Opinion

The latest opinion pieces by industry thought leaders


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    Permission granted by Fermata Energy

    The wrong policies will hinder electrification — here's what we need to do

    The challenge is how to expand consumer adoption and speed up the transition to electric cars and efficient electric heating systems, writes a commissioner with the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission.

    Abigail Anthony • Oct. 21, 2021
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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images via Getty Images

    We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to meet cities' pressing needs. Let's get it done.

    Passing the Biden infrastructure bill will have ripple effects across the U.S., writes Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, driving investments in areas including electric vehicles, energy efficiency and recycling infrastructure. 

    Kate Gallego • Oct. 18, 2021
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    Kevork Djansezian via Getty Images

    Time for utility companies to step up by supporting the Clean Electricity Performance Program

    Achieving more clean energy is feasible, affordable and would benefit our economy and public health without compromising power system reliability, writes Ceres' senior program director of climate and energy.

    Dan Bakal • Oct. 15, 2021
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    Barnes, Elvert. (2019). "IMG_6415" [Photograph]. Retrieved from Flickr.

    We can't forget public transit, walking and cycling in the push to decarbonize transportation

    Electric vehicles have lawmakers' attention as one tool to mitigate the climate crisis. But perpetuating private vehicle use won't move the U.S. toward a more equitable transportation future.

    Pooja Shah • Sept. 23, 2021
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    Tim Boyle/Getty Images via Getty Images

    Buildings are infrastructure, so Congress should treat them that way

    Creating a 21st-century transportation network while letting our nation’s buildings crumble is no way to responsibly address an infrastructure crisis, let alone build back better, writes a former congressman and association exec.

    Russ Carnahan and Vincent R. Sandusky • Sept. 16, 2021
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    Drew Angerer via Getty Images

    With longstanding mobility problems back in the spotlight, cities must consider autonomous vehicles

    Many historical transportation challenges in the U.S. are returning worse after pandemic lockdowns. Local leaders have a golden opportunity to leverage autonomous vehicles to create more efficient, equitable systems.

    Eric Tanenblatt • Sept. 10, 2021
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    Drew Angerer via Getty Images

    When there's a will, there's a way: Building the foundation for municipal EV infrastructure

    Electric vehicles (EV) are no longer a novelty. Local leaders can begin to expand their EV infrastructure by first building the local will and political capital, while also investing in workforce development. 

    Celeste Frye • Sept. 1, 2021
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    Drew Angerer via Getty Images

    Curbing climate change requires an end to driving in cities

    New U.N. climate report underscores the need to invest in infrastructure that encourages active mobility, get people back on public transit, and have cities reclaim roadways, writes Lime CEO Wayne Ting.

    Wayne Ting • Aug. 13, 2021
  • Giving new life to deserted parking garages

    Cities' declining dependence on cars and commutes may point to a novel solution for the lack of affordable housing in cities, writes The Traffic Group's Wes Guckert.

    Wes Guckert • July 7, 2021
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    Spencer Platt via Getty Images

    Averting economic devastation from New York's billion-dollar consumer energy debt

    Federal funds will eliminate a lot of New Yorkers' energy and water utility debt, but utility shareholders must share the burden of what remains, the authors write.

    Kevin Parker and Richard Berkley • May 26, 2021
  • Accessible city planning starts with unbiased data insight

    New tech in cities can sometimes do more harm than good. Considering inclusive datasets is an essential part of the process for cities to realize benefits, writes Humanising Autonomy CEO Maya Pindeus.

    Maya Pindeus • April 9, 2021
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    The image by Jennifer C. is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    US building codes need a major retrofit to meet climate goals and spare consumers

    The International Code Council, which recently rolled back local governments' say in energy efficiency regulations for buildings, needs to adapt to the times or step aside, writes Energy Innovation's Sara Baldwin.

    Sara Baldwin • April 7, 2021
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    Getty Images

    Crisis in Texas, then a C- grade: America's infrastructure needs a bottom-up fix

    Although the Biden administration is expected to pursue a major infrastructure plan, we must allow localities to lead, write former mayors of San Antonio and Ventura, CA. 

    Henry Cisneros and William Fulton • March 15, 2021
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    Permission granted by Electric Avenue

    Electric cars are not enough. It's time we invest in LEVs.

    The increased attention placed on electric vehicles must not leave behind two- and three-wheeled light electric vehicles, Swiftmile CEO Colin Roche writes.

    Colin Roche • March 1, 2021
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    The image by Mack Male is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

    For this micromobility boom to last, we need to address parking

    For micromobility to rise to the next level, we must make the public space provisions to ensure that riding a bike or e-scooter is as safe and convenient as driving a car. 

    Shabazz Stuart & Carl Vernersson • Jan. 4, 2021
  • Cleantech needs to be useful first, sustainable second

    While the cleanest tech may be what many retailers and consumers are looking for, it's the precise opposite of what our commercial buyers want.

    Darren Anderson • Dec. 21, 2020
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    The image by Aditya Prabaswara is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    5 ways smart infrastructure shapes communities for the better

    From improved transportation to data-driven decisions, smart cities are using technology to raise the bar for the world of tomorrow.

    Forrest Senti • Dec. 18, 2020
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    Courtesy of Amazon

    How IoT can help cities survive the holiday 'shipmageddon'

    The sooner delivery services begin tapping available technologies, the sooner we can reduce chronic issues like holiday congestion and shipping delays.  

    Jonathan Sparks • Dec. 14, 2020
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    The image by Ryan Hallock is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    A preventative approach to pavement management

    By focusing on preventative maintenance, local governments can unlock climate, economic and societal benefits while conserving time, money and manpower.

    Alison McGee & Samantha Stephan • Dec. 7, 2020
  • Pandemics have historically altered urban housing. COVID-19 will do the same.

    Necessity is the mother of invention, and this pandemic has created a variety of new necessities for urban residents and their environments.

    Demetrios Barnes • Dec. 4, 2020
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    Photo by Matt Popovich on Unsplash

    How automation can alleviate law enforcement bias in transportation

    Deploying automated traffic enforcement systems can free up law enforcement resources to be allocated in communities where they are needed most. 

    Holly Cooper • Dec. 2, 2020
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    4 strategies to rapidly scale clean energy in the next decade

    To fully realize our shared climate goals and rebuild our economy, we must prioritize and enact policies to accelerate the national transition from fossil fuels to clean energy.

    Cameron Bard • Nov. 30, 2020
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    Populus

    Understanding the risk of swappable e-scooter batteries

    These three critical tests will need to be passed to determine if swappable e-scooter batteries can overcome their safety and sustainability risks.

    Scott Rushforth • Nov. 25, 2020
  • Cities are cutting emissions with an unlikely aid: concrete

    Cutting emissions from concrete in public infrastructure projects is an under-utilized and low-cost policy option that governments can readily pursue.

    Eric Dunford • Nov. 23, 2020
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    The image by Montgomery County Planning Commission is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

    Wastewater surveillance may be key to widespread COVID-19 detection

    COVID-19 presents a rare opportunity for researchers to refine and implement wastewater-based epidemiology testing to fight the pandemic and manage future infections.

    Leanne Huysentruyt • Nov. 20, 2020