Germany considering free public transportation to take on air pollution

DW Feb 2018 Facing EU penalties over poor air quality, Germany has said it wants to test free public transport in five cities. Bonn and Essen are among the cities to serve as testing ground for the new project. Under pressure from the European Union to rein in air pollution, the German government said it is considering a plan that …

IPCC Report on 1.5 C

By Megan Darby Climate Home News is one of the world’s most trusted independent sources of climate politics news. Sign up for our newsletter. Under the Paris Agreement, governments worldwide agreed to hold global warming “well below 2C” and to aim for 1.5C. The inclusion of that second, tougher, goal was a victory for small island states and other countries on the front line of climate change. …

Free access to locally grown food for everyone – movement has turned all the public spaces, from the front yard of a police station to railway stations, into farms filled with edible herbs and vegetables for all

By Khushboo Balwani February 6, 2018 on Shareable Here’s the problem: The rapid expansion of cities is breaking the relationship that people have with the food ecosystem. Although the problem is receiving attention by some city officials, and they are adopting new sustainability programs and policies, it is a time-consuming, top-down process with an uncertain impact. What if with a bottom-up approach of …

Highlighting the pride people will feel if they take good actions may be a better way to change environmental behaviors

A lot of pro-environmental messages suggest that people will feel guilty if they don’t make an effort to live more sustainably or takes steps to ameliorate climate change. But a recent study from Princeton University finds that highlighting the pride people will feel if they take such actions may be a better way to change environmental behaviors. Elke U. Weber, …

California regulators first to allow multiple revenue streams for energy storage. Also, Maryland Storage Tax Credit pays 30%

Feb. 13, 2018, Utility Dive The state has approved rules that increase the ways for energy storage systems to make money, for example, through frequency regulation, capacity or spinning reserve services.  The California Public Utilities Commission in mid-January became the first state regulator to issue revenue stacking rules for energy storage projects, but the rules could be more of a starting point …

Crucial Conversations Quotes

“It’s not that I’m so smart; it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” — Albert Einstein Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Kerry Patterson relax our absolute certainty long enough to allow for dialogue— the only reliable way of discovering others’ genuine motives. “When we make mistakes, we tell a Victim Story by claiming our intentions were innocent and pure. …

Reliable and decentralized electrification through solar home systems is becoming the standard rather than the exception in most East African rural areas

By Stefan Zelazny, Mobisol For decades, the only accepted idea of electrification was access to the grid implemented by big utilities, served by huge power plants. This concept worked fairly well in the developed world  —  if leaving out of consideration the environmental aspects of the massive use of fossil fuels. Billions of dollars have been invested to transfer this …

Traffic pollution is linked to poor pregnancy outcomes and future ill health. Exposure is causing “something approaching a public health catastrophe”

A series of studies published in the past few months has started to explore the wider impact of pollutants. One, published in the British Medical Journal, suggests that the exposure of unborn children to air pollution in cities is causing “something approaching a public health catastrophe”. Pollution in the womb is now linked to low birth weight, disruption of the baby’s …

Public Land Value Capture: A new model for housing development in Scotland

February 12, 2018  By Michael Lewis P2P Blog Brilliant and practical way of cutting the developers out of lining their pockets once public planning permission is granted. This policy captures what is now unearned income in the hands of private developers for a key public good – to radically increase the affordability of housing. Take a look. Not too complicated. Grounded in Commons sense. The …

The Risks and Rewards of Municipal Broadband: Broadband is the most important infrastructure investment a community can make, especially as a new generation of connection is upon us: ultra-broadband

A smart city is really about the application of data, the acquisition of data and how do we apply the data analytics to make better decisions. For me and the way I look at how we gauge smart cities, it’s about making better decisions with better data. In many cases, automating decisions that can be automated frees us up to …