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green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
Curated by Lauren Moss
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This Lush Floating Billboard Cleans the Water Below

This Lush Floating Billboard Cleans the Water Below | green streets |

Advertising that also serves the greater good? Now that’s something different. This floating billboard is covered in Vetiver; a perennial, non-invasive grass which has found popular used treating wastewater; even when it’s high in nitrates, phosphates and heavy metals. In this case it’s been used to spell CLEAN RIVER SOON, a hopeful message along the highly polluted Pasig River in the Philippines. It’s creators say systems like this have been shown to clean between 2 and 8 thousand gallons of water per day, and simultaniously, it creates a much more inviting place to stroll.

ParadigmGallery's curator insight, June 6, 12:08 PM

Vetiver...a great scent and more? Great story!

Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, June 11, 7:04 PM

Option topic: inland water . Management to improve water quality

Clara Bonnes's curator insight, June 12, 7:36 AM

Love it!

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Which Cities Are the Greenest?

Which Cities Are the Greenest? | green streets |

Was your city ranked as one of the greenest in the United States and Canada?

Around the world, cities are embracing this challenge with strategies from implementing bike shares and aiming for zero waste to creating buildings that generate their own energy. Last year, the international group C40 Cities, a network of the world’s largest cities working to address climate change, partnered with Siemens for the first city climate leadership awards, which recognized 10 cities for green achievement in 10 different categories.

The leadership awards are open to the C40 cities and the cities mentioned in Siemens Green City Index, which ranks cities globally on their efforts to go green and identifies challenges particular to different areas of the world.

More information and details at the link.

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Present Architecture Proposes a 'Green Loop' Network to Cllean up Waste Processing

Present Architecture Proposes a 'Green Loop' Network to Cllean up Waste Processing | green streets |

Large cities produce large amounts of trash and create a lot more to transport it to landfills. Looking at New York City as the site, local practice Present Architecture posits the ‘Green Loop’ as a solution to large scale waste management. 

Intended to be used as a network along the city’s waterfront, the floating energy production oasis has a street-level composting facility, elevated park, and barges and railways to efficiently transport the compost to other locations. Trash is then transported only a short distance to the borough’s Green Loop which offers more public space as it responsibly processes waste, tackling two pertinent urban issues simultaneously.

The master plan proposes the construction of 10 hubs around the 520 miles of coast in the city effectively alleviating congestion issues and dramatically lowers unnecessary energy waste while contributing 125 acres of public park land.

Maquete Eletrônica's curator insight, March 9, 6:31 AM

..."laço verde" como uma solução para a gestão de resíduos em larga escala. destina a ser usado como uma rede ao longo da orla da cidade, o circuito verde é um oásis de produção de energia flutuante com uma facilidade ao nível da rua de compostagem, parque elevado, e barcaças e ferrovias para o transporte"......................

Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, April 19, 3:11 AM

Sustainable urban places

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Hamburg's Answer to Climate Change: An Extensive Pedestrian & Bicycle-Oriented Green Network

Hamburg's Answer to Climate Change:  An Extensive Pedestrian & Bicycle-Oriented Green Network | green streets |
The German city is planning a green network that will cover 40% of the city area, contributing to resilience and allowing biking, swimming and nature watching in the city

The European commercial hub promotes bicycling as the main mode of transportation, and plans to build a network around bikes and pedestrians, linking car-free roads to parks and playgrounds, from the city centre to the suburbs.

Welcome to Hamburg, an environmental pioneer whose planned green network will cover 40% of the city's area. "It will connect parks, recreational areas, playgrounds, gardens and cemeteries through green paths", says Angelika Fritsch, a spokeswoman for the city's department of urban planning and the environment. "Other cities, including London, have green rings, but the green network will be unique in covering an area from the outskirts to the city centre. In 15 to 20 years you'll be able to explore the city exclusively on bike and foot."

