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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How Five Cities Improved Their Water Supply at the Source

How Five Cities Improved Their Water Supply at the Source | green streets | Scoop.it
According to a new report released by The Nature Conservancy, investing in the water upstream from your city just might help secure water for urbanites. The project, titled Urban Water Blueprint, maps several city’s watersheds by combining hydrological models and data from the City Water Map, to convey where 534 large cities get their water from. The ultimate implication is that there is a more sustainable approach to engineer the water flow to our amenities and even save millions of dollars, as New York City has since adopting the Safe Drink Water Act in the nineties.
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The Costs of Population Growth

The Costs of Population Growth | green streets | Scoop.it

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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MissPatel's curator insight, December 17, 2014 2:07 AM

It is constantly a strain on the environment but what about economically? 

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Top 7 Websites for creating Future Cities

Top 7 Websites for creating Future Cities | green streets | Scoop.it

Over 50% of the world's population now lives in cities, so the conditions are ripe for improving, adjusting and rethinking the urban landscape and city life. The web flourishes with digital platforms for community discussion, since now it’s city dwellers - rather than governing executives - that actively take part in city-related decision-making...
Check out the following seven websites that harness the power, wisdom and knowledge of the crowds to cultivate smarter future cities.

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Creating a City-Wide Energy Internet: A new study on urban infrastructure

Creating a City-Wide Energy Internet: A new study on urban infrastructure | green streets | Scoop.it

A new research study addresses the issue of the expanding populations in cities, and provides a solution for adapting urban infrastructure for the needs created by increased density and growth.


Drawing our attention to one core idea that can make our cities more liveable for good, ‘The Time Is Right for Connected Public Lighting Within Smart Cities‘, is a study that looks into the key concepts of urbanization but applies them to a specific context of “an intelligent, networked public lighting infrastructure”. The study dissects the current issues well, reminding us that the urbanization pattern across the world leads to an obviously problematic upswing in energy and resource demand, which in turn threatens the strong identities (inter-city competition and economic performance) that cities across the planet are attempting to shape and maintain.


The solution, according to the report, is the deployment of highly efficient connectivity within cities whether that be information, operational or communication systems – the solution is required urgently. It seems clear that connecting lighting infrastructures will minimize a city’s resource intake, reduce its carbon footprint and make it more resilient and future-proofed. The ripple effects of better lighting systems in cities include safer and more liveable streets (less crime, more appealing urban space and better road safety) and adds to a city’s pull factors for multi-national organisations and tourism...

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Can the World Really Afford More Empty Cities?

Can the World Really Afford More Empty Cities? | green streets | Scoop.it
Architecture that does not have a function, is not appreciated or that stands unused has no place in a world that consumes as many naturally resources as ours.

The global building industry caters to the needs of billions, but it also is the highest consumer of these resources, meaning that there must be a level of responsibility in play that restricts unnecessary works at all costs.
However, an increasing number of urban development projects are being undertaken that are unused and unnecessary. These ‘ghost towns’ stand as an outdated and regressive waste in the meantime, although they are often justified as a long-term development goal...

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Designing Ecosphere Economies for Planet of Cities

Designing Ecosphere Economies for Planet of Cities | green streets | Scoop.it

Integral Cities in different locations must adapt differing solutions to the same infrastructure problems. We need to evolve our internal environments and design our environments in ways that honor the ecosphere. Only by doing so can both individual and collective human life optimize the amazing diversity our DNA has gifted us with and the deep resilience of the natural ecology.

Each city provides a unique combination of matter, energy and information as resources. This means that over time, humans must discover, develop and design appropriate technological solutions for city metabolisms that align with distinctive environments.

Designing with local resources enables cities to innovate from natural capital and build diversity and resilience into food and energy systems. This is the principle that has been used in developing the designs for the Earth Policy Institute, planning sustainable futures with a roadmap of how to get from here to there...

