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green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
Curated by Lauren Moss
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How New York aims to raise building efficiency by 20 percent

How New York aims to raise building efficiency by 20 percent | green streets | Scoop.it

In an executive order issued at the end of 2012, NY Gov. Cuomo directed state agencies to improve the efficiency of their buildings 20% by 2020.


Going forward, energy efficiency will be considered as a standard part of the capital project planning process.


To implement this efficiency initiative -- among the most ambitious in the U.S. -- Cuomo also announced the start of "Build Smart NY," the implementation arm of the Executive Order.

Using energy data on state buildings, the implementation plan prioritizes the largest, least efficient buildings first for comprehensive whole building retrofits, to get the biggest bang on energy savings for every dollar spent. 

Identifying buildings with the most opportunity to improve is a big part of driving energy savings, but it's not as simple as it appears. Data from New York City shows that some of its oldest buildings are more energy efficient than those that are LEED-certified.

Efficiency measures include the typical, but all important lighting upgrades, advanced heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems, efficient electric motors and automated energy management systems.

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Stephane Bilodeau's curator insight, January 8, 2013 7:25 PM

"Improving energy efficiency in our buildings is a smart investment in our present and future," NY Gov. Cuomo says. "Through Build Smart NY, state government can produce significant savings for New York taxpayers and generate thousands of jobs, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than eight million metric tons - which is the same as taking one million cars off the road for one year. Furthermore, most of the projects will pay for themselves as their energy savings will cover their costs, making this initiative a financial and environmental win-win for New Yorkers."

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Make Way for Public Space...

Make Way for Public Space... | green streets | Scoop.it

Chicago says four-part plan to expand the pedestrian realm will boost local economy, prompt physical activity.

 Mayor Rahm Emanuel will likely say he’s continuing to make good on commitments to public health and expanded outdoor space if a four-part plan to tackle both becomes a reality. Emanuel introduced an ordinance this month backing the Chicago Department of Transportation’s “Make Way for People” program, which is made up of four initiatives that the city and its partners claim will spark neighborhood economies and increase physical activity, citywide.

 

This is particularly important to communities on the South Side, which don’t have as much public space as the North Side, and could use an economic jolt, according to Bernita Johnson Gabriel, executive director of Quad Communities Development Corporation (QCDC). QCDC is a Bronzeville-based non-profit that is partnering with the city to pilot a portion of Make Way for People known as People Spots. People Spots essentially expand sidewalk seating onto portions of the street sometimes referred to as "parklets."

Read the entire article for other strategies planned to boost local economies...

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Mobility shapes the Metropolis

Mobility shapes the Metropolis | green streets | Scoop.it
Mobility shapes our metropolises - The Audi Urban Future Award 2012 seeks to identify new ideas for future urban mobility. To this end, six architectural offices are busy analyzing changes in mobility worldwide.

The experts more or less agree that in the future around 70 percent of the world’s population will live in megacities of eight or more million inhabitants. It’s an immense challenge for the politicians and for society, and companies and corporate groups will likewise have to square up to what will be emphatically different living conditions. “We want to learn to understand this situation and these metropolises in order actively to help shape the mobility of tomorrow,” declares Rupert Stadler, CEO of Audi AG.

To this end, the Ingolstadt-based company launched the Audi Urban Future Initiative and has now for the second time in this context announced an international architects’ prize. Stylepark supports and curates the project: this year six architectural and urban planning offices from metropolitan regions and conurbations have been invited to participate by thinking about mobility conditions on the ground and create visions of future mobility scenarios. Yet the basic situation today is anything but inform...

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A New Initiative will improve NYC's Stormwater Management Infrastructure

A New Initiative will improve NYC's Stormwater Management Infrastructure | green streets | Scoop.it

A new initiative will improve New York City's stormwater management infrastructure.

Stormwater generally is an unpleasant topic in New York City- during extreme weather events, it floods sewers, causing them to overflow.