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London’s Largest “Living Wall”

London’s Largest “Living Wall” | green streets |

The Rubens at the Palace Hotel in Victoria, London, has unveiled the city’s largest “living wall” – a vertical landscape, composed of 16 tons of soil and 10,000 plants, designed to reduce urban flooding. Taking two months to construct and covering 350 square feet, the 21 meter high wall will beautify the cityscape year round with seasonal flowers such as strawberries, butter cups and winter geraniums.

This project is only one of many living rooftops and walls that London has been promoting to mitigate flooding, absorb rain and improve the appearance of buildings. These living surfaces are capable of improving the air quality in an area, deadening noise and helping to keep buildings cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. The vegetation can also trap microscopic pollutants which in high concentrations may cause respiratory illnesses.

Norm Miller's curator insight, October 6, 2013 12:08 AM

Vertical landscaping

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The Netherlands Is Building A Country-Wide EV Charging Network

The Netherlands Is Building A Country-Wide EV Charging Network | green streets |

A dense, relatively small country, the Netherlands is well suited to electric vehicles, and the new Fastned scheme could be a "benchmark" for other places.

The distinctive yellow stations are about 100 feet across, and covered in solar panels to power things like lights and cameras. Each station, which is located at an existing gas stop, will have four to eight charging points. If all goes well, they could make vehicle charging as convenient as filling a tank, though drivers will still need to wait 15 to 30 minutes before the task is completed.

Find more details at the article link.

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Thomas Heatherwick reveals garden bridge designed for River Thames

Thomas Heatherwick reveals garden bridge designed for River Thames | green streets |
Thomas Heatherwick reveals garden bridge designed for the River Thames in London in collaboration with Joanna Lumley.

The design was developed by Heatherwick Studio after Transport for London awarded it to develop ideas for improving pedestrian links across the river.

"With its rich heritage of allotments, gardens, heathland, parks and squares, London is one of the greenest cities in the world," says Thomas Heatherwick. "In this context we are excited to have been selected by TFL to explore the opportunity of a pedestrian river crossing. The idea is simple; to connect north and south London with a garden."

Via Brian Yanish -
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Brooklyn's New Lab: The Future of Urban Manufacturing in NYC

Brooklyn's New Lab: The Future of Urban Manufacturing in NYC | green streets |

The future of urban manufacturing is alive in New York City—specifically (and unsurprisingly) in Brooklyn. This month, in the historic Brooklyn Navy Yard, Macro Sea‘s 'New Lab' opened its Beta Space, a place that gives NY-based entrepreneurs, innovators, designers and engineers an opportunity to launch their businesses and create jobs.

New Lab is a first-of-its-kind advanced manufacturing hub in the Navy Yard’s 220,000-sq-ft Green Manufacturing Center that fosters innovation in design, prototyping, and new manufacturing, ushering in a new era of local production...

Luiz F. Costa's comment, May 25, 2013 9:16 AM
Genial esta iniciativa.
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“Great City” Plan Puts Pedestrians First

“Great City” Plan Puts Pedestrians First | green streets |

Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, dedicated to sustainable architecture, has imagined and designed city so compact that nothing is more than a 15-minute walk away.

Dubbed “Great City,” the prototype suggests a Chinese city that might be built in 2021 on the outskirts of Chengdu, a city in the southwest of Asia.

Taking up just 1.3 square miles and 320 acres, Great City could be home to 80,000 people. The project proposes that 15 per cent of the total acreage would be devoted to urban parks and green areas, 60 per cent to buildings and 25 per cent to roads and walkways.

To design the world’s first pedestrian-only city, the architects considered a massive transit centre where public transport would be concentrated...

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6 Examples of Urban Gardens, from Paris to Mexico City

6 Examples of Urban Gardens, from Paris to Mexico City | green streets |

In honor of the opening of a new garden in Paris, Reuters has pulled together a list of some of their favorite green spaces.

Here are a couple favorites...

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The ‘unstoppable’ renewable grid

The ‘unstoppable’ renewable grid | green streets |

U.S. natural gas prices are rising, while wind and solar are growing rapidly. The global transition to mostly renewable grid power may now be unstoppable...

