Environment


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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
  • 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 Second Chances Farm

    A Delaware vertical farm sees itself as the future of urban agriculture. Can it succeed?

    Second Chances Farm hires formerly incarcerated individuals in Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware. The founder sees opportunity for the business model and communities, but others question the financial viability.

    By Scott Pruden • Oct. 26, 2021
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    PeopleImages via Getty Images
    Sponsored by Global Industrial

    Thinking of adding smart trash cans in your city or facility? Here's what to do next.

    A huge change in waste management that's a trash-collecting game changer.

    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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    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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    metamorworks via Getty Images
    Sponsored by AWS

    A new approach to helping solve climate change and sustainability

    Cape Town's severe drought grabbed global headlines in 2018 and provided important lessons in how to respond to such a crisis.

    Sept. 28, 2021
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    Barnes, Elvert. (2019). "IMG_6415" [Photograph]. Retrieved from Flickr.
    Opinion

    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.

    By Pooja Shah • Sept. 23, 2021
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    Permission granted by BIG and Bucharest Studio

    A tech billionaire wants to build a smart city in the desert. Can it be sustainable?

    City and water experts weigh in on whether sustainability is possible for Diapers.com founder Marc Lore's proposed “city of the future” in the water-scarce American desert.

    By Adina Solomon • Sept. 20, 2021
  • Connecticut falls behind state's GHG goals: 'We told you so,' says Acadia Center

    Despite the rise in emissions, the electric sector "shows encouraging results," the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said. Proposed new gas projects are a step in the wrong direction, though, advocates warn.

    By Robert Walton • Sept. 14, 2021
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    Tim Boyle/Getty Images via Getty Images

    3 cities enter accelerator program to help achieve 100% zero-emissions commercial vehicles by 2030

    Chicago, San Diego and San Jose, California, each won $100,000 to reduce emissions through local initiatives that include a cargo e-bike pilot and zero-emission neighborhood zone. 

    By Sept. 3, 2021
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    Permission granted by Mary Braswell / UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs

    Cities use art to combat extreme urban heat

    As urban areas struggle to cope with scorching temperatures, the Boston-area Metropolitan Area Planning Council is helping local leaders partner with community groups and artists to develop creative cooling infrastructure. 

    By Kat Friedrich • Aug. 23, 2021
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    DOE

    Cities to test commercial EV fleets, smart traffic, curbside management using federal funds

    Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and Santa Monica, California, are among the cities set to explore commercial electric trucks, smart loading zones in high-traffic areas, and other innovations with Energy Department funding.

    By Aug. 17, 2021
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    Mario Tama via Getty Images

    As heat island effects worsen due to climate change, cities try to adapt

    Cities are adding cooling measures like trees and lighter pavement to reduce their urban heat island effects as record temperatures sweep the nation.

    By Aug. 17, 2021
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    Drew Angerer via Getty Images
    Opinion

    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.

    By Wayne Ting • Aug. 13, 2021
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    David McNew via Getty Images

    New initiative urges contractors to work with owners to reduce building emissions

    The effort aims to create policies that lower emissions from the built environment, establish practices that shrink contractors' carbon footprint, and encourage clients to pursue more climate-friendly buildings.

    By Joe Bousquin • Aug. 5, 2021
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    Peter Macdiarmid via Getty Images

    Despite limited participation, advocates see potential for Northeast transportation cap-and-invest plan

    Only four of the over a dozen original participants of the Transportation and Climate Initiative signed on to a final program to cut transportation emissions. Backers say there's still a bright future.

    By July 29, 2021
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    Jeff Gentner via Getty Images via Getty Images

    'We have got to do something': Cities behind on climate goals as extreme weather worsens

    Funding and staffing shortfalls and a lack of buy-in from city workers are impeding progress, a Bloomberg Associates report states. It calls for savvy messaging and regional collaborations.

    By July 27, 2021
  • Washington, DC-area utility outlines plan to meet city climate goals

    The clean energy approach would include focuses on electric vehicles, building decarbonization and a variety of grid modernization technologies. The nation's capital is aiming for 100% renewable energy by 2032.

    By Robert Walton • July 22, 2021
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    Scott Olson via Getty Images
    Federal infrastructure spending

    Billions more needed to address climate infrastructure needs of US cities: report

    Cities need at least $10.6 billion to fund more than 300 sustainable infrastructure projects, according to a CDP survey of 97 U.S. cities. 

    By July 20, 2021
  • Challenge to Berkeley gas regulation dismissed, a win for cities in carbon emissions fight

    A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit last week that challenged the city's restrictions on natural gas in new low-rise residential buildings, a major boost for local governments looking to follow suit.

    By Chris Teale • July 16, 2021
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    Becky Phan

    Chicago creates new waste strategy to tackle low recycling rate

    Unlike other major cities like New York and Los Angeles, Chicago has not set a zero waste target. The city's chief sustainability officer says the focus now is more so on "interim steps," from reducing food waste to recycling textiles.

    By July 16, 2021