Buildings & Design

  • The Phillips 66 Los Angeles Refinery Wilmington Plant stands beyond a residential street on November 28, 2022 in Wilmington, California.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Mario Tama via Getty Images
    Image attribution tooltip

    Collecting data to support energy-burdened communities poses unique challenges, experts say

    Census data isn’t collected often enough to reflect neighborhood demographic shifts, and asking communities to self-report can present additional burdens, panelists said at a clean energy summit.

    By Diana DiGangi • May 24, 2023
  • A construction worker sets a roof joist.
    Image attribution tooltip
    kali9/E+ via Getty Images
    Image attribution tooltip

    The ‘infrastructure decade’ is here, but challenges loom for local governments at the helm

    “Money is flowing, grant applications are live, private capital is ready to move. But there are real constraints to achieving public goals,” Brookings Metro Senior Fellow Adie Tomer said at an event last week.

    By May 23, 2023
  • An aerial view of the Miami skyline. Explore the Trendline
    Image attribution tooltip
    felixmizioznikov/iStock/Getty Images Plus via Getty Images
    Image attribution tooltip

    Smart Cities Dive 2023 Outlook

    In the year ahead, city leaders will continue to face economic headwinds while tackling the housing shortage, rethinking land use, dealing with changes in travel behavior and implementing federal spending programs to electrify and decarbonize cars, buses and buildings.

    By Smart Cities Dive staff
  • California skyline with buildings, palm trees and mountains
    Image attribution tooltip
    Denis Tangney Jr via Getty Images
    Image attribution tooltip

    In San Jose, city climate plans must have ‘the cool factor’

    After winning a national climate leadership award, the city’s chief sustainability officer discussed how libraries can win over electric stove skeptics and how house parties might boost community engagement.

    By May 22, 2023
  • Tents line a street in front of high-rise buildings
    Image attribution tooltip
    Mario Tama/Getty Images via Getty Images
    Image attribution tooltip

    Los Angeles mayor announces next steps in plan to build shelters, housing on city properties

    Mayor Karen Bass said she would spend the rest of her term trying to make “the disposition and development of City owned land faster, cheaper, and more streamlined” in a Tuesday letter to the public.

    By May 18, 2023
  • A grey footpath winds along the shore with a new york city skyline in the background.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Courtesy of New York City Department of Design and Construction
    Image attribution tooltip

    How NYC is preparing its infrastructure for extreme weather

    Thu-Loan Dinh, who helps lead infrastructure design for the city’s Department of Design and Construction, discusses the agency’s biggest resilience concerns and how to address them.

    By Julie Strupp • May 17, 2023
  • A circular decal on the sidewalk by the road
    Image attribution tooltip
    Permission granted by City of Boston
    Image attribution tooltip

    Why Boston is turning bus stops into digital pop-up libraries

    Users are not required to have a library card or download an app to access the primarily English- and Spanish-language offerings.

    By May 16, 2023
  • New York City skyline
    Image attribution tooltip
    StockByM via Getty Images
    Image attribution tooltip

    NYC hotel reopens as asylum seeker center

    The reopening of the Roosevelt Hotel will give the city a space to offer resources and short-term housing to a rising number of asylum seekers.

    By Jenna Walters • May 16, 2023
  • A rooftop heating, ventilation and air conditioning system for a large commercial building.
    Image attribution tooltip
    alacatr/iStock/Getty Images Plus via Getty Images
    Image attribution tooltip

    NREL energy audit tool may help cities meet climate, building decarbonization goals

    Local governments often lack the staff and resources to conduct energy audits on thousands of buildings, an engineer at the National Renewable Energy Lab said, but technology can help overcome those challenges.

    By Joe Burns • May 16, 2023
  • Austin, Texas.
    Image attribution tooltip
    RoschetzkyIstockPhoto/iStock/Getty Images Plus via Getty Images
    Image attribution tooltip

    Parking minimums will soon be history in Austin, Texas

    “Our priority should be allowing space for people rather than mandating space for cars,” City Council member Zohaib Qadri said.

    By May 12, 2023
  • Modern bank glass building.
    Image attribution tooltip
    -slav- via Getty Images
    Image attribution tooltip

    Bank failures could slow new apartment construction

    Last year’s interest rate hikes have made it more challenging to get construction loans, which could slow multifamily construction starts by 60%, one real estate executive said.

    By Leslie Shaver • May 9, 2023
  • City skyline from above over highways.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Sean Pavone via Getty Images
    Image attribution tooltip

    Dallas restores core emergency dispatch systems after ransomware attack

    “At this point, we do not have evidence or indication that there has been data removed during this attack,” Dallas CIO Bill Zielinski told city officials Monday.

    By Matt Kapko • May 9, 2023
  • Row houses in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Pgiam/E+ via Getty Images
    Image attribution tooltip

    Advocates push for housing owned by communities, rather than by investors

    It’s still unclear what broad-scale programs would look like, but there is some evidence that decommodifying housing can work.

