What drove the driving downturn?

In an (academic) brawl over sprawl, planners are debating whether compact development contributed to a recent decrease in vehicles miles traveled. See Journal of the American Planning Association and CityLab By Richard Florida, 6 April 2017 Wikimedia Commons Since 2004, driving as measured by the number of vehicle miles traveled declined, reaching a two-decade low in 2012. Slumping figures for …

Who should own and benefit from our country’s infrastructure?

Who should own and benefit from our country’s infrastructure? What is really being lost here is the public interest. Infrastructure should primarily serve public needs, not generate profits for enterprises owned and controlled by companies that care far more about their own bottom lines than the common good. That’s not to say that private interests can never build roads or bridges …

4 Dying Nuke Plants vs. Fleet of Gigafactories: Which Will Gov. Cuomo Choose?

By Harvey Wasserman and Tim Judson, EcoWatch, 30 March 2017 Elon Musk’s SolarCity is completing the construction of its “Buffalo Billion” Gigafactory for photovoltaic (PV) cells near the Niagara River in Buffalo, New York. It will soon put 500 New Yorkers to work inside the 1.2 million-square-foot facility with another 700 nearby, ramping up to nearly 3,000 over the next …

Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project, first solar farm on tribal land, is now online

Originally published on Solar Love and in the Santa Fe New Mexican, 22 March 2017 On March 16th, the first solar farm on tribal land in the US was activated. The 250 megawatt Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project, located on the 112 square mile Moapa River Indian Reservation about 30 miles north of Las Vegas, contains more than 3.2 million solar panels covering …

Real solutions to housing unaffordability make housing and transport more affordable, accessible for all

Todd Litman | 21 February 2017 on Planetizen Many households spend more than they can afford on housing and transportation, but the latest International Housing Affordability Survey is wrong to recommend sprawl as the best solution. Real solutions must reduce both housing and transport costs. Many hard-working families spend more than they can afford on housing and transportation, leaving them …

Climate Conference with Justice Action Mobilization Network in NYC, March 10-11

This event is Presented By: Tisch School of the Arts, in association with Hip Hop Caucus and Justice Action Mobilization Network The Climate Action Conference will bring together diverse stakeholders on climate at a critically important time within our new political reality in America. Through the conference we intend to jump start new strategies for collaboration and communicating about climate …

Remembering Berta Cáceres and what was so neat about her

Indigenous and environmental leader Berta Cáceres was murdered in her home in Honduras on March 2, 2016.  (Photo: Goldman Enviornmental Foundation) Interview by Beverly Bell in Common Dreams, 2 Mar 2017 How do you see your mother’s legacy? Berta Zúñiga Cáceres: She didn’t view her role in a top-down way, as in “I’m saving the people,” but rather she recognized the …

Australian consortium launches world-first digital energy marketplace for rooftop solar

Really good news, initially published in The Guardian, 22 Feb 2017.  Pilot program will allow homeowners to tap into a network of ‘virtual’ power stations made up of smart grids of rooftop solar and batteries.   Australian homeowners with solar panels and batteries could soon trade their electricity in a digital marketplace developed by a consortium of electricity providers, energy …

Build more housing and less parking near transit

Governing Magazine’s February 2017 issue says a A Low-Cost Solution to Traffic is building housing that limits how far people have to drive in the first place — building more housing close to the urban cores — or, at least, close to the dense suburban job centers. Urban planners often argue for locating more housing along high-frequency transit lines, which makes sense …