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California's Central Valley Slammed By Record Air Pollution

California's Central Valley Slammed By Record Air Pollution | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
FRESNO, Calif. — This is the time of year when residents who often live with the nation's worst pollution often can draw a breath of fresh air. But this winter has not been kind to people who want to play outside in California's Central Valley.
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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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Yale Environment 360: Designed for the Future: Practical Ideas for Sustainability

Yale Environment 360: Designed for the Future: Practical Ideas for Sustainability | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

From packing materials made of mushrooms to buildings engineered to cool and power themselves, sustainable design can play a key role in helping people adapt to a changing planet. That’s a central message of the new book Designed for the Future, by Jared Green, senior communications manager for the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Green asked more than 80 experts in sustainable design — architects, journalists, urban planners, and others — to point to a specific project that gives them hope that a sustainable future is possible.

Their selections varied widely, from communities that leave no carbon footprint to cutting-edge technological research programs. The respondents were not allowed to cite anything they had worked on themselves. But in looking in places as diverse as Belfast, Seoul, and Toronto, they found innovative approaches that show a sustainable way forward.

This gallery highlights a few of the projects they say have inspired them.

— Crystal Gammon

28 May 2015


View the gallery.

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Great Barrier Reef: Unesco to release draft ruling on 'in danger' listing

Great Barrier Reef: Unesco to release draft ruling on 'in danger' listing | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Recommendations will inform a final decision by the UN world heritage committee next month
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Production for Use and the Cooperative Commonwealth: A Necessary Addition to the Sustainability Conversation

Production for Use  and the Cooperative Commonwealth: A Necessary Addition  to the Sustainability Conversation | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Producers and consumers cooperate in the creation of value and have a common interest in stable, sustainable economic processes.
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How Cities Are Shaping International Relations | TheCityFix

How Cities Are Shaping International Relations | TheCityFix | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

It can be easy to overlook foreign policy at a city level, given that high-profile agreements are typically made between national governments. However, while countries negotiate international security deals, trade partnerships, and climate agreements, the power of cities to develop their own foreign policy is growing.


Today, more than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas, and the United Nations estimates that by 2050, two-thirds will live in cities. In the next 13 years, 600 cities will account for nearly 65 percent of global GDP growth. With this explosion in the economic power of cities, it is not surprising that cities are taking foreign policy matters into their own hands. In particular, cities such as Tokyo, New York and Paris—those with higher concentrations of global organizations, businesses, and educational and cultural institutions—are increasingly working together to tackle common challenges like poverty, aging infrastructure, and climate change.


With national governments stymied by political gridlock and leaders often disconnected from the local context and, international networks of cities provide a forum in which cities learn from each other. Cities are well-positioned to take the reins, given their economic and human capital and their smaller, more nimble governments. In the same way that global national leaders convene in summits like the G20, cities are positioned to form their own partnerships to work toward common goals at the local level beyond national borders.‎

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Does America’s Transportation Future Really Need More and Bigger Roads?

Does America’s Transportation Future Really Need More and Bigger Roads? | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Finding more money for the Highway Trust Fund overlooks the more fundamental question: will we need more HTF revenue and will we need to build more road capacity in the years and decades ahead?
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Recognizing the global opportunity in the middle market

Recognizing the global opportunity in the middle market | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
When one thinks of foreign-owned companies operating in the United States, large manufacturing firms such as Honda and BMW come to mind. Yet in the 100 largest metropolitan areas, only 1.3 percent of foreign-owned establishments have more than 500 employees, and three-quarters of large metro areas have fewer than 10 such establishments. Thus, while efforts to attract large foreign firms might capture headlines, strategies to secure and expand foreign investment in the middle market—general
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Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living

Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
'Better' explores the intersection of sustainability and art, showing how each of us can reinvent our lives as our greatest artistic achievement
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Guide for Designing Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting Programs | World Resources Institute

Guide for Designing Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting Programs | World Resources Institute | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
The report, Guide for Designing Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting Programs, a collaboration between the Partnership for Market Readiness (PMR) and the World Resources Institute, offers guidance for policymakers and practitioners in developing mandatory GHG reporting programs.
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Fossil industry faces a perfect political and technological storm

Fossil industry faces a perfect political and technological storm | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
The IMF says we can no longer afford the economic wastage of fossil fuels, turning the green energy debate upside down as world leaders plan a binding climate deal in Paris
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Full Planet, Empty Plates

Full Planet, Empty Plates | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

In this podcast from Carnegie Council, Lester R. Brown, president and founder of the Earth Policy Institute and founder and former president of Worldwatch Institute, reflects on the transition from an age of surpluses to an age of scarcity regarding the world's resources.

