming to the realization that creating a smart and sustainable city means ultimately attaining a high level of economic efficiency, a high quality of life, a highly desirable place in which to live and do business, and a meaningful commitment to environmental responsibility.

But what really makes for a green or sustainable city?  And how can sometimes highly diverse urban areas attain it?


LEED buildings and even LEED neighborhoods are surely a good thing, but they are not a sufficient thing to declare a municipality sustainable.  This is an overview of the essential elements (there are many more, but these are the most basic):

  • Committing to green
  • Building green
  • Buying green
  • Powering green
  • Conserving nearby (and creating internal) green landscapes
  • Protecting green:  both water quality and water quantity
  • Locating green:  creating a compact, walkable, interconnected, mixed-use community
  • Moving green:  diversifying transportation and increasing accessibility
  • (Not) wasting green:  getting to zero on the production of waste


Read the complete article for more on the green elements listed above...

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Noor Fatima's curator insight, April 12, 2013 1:05 PM

Exactly :)

Daniel LaLiberte's curator insight, April 12, 2013 7:12 PM

100% Green is not fooling around.

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The Costs of Population Growth

The Costs of Population Growth | green streets | Scoop.it

The United States population is expected to pass 400 million by 2051.


That’s 85 million more people who will need good jobs, sufficient space, clean water and energy.


We will need to make adjustments in order to have a healthy economy in the coming years. So what would happen if the world population – including in the United States – just kept growing? It’s simply not sustainable. The costs to both people and our planet would far outweigh the benefits.

Read the complete article for the relevant facts on the potential impacts of population growth on environmental and social issues...

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Building Sustainable Cities in a Warmer, More Crowded World

Building Sustainable Cities in a Warmer, More Crowded World | green streets | Scoop.it

The future is urban... but is it sustainable?

For decades, warnings have been issued: the burgeoning human population will outgrow the planet’s capacity to sustain us. The formula seems simple. More people equals fewer resources and greater environmental damage.


But today, we have a more nuanced understanding of the population-environment connection. We know that the relationship between human beings and the environment is complex, mediated by systems of production and consumption. And we know that population growth is not the only demographic change that matters: age structure and population distribution also shape environmental impact.

In other words, the planet’s “carrying capacity” is not just about human numbers, but about how people live, and where...

Lauren Moss's insight:

An interesting analysis looking at the links between economic development, density and urban growth, as they pertain to sustainability and the future of our cities...

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A Man-Made, Net-Zero Energy Island Off the Coast of Istanbul

A Man-Made, Net-Zero Energy Island Off the Coast of Istanbul | green streets | Scoop.it
A proposal imagines 300,000 housing units built into six hyper-energy efficient domes.

This year Istanbul Design Week goes back to the future with a very ambitious project: HavvAda, a cutting-edge net-positive-energy residential island conceptualized by New York-based Studio Dror.

HavvAda, will be built off the shore of Istanbul using excavated soil from a new massive canal planned between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara.


For the design, Dror has drawn on spatial geometry, as well as Buckminster Fuller’s legacy in structural engineering and Ebenezer Howard’s Garden City. Six months of intensive dialog with a team of experts have allowed Dror to realize an ambitious concept that offers a high quality of life and helps the environment.

The island is envisioned as a landscape of six residential hills, surrounding a circular valley dedicated to parks and recreation, supported by a mega-dome structure, allowing for a “three-dimensional grid” that aims to maximize energy and structural efficiency.


Read the complete post to learn more about the process and design of the integrated renewable energy system, water recycling, as well as efficient heating and cooling (which allow the community to produce more energy than it consumes).

Also, read further to find additional images and diagrams of how these systems and concepts function in the context of this innovative and ambitious project.

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Photo Tour: What Will It Take To Make Our Cities 100% Green?

Photo Tour: What Will It Take To Make Our Cities 100% Green? | green streets | Scoop.it

The last fifty years have witnessed a steep worldwide increase in percentages of population living in cities. Home to over half of the world’s population on only two percent of the earth, cities consume over two-thirds of the world’s energy and account for more than 70 percent of global CO2 emissions.

