Sustainable Futures
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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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Freeway Removal Creates Opportunity for Improved Health, Quality of Life | TheCityFix

Freeway Removal Creates Opportunity for Improved Health, Quality of Life | TheCityFix | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

The famed U.S. intellectual Lewis Mumford once said, “Forget the damned motor car and build the cities for lovers and friends.” The recently released report on freeway removal from by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy and EMBARQ (the producer of this blog) seems to be getting a bit closer to that ideal, providing case studies on cities that have successfully removed freeways tearing their cities asunder or separating waterfronts from the enjoyment of residents.

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Preserving a sense of place in LA's Little Tokyo | Kaid Benfield's Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC

Preserving a sense of place in LA's Little Tokyo | Kaid Benfield's Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
   Little Tokyo, an important historic neighborhood of roughly five large city blocks, sits in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, a short walk from the city’s Civic Center.  LA’s iconic City Hall is easily visible from all over the...
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WALK | How people connect

WALK | How people connect | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
This weekend, I walked around my locality with a colleague and friend to discuss a creative project he is working on. The project involved an engagement with the social and cultural dimensions of l...
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Watch: Everything you always wanted to know about urban chickening (but were afraid to ask)

Watch: Everything you always wanted to know about urban chickening (but were afraid to ask) | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Bee Ayers of BK Farmyards provides fabulous NYC-based environmental fundraising platform ioby with the low-down on the fine art of raising chickens in the city.
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Still Moving to the Suburbs and Exurbs: The 2011 Census Estimates | Newgeography.com

Still Moving to the Suburbs and Exurbs: The 2011 Census Estimates | Newgeography.com | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

The new 2011 Census Bureau county and metropolitan area population estimates indicate that Americans are staying put. Over the past year, 590,000 people moved between the nation's counties. This domestic migration (people moving within the nation) compares to an annual rate of 1,080,000 between the 2000 and 2009. Inter-county domestic migration peaked in 2006 at nearly 1,620,000 and has been falling since that time (Figure 1). The continuing low rate of domestic migration has been reinforced by the economic malaise that has kept job and income growth well below levels that would be expected in a more genuine recovery.

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Education in a post carbon world

Education in a post carbon world | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

While it may be axiomatic that an economy grows through greater consumption of 'products', either by a domestic or international market, it is not definitive that this describes success; certainly not long-term success. In fact, I would argue that advocating greater consumption of physical 'things' is pushing a leverage point, as Donella Meadows describes in Systems Theory: A Primer, in the wrong direction. She asserts that growth is a significant leverage point that can bring about changes in the complex system that one could term 'global human civilisation'. Meadows goes on to state that the leverage point is not just growth of human populations but growth of the economy, and to remember that "growth has costs as well as benefits, and we typically don’t count the costs—among which are poverty and hunger, environmental destruction and so on—the whole list of problems we are trying to solve with growth! What is needed is much slower growth, very different kinds of growth, and in some cases no growth or negative growth. The world leaders are correctly fixated on economic growth as the answer to all problems, but they’re pushing with all their might in the wrong direction …leverage points frequently are not intuitive. Or if they are, we too often use them backward, systematically worsening whatever problems we are trying to solve."

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State Officials Issue Economic Impact Report on Ecological Restoration Projects - The Engineering Center

Officials from the Department of Fish and Game’s (DFG) Division of Ecological Restoration (DER) today issued a report detailing the economic impact of state-supported ecological restoration projects – including dam removals and culvert replacements.

 

The first assessment of its kind in Massachusetts, this report shows restoration projects generate an average employment demand of 12.5 jobs and $1,750,000 in total economic output from each $1 million expended.

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Farmhouse Modern HGTV Home in Georgia

Farmhouse Modern HGTV Home in Georgia | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
This is the newest HGTV Green Home located in Serenbe, Georgia, a 1,000-acre sustainable development near Atlanta with green homes, shops, and restaurants.
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MyEnergy CEO Ben Bixby's Eureka Moment Literally Involved A Light Bulb | Fast Company

MyEnergy CEO Ben Bixby's Eureka Moment Literally Involved A Light Bulb | Fast Company | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

n 2007, Ben Bixby cofounded MyEnergy with the belief that--with the right tools and rewards--he could make American consumers not only care about conserving energy, but actually do something about it. It starts with software--a proprietary system that can retrieve utility data for virtually any household in America, consolidating all your electric, gas, and water usage in one user-friendly online platform. From there, MyEnergy turns conservation into a game--users can compare their utility spending with friends and neighbors using social media, create and track progress toward savings goals, and earn rewards from partners for meeting those goals. "The interesting thing about the gamification of energy," says Bixby, "is that it's a game you're already playing. We've basically invented the scorecard." Five years after launching as a modest e-commerce play, MyEnergy has users in all 50 states and partners with efficiency programs throughout the country. Here, Bixby explains how his business model has evolved, and how a background in political activism and diplomacy informs his venture.

 

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Greenversations » Take the Challenge to Conserve Water

Greenversations » Take the Challenge to Conserve Water | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

I am often asked what actions people can take to help the environment. One of my simple suggestions is to conserve water.