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Energy industry calls for new emissions targets to aid low-carbon growth

Energy industry calls for new emissions targets to aid low-carbon growth | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

World governments need to set clear long-term goals at Paris climate talks and invest about $50tn to bring about changes needed to avoid dangerous global warming, say World Energy Council

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Security Researchers Start Effort to Protect 'Smart' Cities

Security Researchers Start Effort to Protect 'Smart' Cities | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Cities around the world are spending billions to automate and computerize everything from traffic control to the power grid. But fears are growing that these networks are easy targets for attacks.
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Proposed Clean Power Plan rule cuts power sector CO2 emissions to lowest level since 1980s - Today in Energy - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)

Proposed Clean Power Plan rule cuts power sector CO2 emissions to lowest level since 1980s - Today in Energy - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
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Supporting the New Climate Agreement: A Checklist for Business | World Resources Institute

Supporting the New Climate Agreement: A Checklist for Business | World Resources Institute | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Businesses can help move international climate action forward through direct interventions in their own operations and by creating a surround sound of support. Global Director of WRI's Business Center Kevin Moss lays out a five-point checklist.
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The Changing Geography of Racial Opportunity | Newgeography.com

The Changing Geography of Racial Opportunity | Newgeography.com | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

n the aftermath of the Baltimore riots, there is increased concern with issues of race and opportunity. Yet most of the discussion focuses on such things as police brutality, perceptions of racism and other issues that are dear to the hearts of today’s progressive chattering classes. Together they are creating what talk show host Tavis Smiley, writing in Time, has labeled “an American catastrophe.”


Yet what has not been looked at nearly as much are the underlying conditions that either restrict or enhance upward mobility among racial minorities, including African-Americans, Latinos and Asians. In order to determine this, my colleague at Houston-based Center for Opportunity Urbanism Wendell Cox and I developed a ranking system that included four critical factors: migration patterns, home ownership, self-employment and income.


We found, for all three major minority groups,   that the best places were neither the most liberal in their attitudes nor had the most generous welfare programs. Instead they were located primarily in regions that have experienced broad-based economic growth, have low housing costs, and limited regulation. In other words, no matter how much people like Bill de Blasio talk about the commitment to racial and class justice, the realities on the ground turn out to be quite different than he might imagine.

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Renewable share of U.S. energy consumption highest since 1930s - Today in Energy - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)

Renewable share of U.S. energy consumption highest since 1930s - Today in Energy - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
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How Public Spaces Make Cities More People-Oriented | TheCityFix

How Public Spaces Make Cities More People-Oriented | TheCityFix | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

n the late 19thcentury, the car emerged as a promise of freedom and independence. Could anyone have imagined at the time that after more than a century of development, that we would now be moving the opposite direction, returning streets to their main function—as public spaces for people?


Many public areas have been gradually forgotten—no longer safe living spaces that move people. In order for cities to be vibrant and safe places, we need to think of them as systems of interdependent parts and complex connections, as interactive and social spaces. Reclaiming urban spaces for people is part of how we can humanize our cities and make our streets more communal. Public spaces are often more than anonymous places that can be replaced with one another: the meetings and exchanges that occur here affect our relationships with each other, giving meaning to our communities and urban landscapes.

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Researchers may have discovered fountain of youth by reversing aging in human cells

Researchers may have discovered fountain of youth by reversing aging in human cells | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Researchers in Japan have found that human aging may be able to be delayed or even reversed, at least at the most basic level of human cell lines. In the process, the scientists from the University of Tsukuba also found that regulation of two genes is related to how we age.
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Paul & Elizabeth Kaiser: Sustainable Farming 2.0

Paul & Elizabeth Kaiser: Sustainable Farming 2.0 | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Many of the practices they employ at Singing Frogs go beyond the standard ones used by traditional organic farmers, leading some to refer to their approach as organic farming 2.0.
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Innovatively using the Asian Development Bank’s balance sheet to eradicate poverty

Innovatively using the Asian Development Bank’s balance sheet to eradicate poverty | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Indu Bhushan and Alain Borghijs describe how the Asian Development Bank is changing its lending policies to increase its capacity to support both lower-income countries as well as middle-income countries.
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Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space: National Endowment for the Arts Creative Placemaking initiatives

Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space: National Endowment for the Arts Creative Placemaking initiatives | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

Creative placemaking is when artists, arts organizations, and community development practitioners integrate arts and culture into community revitalization work—placing arts at the table with land-use, transportation, economic development, education, housing, infrastructure, and public safety strategies. The NEA's programs support local efforts to enhance quality of life and opportunity for residents, increase creative activity, and create a distinct sense of place.

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Key Sustainable Development Goals Ocean Health, Biodiversity

Key Sustainable Development Goals Ocean Health, Biodiversity | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Wealth, gender inequality also key sustainable development goals facing societies worldwide, according to the UN Scientific Advisory Board.
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In Texas, the Race to Build in Harm's Way Outpaces Flood-Risk Studies and Warming Impacts

In Texas, the Race to Build in Harm's Way Outpaces Flood-Risk Studies and Warming Impacts | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
In Texas’s exurban counties, a population and building boom has outpaced efforts to cut flash-flood risks and dominates any impact so far from climate change.
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Why India is captured by carbon | David Rose

Why India is captured by carbon | David Rose | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
The long read: India’s leaders are determined to restore economic growth and lift the country’s 1.3 billion citizens out of poverty. But rapid development will require India to double or triple its production of coal – and make it the world’s second largest carbon emitter. Is there any alternative?
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Worker Cooperatives – An Alternative for Youth

Worker Cooperatives – An Alternative for Youth | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Worker cooperatives are rising, and youth are increasingly becoming a part of their success.
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