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 …

Valve-turner, Climate ‘Hero’ Gets Three-Year Prison Sentence for Shutting Down Tar Sands Pipeline

Common Dreams By Jessica Corbett 6 Feb 2018 Michael Foster, the valve turner who temporarily halted the flow of tar sands oil in TransCanada’s Keystone pipeline in October 2016, called for future actions to address the global climate crisis before he headed to prison, where he is expected to serve at least a year of his three-year sentence. “It doesn’t matter if I’m sitting in jail. …

5 Maps Show How Important Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities Are to the Environment

By Katie Reytar and Peter Veit – December 20, 2017  Indigenous groups and local communities occupy about half the world’s land, but hold legal rights to only a fraction of it. Photo by Michele Solmi/Flickr Indigenous Peoples and local communities are some of the best environmental stewards. Their livelihoods and cultures depend on forests, clean water and other natural resources, so they have strong incentives …

US land use

The U.S. land area totals just under 2.3 billion acres. Agricultural land use has become less common over time, declining from 63 percent in 1949 to 52 percent in 2012 (the latest data available). Gradual declines have occurred in cropland, while grazed forestland has decreased more rapidly. In 2012, 392 million acres of agricultural land were in cropland (18 percent …

Connecting With Nature Improves Minds and Moods

By Marlene Cimons Nexus Media Nov. 22, 2017 11:02AM EST  Twentieth Century German social psychologist Erich Fromm first advanced the notion that humans hold an inborn connection to nature. Later, it was popularized by biologist E.O. Wilson as “the urge to affiliate with other forms of life.” In the ensuing years, support for the positive effects of nature has gained considerable …

Reforestation project in the Brazilian Amazon is using a new technique for planting trees that results in more, stronger plants–and hopes to cover 70,000 acres in new forests

Developed in Brazil only a few years ago, the new planting technique is called muvuca. “In Portuguese, it means a lot of people in a very small place,” says Rodrigo Medeiros, Conservation International’s vice president of the Brazil program and the lead on the ground.  The muvuca strategy demands that seeds from more than 200 native forest species are spread over every square meter of burnt and …

Land use change in cities with AVs, new tech and TNCs. The importance of names for small neighborhoods, and more

In Futurism, The Conversation, 16 Oct 2017 by Tan Yigitcantar et al.  Smart City Solutions The convergence of technology and the city is seen as a possible remedy for the challenging issues of urbanisation. Autonomous vehicles are among the most popular of many smart city solutions. Also known as driverless car technology, it could reshape our cities. One recent prediction is that by 2040 these vehicles …

Land Use levers to prevent increased pollution and sprawl with mobility on demand

Excerpt from Giovanni Circella et al., UC-Davis The most important policy levers to mitigate against more sprawl and environmental damage will be pricing. There are several types of effective pricing mechanisms that are recommended: Pricing mobility: Pricing travel by VMT, vehicle size and incentivizing increased vehicle occupancy, while strongly dis-incentivizing zero occupancy trips will send the necessary signals that use of …

Maybe cities are the future of suburbs – apartments going up where there is space

Any place can become urban if enough people move in. By Noah Smith, Bloomberg, 11 Sep 2017 Urban or suburban?  Photographer: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images I recently had a discussion with my Bloomberg View colleagues Conor Sen and Justin Fox about whether cities or suburbs are the future in the U.S. This turns out to be a very popular and contentious topic. Richard Florida, the noted …