These sewer overflows are the city’s biggest water quality problem and a major reason that waterways such as Gowanas, Newtown Creek, and Flushing Bay do not meet federal standards for swimming and marine wild life habitats.

However, under a bold new green infrastructure plan that includes $2.9 billion in new gray infrastructure and $2.4 billion in green infrastructure that won approval from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in March, the city is hoping to capture much of its stormwater with green roofs and blue roofs as well as new types of plant beds and tree pits along its streets called bioswales...

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The Future Metropolis Index: U.S. Cities With The Best Urban Policies

The Future Metropolis Index: U.S. Cities With The Best Urban Policies | green streets | Scoop.it
Co.ExistThe Future Metropolis Index: U.S. Cities With The Best Urban PoliciesCo.ExistA new study breaks down the different factors that make a city liveable (innovation, sustainability, safety). Where did your city rank?

 

Want to live in a city that’s innovative, sustainable, vibrant, efficient, and eminently livable? Move to San Francisco. That’s the conclusion of the Future Metropolis Index, a study commissioned by Zipcar that examines the 36 largest cities in the country through the five dimensions listed above...

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Paris to Plant 80,000 Square Yards of Green Roofs by 2020

Paris to Plant 80,000 Square Yards of Green Roofs by 2020 | green streets | Scoop.it
Paris' recently ratified Biodiversity Plan includes a call to triple the number of rooftop gardens and green roofs in the next decade.

 

In mid-November, the Paris city council adopted a new Plan de Biodiversité. Among calls for an extension of the electric tramway system and improved management of the two forests that border the city, the plan includes a pledge to create seven more hectares (about 83,000 square yards) of green roofs and rooftop gardens throughout Paris...

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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 to Save Chicago...

How to Save Chicago... | green streets | Scoop.it

Get Chicago open for business. Lower sales taxes. Ensure public safety downtown and in the neighborhoods. Invest a little in mass transit. Give up just a bit of the parking revenue. Chicago is a great tourist and shopping destination, better than Rome in every way except ruins. Allow your citizens to cash in before Chicago itself becomes a ruin.

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Feature> Home on the Rails

Feature> Home on the Rails | green streets | Scoop.it

From Metro to BART, California agencies are actively collaborating with developers. Sam Lubell investigates transit-oriented design.

Yes, we admit it: the car is still king in California. But from LA to San Francisco an impressive list of new transit projects are beginning to change this. LA, known as the archetypal freeway city, has built or is planning more than ten new rail lines and extensions—largely spurred by 2008 ballot measure R, a sales tax hike providing billions to transit projects.

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Share the Road, Slash the Parking - The Architect's Newspaper

Share the Road, Slash the Parking - The Architect's Newspaper | green streets | Scoop.it

It's time to reconsider transportation planning beyond auto-monoculture.

While many of Mayor Daley's initiatives promoting citywide sustainability were visionary, transportation is one area where new thinking is still needed. Chicago traffic is among the worst in the country, and its air quality suffers as a result. Mayor Emanuel's planning policies are just beginning to take shape, though we are heartened with his selection of Gabe Klein as department of transportation commissioner.

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Finally Some Movement on a Rail Connection to LAX

Finally Some Movement on a Rail Connection to LAX | green streets | Scoop.it

In less than two weeks, Metro will have its first community meeting to discuss a direct connection from the Green and Crenshaw lines to the LAX terminals...

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Feature> Breaking Ground - The Architect's Newspaper

Feature> Breaking Ground - The Architect's Newspaper | green streets | Scoop.it
Three Chicago neighborhoods show early signs of leading the real estate recovery. Christopher Bentley surveys the development landscape. - Short, direct, and lively, The Architect's Newspaper is the essential read in the field.
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08-09-2011 - Boardroom Brief- A new Planning Act, buildability report, sustainable cities, plus loads of news around Australia

