1. Study Finds Poor Neighborhoods Have More Mosquitoes

    MILLBROOK, N.Y. - A new study published in the Journal of Medical Entomology reports that in Baltimore neighborhoods with high levels of residential abandonment are hotspots for tiger mosquitoes (Aedes albopictus).This environmental injustice may leave low-income urban residents more vulnerable to mosquito-borne disease.
  2. How Trump's Policies Could Affect the Power Sector

    During its successful presidential campaign, the Trump Administration derived much of its support from (and perhaps owes its victory to) blue collar, rust belt residents.These individuals feel they have been left behind not just by the changes in the economy, but by the ongoing transformation of the energy sector in the United States, which has left coal-fired generation (and related extraction industries) in the figurative dust.
  3. Nashville Welcomes All Its Rowdy Friends

    Like the country music that made it famous, the city of Nashville, Tenn., has been through some changes in recent years.Just as the “Nashville sound” of Jim Reeves and Patsy Cline gradually gave way to the more raucous and glitzy contemporary country music of Garth Brooks and Taylor Swift, so has the city itself gone from a quiet little town of less than 180,000 in 1960 to one of the fastest growing urban centers in the South, now with more than 650,000 people and an estimated 85 to 100 more arriving every day.
  4. Hospitals, Communities Work Together on 'Population Health'

    When it all comes down to it, sustainability is really about designing healthy places to live and work for generations to come.So, it only stands to reason that hospitals can be important allies in that endeavor. After all, who knows better how to promote wellness than the institutions established with that very mission in mind? If your community isn’t already integrating resources from local healthcare institutions into its sustainability plans, now might be the time to reach out.
  5. The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2016

    As of the end of 2016, more than 1,000 jurisdictions in the United States have made formal commitments to streets that are safe and convenient for everyone — no matter their age, income, race, ethnicity, physical ability, or how they choose to travel — by passing a complete streets policy, according to a new report issued by Smart Growth America and the National Complete Streets Coalition.More communities passed these policies in 2016 than ever before.
  6. Growing Sustainable Communities Conference Slated Oct. 3-4

    DUBUQUE, Iowa – The Growing Sustainable Communities Conference celebrates its 10th anniversary at the Grand River Center in the Port of Dubuque on Oct. 3-4.Registration is now open on the conference web site at www.GSCDubuque.com.
  7. Bitter Reaction as Trump Bails on Climate Accord

    The sustainability community erupted with nearly universal dismay, outrage and resolve in the face of President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement late last week. But few were really surprised.After all, Trump was merely making good on another campaign promise, pitting his administration against the 71 percent of U.S. citizens who believe climate change is a clear and present danger, and joining only the countries of Syria and Nicaragua in defiance of the accord, which was signed by nearly 200 nations.
  8. Lean Urbanism Recalls a Simpler Time

    Over the last several decades, real estate developers and urban designers have watched building code books swell from the size of small booklets to the size of dictionaries.Some say the increase in regulations has been essential to protect life, limb and property. Others think politics, special interest groups and neglect have supplanted common sense to create a hopelessly complex array of outdated, expensive and unnecessary mandates that serve to push small developers out of the marketplace altogether.
  9. Urban Design without Displacement

    Gentrification has changed the composition of a number of urban areas in the United States and internationally. In the U.S., this has sometimes meant the displacement of poorer communities of color by wealthier white populations moving in and pricing them out of the market.Often, the phenomenon results from profit-driven developers seeking cheap land in neighborhoods that have a history of disinvestment. Cities like Portland, Chicago, San Francisco, New York and Washington, D.C., among others, are often identified in tandem with gentrification.
  10. Report Outlines Best Urban Mobility Solutions Worldwide

    According to a recent report on urban mobility trends, San Francisco is the North American city that has made the most progress toward operating a zero emissions transportation system.The report, published by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), also shows that Oslo, London and Amsterdam are the cities worldwide that offer the most advanced, sustainable city transport solutions.
  11. Researchers Study Parking Needs at TODs

    A new study released by Smart Growth America and the University of Utah helps decision makers determine how much parking is required at transit-oriented developments (TODs) compared to developments without transit or transit stations without development.The land near transit stations is a valuable commodity. Hundreds or thousands of people travel to and through these places each day, and decisions about what to do with this land have implications for local economies, transit ridership, residents’ access to opportunity, and overall quality of life for everyone.
  12. Iowa Legislature Defunds Sustainable Agriculture Research

    A bill passed by the Iowa Legislature to defund the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture now waits on the desk of Republican Gov. Terry Branstad.Supporters of the 30-year-old research center at Iowa State University in Ames are hoping one of Bradstad's final acts as governor will be to veto the closure. After all, it was Bradstad himself who signed the 1987 Iowa Groundwater Protection Act into law, providing funds to establish and maintain the Leopold Center.
  13. Sustainable Design, Amenities Enhance Creek Restoration

