Almost half of the processes that are crucial to maintaining the stability of the planet have become dangerously compromised by human activity. That is the view of an international team of 18 researchers who provide new evidence of significant changes in four of the nine systems which regulate the resilience of the Earth.
"changes to the Earth's climate, biosphere integrity (a concept covering loss of biodiversity and species extinction), and land-system (through deforestation for example) represent a risk for current and future societies."
Baltimore County has no shortage of polluted water. From the Gunpowder to the Patapsco rivers and the Upper Chesapeake Bay to the Jones Falls, the county has eight bodies of water that have been classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as "impaired," meaning they are too polluted to meet minimum water quality standards.
"Let’s just say it’s been a tough week for the Chesapeake Bay and anyone who cares about its health — or the billions of dollars in economic benefits and thousands of jobs that are associated with it."
Last month the City Parks Alliance (CPA) held a pilot workshop in a concerted effort to develop a teaching strategy for helping park professionals learn and understand partnerships and collaboratio...
"But we have much to learn in order to create a more complete learning experience. We know that there are competencies around collaboration and engagement including good leadership, good process (group dynamic) skills, being strategic and creative, being inclusive, and being accountable. Some people can do it naturally; others need help in breaking down the steps."
Investing in new technology means greenspace savings in Philadelphia, Chicago and Miami.
“Our staff is being much more efficient, targeted and strategic because they’re not guessing what they should go to do this day, because they know that our top priority is to go to this rec center and fix this exposed wire, or go to this park and take care of this hazard,” explains Focht. Just with mowing contracts alone, GIS helps the department yield an annual savings of roughly $355,000, according to Piller."
Duh, of course! But this point is worth reiterating. The cyclists who were injured in collisions with cars, or by falling to avoid a car collision, were more severely injured than people who just fell, or were involved in a collision with another cyclist or pedestrian."
An administrative law judge will decide whether a Towson student housing project that's drawn criticism from neighbors and community members should go forward.
"Brian J. Murphy, an attorney for the Greater Towson Council of Community Associations, said the proposal is "a flawed project," and suggested using the student housing designation is a Trojan horse to push a development "into a place where it simply shouldn't be."
Developer David Schlachman of Towson-based DMS Development said his project fills a need for student housing in Towson."
"Baltimore County will receive $688,374 to design and construct a 12,000-square-foot community center, an entry road and a parking lot at Soukup Arena and Park. The community center ─ to include a gymnasium, office, restrooms, storage, vending machines, janitorial and mechanical spaces ─ will help meet the demand for indoor recreation facilities in the White Marsh area."
A new study shows that habitat alteration may be less important than other factors-- such as human behavior-- in driving the effects of "exurban" development on bird communities. These unexpected results are fueling more questions that may ultimately lead to informed landowners lessening their impacts on local wildlife.
A lot of shopping malls are dying. You’ve probably heard this before. But how bad is it and what exactly is happening? Well, a new report by CoStar (heard through the New York Times) found that nearly 20% of the 1,200 malls in the US are presently in trouble.
"malls are no longer the “public space” of young people. Their position as a kind of cultural institution is waning. At the same time, more and more people are craving uniqueness. They like independent shops, not malls that all look and feel the same."
2014 was a year of significant progress for the environment. To be sure, we still face plenty of very daunting challenges (you know the list). But there was also a lot of very significant progress to celebrate. Around the world, governments, business...
"Sweden has rebuilt roads to prioritize safety over speed and other considerations. This includes the creation of "2 + 1" roads, three-lane streets consisting of two lanes in one direction and one lane in the other; the extra lane alternates between directions to allow for passing. That design saved roughly 145 lives during the first 10 years of Vision Zero, according to The Economist."
The stewardship goal recognizes that the long-term success of the collective Chesapeake Bay restoration effort will be measured, in part, by the ability to sustain support and motivate action at the grass roots level through action that arises from local citizens and conservation groups. Success also depends on more local government leaders with the knowledge, skills and capacity to address watershed issues and support the implementation of needed improvements. Lastly, progress must be made in broadening and diversifying the base of the environmental community and its leadership.
What's the value of uniqueness and community identity? That's the question ULI analyst -- and long-time Planning Commissioners Journal columnist -- Ed McMahon addresses in his dynamic 17-minute TED Talk.
We were fortunate to have Ed talk at a fundraising breakfast two years ago. He was phenomenal! Take a few minutes to watch this Ted Talk he gave a few weeks ago - you won't be disappointed!
"Real Simple magazine (circulation: 2 million) declared “walking, America’s untrendiest trend” in its February 2014 cover story. A month later Builder magazine (a construction trade journal) announced on its cover, “Walkability. Why we care…and why you should too.” The reason? Simple: “Increasingly, the market is demanding places where homeowners can hoof it.”
An analysis of 727 studies reveals that there have been more instances of rapid, catastrophic animal die-offs over the past 75 years. These mass kills appear to have hit birds, fish and marine invertebrates harder than other species.
"This study suggests that in addition to monitoring physical changes such as changes in temperature and precipitation patterns, it is important to document the biological response to regional and global environmental change."
For 60 years — since Dwight Eisenhower's first term as president — a new reservoir for the Baltimore area has been on the books. Now, the huge project is finally getting underway.
"When completed, three covered storage tanks in Fullerton will hold 62million gallons of treated drinking water for Baltimore, Baltimore County and other localities that use the city's sprawling water system. The cost: $78 million."
"in this new and enticing model, we’ve sacrificed resiliency for growth. In the pursuit of jobs and economic development, American cities have spread themselves out beyond their abilities to financially sustain themselves. All those roads, all that sidewalk, all those pipes....they are really, really expensive. We're starting to understand that building it all was the easy part. Maintaining it generation after generation is hard."
Want to start an urban farm without permitting hassles? Dreaming of dwarf goats in your yard? Move to Wheat Ridge, Colorado.
"Once known informally as Carnation City, the Denver suburb built its economy on a foundation of flower nurseries, apple orchards, and assorted vegetable crops. But by the time Wheat Ridge incorporated in 1969, residential and commercial development had eaten up much of the town's farmland."
'Micro_urban' spaces are the sandwich spaces between buildings, rooftops, walls, curbs, sidewalk cracks, and other small-scale urban spaces that exist in the fissures between linear infrastructure, e.g. roads, bridges, tunnels, rail lines, and our three dimensional gridded cities.
"By seeing green roofs, green walls, sandwich spaces between buildings, and durational spaces together we have begun to imagine how people in cities could beginning greening well beyond new parks or retrofitted railways. "
Not just the top ten, but the ten qualifiers of walkability used by the Brookings Institution in their assessment of neighborhoods. Walkability is a topic of major importance today because of its weight in improving urban economics. The ability to walk in a community is a function of the quality of the urban fabric.
Millenials and Baby-Boomers, who together represent the majority of American adults today, are driving less and seeking walkable places to live.