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Environmental Valuation & Cost-Benefit News: Estimating the economic value of cultural ecosystem services in an urbanizing area using hedonic pricing

A need exists to increase both knowledge and recognition of the values associated with ecosystem services and amenities. This article explores the use of hedonic pricing as a tool for eliciting these values. We take a case study approach, valuing several services provided by ecosystems, namely aesthetic quality (views), access to outdoor recreation, and the benefits provided by tree cover in Dakota County, Minnesota, USA.

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Sustainable Futures
Things to do, consider and act on to create a sustainable future for people and planet
Curated by Flora Moon
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Letting girls learn: Empowering communities to overcome barriers to girls’ education

Letting girls learn: Empowering communities to overcome barriers to girls’ education | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Today, the White House will launch a new effort on the Let Girls Learn initiative to put grassroots solutions front-and-center in the struggle to overcome the challenges to girls’ education. In light of this announcement, Rebecca Winthrop discusses the key priorities for breaking the barriers and advancing education opportunities for girls around the world.
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California Beach Community to Decide if It’s ‘an Oil Town’

California Beach Community to Decide if It’s ‘an Oil Town’ | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Hermosa Beach will go to the polls on Tuesday to decide whether to follow through on a longstanding contract for drilling rights or pay millions to kill the deal.
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The City as Commons

The City as Commons | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
A commons-based economy cannot thrive without appropriate institutions, especially those that represent a "partner state" approach.
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Yale Environment 360: Photographs of Amazon Forest Added to Google Street View Collection

Yale Environment 360: Photographs of Amazon Forest Added to Google Street View Collection | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

Detailed views of the Amazon rainforest, its rivers, and indigenous communities are the latest additions to Google's "Street View" collection, the company announced this week. The imagery — captured while boating down 500 kilometers of rivers, walking along 20 kilometers of trails, and ziplining through dense forest — reveals stunning views of the Amazon from the top of its canopy to the forest floor. The photos also capture daily life in 17 communities of local people who live deep within the rainforest and along the Rio Mariepauá, one of the Amazon River's largest tributaries. To capture images of a particularly isolated part of the forest, the project used a custom-built camera called a Trekker, which snaps photos as it moves through the canopy on a zip line. The images were collected in partnership with the conservation organization Amazonas Sustainable Foundation, which hopes that sharing in-depth photographs of the area will help promote conservation efforts.

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The Fifth Estate | Green MashUp: 7 transport trends reshaping cities

The Fifth Estate | Green MashUp: 7 transport trends reshaping cities | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

Nothing will reshape cities more than transport. The sector is buzzing with trends that will reshape urban design, lifestyles and sustainability. Here are some to watch out for.

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America’s infrastructure woes are no joke: John Oliver takes on infrastructure

America’s infrastructure woes are no joke: John Oliver takes on infrastructure | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Observers are lining up to credit the weekly satirical news show HBO’s Last Week Tonight and its acerbic host John Oliver with reversing the Federal Communications Commission’s decision on net neutrality. So I watched with interest as the show turned its gaze to the topic of the nation’s crumbling infrastructure: our dams and dikes, ports and pipes, roads and rails.
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Laboratory for Microclimates

Laboratory for Microclimates | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Under what circumstances would we become mindful stewards of living systems, not just their expoiters?
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Innovation Excellence | A Power Tool for Creative Thinking

Innovation Excellence | A Power Tool for Creative Thinking | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
What if you could find a way to think like Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, or Richard Branson? What if you discovered the actual thought processes that lead great innovators to their Eureka moments, and then you reverse-engineered them? What if you built a power tool for creative thinking that would enable you to emulate the mind of the innovator?
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How Indigenous philosophy could help us understand climate change

How Indigenous philosophy could help us understand climate change | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Cut the Sky, a new dance work premiering at the Perth festival, draws on Indigenous Australian traditions to help audiences apply emotion, rather than cold logic, to climate change
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10 Ways to Demystify the Business Case for Net Zero | Sustainable Brands

10 Ways to Demystify the Business Case for Net Zero | Sustainable Brands | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
The energy shift in the world is now inevitable. To sustain life and livelihoods for 9 billion people by 2050, even if we didn’t count on living well (which we do, of course), we have 35 years to transform the global economy in order to decouple economic growth from high-emissions energy use. Phasing out emissions, especially those from carbon (CO2) - the primary cause of warming today - has to be a priority for business, as well as governments.
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The key to success in the global workplace is being culturally fluent

The key to success in the global workplace is being culturally fluent | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
"It's time for a paradigm shift in our understanding of culture."
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At Aetna, a C.E.O.’s Management by Mantra

At Aetna, a C.E.O.’s Management by Mantra | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Mark Bertolini, the chief executive of Aetna, is betting that bringing yoga, meditation and higher wages to his employees will be good business.
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In Kentucky, manufacturers partner to bridge the skills gap