    In the heart of Dubuque, Iowa, the Bee Branch Creek runs along residential neighborhoods at the city’s north end, through the Highway 151 commercial district, and to the 16th Street Detention Basin before reaching its ultimate destination: the Mississippi River.The Lower Bee Branch Creek Restoration Project, completed in 2011, and the Upper Bee Branch Creek Restoration Project, currently under construction, are part of a multi-faceted approach to addressing the severe and frequent flash flooding experienced in Dubuque’s Bee Branch Watershed.
  14. North America's Freshwater Lakes Getting Saltier

    MILLBROOK, N.Y. - North America's freshwater lakes are getting saltier due to development and exposure to road salt.A study of 371 lakes published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports that many Midwestern and Northeastern lakes are experiencing increasing chloride trends, with some 44 percent of lakes sampled in these regions undergoing long-term salinization.
  15. Offshore Wind in the Trump Era: Does It Have a Future?

    Since 2006 the U.S. has added just over 50 gigawatts of wind power capacity, however, virtually all of that installation has been land-based.In fact, of the 20 largest land-based wind farms in the world, nine are located in the U.S., totaling 6.4 gigawatts of generating capacity – enough electricity to power more than 1.4 million homes each year. As much of an achievement as those figures represent, the promise of offshore wind power development is even greater.
  16. Trump Order Rescinds Obama Climate Initiatives

    In a sweeping executive order, U.S. President Donald Trump has reversed course on the federal government's response to climate change, rescinding numerous environmental protections implemented by the Obama administration.Trump, who has famously described scientific evidence of climate change as a hoax perpetrated by China, framed the March 28 order as actions intended to promote U.S. energy independence and economic growth.
  17. Palo Alto Embraces Its Family Tree

    If ever there was a tree that served as a metaphor for a city – consider El Palo Alto. The tree, whose name means “the tall stick” in Spanish, is a 110-foot-tall California redwood that stands on the bank of a creek near the southwest tip of San Francisco Bay, where it has stood for more than 1,000 years.While human activity in the first half of the 20th century nearly killed it, people began rallying to care for its health in the 1950s and it has since rebounded – albeit about 50 feet shorter than it once was.
  18. Trump's Budget Declares War on Sustainability

    The opening salvo of President Trump's war on sustainability was fired last week when he released his preliminary budget outline for FY2018.As promised throughout his campaign and in the early months of his administration, Trump’s first budget proposal to Congress attempts to lead the United States in a completely new direction, with a dramatic shift in national priorities.
  19. Big Data and the Internet of Things

    According to technology lore, the “Internet of Things” first came into being in the early 1980s when someone in the computer science department at Carnegie Mellon University connected a soda machine to the Internet so they could tell without leaving their desk whether their favorite brand of soda was still in stock and had reached the desired temperature.Since these auspicious beginnings, humankind has been adding almost every conceivable device to the global network.
  20. Saving America's Public Housing

    The U.S. government has created a housing crisis by chronically underfunding public housing for years, according to a recent report by the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association.As a result, there is a $26 billion backlog of unmet capital needs in America's public housing stock, and local housing authorities are receiving only 70 percent of the operating funds they were promised, the report states.
  21. Driverless Car Technology Speeds Along

    Driverless cars, also known as autonomous vehicles (or AVs), aren't science fiction. While many questions remain about safety, infrastructure, federal oversight, and the practical applications of the technology itself, experts agree that local governments should begin planning now.Like the “horseless carriage” that overwhelmed and totally changed the world forever in the 20th Century, driverless cars are expected by some to do the same in the not-too-distant future.
  22. Inclusionary Housing Policies Attract Millennials

    In a country where housing supply is not keeping up with demand, especially for cash-strapped working families and millennials, many cities are using inclusionary zoning ordinances to make sure middle-class homebuyers aren’t left out in the cold when housing developers draw up their plans.Key to any discussion on affordable housing is the definition of “affordable” and exactly who can afford it.
  23. U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Down 11.6% Since 2007

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a draft report this week that indicates the nation's greenhouse gas emissions declined 2.2 percent in 2015, continuing a generally downward trend since U.S. emissions peaked in 2007.Overall, net emissions in 2015 were 11.6 percent below 2007 levels, according to the report. Except for 2012, when emissions were slightly lower, they have not been this low since 1993.
  24. Equity, Smart Growth Converge at St. Louis Conference

    ST. LOUIS, Mo. − With civil unrest after the Michael Brown shooting, legal challenges over discriminatory policing practices, and the contentious election of President Donald Trump all serving as unavoidable subplots, equity and inclusivity were reoccurring themes at the 16th annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference.While Trump's name was not uttered once during the opening plenary session, his perceived threat to the core values of many in the room was palpable.
  25. Synthetics: Ignored Agents of Global Change

    MILLBROOK, New York -- Despite a steady rise in the manufacture and release of synthetic chemicals, research on the ecological effects of pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and industrial chemicals is severely lacking.This blind spot undermines efforts to address global change and achieve sustainability goals. So reports a new study in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, a publication of the Ecological Society of America.
  26. Community Tree Canopy Programs Made Easy

