green streets
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green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
Curated by Lauren Moss
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From relic to revolutionary: streetcars revitalize city transit | SmartPlanet

From relic to revolutionary: streetcars revitalize city transit | SmartPlanet | green streets | Scoop.it
More than a half-century after streetcars were abandoned and burned, at least a dozen U.S. cities are working to revive them.


The revitalization of Portland, Ore.’s Pearl District, where empty warehouses were replaced with art galleries and abandoned rail yards gave way to multi-family housing, truly began for some when a streetcar line opened there in 2001. As the streetcar shuttled passengers around the once-decrepit neighborhood, it also swept billions of dollars of investments into the revived community.

What’s more, streetcars can protect the environment. “If you have clean electrical energy sources and feed them into the tram system,” said

Patrick Condon, a professor at the University of British Columbia and author of Seven Rules for Sustainable Communities- “it is greenhouse gas zero.” That combination of smart urban development and eco-friendly transit, he said, means more sustainable cities by 2050. “The real benefit of thinking about trams is not the vehicle itself,” Condon said, “but rather how the whole city works and how you move from place to place in a way that’s elegant, comfortable and greenhouse gas zero.”


Read on for details and examples that feature the potential positive benefits of reviving the streetcar- a 'clean alternative to cars'.

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Top ten most EV-ready cities in the U.S.

Top ten most EV-ready cities in the U.S. | green streets | Scoop.it
PlugShare’s user data points to encouraging signs for EV charging infrastructure around the country.

The makers of an app that helps users locate electric vehicle charging stations nearby have tapped the user base for some interesting EV trends. Based on the incidence of charging stations per 100,000 residents, (taken from PlugShare’s data as well as the 2012 U.S. Census) PlugShare developer Xatori Inc. has ranked the top ten most EV-ready cities in the country.

Leading the pack is Portland, Ore., with 11.0 charging locations per 100,000 residents, followed by Dallas (10.6), Nashville (8.2), San Francisco Bay Area (6.6), Seattle (6.5), Orlando (6.3), Austin (5.3), Tucson (5.3), Honolulu (5.1), and the Washington, D.C. area (4.7).

While several of these cities may seem like unlikely hotspots for electric vehicle adoption, most of these areas do have a connection to EVs. Dallas is one of the focus areas for a Texas-based electric vehicle infrastructure company; Nashville is home to a factory that builds Nissan Leafs; Orlando is a focus area for charging station distributor CarCharging; Tucson is a focus area for Arizona-based EV infrastructure company Blink, and Honolulu, an early testing location for Israeli EV infrastructure company Better Place.

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