What is equitable and cost-effective investment in transportation? How is that changing?

Moving forward, MassDOT plans to target certain bottlenecks while taking a more active role in managing how the roads operate, clearing crashes more quickly, and working to improve people’s travel options throughout the state. New construction and technological solutions will help, but the agency will also evaluate smart pricing strategies in the most congested areas. Rail, bus, and other commuter …

The air conditioning trap

Excerpt from The Guardian, Aug 29, 2019 by Stephen Buranyi air conditioners are almost uniquely power-hungry appliances: a small unit cooling a single room, on average, consumes more power than running four fridges, while a central unit cooling an average house uses more power than 15. “Last year in Beijing, during a heatwave, 50% of the power capacity was going …

Six Reasons Why Berkeley’s Ban on New Natural Gas Is a Great Idea

by Gideon Weissman, Monday, August 19, 2019 Natural GasElectrificationGlobal WarmingFrackingClean Energy Last month the city of Berkeley, California, banned natural gas infrastructure from new buildings.[1] The most obvious reason for the ordinance is enough to justify it on its own: Natural gas is a fossil fuel, and burning it contributes to global warming. But by getting off gas, Berkeley is doing a whole …

Burlington’s Climate Emergency Declaration Calls for Shift to Naturalized Gardens instead of Mowed Lawns and GHG-emitting Tools

By Doreen Nicoll, Rabble.CA.August 18, 2019 | RESIST! On April 23, Burlington City Council unanimously passed Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan’s motion to declare a climate emergency. “By declaring a climate emergency, Burlington City Council is recognizing the magnitude of the challenge we face in combatting climate change,” Nisan said in a press release. “But it is only one step. Through the declaration, we …

Prefab affordable housing for backyards

Excerpt from Quartz, Aug 2019 Seattle-based startup Node sees an urban future for housing built in a factory. Node wants to be the Ikea of the home industry. The modular homes it is making can be flat-packed—the ultra-efficient technique popularized by the Swedish retailer—and then assembled in a matter of days on site. Shingles fasten into place. Walls snap together in metal …

Big Shifts Are Critical This Next Year: 12 Charts Explain Where We Are Today in Climate Action, and Where We Need to Be in 2020

Making the shifts below is the more efficient and least expensive way to tackle global warming — big shifts are critical this next year. Recent research from the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate found that bold climate action – in line with the Paris Agreement and the Mission 2020 milestones – could deliver at least $26 trillion in economic benefits …

Density: Learning from Europe: It is indeed possible to have a city full of low-rise buildings that is still compact enough for excellent transit service—but only if most side streets are used for mid-rise buildings instead of houses.

By Michael Lewyn | July 3, 2018 A.Savin Wikimedia Commons Many urbanists, especially those who dislike tall buildings, are eager to point out that a city can have dense, transit-oriented development without having lots of tall buildings. And when I visited Europe last month, I saw some excellent examples of low-rise yet compact places. Most of central Paris, for example, is dominated by four- and five-story buildings, …

Kansas City boosts job access by 17% in one year through transit and 2.2 sq mile “smart area”. New York City leads on job access via transit, study says

By Jason Plautz, July 2, 2018, Smart City Dive Dive Brief: New York City has the highest job accessibility by transit, with 31% of the city’s commutes being made by transit, according to a new study from the Accessibility Observatory at the University of Minnesota. Kansas City, MO showed the greatest improvement in the annual survey, with a more than 17% increase in its transit …

Children are an “indicator species” of a healthy downtown

By David Roberts@drvoxdavid@vox.com  Jun 21, 2017Young families typically leave cities for the suburbs. Here’s how to keep them downtown. Urbanist Brent Toderian explains how Vancouver held onto its families. Elementary school and playground in downtown Vancouver. (Brent Toderian) In North America, we take it for granted: When couples have kids, they move out of the city to the suburbs. The trend has only …