Buildings & Design


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    Permission granted by Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

    Traffic is Boring: Tracking Elon Musk's tunneling proposals

    Some projects for The Boring Co. have gotten off — or rather under — the ground, as others peter out. Here's where the ambitious plans stand today.

    By Zachary Phillips • Nov. 17, 2021
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    DianeBentleyRaymond via Getty Images

    Initiative will rethink San Francisco downtown for 'post-COVID' work patterns

    How should a commercial downtown evolve if the masses of 9-to-5 workers don't return to pre-pandemic commuting? One San Francisco group has launched a project to address that question.

    By Nov. 15, 2021
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    David Dee Delgado/Getty Images via Getty Images
    Deep Dive

    Flooding risk complicates cities' push to legalize basement apartments

    In the age of extreme weather, amid the deaths of 11 New Yorkers living in basement units following heavy rainfall from remnants of Hurricane Ida, cities aim to balance safety with affordable housing accessibility.

    By Nov. 11, 2021
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    Adeline Kon/Smart Cities Dive, data from Getty

    Reassessing the smart cities movement

    Smart Cities Dive asked 25 of the largest U.S. cities how they define a "smart city" and how it's evolved, the challenges they've faced in rolling out equitable policies and technologies, and their outlook for what's next.

    By the Smart Cities Dive Team • Nov. 9, 2021
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    Stefan Zaklin / Stringer / via Getty Images via Getty Images

    Transportation leaders react to passage of infrastructure bill with funds for transit, EVs, rail

    Industry advocates and private sector players praised the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act as a landmark first step while looking ahead to the Build Back Better Act.

    By Nov. 8, 2021
  • EV adoption poised to surge if Congress OKs $100B in purchase incentives, experts say

    U.S. electric vehicle sales could finish 2021 at 5% of new purchases, according to industry observers. That's a milestone, but experts say adoption could really take off depending on federal government investments.

    By Robert Walton • Nov. 5, 2021
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    Permission granted by The Boston Planning and Development Agency's 3D Smart Model
    Deep Dive

    Are digital twins the future of urban planning?

    Digital 3D models can help city leaders plan for the future, but their value will depend on the data.

    By Adina Solomon • Nov. 1, 2021
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    Rick Diamond via Getty Images

    Flexibility, flight to suburbs emerge as pandemic real estate trends: report

    Working from home has become a way of life that many people expect to continue. Experts are looking at what that will mean for downtown business districts.

    By Oct. 25, 2021
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    Permission granted by City of Phoenix
    Q&A

    How one of the hottest US cities is finally restructuring its heat response

    The Phoenix City Council opted to fund an Office of Heat Response & Mitigation. Residents have demanded cities do "more, better, and faster for extreme heat for a long time," said inaugural Director David Hondula.

    By Oct. 19, 2021
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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images via Getty Images
    Opinion

    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. 

    By Kate Gallego • Oct. 18, 2021
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    Tasos Katopodis via Getty Images

    City strategies evolve on American Rescue Plan spending

    Local governments are working through the historic influx of federal funds, including newly available competitive grants, while infrastructure bill dollars remain at bay.

    By Oct. 14, 2021
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    Drew Angerer via Getty Images

    5 ways New York City can overhaul its streets to be more resilient: report

    A Regional Plan Association report calls for expanding bike lanes and busways, gradually phasing out free parking, adding green infrastructure to gather stormwater and more.

    By Oct. 13, 2021
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    Spencer Platt via Getty Images

    Climate adaptation plans from US agencies envision transit resilience, modern building codes

    The Biden administration's whole-of-government approach to climate resilience planning has environmental, transportation and housing regulators, among others, mapping out more equitable preparedness in communities.

    By Oct. 12, 2021
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    Maddie Meyer via Getty Images

    Boston enacts building decarbonization ordinance

    Acting Mayor Kim Janey signed an ordinance Tuesday requiring buildings 20,000 square feet or larger to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, as a wave of cities pursue regulations to reduce building-sector emissions.

    By Scott Pruden • Updated Oct. 6, 2021
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    Courtesy of Bloomberg Philanthropies Asphalt Art Initiative -- Press Kit 2021

    9 creative asphalt art projects across the US: photos

    Bloomberg Philanthropies recently awarded 26 cities with up to $25,000 each to install art projects that improve street safety. Smart Cities Dive rounded up eye-catching asphalt art projects from last year's winners. 

    By Oct. 5, 2021
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    Permission granted by The NEXT Coalition

    Digital twin tech challenge calls for sensor, geometry innovations

    With the global market for the simulation technology estimated to reach $16 billion by 2023, a construction tech coalition is seeking new ideas to enhance how well the tools can inform decisions and potentially reduce costs.

    By Sebastian Obando • Sept. 30, 2021
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    "P1030054" by cziwkga is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Denver creates new role to advance building decarbonization incentives

    As buildings and homes account for 64% of the city's GHG emissions, the city created what's believed to be a first-of-its-kind role to support new strategies after voters greenlit a $40 million Climate Protection Fund last year.

    By Sept. 28, 2021
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    Sarah Silbiger via Getty Images

    City leaders urge Congress to pass bipartisan infrastructure bill

    As federal infrastructure funding moves through Congress, Bloomberg Philanthropies and the U.S. Conference of Mayors released an e311 program to help city leaders navigate the billions available for COVID-19 recovery.

    By Sept. 27, 2021
  • Cool pavements research builds as temperatures rise

    Arizona State University and MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub researchers recently shared their respective studied benefits and lingering questions about how lighter pavements could impact urban heat island effects.

    By Sept. 24, 2021
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    "Portland, Maine" by Me in ME is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Portland, Maine, to bulk-purchase clean energy equipment in electrification push

    The “Electrify Everything” campaign focuses on voluntary measures. “If someone wants to decarbonize 100%, that’s great. But we know most people want help just taking the first step," said the city's sustainability coordinator.

    By Sept. 23, 2021
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    Tim Boyle/Getty Images via Getty Images
    Opinion

    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.

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

    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. 

    By Celeste Frye • Sept. 1, 2021
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    Ethan Miller via Getty Images

    The Boring Co. wants to build an underground transit loop in flood-prone Fort Lauderdale. Can it be done?

    Transportation experts say the project is possible, but building a tunnel under South Florida is expensive. "You can engineer yourself out of any problem," said one expert, but it comes at a cost.

    By Updated Sept. 1, 2021
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    Stefan Zaklin / Stringer / via Getty Images via Getty Images

    New lobbying group to advocate for cities amid potential windfall of federal infrastructure dollars

    The Coalition for Urban Innovation, including Sidewalk Labs, Replica and the Smart Cities Council, wants federal policies and spending to prioritize cities.

    By Aug. 25, 2021
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    Andrew Renneisen via Getty Images

    Equity concerns drive changes to federal community hazard mitigation program

    After lower-resourced areas and Midwest, Mountain West and Gulf states lost out in the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program's first year, FEMA aims to boost disadvantaged rural communities' access to grants.

    By Aug. 20, 2021