With a population of about 60,000 and a formerly industrial economy, Kokomo, Indiana, is not the type of city that recent economic trends have favored.
But Aaron Renn at the Urbanophile says the city has embraced some tenets of urbanism as an economic and quality-of-life strategy, thanks in large part to the leadership of Mayor Greg Goodnight. When Renn visited recently, he was impressed with the new downtown bike trail and pedestrian infrastructure. And thanks to careful budgeting and prioritization, the city is making these improvements without taking on any debt.
Extreme events, a type of collective behavior in complex networked dynamical systems, often can have catastrophic consequences. To develop effective strategies to control extreme events is of fundamental importance and practical interest. Utilizing transportation dynamics on complex networks as a prototypical setting, we find that making the network [ldquo]mobile[rdquo] can effectively suppress extreme events. A striking, resonance-like phenomenon is uncovered, where an optimal degree of mobility exists for which the probability of extreme events is minimized. We derive an analytic theory to understand the mechanism of control at a detailed and quantitative level, and validate the theory numerically. Implications of our finding to current areas such as cybersecurity are discussed.
A new report written by Nathaniel Bullard at Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) highlights the difficulties large institutional investors would have divesting from fossil fuels. What it does not specifically discuss is that these difficulties could lead to large financial losses for investors who s
A newly launched online database illustrates the impacts of nearly 6,000 dams on the world's 50 major river basins, ranking their ecological health according to indicators of river fragmentation, water quality, and biodiversity. The "State of the World's Rivers" project was developed by the advocacy organization International Rivers and created using Google Earth. Users can compare the health of individual river basins, see the locations of existing and planned dams, and explore 10 of the most significant river basins in more depth. For example, as this map of China's Yangtze basin shows, at least 374 dams already exist in the basin, and at least another 167 are under construction or planned to be built. The ecological health of the region is showing signs of collapse, the database entry says: A 2014 study found that fish species in the Yangtze drastically decreased from 143 to 17 over the course of one year, due to overfishing and dam construction. The 6,000 dams represented in the database are a small percentage of the more than 50,000 large dams that impact the world's rivers, the organization notes.
Crowdfunding is a rapidly growing funding model that has recently expanded as a way to support urban improvement projects. A number of platforms promote citizen-designed civic projects to help them raise small amounts of money from many donors. Parks, gardens, and other urban beautification initiatives are some of the most common projects funded on these platforms, though several projects show the potential for crowdfunding as a means to fund much larger initiatives. In Rotterdam, Netherlands, citizens have used crowdfunding to fund a wooden footbridge that aims to be a catalyst for economic development in the region. In Glyncoch, Wales, citizens donated a total of £792,021 (US$ 1.31 million) for a multi-purpose community center.
How can city governments utilize the potential for civic crowdfunding? More than 170 cities have already signed up to use Citizinvestor.com, a crowdfunding platform that raises money for public projects. Recently launched Citizinvestor Connect will allow cities to go further by creating their own platforms. This will allow cities to source project ideas from citizens, who can use the platform to raise money for an initiative that the government agrees to help implement.
When the world’s largest working advanced digestion plant opened last month, it showed the power- hungry process of treating waste in the $360 billion water industry can be self-sufficient in terms of energy use.