Large cities may cut emissions by a third based on improvements in housing density alone. Reducing driving is essential

Patrick Sisson at Curbed pointed out recently that some studies have estimated that large global cities could cut their emissions by a third based on improvements in housing density alone. We have to start talking about these solutions and making them part of mainstream environmental policy, Hankins says. Time is running out. “We can’t afford to ignore significant climate mitigation measures just …

Car bans are the future in vehicle clogged cities

“It might feel odd to stroll across a crosswalk and not have the grill of a car, waiting to turn right, breathing on your leg. Vehicles have taken over our streets, so people assume vehicles have the right of way,” said Kaufman. Car bans aren’t just about getting places faster. Urban dwellers don’t have to tolerate car-choked streets where pedestrian …

Studying the intersection of policies promoting affordable housing, transit, and driving reduction

By Caltrans, research by Marlon Boarnet, University of Southern California Raphael Bostic, University of Southern California Danielle Williams, University of Southern California, April 2017 Studying the intersection of policies promoting affordable housing, transit-oriented developments (TODs), and the reduction of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in metropolitan areas, this paper focuses in particular on the following questions: Does locating affordable units in …

Fossil Gas Has No Future in Low-Carbon Buildings

January 6, 2020  |  By Mark Silberg, RMI States and cities across the country are beginning to grapple with a persistent source of carbon emissions that has largely gone ignored: burning fossil fuels in buildings. While the electric power sector nationally has reduced emissions more than 25 percent, there has been no change in carbon emissions from direct fossil fuel use in …

In Portland, “20-Minute Living” is the Norm

By Allison Arieff, BuildABetterBurb.org Equitable Places, Mixed-Use Development, Transit-Oriented Development Can I get a cup of coffee nearby? Can I get to work by public transit? How close is the dog park? The playground? There’s a great firm based in Portland, Oregon called Gerding Edlen that has developed a brilliant idea for urban development called “20-Minute Living.” Imagine, they explain, …

It’s time to ban demolition and design for deconstruction

Lloyd Alter January 17, 2020 Oliver Wainright of the Guardian calls for a rethink of the way we put buildings together and take them apart. “Ban Demolition” is a tag on TreeHugger because we have long argued for renovation and reuse, especially in this era when we worry about the upfront carbon emissions of new construction. Oliver Wainwright of the …

Buildings Are an Ideal but Overlooked Climate Solution Emma Stewart, Graham Pugh and Matt Jordan – November 04, 2019, Print In her speech before the United Nations in September 2019, Greta Thunberg called out the assembled world leaders for their stubborn adherence to the status quo in the face of an escalating climate crisis. “How dare you pretend that this can be solved with just business as …

Leaks of natural gas used for heating homes and businesses are major contributors to methane in the atmosphere

California Institute of Technology. “Natural-gas leaks are important source of greenhouse gas emissions in Los Angeles.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 August 2019. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/08/190812144922.htm> Scientist have found that methane in L.A.’s air correlates with the seasonal use of gas for heating homes and businesses. In discussions of anthropogenic climate change, carbon dioxide generally gets the spotlight, but it is not the only …

Cost, comfort emphasized as building electrification takes off in Colorado

Allen Best, Nov 2019 Boulder, Colorado. A Boulder campaign is making a pitch to residents that they can save money and breathe easier by switching from gas.  Comfort, not climate, is the central message of a campaign in Colorado to persuade homeowners to switch from natural gas to electricity for heating and other indoor purposes. The joint program sponsored by …