08-09-2011 - Boardroom Brief- A new Planning Act, buildability report, sustainable cities, plus loads of news around Australia | green streets | Scoop.it
Boardroom Brief- A new Planning Act, buildability report, sustainable cities, plus loads of news around Australia http://aweber.com/t/E3zn8...
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Thinking outside the parks: Green space spreads in the Big Apple

Thinking outside the parks: Green space spreads in the Big Apple | green streets | Scoop.it

Launched in 1996, the Greenstreets program has transformed much of New York City’s negative space into green space. Greenstreets started small — planting a flowerbed here, a few trees there — and gradually began improving existing infrastructure, like awkward intersections. What once was a concrete median or a matrix of painted lines, for instance, became a raised bed with shrubbery, sidewalks, and crosswalks — even a bench or two.

From there, it grew. Now, Times Square and Madison Square, historically two of the busiest intersections in New York, are pedestrian paradises — with potted plants, wider sidewalks, and café tables.

Greenstreets is now a centerpiece of the city’s effort to enhance inter-departmental collaboration as part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s three-pronged approach to maintaining and enhancing city parks. The program brings together New York’s Department of Parks and Recreation with the departments of Transportation and Environmental Protection.

A successful Greenstreet is considered “hyperfunctional” — wider sidewalks mean a more pedestrian-friendly environment, and directing storm water onto planted beds controls runoff and provides needed water to those plants...

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Top 25 greenest cities in the U.S.

Top 25 greenest cities in the U.S. | green streets | Scoop.it
Which region in the U.S. has the largest number of sustainable cities?

Having a green city isn’t just about how many people you can get to carry reusable bags to the grocery store (though that doesn’t hurt). It’s about smart development, land use, and transportation policies. It’s about waste reduction, energy efficiency, and so much more.

Corporate Knights, a publication that promotes “clean capitalism,” checked in on the biggest cities across the US to see if they have policies in place to help them be more sustainable. As Huffington Post points out, the list is not about results but which cities are making the most effort.

They looked specifically at the largest 54 U.S. cities, along with Pittsburgh. Each city was analyzed based on 38 policies and programs in eight categories: smart growth activities; land-use planning programs and policies; transportation planning programs and policies; pollution prevention, reduction and remediation; energy and resource conservation/efficiency, and more...

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What Cities Can Learn From Toronto's Green Roof Policy

What Cities Can Learn From Toronto's Green Roof Policy | green streets | Scoop.it
Already, 1.2 million square feet of green space have been added to the city.

In January of 2010, Toronto became the first city in North America to require the installation of green roofs on new commercial, institutional, and multifamily residential developments across the city. Next week, the requirement will expand to apply to new industrial development as well.

Toronto’s requirements are embodied in a municipal bylaw that includes standards for when a green roof is required and what elements are required in the design. Generally speaking, smaller residential and commercial buildings (such as apartment buildings less than six stories tall) are exempt; from there, the larger the building, the larger the vegetated portion of the roof must be. For the largest buildings, 60 percent of available space on the roof must be vegetated.

The industry association Green Roofs for Healthy Cities announced last fall in a press release that Toronto’s green roof requirements had already resulted in more than 1.2 million square feet of new green space planned on commercial, institutional, and multifamily residential developments. According to the association, the benefits will include more than 125 full-time jobs related to the manufacture, design, installation and maintenance of the roofs; reduction of more than 435,000 cubic feet of stormwater each year; and annual energy savings of over 1.5 million KWH for building owners. The longer the program is in effect, the more the benefits will increase...

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Tools to help cities and towns guide green development

Tools to help cities and towns guide green development | green streets | Scoop.it

  It’s one thing for advocates and pundits like yours truly to advocate the greening of cities, towns and suburbs through environmentally responsible revitalization and land development.  

But it’s quite another for local governments to develop and implement policy instruments that can make that goal easier, rather than harder, to achieve.

At best, fixing that involves specialized knowledge and the application of technical detail. And, make no mistake: in our country, it’s up the locals.