A recent UN report warns that urban areas are set to become the battleground in the effort to curb climate change. Cities and human settlements, if done right, are the places that offer the greatest opportunities not only in reducing greenhouse gases but in creating the kind of infrastructures that enable large numbers of people to live in balance with the earth's ecosystem...

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How Green Is High-Speed Rail?

How Green Is High-Speed Rail? | green streets | Scoop.it
Experts say America's bullet trains will need to carry 10 million passengers to offset the environmental impact of construction...

There's a lot of talk right now about the capital costs of high-speed rail - the planned Los Angeles-San Francisco line, which would be the model for America, may eventually cost some $98 billion (or about $75 billion in 2010 money) - but for the most part its environmental benefits are taken for granted. Rail transport tends to be greener than car and air travel, so it stands to reason that as high-speed rail attracts people off the roads and runways, net carbon emissions will fall.

Often that comparison overlooks one critical detail: the environmental damage caused by building high-speed rail lines in the first place. Unless high-speed rail travel reduces emissions by more than what it generates during construction, the project may not be worthwhile from an environmental perspective. Indeed, some researchers have their doubts. A recent British study suggests that high-speed construction emissions may be significant enough to call entire projects into question...

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Mapping the trees of New York, one by one

Mapping the trees of New York, one by one | green streets | Scoop.it
A project to map the location and condition of each tree in NYC opens up doors for citizen stewardship, inviting New Yorkers to be unlikely forest workers.
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Preserving the Environment with Cities, Not In Spite of Them

Preserving the Environment with Cities, Not In Spite of Them | green streets | Scoop.it
The best way to save wilderness is through strong, compact, beautiful communities (RT @upittpress @Richard_Florida Preserving the Environment with Cities, Not In Spite of Them - @Kaid_at_NRDC - http://t.co/6Hzr9gW5...)...

Via Ana Valdés
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Seeing cities as the environmental solution, not the problem

Seeing cities as the environmental solution, not the problem | green streets | Scoop.it
The best way to save wilderness is through strong, compact, beautiful communities that are more, not less, urban and do not encroach on places of significant natural value.
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AOR's floating platform, Viewpoint, offers glimpses of London canal-side wildlife

AOR's floating platform, Viewpoint, offers glimpses of London canal-side wildlife | green streets | Scoop.it

Finnish studio AOR has installed an angular canal-side platform in King's Cross, London, where visitors can make contact with some of the local wildlife.

Named Viewpoint, the floating structure sits over the Regent's Canal on the edge of the Camley Street nature reserve. It provides a habitat for birds and bats, as well as an outdoor classroom where people can learn about the surrounding flora and fauna.

"We hope that Viewpoint will have resonance beyond its modest footprint and allow the many visitors to Camley Street Natural Park to discover this natural environment - a rarity in a metropolitan city such as London," added the architects.

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Protecting Ecosystems + Providing for A New Urban Community: Qunli Stormwater Wetland Park

Protecting Ecosystems + Providing for A New Urban Community: Qunli Stormwater Wetland Park | green streets | Scoop.it

From the architect. Turenscape was commissioned to design a wetland park of 34.2 hectares in the middle of a new town, which is listed as a protected regional wetland. The site is surrounded on four sides by roads and dense development. As such, water sources into this former wetland were being cut, and the wetland was under the threat. Turenscape’s strategy was to transform the dying wetland into a ‘green sponge’ – an urban stormwater park, which will not only rescue the disappearing wetland, but will also provide multiple ecosystems services for the new urban community.


The challenges are obvious: How can a disappearing wetland be preserved when its ecological and biological processes have been cut off by the urban context? How can such a wetland ecosystem be designed to provide multiple ecosystems for the city? And what is the economic way to deal with such a landscape? The solution was to transform the wetland into a multi-functional stormwater park that will collect, filtrate, store stormwater and infiltrate to the aquifer, whilst being productive and life supporting, providing new recreational and aesthetic experiences for the city.