 

Earth may be known as the water planet, but even though 70 percent of its surface is covered by water, less than 1 percent is available for human use. And our supply of water becomes a more critical issue each day as the population grows; more water is used for agriculture, energy, industry; and droughts and other impacts of climate change increasingly stress our water resources. In fact, 36 states are expected to experience water shortages by 2013.

 

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Regional food analysis

Regional food analysis | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

My absolute favorite kinds of presentations to give (even though they are by far the most work) are the one's I've been doing increasingly often, giving analyses of regional food security.

 

I focus on both present and prospective food issues in a lower energy, less economically stable and warmer future. in them I set out both the historical crops and food source of the region, and what is currently produced there, and explore what steps a community or a bioregion might take to enhance their food security. I examine underutilized resources, and what else might be brought into play. I consider how climate change, energy depletion and economic volatility may affect the region. I examine lines of transport and connections to other regions and consider what might be brought into the area. At the end, sometimes I issue a formal report (if an organization has asked me to) or I give a talk that provides and overview and some suggestions for the most effective ways to leverage what you have to ensure security in the present, the near-term future and the longer term future. We talk about distribution, processing, food justice and current issues of food security as well, so that there's a full understanding that the issue is not just amounts, but access and infrastructure.

 

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Inhabitat’s Top Picks from the 2012 NY Auto Show

Inhabitat’s Top Picks from the 2012 NY Auto Show | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Inhabitat offers a list of must-see electric and hybrid vehicles at the 2012 New York Auto Show.
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Grid Parity is Upon Us – Record Number of Residential PV Incentive Apps in California | CleanTechies Blog - CleanTechies.com

Grid Parity is Upon Us – Record Number of Residential PV Incentive Apps in California | CleanTechies Blog - CleanTechies.com | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
California’s CSI program was designed to use gradually declining incentives to nurture an industry that would eventually be able to allow an energy user to...
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Upcoming Webinar: Launching the Global BRT Database | TheCityFix

Upcoming Webinar: Launching the Global BRT Database | TheCityFix | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it

Join us on Tuesday, April 10 at 12:00 p.m. EDT for a webinar to launch BRTdata.org, the most comprehensive public database of bus rapid transit (BRT) systems around the world. Register for the webinar here.

The new website was created by the Across Latitudes and Cultures – Bus Rapid Transit (ALC-BRT CoE) Centre of Excellence and EMBARQ, in collaboration with the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The panel of experts will include:

Dario Hidalgo, EMBARQ Director of Research and Practice
Aileen Carrigan, EMBARQ Senior Associate
Juan Carlos Muñoz, ALC-BRT CoE Director
Tali Trigg, IEA Energy Analyst

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How Social Norms Change through Osmosis

How Social Norms Change through Osmosis | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Hakan Altinay discusses how social norms evolve, arguing that they change not only due to the use of soft and hard power, but also through a process of osmosis, as capital, goods and people move across national borders.
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Community Groups Join Forces to Support Clean Energy and Save Money - Environment - GOOD

Community Groups Join Forces to Support Clean Energy and Save Money - Environment - GOOD | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
More than 100 groups from D.C. and Maryland negotiated together for clean energy contracts, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars collectively.
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EB-5 Visas: A Smarter, Cleaner Plan For Regional Economic Development

EB-5 Visas: A Smarter, Cleaner Plan For Regional Economic Development | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Metropolitan and state leaders are starting to turn to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa program to help boost economic development, write Audrey Singer and Devashree Saha.
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Spring Cleaning: Hang Up Your Laundry Habits - Environment - GOOD

Spring Cleaning: Hang Up Your Laundry Habits - Environment - GOOD | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Don't let your dirty laundry be a dirty environmental habit.
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Emanuel: Citywide Recycling A Reality By 2013

Emanuel: Citywide Recycling A Reality By 2013 | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Shortly after taking office, Mayor Rahm Emanuel promised to revamp Chicago's recycling system after more than a decade of failed attempts.
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Debating the Future of Our World's Water | Water | AlterNet

Debating the Future of Our World's Water | Water | AlterNet | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Achieving water democracy is surely a terrific opportunity to fix governance problems from the local to the global, but it's one enormous task.
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Poverty Is Changing, So Should Corporate Social Responsibility | Fast Company

Poverty Is Changing, So Should Corporate Social Responsibility | Fast Company | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
We have some positive and revelatory news on poverty which can aid your company with its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
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Wind Tops 10 Percent Share of Electricity in Five U.S. States

Wind Tops 10 Percent Share of Electricity in Five U.S. States | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
by J. Mattnew Roney

A new picture is emerging in the U.S. power sector. In 2007, electricity generation from coal peaked, dropping by close to 4 percent annually between 2007 and 2011.
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A Difficult Choice on Water

A Difficult Choice on Water | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
Proposed legislation offers the Navajo and Hopi the service of having water piped into their homes but comes with the caveat that they hand over their rights to the waters of the Little Colorado River.
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Keeping languages alive: A different kind of conservation

Keeping languages alive: A different kind of conservation | Sustainable Futures | Scoop.it
How Arizona State University's Center for Indian Education is working with Southwest tribes to document and revitalize the language and culture of indigenous people.
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