A lot of towns and cities now recognize that there is merit in going greener. They now want to encourage the kind of development that will help reduce pollution and consumption of resources while at the same time saving taxpayer money and providing beautiful, walkable, convenient neighborhoods that give people choices about how to live. But this is new territory for many jurisdictions that wish to follow good, 21st-century green practices but whose basic authorities governing how to plan and build neighborhoods haven’t changed for fifty years or more. A lucky few may be eligible for limited planning grant assistance, but most must rely on models, tools, templates, and good instincts to provide help...

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Complete Streets Success Stories Focus of New Report

Complete Streets Success Stories Focus of New Report | green streets | Scoop.it
Representative Doris Matsui (CA-5), one of the Congressional sponsors of a federal Complete Streets policy, gathered with local leaders in Sacramento last week to celebrate the findings of the National Complete Streets Coalition’s new report, It’s a Safe Decision: Complete Streets in California (.pdf), and to call for a national Complete Streets policy to make streets safer for everyone.

“Since 2009, more than 880 pedestrians and bicyclists have been injured, 30 fatally, here in Sacramento,” said Congresswoman Matsui. “These needless and preventable incidents highlight the need for Complete Streets policies, which are critical to making our communities more livable, sustainable, and most importantly, safe.”

 

The report details the success of the Complete Streets approach across the Golden State. In addition to the policy guiding the California Department of Transportation has its own policy (adopted in 2001 and updated in 2008), fifteen communities in California have adopted Complete Streets policies. A state law passed in 2008 is spurring the creation and adoption of even more policies as cities and counties update their general plans...

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Streetsblog L.A. » Regional Agencies Taking Slow Walk Towards Sustainable Funding

Streetsblog L.A. » Regional Agencies Taking Slow Walk Towards Sustainable Funding | green streets | Scoop.it

In recent weeks, regional transportation agencies in Southern California have made some slow moves towards embracing a more sustainable transportation network throughout the Southland. Local “Metropolitan Planning Organization” the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) is poised to pass a long term plan that would dramatically increase bicycle and pedestrian funding while its sister agency in San Diego passed the first regional funding plan complying with the state’s ground breaking greenhouse gas emissions law SB 375 which mandates improvements in air quality with reductions in vehicles miles traveled.

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New Report: The Potential for Urban Agriculture

New Report: The Potential for Urban Agriculture | green streets | Scoop.it
Part of a bigger picture of urban greening, urban agriculture can have significant impact on food security in cities.
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morgan knight's curator insight, November 5, 2014 5:24 PM

Urban agriculture seems to be a very beneficial  and "green" way to go in our world. It wouldn't take up much space, it would definitely help secure food for the community, and would give an overall better look to the US' urban areas. But only time will prove this right.

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Rethinking the Streetspace: What's Next?

Rethinking the Streetspace: What's Next? | green streets | Scoop.it

Two years ago, Georgia Sheridan and Amber Hawkes wrote a series of articles for Planetizen on how cities were "rethinking the streetspace." Revisiting the same cities today, they discovered significant advances in street planning, and some new challenges as well.

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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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New York City Streets Renaissance « Project for Public Spaces

New York City Streets Renaissance « Project for Public Spaces | green streets | Scoop.it

In 2005, PPS co-founded The New York City Streets Renaissance campaign, a grassroots initiative that has catalyzed the transformation of the city’s transportation policy and brought sweeping change to NYC streets in a few short years.

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Yerba Buena Street Life Plan - Articles - Dwell

Yerba Buena Street Life Plan - Articles - Dwell | green streets | Scoop.it
Recently in San Francisco, the Yerba Buena Community Benefit District and CMG Landscape Architecture unveiled the Yerba Buena Street Life Plan.
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Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative | The White House

Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative | The White House | green streets | Scoop.it

The Obama Administration recognizes that the interconnected challenges in high-poverty neighborhoods require interconnected solutions. Struggling schools, little access to capital, high unemployment, poor housing, persistent crime, and other challenges that feed into and perpetuate each other call for an integrated approach so residents can reach their full potential.

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