April 29 2014

Athens to its Combat Heat Island Effect with a City of Green Roofs?

April 29th, 2014Posted by 

With over three thousand hours of sunshine per year, Athens, and Greece in general, is blessed with the gift of sun. And as a result, solar heaters rule the cityscape. Establishing their presence in the 1970s, solar heaters became popular in Greece, and since then their use has continued to increase. Greece ranks second amongst European […]

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April 25 2014

Green Infrastructure Meets Green Solutions: Wisconsin’s New Energy Institute

April 25th, 2014Posted by 

The energy crisis is not only an American problem but also a global problem. What will happen when fossil fuels run out? Can our planet and its inhabitants even survive the constant burning of these fossil fuels? The University of Wisconsin-Madison doesn’t want to wait around to find out. Their skilled energy researchers and scientists […]

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April 25 2014

Preparing for the Worst: Resilience in Washington, D.C.

April 25th, 2014Posted by 

A recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlights the fact that the effects of climate change are already transpiring, and that cities will need to adapt to these changes. As a city with large amounts of land residing in a low-elevation coastal zone, the most pressing challenge for Washington, D.C. will […]

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April 23 2014

5 Years After the Formation of Nairobi’s “Friends of Karura Forest”

April 23rd, 2014Posted by 

Urban forests are a vital component of a city. They play an important role in maintaining the natural balance in urban areas. The social, psychological, recreational, and economic benefits of these forests are innumerable. However, of greater importance is the cooling urban heat island effect and climate moderation effects that these environmental ecosystems provide, resulting […]

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April 16 2014

Two Projects to Celebrate 1,000 Years of the Cathedral of Strasbourg, Alsace, France

April 16th, 2014Posted by 

A sustainable lighting installment will accompany the millennial anniversary of Strasbourg’s Cathedral, whose foundation work was begun in 1015. In addition to this municipal project, an enormous clock will be added to the interior of the building upon the wishes of the diocese. The clock’s installation is scheduled to take place between March and May […]

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April 15 2014

University of Wisconsin’s Rapid Plan for a Sustainable Future

April 15th, 2014Posted by 

Madison, Wisconsin is a city where politics meet academics. The mid-sized city is both the state capital and home to the state’s largest public university – the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As a student at UW-Madison, it is easy to become frustrated with all the construction constantly occurring on campus. Detours and caution signs have become […]

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April 09 2014

Maryland’s Septics Law Highlights Differences of Rural and Urban Communities

April 9th, 2014Posted by 

Maryland’s Sustainable Growth & Agricultural Preservation Act of 2012, also known as the septics law, widened the divide between rural and urban communities in the state. The law is part of a bundle of programs pushed through within the last decade to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay. Some of these initiatives include: Enhanced […]

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March 17 2014

Rennes, Brittany, #1 Amongst France’s Sustainable Cities

March 17th, 2014Posted by 

The city of Rennes was named France’s top sustainable city in the last issue of the monthly publication Terra Eco. The following is an interview with David Solon, the magazine’s editor-in-chief and co-founder. On February 28th, 2014 the eco-conscious publication Terra Eco released a ranking of sustainable cities. Judged according to 20 pre-established criteria, 30 […]

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March 12 2014

Industrial Mills of Jones Falls Redeveloped for a New Baltimore

March 12th, 2014Posted by 

My previous blog discussed the chronic undercrowding in the City of Baltimore and the current plans to reverse it by charming homebuyers with reduced property tax rates. The City has also been charming developers of the once abandoned stone mills clustered around Jones Falls. The lure is still tax related, but this time in the […]

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March 07 2014

Kifissos & Ilissos Rivers: A Tale of Two Rivers in Athens, Greece

March 7th, 2014Posted by 

Imagine how different Athens, Greece would be, if there was a river, or two, complementing the urban environment. “But there is one!” some might say, there is Kifissos River, even though it may not be like the River Thames in London or the Seine, Paris. Kifissos River flows through the Athenian Basin. Various archaeological findings […]