    By Gaby Galvin • May 4, 2023
  • smart city, smart cities
    Image attribution tooltip
    jamesteohart via Getty Images
    Image attribution tooltip

    How governments are updating ‘operational technologies,’ including AI, and the challenges that remain: survey

    Over half of the survey respondents reported their agency plans to upgrade systems by 2025, a Center for Digital Government and Samsara survey found. Operational efficiency and cost savings are a big reason why.

    By May 4, 2023
  • Cranes help construct a high-speed rail section near Fresno, California.
    Image attribution tooltip
    NB Teddleton/iStock/Getty Images Plus via Getty Images
    Image attribution tooltip

    California spent $1.3B in cap-and-trade funds on climate, equity projects in 2022

    The California Climate Investments funding addressed affordable housing, transportation, energy costs, extreme heat, fire, access to clean drinking water and more, a California Air Resources Board official said.

    By Kalena Thomhave • May 2, 2023
  • Image attribution tooltip
    Eduardo Munoz Alvarez via Getty Images
    Image attribution tooltip

    Affordable, all-electric and energy-efficient housing gets $15M boost from NYC initiative

    The initiative “will demonstrate to the affordable housing market a highly replicable new construction solution,” said Doreen Harris, president and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

    By May 2, 2023
  • A helicopter-shaped futuristic white aircraft with six upright propellers sits on a concrete pad.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Courtesy of Joby Aviation
    Image attribution tooltip

    Flying taxis are coming. Cities will need dozens of vertiports.

    By 2030, just one eVTOL operator could operate nearly seven times as many flights per day as the nation’s second-largest airline, estimates McKinsey and Co.

    By May 1, 2023
  • A woman asks a question during a public meeting.
    Image attribution tooltip
    SDI Productions/E+ via Getty Images
    Image attribution tooltip

    Women, people of color, renters underrepresented on land-use boards: report

    Homeownership and other requirements could create barriers to participation that “function as inexplicit racial filters,” an Urban Institute report found.

    By Gaby Galvin • April 28, 2023
  • A panoramic shot in New York City shows construction cranes dotting the skyline.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Alex Potemkin/E+ via Getty Images
    Image attribution tooltip

    First state law banning gas in new buildings likely to pass in New York

    Environmental and social justice advocates worry it will include a “poison pill” provision backed by the oil and gas industry.

    By April 28, 2023
  • Asphalt art installations in Billings, Montana.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Courtesy of Bloomberg Philanthropies
    Image attribution tooltip

    Asphalt art grants of $25K available from Bloomberg Philanthropies

    “It’s amazing what a few cans of paint — and a forward-looking community — can achieve,” Bloomberg Philanthropies founder and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement.

    By April 27, 2023
  • Worried about gas ban litigation? After court tosses Berkeley rule, legal experts look at cities’ options

    Other “totally lawful opportunities” exist for local governments to phase out gas in new buildings, such as through building codes, said a senior fellow at Columbia Law School’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law.

    By April 27, 2023
  • Elon Musk's Snailbrook community under construction on March 13, 2023 in Bastrop County, Texas.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Brandon Bell/Staff/Getty Images North America via Getty Images
    Image attribution tooltip

    Elon Musk’s company town plans worry some locals, urban planners

    The plans for Snailbrook, near Boring Co. and future SpaceX manufacturing facilities in central Texas, raise questions about local governance, environmental impacts and more.

    By Adina Solomon • April 24, 2023
  • sand dunes on the florida coast
    Image attribution tooltip
    Mariakray via Getty Images
    Image attribution tooltip

    $562M for coastal resiliency projects announced by Commerce Department

    The money from the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law will fund nearly 150 projects across the country focused on bolstering the country’s response to climate change.

    By Jennifer Goodman • April 24, 2023
  • Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer speaks at a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on March 10, 2021, in Washington, D.C.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Tasos Katopodis/Stringer/Getty Images News via Getty Images
    Image attribution tooltip

    ARPA funds used to fill city budget gaps, Brookings analysis finds

    Spending American Rescue Plan Act funds on “revenue replacement” allowed localities to free up money for long-term priorities, such as economic development, a Brookings Metro researcher said.

    By Kalena Thomhave • April 21, 2023
  • A creative image depicting cybersecurity that includes a lock.
    Image attribution tooltip
    greenbutterfly/iStock/Getty Images Plus via Getty Images
    Image attribution tooltip

    Cybersecurity best practices for smart cities issued by CISA

    Smart city technologies are at risk “of exploitation for espionage and for financial or political gain by malicious threat actors,” according to the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

    By April 21, 2023
  • Construction worker wearing safety harness and safety line working at high place.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Pakorn_Khantiyaporn via Getty Images
    Image attribution tooltip

    On infrastructure jobs, OSHA steps up workplace safety enforcement

    As federal funds flood into construction projects thanks to the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is concerned about protecting workers in the infrastructure sector.

    By Julie Strupp • April 12, 2023