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thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
Curated by Lauren Moss
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Denmark Is About To Set Even More Ambitious Climate Goals Than All Of Europe

Denmark Is About To Set Even More Ambitious Climate Goals Than All Of Europe | green streets | Scoop.it
Agreement in Denmark's parliament cleared the way for a legally binding greenhouse gas emission reduction target of 40 percent below 1990's levels by 2020.


The bill would establish a legally binding requirement that Denmark cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent below 1990′s levels by 2020, and that the government return to the question every five years to set new 10-year targets. The legislation would also establish a Climate Council — modeled on a similar body in Britain — to advise the government on the best ways to continue reducing Denmark’s reliance on fossil fuels.

Denmark’s present and former governments have already committed the country to a goal of 100 percent renewable energy generation by 2050, and the new bill is seen as a concrete step to achieving that goal.

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Stephane Bilodeau's curator insight, February 22, 2014 4:21 AM

Meanwhile, Denmark has already been making substantial progress on the climate front.According to numbers that Responding to Climate Change pulled from the Danish Energy Agency, renewable energy accounted for 43.1 percent of Denmark’s domestic electricity supply in 2012, and for 25.8 percent of all energy consumption in the country that year. The year before that, renewables provided 23.1 percent of Denmark’s electricity consumption.

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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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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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4 Examples of Powerful Placemaking

4 Examples of Powerful Placemaking | green streets | Scoop.it

A little-known but very interesting government agency, the National Endowment for the Arts, is quietly leveraging small amounts of financial assistance to make a big difference in helping communities across the country become stronger and more alive.


Whether in Portland, Maine, Pendleton, South Carolina, the Kewa Pueblo in New Mexico, or another of the scores of locations that its Our Town program is assisting in all 50 states, the agency believes "creative placemaking" can strengthen "community identity and a sense of place, and help revitalize local economies." I couldn’t agree more.

Indeed, music, film, the visual arts, and even design tend to get us gathering and talking together, frequently in the same place. Sometimes they reinforce a shared sense of culture; sometimes they provoke us (and others) to think of our communities in new ways; sometimes they are just fun. (Do not discount happiness as important to sustainability.) Often they create vital, new identities or "brands" in cities, towns, and neighborhoods.

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What the Federal Government Can Learn From Metros

What the Federal Government Can Learn From Metros | green streets | Scoop.it
The innovative solutions we've showcased this week should inspire Washington...

The ten innovations identified over the past week illustrate that the federal government is not the only political game in town. Our nation is a federal republic and when Washington dithers, states and metros are quick to innovate on matters of national significance.

These innovations, however, are not singular events.

First, they are relevant to other states and metros that are similarly experimenting with bottom-up approaches in shaping the post-recession economy. States and metros have a long history of observing and learning from each other, and then adopting and adapting policy innovations to their own distinctive circumstances...

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Public services by design: using design principles to improve local areas

Public services by design: using design principles to improve local areas | green streets | Scoop.it

Joined up, place-based public services have the potential to deliver local government's holy grail: cheaper public services in tune with the needs of local residents. But community budget pilots are not the only show in town. The Design Council's Public Services by Design scheme has already helped councils adapt to the localism agenda and deliver services that involve residents in their design.

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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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12 Fresh Ideas for Transforming the Places We Live With Open Data

12 Fresh Ideas for Transforming the Places We Live With Open Data | green streets | Scoop.it

A few of the 886 proposals from the Knight Foundation's latest open government news challenge.


This year, the Knight News Challenge has been soliciting project proposals to open and leverage government data anywhere at the national, state and local levels (in the U.S. and abroad). As of last week, 886 projects are vying for a share of the $5 million in funding, all in response to this question: "How can we make the places we live more awesome through data and technology?"


Amid all of the submissions are innovations we've already encountered at Atlantic Cities: a favorite guerrilla wayfinding campaign from Raleigh, North Carolina; Code for America's playful StreetMix web app; the San Francisco-based Urban Prototyping Festival; and a community-driven transportation planning project based on the kind of data analytics we wrote about here. But that's barely scratching the surface of all the proposals that Knight has corralled.

