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Urban Influencers: Six Women Making Things Happen in Cities – Next City

Urban Influencers: Six Women Making Things Happen in Cities – Next City | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
In honor of International Women’s Day, we offer a roundup of six powerful women reshaping urban policy and practice today.
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Sustainable Futures
Things to do, consider and act on to create a sustainable future for people and planet
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No Big Bucks Needed for Complete Streets! | Streetsblog.net

No Big Bucks Needed for Complete Streets! | Streetsblog.net | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

When I was in New York City a couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to get together with Nolan Levenson, a Macalester graduate who now works at the NYC Department of Transportation. We met near his office on Water Street in lower Manhattan to talk about ways the City of Saint Paul might apply some of New York’s successful Complete Streets implementation tools, then took a brief tour of the Wall Street area. What he showed me provided convincing evidence that it doesn’t have to take many years and a lot of money create a more walkable, bikeable, livable city, even when streets are narrow and budgets constrained.


A lot of the treatments I saw were not fancy or aesthetically pleasing, and frankly, could use a facelift, having been in place for some time. Even so, they’re still effective in making the area safer and more comfortable for walking, while retaining parking spaces and one or two lanes of traffic. Using simple, inexpensive ingredients — mainly paint, giant planters, and cheap, bendable, plastic bollards — the streets have been reconfigured by expanding sidewalks and bumpouts, creating new plazas on vacated streets, and tucking tiny parks and playgrounds into triangular spaces at intersections that used to be concrete eyesores.


We first looked at some examples of expanded sidewalks and bumpouts, essentially taking what used to be the parking lane and turning it into additional areas for walking. The spaces are defined with painted edges,  plastic bollards, and planters as well where space allows. The bollards are flexible to prevent damage to cars or trucks if they graze them, and generally cost about $50-100 a bollard, including the base which is screwed into the pavement. The cost of paint is minimal, but would of course vary, depending on how much of the surface is covered. Throughout lower Manhattan, the standard treatment for pedestrian areas consists of white lines and bollards along the edge, blue patterns on a reddish background within the walkway, and large planters at major crosswalks and around plazas. The cost of planters is about $300-500 apiece.

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The Earth – A Living Creature (NASA video)

The Earth – A Living Creature (NASA video) | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
We've all seen images of extreme weather from space. But none of those could prepare us for this video just released by NASA's Scientific Visualization St
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9 Significant Scientific Findings too Recent to Be Included in the New IPCC Report | World Resources Institute

9 Significant Scientific Findings too Recent to Be Included in the New IPCC Report | World Resources Institute | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will release its landmark synthesis report this weekend. The IPCC reports are the most comprehensive, authoritative consensus on climate change. However, the cut-off date for literature for each Assessment Report was in 2013 , so it’s worth taking stock of recent scientific advancements and climate-related events that have occurred since then.

Check out nine findings that illustrate how the trends documented in the IPCC continue to take a toll, and in some cases, may be underestimated.
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Katelyn Sesny's curator insight, October 31, 11:43 AM

A great read regarding global warming that has resulted in extreme weather and climate events, sea levels rising, etc. Gives facts on "all nine findings" and calls for action to reduce these unnerving facts.-UNIT 1

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Saving The Amazon Will Take More Than Stopping Loggers

Saving The Amazon Will Take More Than Stopping Loggers | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
In order to save the Amazon, it's not enough for deforestation to stop; areas that have been denuded also need recuperation. A Brazilian research scientist has released a report with the World Wildlife Fund that suggested actions to curb the effect of humans on the world's largest rainforest.
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3D printed titanium heel helps cancer patient find his feet

3D printed titanium heel helps cancer patient find his feet | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Slowly but surely, 3D printing is making its way through the human anatomy, replacing everything from hips to jaws to cancerous vertebrae. The latest body p...
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From Change Initiatives to Change Systems | Networking Action

From Change Initiatives to Change Systems | Networking Action | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

Global change systems are evolving all around us.  But is there a way to strengthen them and speed the pace of transformation to address critical issues of health, climate and poverty?  In Milan last week a dozen people met for a day and a half to explore innovative frameworks to answer that question.  They left with enthusiasm and a belief that the new approach holds great promise that they want to test on some specific issues.