In Kentucky, manufacturers partner to bridge the skills gap | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
When General Electric announced plans to ramp up production at its Louisville Appliances & Lighting plant several years ago, the company and its suppliers faced a significant barrier: finding enough skilled workers to staff their plants and factories. Securing skilled labor is a familiar challenge for employers. Although debate continues over the size and nature of a national skills gap, in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky—a 22-county area stretching from Louisville to Lexington&m
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Why we need to think about implementing the Sustainable Development Goals

Why we need to think about implementing the Sustainable Development Goals | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
While in yesterday’s post Shanta Devarajan confessed that he was wrong to cost the Millennium Development Goals, today’s post offers a different perspective. Homi Kharas argues that governments should develop their own detailed implementation strategies for the Sustainable Development Goals, with financing included, so that they can continue to discuss and refine them in consultation with development partners and other stakeholders.
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EVs Could Be Cheaper Than Gas Cars By 2025 - CleanTechies

EVs Could Be Cheaper Than Gas Cars By 2025 - CleanTechies | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
One of the most effective arguments against electric cars right now is their high cost compared to conventional vehicles. Without the $7,500 tax rebate, a Nissan LEAF costs nearly $30,000, making it one of the most expensive compact cars you can buy…and that’s for the base model. But what happens if electric cars actually endRead More
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Hungry insects may halve forest carbon sink capacity - environment - 02 March 2015 - New Scientist

Hungry insects may halve forest carbon sink capacity - environment - 02 March 2015 - New Scientist | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Forests may only achieve half of their predicted increase in carbon sink capacity because insects munch more when CO2 levels rise
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Cleaning up wastewater from oil and gas operations using a microbe-powered battery

Cleaning up wastewater from oil and gas operations using a microbe-powered battery | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
A treatment process developed by engineers at the University of Colorado Boulder promises a simpler and more economical way to clean up the wastewater produced by oil and gas operations that is he...
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Building Urban Food Resilience

Building Urban Food Resilience | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

Back in the days before the burst money bubble of 2008 it seemed like community gardening and environmental projects in the voluntary sector could access all sorts of funding, and indeed many did. Times were good for gardening and environmental projects, funding was fairly easy to acquire and it was regular. On the other side of the the burst money bubble there is still funding about but the need for services and resources is much greater than it has ever been due to the shock and trauma caused by the credit crunch, and subsequent efforts to support and prop up a crooked and greedy banking sector that caused it. There is a huge need in terms of access to cleanly grown fresh food in the UK. Food banks gave out over one million food parcels in 2014 which was followed by a proliferation of newer food banks opening up all over the country. When this is combined with thousands of people being sanctioned by the DWP on a weekly basis and millions pushed into working poverty by zero contract employment, and the constantly rising price of fresh food the situation is a lot worse than any of the media dare to admit. This is where newer thinking and ways of doing things come in, and in particular Permaculture.


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To Put Transit on Stronger Footing, Stop Lavish Subsidies for Driving | Streetsblog.net

To Put Transit on Stronger Footing, Stop Lavish Subsidies for Driving | Streetsblog.net | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

There’s an interesting conversation happening in urbanism circles about how to make transit financially sustainable, going back to a piece in CityLab last June from University of Minnesota professor David Levinson. Levinson made the case for running transit like a public utility, not a government agency.

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Multicapitalism and the Two Faces of Integrated Reporting | Sustainable Brands

Multicapitalism and the Two Faces of Integrated Reporting | Sustainable Brands | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
If ever there was an auspicious moment in performance measurement and reporting, this is surely it. Multicapitalism has arrived! The shortcomings of conventional accounting have been readily apparent for years: Its inability to account for the full market value of a company or the total cost of its social and environmental impacts. Signs that (mono)capitalism would give way to multicapitalism have been mounting as well.
Flora Moon's insight:

One of my clients uses monetization of non-traditional capital. I have worried about her trade-off discussions because money is not a good proxy for true weighting and offsetting of impacts.  I think the MultiCapital Scorecard concept is very useful...This article  summarizes and contrasts the different approaches well. 

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Prefab “carbon-positive” houses actually make more energy than they use

Prefab “carbon-positive” houses actually make more energy than they use | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
A self-sufficient house.
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The mythic Hyperloop takes an actual step toward becoming real

The mythic Hyperloop takes an actual step toward becoming real | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Construction on a five mile high-speed rail track will start next year.
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Under the sun: Australia's largest solar farm set to sprout in a Queensland field

Under the sun: Australia's largest solar farm set to sprout in a Queensland field | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
A sea of glass panels may soon be sprawling across a paddock in Queensland’s Darling Downs cranking out two gigawatts of energy – 100 times more than the largest solar farm in Australia today – and a former top flight barrister is the unusual shining light behind its development
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