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Cities Threatened By Climate Change

Cities Threatened By Climate Change | green streets | Scoop.it
It's not just flooding: Plenty of other issues—such as rising sea levels and drought—present pressing problems for these urban areas.

Climate change is one of the most serious issues facing the world's cities in the 21st century, but so far policymakers, planners, and scientists have come up with few solutions to prevent—or mitigate—its calamitous effects.

While flooding disasters like Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy have brought attention to the dangers posed by stronger storms, there are plenty of other threats—such as rising sea levels—that might be even more pressing. Wildfires and drought have already heavily damaged the American Southwest, while flooding threatens low-lying island nations.

Visit the link to find which cities that will soon be in danger.

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Anhony DeSimone's curator insight, December 19, 2013 8:56 AM

This article explains the effects of the climate change has on the city. This shows us that the climate controls the physical setting of a city and if any changes are made in the climate that means that the city will also change with it. In some cases this can dangerous and cause harm to a cities landmark or physical geography. Some issues that are concerning about this is flooding's, hurricane's, and other strong storms.

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The Urban Environment: 8 Qualities of Pedestrian and Transit-Oriented Design

The Urban Environment: 8 Qualities of Pedestrian and Transit-Oriented Design | green streets | Scoop.it

Since 2000, a number of tools for measuring the quality of the walking environment have emerged. These tools are now used by researchers, local governments, and community groups to measure physical features related to walkability, such as building setback, block length, and street and sidewalk width.


Yet individual physical features may not tell us much about the experience of walking down a particular street. Specifically, they may not capture people’s overall perceptions of the street environment, perceptions that may have complex or subtle relationships to physical features. The urban design literature points to numerous perceptual qualities that may affect the walking experience. Other fields also contribute, including architecture, landscape architecture, park planning, environmental psychology, and the growing visual preference and visual assessment literature.


Visit the link for more information and the complete article explaining the 8 urban design qualities that enable more effective urban design planning solutions for creating quality pedestrian environments...

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Anji Connell's curator insight, April 10, 2013 10:40 PM

Fascinating........"Imageability is related to “sense of place.” Gorden Cullen (1961, p. 152) elaborates on the concept of sense of place, asserting that a characteristic visual theme will contribute to a cohesive sense of place and will inspire people to enter and rest in the space. Jan Gehl (1987, p. 183) explains this phenomenon using the example of famous Italian city squares, where “life in the space, the climate, and the architectural quality support and complement each other to create an unforgettable total impression.” When all factors manage to work together to such pleasing ends, a feeling of physical and psychological well-being results: the feeling that a space is a thoroughly pleasant place in which to be."

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10 Most Impressive Smart Cities On Earth

10 Most Impressive Smart Cities On Earth | green streets | Scoop.it

It wasn’t too long ago that the term ‘Smart City’ was not on very many people’s radar screens, but recently, it has been more familiar, and people are understanding the concepts behind smart cities.


A smart city uses information combined with technology to improve quality of life, reduce environmental impact, and decrease energy demand. This list of the smartest cities on the planet takes those factors into consideration, as well as the ‘smart’ plans the city might have for the future...

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ComplexInsight's curator insight, February 12, 2013 12:26 PM

Great find from Peter Jasperse's blog and an inspirational read for those interested in building a smarter cities and environments since these cities have already started along the journey.

Jed Fisher's comment, February 16, 2013 4:54 AM
fantastic!
Jed Fisher's comment, February 16, 2013 4:54 AM
fantastic!
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Connecting the Physical & Digital Worlds: Smarter Systems for Smart Cities

Connecting the Physical & Digital Worlds: Smarter Systems for Smart Cities | green streets | Scoop.it
Technology is being used in ways you would never expect to help solve fundamental problems, from managing a football stadium on game day, to helping manage transportation systems and emergency operations.