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A killer plague wouldn't save the planet from us - environment - 29 October 2014 - New Scientist

A killer plague wouldn't save the planet from us - environment - 29 October 2014 - New Scientist | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
One-child policies and plagues that cut the population won't be enough to fix our ecological problems, models suggest. Only changes in consumption will do
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Weathering the Storms, Planting the Seeds

Weathering the Storms, Planting the Seeds | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Fundamentally, we have to “hospice what’s left of the system we’re leaving behind, while planting the seeds for the future we’re building.”
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Why Oil Prices Went Down So Far So Fast

Why Oil Prices Went Down So Far So Fast | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
The reasons oil prices started sliding in June were hiding in plain sight: growth in U.S. production, sputtering demand from Europe and China, Mideast violence that threatened to disrupt supplies and never did.
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Break-Even Points for U.S. Shale Oil

Break-Even Points for U.S. Shale Oil | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Oil profits are being tested. Crude prices have face-planted to their cheapest level since 2010, threatening the balance sheets of companies and the budgets of nations.
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Transportation For America – Competitive grant programs in PA and OR provide a blueprint for a different approach

Transportation For America – Competitive grant programs in PA and OR provide a blueprint for a different approach | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

There’s strong support for a plan in Congress to give locals more access to their transportation dollars, but two states are already leading the way on the idea of competitive grants for smart projects — and Pennsylvania took a big step today.

The Pennsylvania DOT today announced the initial winners of a new statewide competitive grant program specifically for multimodal projects and the impressive list shows just how much demand there is at the local level for these types of innovative projects.
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While You Were Getting Worked Up Over Oil Prices, This Just Happened to Solar

While You Were Getting Worked Up Over Oil Prices, This Just Happened to Solar | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Gone are the days when solar panels were an exotic plaything of Earth-loving rich people. Solar may be cheaper than average electricity-bill prices in 47 U.S. states -- in 2016.
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New Evidence on Fertilizer, Agricultural Yields, and Structural Change

New Evidence on Fertilizer, Agricultural Yields, and Structural Change | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
What role does agriculture play in structural change? John McArthur and Gordon McCord help answer this question by examining agricultural inputs and their effects in economic development.
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IPCC report: six graphs that show how we're changing the world's climate

IPCC report: six graphs that show how we're changing the world's climate | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
We look at the data that underpins the forthcoming IPCC climate science report detailing humanity’s influence on the climate, global impacts and solutions
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Amazon rainforest losing ability to regulate climate, scientist warns

Amazon rainforest losing ability to regulate climate, scientist warns | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Report says logging and burning of Amazon might be connected to worsening droughts – such as the one plaguing São Paulo
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What if there was no need for cars in the world’s biggest cities? | TheCityFix

What if there was no need for cars in the world’s biggest cities? | TheCityFix | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

This question is at once lofty and ordinary, addressing one of the most pressing sustainability challenges of our times and one of the most routine. How to get to and from home to work, school or market is simple enough, but to do it reliably, affordably, and sustainably for billions of people is a challenge society has not yet solved.

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Butterflywatch: The great gift of data

Butterflywatch: The great gift of data | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Patrick Barkham on how the recording of two unremarkable insects were a milestone in a very special project
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Business Inspired By and In Harmony With Nature

Business Inspired By and In Harmony With Nature | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Business leaders must accept a paradigm shift away from traditional capitalism and towards a system that more closely mimics nature.
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Resilient Agriculture: Cultivating Food Systems for a Changing Climate

Resilient Agriculture: Cultivating Food Systems for a Changing Climate | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Climate change presents an unprecedented challenge to the productivity and profitability of agriculture in North America. More variable weather, drought and flooding create the most obvious damage, but hot summer nights, warmer winters, longer growing
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Getting Off the Grid in Hawaii Becoming a Family Affair

Getting Off the Grid in Hawaii Becoming a Family Affair | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
David Greene woke up one day and fired his power company. It wasn’t that hard to do.
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Regreening program to restore one-sixth of Ethiopia's land

Regreening program to restore one-sixth of Ethiopia's land | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Tree and shrub-planting program has transformed degraded and deforested land across Africa, with Ethiopia planning to restore a further 15m hectares by 2030
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Poor Nations Go for Solar, Wind at Twice the Pace of Rich Ones

Poor Nations Go for Solar, Wind at Twice the Pace of Rich Ones | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Emerging markets are installing renewable energy projects at almost twice the rate of developed nations, a report concluded.
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Biogas, a Low-Tech Fuel With a Big Payoff

Biogas, a Low-Tech Fuel With a Big Payoff | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Whether at household operations or at industrial facilities, a centuries-old technology is increasingly being used to extract energy from crop waste, kitchen scraps and sewage.
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Building Sustainable Energy Access, from the Outside In

Building Sustainable Energy Access, from the Outside In | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
How much energy access in poor places can come from off and on the grid — and with or without big greenhouse-gas contributions?
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If we want to make climate action happen we need to hear about the solutions | Mal Chadwick

If we want to make climate action happen we need to hear about the solutions | Mal Chadwick | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Mal Chadwick: Reports show the biggest threat to progress on climate change is cynicism. That’s why 10:10’s #itshappening project showcases positive action happening around the world now
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