'The energy transition juggernaut I previewed last May is rolling on unabated, despite U.S. natural gas prices falling to 10-year lows last year. According to a new Gallup poll, two-thirds of Americans would like to see more emphasis on solar, wind and natural gas, while less than half of them support more emphasis on nuclear, oil and coal.

In addition to popular sentiment, installations of renewable generation are proceeding apace.According to the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [PDF], the United States installed more power generation capacity from wind than for any other power source in 2012: 10,700 megawatts (MW), 23 percent more than natural gas (8,700 MW) and more than double the new coal capacity (4,500 MW). New solar capacity grew by 1,500 MW, a 31 percent increase over 2011.

It seems that the widespread belief that cheap natural gas would kill the growth of renewables — which I always viewed skeptically and never found convincing data to support — didn’t have much substance after all...'

Lance LeTellier's curator insight, April 8, 2013 9:20 AM

I think we just export more as prices go up.

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Data Farming: Demonstrating the Benefits of Urban Agriculture [INFOGRAPHIC]

Data Farming: Demonstrating the Benefits of Urban Agriculture [INFOGRAPHIC] | green streets |

Design Trust put together a metrics framework that measured the associated activities of urban agriculture with the known benefits derived from various studies to convince city officials of urban farming's positive impact.

Transforming underutilized land into productive urban farms was one of the many topics which were presented at the recent Kansas City Design Week.  Jerome Chou, past Director of Programs at the Design Trust for Public Space, presented his unique experience with the implementation of the Five Boroughs Farm in New York City and the impact that urban agriculture can have on low-income areas of a city.

Chou pointed out that having the land available for an urban farm is only half of the battle. The other half involves changing local zoning laws, influencing political opinion, garnering economic support, and proving the project will have a net benefit to a community...

Marcus Taylor's curator insight, August 4, 2013 3:40 AM

Urban Agriculture faces a myriad of challenges to enter the mainstream of urban development in the pursuit of "SmartCities" Worth a browse.

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How will our future cities look?

How will our future cities look? | green streets |

Almost half of the world's population currently lives in cities, and by 2050 that is projected to increase to 75%, but what kind of city will they be living in?

The time is ripe, say experts, to start designing smarter urban environments, both new cities needed to sustain an ever-growing population, and retro-fits on the ones that we have lived in for centuries.

So, how do we make our cities stronger?

Some of these revolve around the idea that smarter equals greener. Sustainability experts predict carbon-neutral cities full of electric vehicles and bike-sharing schemes, with air quality so much improved that office workers can actually open their windows for the first time.

Visions of a green city often include skyscrapers where living and office space vie with floating greenhouses or high-rise vegetable patches and green roofs, as we try to combine urbanisation with a return to our pastoral past...

Via Jandira Feijó
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World's Largest Solar Power Plant Helps the Golden State get Greener

World's Largest Solar Power Plant Helps the Golden State get Greener | green streets |

Earlier in February, the state of California got a whole lot greener with the opening of Ivanpah, the world's largest solar thermal energy plant

The Golden State will get even closer to its goal of sourcing a third of its power from renewable energy sources. Situated on 2,400 acres of desert land between Yuma and Phoenix, the world's largest fully-operational solar power plant has recently finished construction. With a maximum capacity of 290 megawatts, the Agua Caliente power plant will generate renewable energy for 230,000 homes back in California.

Russell Roberts's curator insight, May 4, 1:08 AM

Ivanpah is the "world's largest solar thermal energy plant" with a capacity of 290 megawatts--enough energy to support the electrical needs of 230,000 homes.  If Californian, Arizona, and New Mexico can find a way to integrate solar energy into their shared grid, why can't Hawaii do the same?  The state Public Utilities Commission has begun the switch over to solar power with a ruling that mandates the state's electrical utilities to submit plans to fully integrate photovoltaic systems into  each Island's grid.  It's about time.  The longer we delay the full integration of all types of renewable energy, the more imported oil will cost us and the more vulnerable our economy becomes to variations in the crude oil market.  As Bob Dylan once intoned many moons ago, "You don't have to be a weaterman to see which way the wind blows."  Basically, get with the program.  Aloha, Russ.