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Telling the Placemaking Story

Telling the Placemaking Story | green streets | Scoop.it

“Place matters” is a familiar declaration. Its common use shows that profiling places, especially creative, urban places, is very much in vogue. For instance, the phrase graces the Atlantic Cities masthead, is the title of a New York City project that protects distinctive local environments, frames a non-profit corporation and is a campaign of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

While placemaking is not a profession, it is certainly a practice that has spread across multiple disciplines, far beyond design and planning roots.

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Understanding Urbanity: 7 Must-Read Books About Cities

Understanding Urbanity: 7 Must-Read Books About Cities | green streets | Scoop.it
What airports have to do with Medieval towns, Brooklyn's bookstores and Le Corbusier.

Cities are where humanity’s creative and intellectual ideation, communication, and innovation takes place, so understanding cities is vital to understanding our civilization.

Here is an omnibus of seven fantastic books exploring the complex and faceted nature, function, history, and future of urbanity’s precious living organism, from design to sociology to economics and beyond.

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Learn from past for better urban future

Learn from past for better urban future | green streets | Scoop.it
For the past 20 years, Western countries have mistaken urban sprawls as the symbol of urban development. The car-dependent lifestyle this mistake has created is, in fact, a failure of urban development.
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A Clearer Definition for Smarter Smart Growth

A Clearer Definition for Smarter Smart Growth | green streets | Scoop.it
As cities become more conscious of their environmental and social impact, smart growth has become a ubiquitous umbrella term for a slew of principles to which designers and planners are encouraged to adhere.


NewUrbanism.org has distributed 10 points that serve as guides to development that are similar to both AIA’s Local Leaders: Healthier Communities through Design and New York City’s Active Design Guidelines: Promoting Physical Activity and Health in Design.  Planners all appear to be on the same page in regards to the nature of future development.  But as Brittany Leigh Foster of Renew Lehigh Valley points out, these points tend to be vague; they tell us “what” but they do not tell us “how”.

10 Rules for Smarter Smart Growth by Bill Adams of UrbDeZine San Diego enumerates how to achieve the various design goals and principles that these various guides encourage.

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Reading the City: What Makes a City Smart?

Reading the City: What Makes a City Smart? | green streets | Scoop.it

In Barcelona last month for a conference on smart cities (specifically, on how technology can make cities smarter). There were intriguing presentations and cool-looking “smart” trucks & electric bikes. I could have spent a lot more time “interfacing” with all the technology housed in the Fira de Barcelona convention center.

But I didn’t.


There are two common-sense truths to smart cities.

First, technology is awesome, yes, but we should be viewing it not as a silver bullet but one admittedly phenomenal tool of many in any city’s arsenal. (And, as many asked when the power went out during a panel discussion: How do you have a smart city with no electricity?)


Second, the most successful technologies are well-hidden — invisible, even. So after absorbing about all I could about open data, demand-based pricing and fiber optic networks, I reached a decision: I’m in Barcelona. I can learn a lot more about how a city works by actually experiencing it...


Via Jandira Feijó, Territori
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Cities: Drivers of Sustainable Human Development & Prosperity

Cities: Drivers of Sustainable Human Development & Prosperity | green streets | Scoop.it
As we plan for the future of our planet, it is imperative that we consider the effects of development on both the environment and human populations. A city is only truly sustainable if it uses natural resources efficiently while still fully meeting the needs of its inhabitants and a decent standard of living.

Recently, the UN Human Settlements Program (UN-HABITAT) launched its “State of the World’s Cities Report 2012/2013” which addresses the prosperity of cities. According to the report, the first step to achieving prosperity is to define the goal: What does prosperity mean in 2012? This is a difficult question to answer given the vast disparity of living conditions throughout the world. Additionally, it is imperative that the definition of prosperity today consider the needs of future generations. To this end, UN-Habitat developed a “City Prosperity Index,” which translates the five dimensions of prosperity identified by UN-Habitiat—productivity, infrastructure development, quality of life, equity and social inclusion, environmental sustainability—into measurable indicators (see page 15 of the report).


