Archive for the ‘Energy’ Category

November 28 2013

The In’s And Out’s Of Benziger’s Biodynamic Winery

November 28th, 2013Posted by 

The property now encompassing the Benziger Family Winery was once the site of an outrageous experiment to create a cabernet-infused marijuana strain called “Sonoma Coma.”  Although the pot production ceased once the property was sold to the Benzigers, the 1970’s vibe of health, harmony, and environmental philosophy continues under its new ownership.  The Benziger family’s […]

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November 27 2013

Is Parco Sud a Park or Agricultural Land?: A Southern Milan Debate

November 27th, 2013Posted by 

Parks have always been considered as green spaces for recreational use. Lately, urban planning policies have been expanding their definition by providing significant attention to different types of green spaces across the city – and their functionalities. “The Rural Park of South Milan,” also known as “Parco Sud,” is an example of how diverse a park can […]

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November 15 2013

Is the Era of Limited Energy Options in Minneapolis Over?

November 15th, 2013Posted by 

Until recently, Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy have been the only options for Minneapolis residents to receive electricity and gas. Coal is currently the largest portion of Xcel Energy’s sources, while natural gas is the largest for CenterPoint Energy. The contract these energy companies have with the city of Minneapolis is coming to a halt […]

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November 14 2013

California’s Environmental Goals and Policy Report Finally Released

November 14th, 2013Posted by 

Since resuming Governor of California, the Environmental Goals and Policy Report (EGPR) was released under Jerry Brown thirty years behind schedule. The Governor’s Office of Planning & Research typically releases the report every four years, but has not completed drafted attempts since Brown’s last term in 1978. This report, titled California’s Climate Future, defines targets […]

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November 13 2013

Heated by Hard Drives: Urban Heating in Marne-La-Vallée, Seine-et-Marne, France

November 13th, 2013Posted by 

Until now, heat given off by data centers* was simply carried off into the air by means of various climate control systems. But in the past few years, inspired by Cherbourg, a city heated by seawater, initiatives for collecting and reusing of these calories have been established in order to provide heating for housing, offices, […]

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November 06 2013

The Dutch Lead the Greening of Brownfields

November 6th, 2013Posted by 

Over its fourteen years, the Canadian Brownfields Conference has shifted its focus from soil remediation methods to brownfield redevelopment, highlighting the reuse of land as a key component of urban planning and creating vibrant communities. This change was echoed in all but one of the Canadian Urbanism Institute Brownie Award winners. A rare International Brownie […]

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November 01 2013

The Minnesota-Canada Oil Bond and the Enbridge Pipeline Expansion Proposal

November 1st, 2013Posted by 

When one thinks of states hit hard by oil prices, California and Hawaii usually come to mind. However, in May 2013 the trend was reversed, with the Midwest (particularly Minnesota) leading the pack in the highest oil prices. While the prices of oil are based on a multitude of forces, with both domestic economic influences […]

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October 16 2013

Draining the Earth: Natural Gas Drilling an Issue for Pittsburgh

October 16th, 2013Posted by 

Currently one of the largest environmental issues in the United States is the debate on drilling for Natural Gas. This debate has hit close to home as well, as the city of Pittsburgh and the surrounding area sits along one of the largest natural gas filled rock formations in the country, the Marcellus Shale. By […]

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September 25 2013

Expo 2017: “Energy for the Future” to be Held in Astana, Kazakhstan

September 25th, 2013Posted by 

Kazakhstan, a country with extensive oil and natural gas reserves, will hold an international exposition on sustainable energy in 2017. Expo 2017  - “Energy for the Future” is one of the international expositions regulated by the International Exhibitions Bureau. Astana, Kazakhstan’s capital, bested Liege, Belgium in the 2012 bid to hold Expo 2017. Each city […]

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September 19 2013

The Living Building Challenge for Sustainability in the Built Environment

September 19th, 2013Posted by 

The open Sustainability Colloquium at the University of California, Berkeley is a presentation series featuring sustainability topics from leading practitioners of urban planning, architecture, landscape design, engineering, consulting, construction, development, and research. The University of California, Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design hosts an open Sustainability Colloquium directed by Professor Gail Brager on Fridays from 1-2pm […]