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What if we could rebuild New York City?

What if we could rebuild New York City? | green streets |
New York has become one of the world’s most populous, densely packed cities. What if you could redraw the city’s map – and build it from scratch?

If we were designing New York today, how different would it look?

The new New York City would balance the relationship between the information networks that the metropolis depends on and Earth’s finite resources.

All vital components of life would be monitored and attuned to the needs of every organism, not just humans. Supplies of food and water, our energy and waste and even our air would be sensibly scrutinised. Thanks to masses of miniaturised low-cost electronic components deployed across the city, communication becomes far easier. New York will grow and adapt to millions of new minds entering it everyday.

The city would make sure every need is provided for within its borders. How we provide nutrients, transports, and shelter would be updated. Dilapidated buildings would be replaced with vertical agriculture and new kinds of housing would join cleaner, greener ways to get around the city. What were once streets become snaking arteries of livable spaces, embedded with renewable energy sources, low-tech, green vehicles for mobility and productive nutrient zones. The former street grid could provide the foundation for new flexible networks. By reengineering the obsolete streets, we can create robust and ecologically active pathways.

While all this may sound optimistic, some of this city of tomorrow is already taking shape...

Norm Miller's curator insight, April 18, 2:36 PM

What a great academic exercise!  The question is really applicable to all new cities and city undergoing renovation.  More mixed use, greener, better transport systems, more shared everything and more self-sufficient describe the plan.

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Creating An Urban Greenway as a Community Space: the winning ideas for AIANY's QueensWay Connection competition

Creating An Urban Greenway as a Community Space: the winning ideas for AIANY's QueensWay Connection competition | green streets |

Plans for building a new QueensWay are moving forward. The AIANY Emerging New York Architects (ENYA) Committee revealed the winners of QueensWay Connection: Elevating the Public Realm. The biennial competition brought in ideas from around the globe on how to transform an abandoned railway into an urban greenway as a community space for nearby neighborhoods in Queens, New York.

Visit the link to view all the winning proposals...

Norm Miller's curator insight, February 23, 2:28 PM

Connecting people and transport nodes easily is a great urban planning theme

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Solar-powered family car wins race across Australia

Solar-powered family car wins race across Australia | green streets |

A vehicle described as "the world's first solar-powered family car" has come first in a photovoltaic-powered race across Australia.

Stella, a four-seater car developed by Solar Team Eindhoven from the Netherlands, claimed victory in the Cruiser class at the World Solar Challenge 2013. The vehicle completed the 3,000 km journey at an average of 67 km/h and a top speed of 120 km/h.

The Cruiser class, a new category at the biannual World Solar Challenge, was inaugurated in order to encourage the development of commercially viable solar-powered vehicles. Whereas other categories focus on speed alone, the Cruiser class takes into account practicality for everyday use...

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Rem Koolhaas Designs a New Mixed-Use Development in Santa Monica

Rem Koolhaas Designs a New Mixed-Use Development in Santa Monica | green streets |

Rem Koolhaas and his Rotterdam-based firm OMA have defeated two teams made up of local powerhouse architects to win a one million square foot mixed-use development project in Downtown Santa Monica on Arizona between 4th and 5th Streets. OMA’s winning proposal, which is being called the Plaza at Santa Monica, was part of a package submitted in response to an RFP issued by the City of Santa Monica earlier in the year. A selection committee made up of officials from several city departments chose the scheme.

This will be OMA’s first ever project at this scale in Los Angeles. They have tried to break into Los Angeles on three other occasions with proposals for LACMA, downtown’s Broad Museum, and Universal Studios in the San Fernando Valley. This time, the City of Santa Monica granted them their wish...

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Sustainable Development for Green Health City in Hainan

Sustainable Development for Green Health City in Hainan | green streets |

Green Health City is an ecologically sustainable development designed to support and promote the condition of physical and emotional human health. Situated in China’s Hainan Province in Boao Lecheng on the Wanquan River, five island districts bring together world-class medical facilities, employ new strategies for green energy production and rethink transportation networking to achieve a sustainable urban prototype.