Visit the article link for a list of 12 ideas from the competition that are new and worth developing (with the applicants' description of their programs). On the 29th, Knight plans to announce a set of semifinalists, who will be invited to complete more detailed proposals. The final winners (there's no predetermined number of them) will then be announced in June...

Lauren Moss's insight:

Innovative ideas on how to utilize open data and communication technology to enhance communities, engage citizens and empower local governments in a variety of ways...

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Cities & Open Data: the Value of Mobile Transit App Development

Cities & Open Data: the Value of Mobile Transit App Development | green streets | Scoop.it

It's time for cities to open their data to developers who can turn that underutilized information into useful mobile applications.


Municipalities worldwide are opening data to developers who provide free or inexpensive apps for consumers, businesses, and governments. Open data is a win for everyone.

Transit applications are among the most popular municipal apps- anyone who uses public transportation appreciates seeing schedules, especially in real-time. The more modern the transit system, the more likely it will be able to gather real-time location data.


Apps are typically based on available transit data and illustrate how municipalities are increasingly accepting the open data movement. For example, last year, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed a law requiring city agencies to place much of their numerical data into easily accessible formats by 2018.

Portland, Ore., has embraced open data and has posted a catalogue of municipal apps. "The Catalog is unique because it includes public datasets from a wide array of local government jurisdictions," the government says on its website. "It is the only inter-jurisdictional repository of local public data of its kind in the United States, at least as far as we know."

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bancoideas's curator insight, January 23, 2013 7:05 AM

Información disponible y en tiempo real puede agregar inteligencia a nuestra ciudades y contribuir al mejoramiento de la calidad de vida de sus habitantes

Css Seo's comment, December 7, 2015 7:28 AM
Launch your dream in this christmas! Mobile App Development @50% Discount

http://goo.gl/4qp6oV
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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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Don't Reinvent The Wheel, Steal It: An Urban Planning Award for Cities That Copy

Don't Reinvent The Wheel, Steal It: An Urban Planning Award for Cities That Copy | green streets | Scoop.it
The world's 567,000 mayors should be poaching each other's good ideas, not reinventing the wheel.

Cities around the world may all be struggling with the same problems, from building affordable housing to boosting internet access, but a lack of dialogue means that local governments rarely copy each other’s successful ideas. The world’s “567,000 mayors are reinventing the wheel, every single one of them with everything” they do, says Sascha Havemeyer, general director of Living Labs Global, a Copenhagen-based non-profit that encourages collaboration among the world’s cities.

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Hong Kong MTR: A Sustainable Model for Mass Transit

Hong Kong MTR: A Sustainable Model for Mass Transit | green streets | Scoop.it

Hong Kong Mass Transit Rail (MTR) is one of the most efficient, safe, reliable and affordable systems in the world. Its extensive network carries over 4 million passengers per day, connecting Hong Kong Island to Kowloon and the New Territories.

The MTR is unique in another way, too: it is a profitable transit system. Despite the ridership, this profit is not driven by passenger tickets or ads but by its strategy of integrating railway infrastructure with urban development. The MTRC is also a real estate developer and benefits on both ends of this strategy: more riders = more shoppers = higher rent = growing network = more riders.  

Lessons can be learned from Hong Kong's MTR, however it seems that economic growth, high real estate prices and urban density are part of the equation...

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Maryland's Governor Explains his War on Sprawl

Maryland's Governor Explains his War on Sprawl | green streets | Scoop.it

Maryland is running out of space. For decades now, a trend toward low-density development - in a word, sprawl - has created a lifestyle threatens the state's farmland, cities, and the Chesapeake Bay. An antidote has arrived in the form of PlanMaryland, a statewide smart growth plan that encourages the development of high-density residential pockets along established lines of infrastructure. The hope is that this effort will produce a stronger Baltimore-Washington mega-region, and a more sustainable quality of life.

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