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September 06 2013

The Forgotten 25%: Composting to Implement Zero-Waste in the Twin Cities

September 6th, 2013Posted by 

About five months ago, when I decided to start a composting bin in my apartment, a skeptical friend asked what the difference was between the material going to a landfill and it simply decomposing. At the time, I had no answer that seemed to satisfy. However, now, given the chance to complete further research, it […]

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September 05 2013

Sonoma County’s Mobile App Assisted Rideshare Program Shifts Into Second Gear

September 5th, 2013Posted by 

An innovative ridesharing program has taken hold in Sonoma County, California, as  WeGo Sonoma continues to utilize the real-time mobile rideshare app known as “Carma.” The app allows drivers and riders to post their planned and needed trips, and creates a system of payment so the cost of the trip is shared between both parties. Unlike services […]

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August 23 2013

Minneapolis’ Collision of Monumental Architecture and Environmental Concerns

August 23rd, 2013Posted by 

Although for the past decade Minnesotans have debated building a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings, it was not until footage went viral of the Metrodome Stadium roof collapse during a 2010 winter storm that national attention was given to Minneapolis’ desire for a new sports facility. This wish was granted on March 1st, 2012 […]

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July 25 2013

Climate Actions Plans Grow in Acceptance in Sonoma County

July 25th, 2013Posted by 

While support for climate protection has become fairly ubiquitous in Sonoma County, only one of its nine cities has implemented an official Climate Action Plan (CAP). To be fair, the other eight have adopted sustainability-related ordinances into their municipal codes such as integrated green building standards, water efficiency measures, and rideshare programs. Recently however, the Sonoma County Regional Climate Protection Authority (RCPA) began developing an implementation program that will lead […]

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July 10 2013

Sustainable Campuses: Universities Acting Locally and Educating Globally

July 10th, 2013Posted by 

One of the main concerns of urban planners nowadays is designing for a more sustainable environment. As planners, we commit to provide innovative ideas for sustainable urban design – but what about the others? When it comes to these sustainability principles, universities play a strong role in educating the next generation. Can universities educate a lifestyle towards more sustainable behavior? […]

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June 28 2013

The New Structure of Homelessness In Nottingham

June 28th, 2013Posted by 

A city is only as good as its people. And in these stringent economic times, this statement could not be true. Throughout history, those who fell on hard times created strategic and moralistic battles for their governing leaders. How exactly do you house the homeless, and how much is appropriate for budgeting their support? Nottingham […]

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June 24 2013

Creating A Sustainable Environment in Kane County, IL

June 24th, 2013Posted by 

Back in January, I wrote an article that discussed the recent planning efforts of Kane County, IL.  The decision to make “Healthy People, Healthy Living, Healthy Communities” the theme of the Kane County 2040 Plan “recognizes and emphasizes the connection between the most important resource in Kane County – its people – with the opportunities […]

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June 17 2013

Access for All: Our #thegrid Social Equity and Inclusiveness Twitter Chat Recap

June 17th, 2013Posted by 

After raising the question of how to achieve social equity and inclusiveness in urban planning, within our previous post, Global Site Plans’ The Grid and the Center for Social Inclusion turned to Twitter and #thegrid for a thought-provoking conversation on the topic. From this fast-paced one hour chat, four emerging trends appeared: 1. Access to […]

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June 11 2013

Asia’s Sprawling, High Density Future: Exporting New Urbanism to Developing Countries at The Congress for the New Urbanism’s CNU21

June 11th, 2013Posted by 

Dan Solomon, Mithun | Solomon Dan Solomon, CNU co-founder, author, and Principal at Mithun | Solomon, opened the session by saying that in the context of new urbanism concepts being introduced to developing countries, “We can’t exactly declare victory, but we’ve made our presence strong.” Overall, he explained the urban planning struggles in China. He […]

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June 07 2013

U Square Student Development Poised to Open Doors to Public

June 7th, 2013Posted by 

The University of Cincinnati campus has grown significantly in recent years – earning national distinction for its campus transformation – achieved through successful visioning and leadership in the last decade. This growth, which has elevated the rankings and reputation of the university 17 points (to the top tier of national universities in 2011), has likewise […]

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