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March 04 2014

Tapping into a New Market: Affordable Housing in Phoenix, Arizona

March 4th, 2014Posted by 

What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “affordable housing?” Crime, low property values, poor design? These negative connotations cause many cities and private developers to approach affordable housing projects with excessive caution, leaving many opportunities untouched. Despite government incentives, such as federal grants and Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, there is still an enormous […]

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February 27 2014

Baltimore’s Revenue Base on the Rise as “Change to Grow” Increases Population

February 27th, 2014Posted by 

The City of Baltimore is in dire need of new residents. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake appears to have her sights on so-called “new Baltimoreans” to fill the city’s empty houses. Baltimore’s current population of 621,342, while a spirited group, is not enough to support the services provided by the City. Gaining new residents via immigration has […]

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February 26 2014

Madison Follows Florence’s Lead: A Proposal to Increase Downtown Density

February 26th, 2014Posted by 

Density has long been an important feature of thriving cities. High density neighborhoods favor pedestrian walkability over the use of automobiles and provide more efficient use of infrastructure. Madison, Wisconsin is currently debating how to increase its downtown density, while still abiding by the city’s building height rule. No building in the downtown vicinity can […]

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February 25 2014

Urban Farming in London’s World War II Bomb Shelters

February 25th, 2014Posted by 

Urban sprawl around the world has created an agricultural epidemic due to the decreasing space available for farmland. Ideas about how urban farming can improve the agricultural sector, as well as the sustainability of the produce, has become more apparent within the last ten years. Recently, an urban farm was built under Clapham, London, showcasing […]

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February 14 2014

How Walkable is Nairobi’s Central Business District?

February 14th, 2014Posted by 

Are you comfortable walking in your city? After parking your car or getting off a bus, do you agonize at the fact that you must take a walk through crowded streets to your destination? ‘Walkability’ is not discussed frequently in African cities. However, the ever rising urban population and increased human traffic is raising questions […]

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January 27 2014

Book Review: ‘Urbanism in the Age of Climate Change’

January 27th, 2014Posted by 

Urbanism in the Age of Climate Change is an extended summary of Peter Calthorpe’s thought leadership in the areas of urban planning and its impacts on the surrounding environment. Arguing the holistic nature of planning decisions, Urbanism is full of quotable lines and beautiful graphics demonstrating how our carbon footprint continues to grow despite advances […]

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January 21 2014

Ningbo City, China Proposes to Build Wetland Eco-Park in Industrial Zone

January 21st, 2014Posted by 

Zhenhai District, the primary chemical industrial zone in Ningbo City and Zhejiang Province, has proposed to build a two-square-kilometer wetland Eco-Park. Among its 246 square kilometers of land in the Zhenhai District, 56.22 square kilometers are industrial. Dust coming from burning coal is the major environmental issue that the local residents complain about. In recent […]

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January 14 2014

Abracadabra: A Book Review of Kunstler’s “Too Much Magic”

January 14th, 2014Posted by 

Have people begun to believe that technology can solve all the world’s problems? Author James Howard Kunstler makes this convincing argument in his newest book Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology, and the Fate of the Nation. In his first nonfiction book since the The Long Emergency (2005), Kunstler presents new evidence to support his […]

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January 09 2014

KCP&L Using Complexity to Simplify Problems with the SmartGrid

January 9th, 2014Posted by 

The energy industry is a gigantic web of information and non-linear processes that have different networks, feed-ins, and balances between supply and demand on a second-by-second basis. Even at the city level, providing power adequately to all citizens and incurring minimal losses is a challenge all in itself. In the context of global emissions, energy […]

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January 09 2014

A Farewell to The Grid, from Gina Kiani of the East Bay, California

January 9th, 2014Posted by 

It’s hard to believe that my internship with Global Site Plans (GSP) has come to an end. Being a contributor to The Grid has helped me hone my skills as a writer; to more effectively convey and articulate my topics of interest. Focusing on topics of urban planning, through the lens of sustainability and geographic information […]

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