This definition of the prosperous city is consistent with the principles of a smart, sustainable and just city... further reading at the article link

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Metropolitan Agriculture: One Size Doesn't Fit All

Metropolitan Agriculture: One Size Doesn't Fit All | green streets | Scoop.it
S, M, L, or XL-sized metropolitan agriculture? Mia Lehrer, FASLA, Mia Lehrer + Associates, said one size definitely doesn't fit all when it comes to cities, in a session at the ASLA 2012 Annual Meeting.

In an era where it seems like any school or community can start a garden, perhaps it’s time to step back and think about the bigger picture. What’s the goal? Lehrer thinks it’s comprehensive urban agricultural systems that are relevant to the unique cultural, social, and environmental conditions of a city. Metro-region agriculture, if planned, designed, and supported financially, can address issues related to social equity and health issues like diabetes and obesity, while building regional agricultural communities and economies.

The article discusses urban agriculture at varying scales, from the city to rural communities; this is because the footprint of any city really reaches far beyond the core — to the edges, to the suburban and rural communities and economies that make the whole metropolis work.


For more on this analysis of urban agriculture and how to best plan, develop and provide infrastructure for successful and sustainable revitaliztion projects that not only boost the local economy, but community health, read the complete article. Also included are links to resources, programs, and initiatives related to metropolitan agriculture.

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Urban Design for the Public Realm | Sustainable Cities Collective

Urban Design for the Public Realm | Sustainable Cities Collective | green streets | Scoop.it

“Public Places – Urban Spaces” — a recently updated textbook on urban design and planning — includes a review of six place-making frameworks by the likes of Kevin Lynch, Nan Ellin and the Congress for a New Urbanism. The frameworks range from criteria to manifestos, at scales from the region to the home. While each has a different orientation, in sum they offer a mix of touchstones, principles, characteristics, goals and approaches linked with “good” urban design. They’re useful in developing standards for comparative evaluation, which can be applied adaptively toward creating healthy, democratic and attractive public space in cities...

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From mean streets to green streets

From mean streets to green streets | green streets | Scoop.it

From mean streets to green streets...

Sustainable developments are forcing landlords to lift their game to stay competitive.

A website is seeking to raise the profile of that rare newcomer, the green rental property. When greenmoves.com.au founder Dani King rattles off a list of significant sustainable property developments under construction around town, it certainly sounds promising.

Impressive multi-unit residential developments, such as Breathe Architecture's The Commons in Brunswick, Lend Lease's Convesso apartments at Docklands and Stockland's Selandra Rise community, near Cranbourne, will increase the supply of green rental properties in Melbourne. With councils encouraging sustainable housing in municipalities including Melbourne, Moreland, Yarra, Darebin, Knox, Whitehorse and Banyule, Ms King predicts green properties will be much easier to find and rent...

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Smart Growth America to provide free smart growth technical assistance to communities

Smart Growth America to provide free smart growth technical assistance to communities | green streets | Scoop.it

Smart Growth America is pleased to announce technical assistance will now be available to select communities interested in smart growth strategies – free of charge.

The new program has been made possible by a five-year technical assistance grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The grant will be used to provide direct technical assistance to communities across the nation on how to develop local solutions to help their communities grow in ways that benefit families and businesses while protecting the environment and preserving a sense of place.

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Green Streets, Neighborhoods + Communities

Green Streets, Neighborhoods + Communities | green streets | Scoop.it

With green initiatives being implemented by municipalities and cities at an exponential rate, understanding where to begin and how to participate can be a challenge, as this new paradigm of development requires fundamental changes in not only how we address urban design, but how we consider infrastructure, transit, policymaking, and collective social behavior as factors in shaping the built environment.

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What Makes a “Resilient City”? | Sustainable Cities Collective

What Makes a “Resilient City”? | Sustainable Cities Collective | green streets | Scoop.it
Cycling in Copenhagen is a dominant feature of the cityscape. 1.3 million km are cycled each day in Copenhagen and 36% commute on bicycle - the municipal objective is to increase this to 40% by 2012 and 50% by 2015.
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