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thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
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Water sensitive design: integrating water with urban planning

Water sensitive design: integrating water with urban planning | green streets | Scoop.it

Water has become a risk rather than an opportunity in our cities and that must change.


At Ecobuild, Professor Tony Wong, chief executive of the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities, spoke about the steady progression up the agenda of water sensitive urban design (WSUD) in Australia. Successive years of flooding and some of the worst droughts in history have threatened the health and wellbeing of the population and nearly brought industry grinding to a halt, prompting the government to think differently about water.

A new report published in March reinterprets the WSUD concept and its concludes: for too long, we have been designing water out of our cities when we should have been designing it in.


For example, sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) – the creation of ponds, wetlands, swales and basins that mimic natural drainage – can be a cost-effective way to prevent surface flooding while creating valuable public amenities. But we need to go further and join the dots between flood risk management and water resource management, and put water at the heart of discussions about what makes places great to live...

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Noor Fatima's curator insight, April 20, 2013 10:10 AM

impotant 

Keith Thorogood's curator insight, June 18, 2013 3:31 PM

Water resource management.

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4 Ways the Feds Are Making Transit Better

4 Ways the Feds Are Making Transit Better | green streets | Scoop.it

New funding rules should speed up major projects and increase local benefits.

Much of Washington is in obstruction mode these days, but not the Federal Transit Administration. The FTA recently announced changes to New Starts and Small Starts — its main capital funding programs for transit — designed to expedite the grant process. Together the programs fund about half the cost of light rail, commuter rail, bus rapid transit, and ferry systems in the United States.

The FTA's new rule was developed during a two-year outreach effort that considered roughly a thousand public comments. During that time officials kept two main goals in mind: to streamline the funding path of new transit projects, and to consider a wider range of possible benefits to local communities...

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Mercor's curator insight, February 4, 2013 6:39 AM

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Can a Sustainable Town Be Built From Scratch in the Middle of Nowhere?

Can a Sustainable Town Be Built From Scratch in the Middle of Nowhere? | green streets | Scoop.it
A controversial proposal seeks to help revive Southern California's troubled Salton Sea.

Its developers are holding it up as one of the greenest, most sustainable plans for a new town development, but it's also being attacked by environmental groups for its unlikely – and historically unlucky – location. The project is a proposed brand new town that aims to eventually house about 37,000 people, their jobs and the commercial activity to sustain their economy, all overlooking the northwest shores of the Salton Sea in the Colorado Desert of Southern California, the largest body of water in the state.

Travertine Point, as the project's known, has been in the works since 2005 and represents some of the most progressive ideas in urban planning, town design and environmental sustainability. But at roughly 20 miles from the communities neighboring Palm Springs, how far away this project is from the rest of the populated parts of the Coachella Valley is equally as concerning as how close it is to the Salton Sea, an accidental lake that has slowly devolved into a toxic, smelly and potentially deadly body of less and less water...

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Greening America's capital cities | Natural Resources Defense Council

Greening America's capital cities | Natural Resources Defense Council | green streets | Scoop.it

The Environmental Protection Agency sponsors an innovative planning program designed to help bring more green infrastructure and green building practices to our country’s state capitals, making them simultaneously more environmentally resilient & more beautiful.


Implemented with EPA’s cohorts in the federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities - the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development - Greening America’s Capitals launched in 2010 and thus far has been selecting five capitals each year for design assistance.

The idea is that these particularly prominent communities are inevitably ambassadors of a sort for their respective states and for other cities.  Indeed, elected representatives and their staffs – leaders, by definition – from all across their states work at least part-time every year in the capital cities.  What they experience there, good or bad, imparts observations and lessons that can be taken back to the representatives’ home districts or even incorporated into statewide policy.  There are also many visitors to state capitals for business or pleasure, each forming and taking away impressions.

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How an Industrial City Reinvented Itself as a Sustainability Hub

How an Industrial City Reinvented Itself as a Sustainability Hub | green streets | Scoop.it
The city of Nantes, the fifth largest in France, is a place of rich history dating back at least as far as the second century.  Economically, Nantes was long a port and shipbuilding center of considerable significance. 
But the shipping and shipbuilding industry in western Europe began a serious decline in the 1960s and 70s, and the last major shipbuilding facility in Nantes closed in 1986. 
The proud city needed a new identity in order to remain relevant. That new identity became, first, culture and then, sustainability. Today the two have come together in some highly innovative ways that have led the European Union to designate Nantes as its "Green Capital" for 2013.

The EU’s annual green designation was created by the European Commission in the last decade, with Stockholm selected as the first honoree, for 2010. The prestigious competition involves a lengthy application process and is judged on the basis of twelve overlapping environmental criteria:

Response to climate change
Transportation
Urban green spaces
Land use
Nature and biodiversity
Air quality
Noise pollution
Waste reduction and management
Water consumption
Wastewater treatment
Green municipal management
Dissemination of best practices

The 2013 award for Nantes included specific praise for the city’s efforts regarding climate, transportation, water, and biodiversity...
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ParadigmGallery's curator insight, December 18, 2012 12:17 PM

Nantes is the fifth largest city in France and in it's earlier life was a hub for shipping and ship building. The proud city needed a new identity in order to remain relevant.  That new identity became, first, culture and then, sustainability.  Today the two have come together in some highly innovative ways that have led the European Union to designate Nantes as its "Green Capital" for 2013.