As organizations and large facilities like stadiums, museums, schools and government buildings continue to grow and provide more people with faster, better, innovative services, we need to make them more efficient--not by cutting back services, but by getting insight and intelligence on how our physical world functions.
From roads to vehicles to buildings to HVAC systems and lights, thousands of objects not only need to be managed, but how they interact and affect each other must be optimized. By addressing and answering these fundamental questions, we can get real insight to drive better decision making and efficiency.

If we analyze this data, we can find inefficiencies or make connections we never would have imagined. By connecting the physical and digital worlds, these massive organizations that are part of our daily lives can deliver more efficient services to us all...
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The Connected City

The Connected City | green streets | Scoop.it

Cities and their influence on citizens’ behavior, community, and culture is top of mind for more than the usual suspects: urban planners and city hall officials.

Right now designers, technologists, hacktivists, and journalists are all exploring how the urban environment is going to change in coming years, as the megapolis becomes more of a reality. As Design Mind's Creative Director Scott Nazarian, states in his article in the upcoming print issue, “Cities challenge us to manage their many networks, all of which must be managed or facilitated by both people and automated systems.”

So, who are the people and organizations rethinking our cities? Mathieu Lefevre is the Executive Director of the New Cities Foundation, a new global platform for innovation and exchange on the future of urbanization. I discussed the future of the connected city with him, the places that are getting urbanization right, and technology’s role in these transformations...

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To stay relevant, conservationists embrace cities

To stay relevant, conservationists embrace cities | green streets | Scoop.it

Environmentalists have not always embraced cities as sustainable enclaves.

It’s easy to see why. An idyllic natural setting isn’t exactly the first thing you think of when you walk through a city. And to build modern day Manhattan, for example, a forest was essentially clear-cut.

But environmentalists are beginning to warm to the idea of the city. The notion that many people can live more efficiently on a relatively small tract of land is appealing. But even if environmentalists are hesitant to declare cities as bastions of sustainability, our world is rapidly urbanizing with or without their support...

So to stay relevant to the realities of most people in the world, the Nature Conservancy, one of the largest conservation organizations in the world, is shifting from looking just at preserving large swaths of open space — the idyllic forms of nature — to also focusing more on natural habitats in cities.

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Building More Roads Does Not Ease Congestion

Building More Roads Does Not Ease Congestion | green streets | Scoop.it

Congestion is not an easy beast to tame for cities around the world. Building more roads and increasing the capacity of public transport does little to improve congestion, according to new research conducted in American cities and published by economists at the University of Toronto. The authors expand upon the classic “law of peak-hour traffic congestion,” published by Anthony Downs in 1962, which states that “on urban commuter expressways, peak-hour traffic congestion rises to meet maximum capacity.” Researchers believe that the law can be applied to all major urban roads, not just expressways.

The main issue is the intense demand for space on roads. When a new space is opened, either by building new roads or incentivizing drivers to switch to public transport, the road space vacated is soon occupied by more cars. The provision of more road space does nothing to diminish the underlying demand causing the congestion.

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How Brownfield Redevelopment Reduces Pollution

How Brownfield Redevelopment Reduces Pollution | green streets | Scoop.it

The federal Environmental Protection Agency has released a comprehensive research report demonstrating that redevelopment of contaminated industrial sites in inner cities brings substantial environmental benefits. The agency studied 163 brownfield sites in five cities, comparing their impacts with those of sites where development was likely to go had the brownfields not been available.

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Green agenda: Ecocity Summit, Good Design Expo - The Independent

Green agenda: Ecocity Summit, Good Design Expo - The Independent | green streets | Scoop.it
Green agenda: Ecocity Summit, Good Design ExpoThe IndependentThe Ecocity World Summit addresses environmental issues on a large scale, bringing together experts and policy makers from around the world to discuss the future of sustainable urban...
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Placemaking as a New Environmentalism

Placemaking as a New Environmentalism | green streets | Scoop.it
Reinvigorating the Environmental Movement in the 21st Century: Project for Public Spaces - Placemaking for Communities
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