Pathways toward a sustainable future are forged through strong ties to local identity and respect for history. By establishing a cross-disciplinary and inter-cultural approach to design that is routed in China’s long history, a comprehensive and well considered scheme is achieved.

ParadigmGallery's comment, June 14, 2013 12:26 PM
I really like the story and the holistic approach. It seems like a very comprehensive prototype and the Eastern philosophy it incorporates is very interesting...
ParadigmGallery's curator insight, June 14, 2013 12:28 PM

A balanced prototype for cities of the future....

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Energy Efficiency Can Make Billions While Fighting Climate Change

Energy Efficiency Can Make Billions While Fighting Climate Change | green streets |
Energy efficiency could be a huge investment opportunity in the U.S., but better policies are needed to unlock financing, according to a new Ceres study.

Energy efficiency could be a several hundred billion dollar investment opportunity in the United States, but better policies are required to unlock broad-based financing from institutional investors, according to a new study by investor advocacy group Ceres.

The study details the results of a survey of nearly 30 institutional investors and other experts from the energy, policy and financial sectors that identified three areas of policy:

  • utility regulation
  • demand-generating policies and 
  • innovative financing policies

The study finds that these three areas have the potential to take energy efficiency financing to a scale sufficient enough to attract significant institutional investment.

Mercor's curator insight, June 7, 2013 4:14 AM


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ksraju's curator insight, June 7, 2013 9:51 AM

save echo system

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Ideas on transforming cities - Singapore a case study

Ideas on transforming cities - Singapore a case study | green streets |

'We know that the planet is warming up and the human population is growing, raising our demand for resources. The combination of these factors is why the battle against climate change will be decided in cities, particularly cities in the Asia-Pacific.

These urban centres are triple ‘hot spots’: they face rising temperatures, increasing populations and escalating consumption.

To tackle these challenges, we need practical and successful ideas that can easily be replicated.

At the 4th Sustainable Cities Conference last week in Singapore, I discussed ways for Singapore and Hong Kong, already recognised as innovative cities in tackling these problems, to become even greener and establish themselves as leaders in creating sustainable city models for the Asia-Pacific.'

Luiz F. Costa's comment, May 14, 2013 9:23 AM
E isso temos que incentivar.
Norm Miller's curator insight, May 14, 2013 10:49 AM

Singapore transformed it's economy faster than any other nation in the world.  It is not surprising to see them leading on other dimensions as well.

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EuropaCity: A New Urban Center by Bjarke Ingels Group

EuropaCity: A New Urban Center by Bjarke Ingels Group | green streets |

BIG with additional team members Tess, Transsolar, Base, Transitec and Michel Forgue is chosen to design an 80 Hectare cultural and commercial destination, EuropaCity in France.

The new urban center EuropaCity is located between Paris and Roissy in France’s most populated region Île-de-France, and will offer a mixture of retail, culture and leisure on an unprecedented scale around the theme of the European urban experience, diversity and culture.

BIG’s proposal is an urban form combining dense city with open landscape and will become a cultural and commercial gathering point for the surrounding cities of the Triangle de Gonesse. Like a city that is carved into the landscape, the entire facility is covered in an accessible green roof with recreational areas, hiking paths and urban farming. EuropaCity will be directly linked to the coming Grand Paris Express Metro to Charles de Gaule airport.

“EuropaCity will be an experimental hybrid between urbanism and landscape design: Center and periphery overlapped in the simultaneous coexistence of a recreational open landscape of rolling hills superimposed on an urban neighborhood of walkable streets, plazas and parks. We find that Paris these years is taking on a holistic effort to ensure that the urban periphery is given equal opportunity to be as lively and inhabitable as its historic center. EuropaCity will be an important step in this agenda.” –Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner, BIG.

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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 |

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...

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

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

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...

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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The Costs of Population Growth

The Costs of Population Growth | green streets |

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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