    Empowering citizens to acquire the right trees, and plant them in the right locations, can make an important contribution to a city’s sustainability goals, and the Arbor Day Foundation recently made it a lot easier for local governments and organizations to get a tree distribution program up and running.By now, most people know the benefits of trees:
  27. Dangerous by Design: Report Advocates for Pedestrian Safety

    Between 2005 and 2014, a total of 46,149 Americans were struck and killed by cars while walking.A new report released this month by Smart Growth America and its National Complete Streets Coalition argues that street design is a leading factor in this escalating problem.
  28. Feeding Public Schools with Local Food Hubs

    Question: Can schools be viable local food markets for farmers if they partner with a food hub?Answer: Yes, according to a recent study conducted by Iowa State University with a grant from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. In order to truly grow farm to school programs, there needs to be an intermediary market like a food hub that can serve as a facilitator between the farmer and the school.
  29. Swimming in Sustainability

    Situated five miles from the Alabama border in southern-middle Tennessee is the quaint city of Loretto. With a population of approximately 1,800, the town is usually quiet, but recently there’s been a big splash with the opening of a new state-of-the-art recreation space.Through a partnership with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s Office of Sustainable Practices (TDEC), Division of Recreation Educational Services, and Croy Engineering, Loretto celebrated the opening of its new pool in August 2016.
  30. Neighborhood Revitalization Springs from the Pulpit

    During the Christmas season, popular 1940s-era movies get a lot of play on cable TV, with heartwarming stories of churches helping their people and communities in times of need.Think of Bing Crosby in “Bells of St. Mary’s” or “Going My Way.”
  31. Food Sovereignty: Beyond Community Gardens

    The local foods movement has swept the nation in recent years, with individuals buying foods produced close to home or grown in their own backyards or community gardens. This emphasis can also be found in some restaurants, grocery stores and school cafeterias.Local foods are considered by many to be more nutritious as well as more sustainable, because they typically require less energy to grow, package and transport than commercial brands.
  32. Community Visioning on a Smaller Scale

    Municipal leaders and staff in large metro areas face ongoing maintenance of roads, bridges, sewers, housing, transit fleets, and other fixtures of urban life. Small towns have infrastructure and amenities to work on, too, but on a smaller scale.Some projects can be as simple as installing an attractive welcome sign at the city limits and putting a little landscaping around it.
  33. Connected Infrastructure - Bright Future

    According to Wikipedia, “A smart city is an urban development vision to integrate multiple information and communication technology (ICT) and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions in a secure fashion to manage a city’s assets.”Now, if you could gather that information and use it to predict elements of the future that would save time and money, and increase the safety of residents, you would be well on your way to becoming an "intelligent city."
  34. Deconstruction: Beyond the Bang

    An unsafe or unrepairable building doesn't have to be a burden. In the right hands, it's a treasure trove.How do you make money from a crumbling residence hall or hospital? "It's what you know, and it's also who you know," said Don Seymour, principal at FEH Design.
  35. SWEEP Advances Energy Efficiency in Six States

    Advocates have learned that energy efficiency programs are significantly more effective when they have the support of local utility companies.“We make the case that these polices are good for the utility company, the economy and the environment,” said Howard Geller, executive director of the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP). “We work with utilities in a collaborative way. We offer to help make energy efficiency programs financially attractive to both them and their customers.”
  36. Gamifying Disaster Preparedness

    The trouble with disaster response is that decisions have to be made at the wrong time — because all times are the wrong time.Either civic leaders must act in the midst of an emergency, when damage is mounting and emotions run high, or they must make choices when there is no emergency and everything seems fine. Harvey Hill and Jason Smith, of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Institute for Water Resources, describe this as “cycles of complacency and panic.”
  37. Tackling Poverty One Asset at a Time

    Generational systemic poverty doesn't just affect individuals and families. It affects entire communities. So it makes sense that individuals, families, and communities combine resources to resolve poverty, together.Two organizations in Dubuque, Iowa, are involved in an innovative national movement that engages individuals and communities to resolve poverty. One of these is the Circles Initiative, a networking model for under-resourced individuals and families to address the barriers in their lives and create a supported vision for their future.
  38. Is the Infrastructure 'Time Bomb' About to Blow?

    With infrastructure crumbling, and limited resources to repair and replace it, decisions about which projects have highest priority and how to pay for them loom large for many cities.For years, experts have been warning that catastrophic failures in roads, bridges, dams, sewers and water mains are inevitable without dramatic increases in capital spending.
  39. Fostering Sustainability from the Ground Up

    Sustainability starts with neighborhoods and, with the right promotion, can spread across an entire city and into the next until it becomes a regional force for positive change.Organizers of a statewide survey in Wisconsin and a neighborhood initiative in Hobart, Ind., shared their experiences and discoveries at the recent Growing Sustainable Communities Conference in Dubuque. One of the biggest lessons learned:
Sustainable Design, Amenities Enhance Creek Restoration

In the heart of Dubuque, Iowa, the Bee Branch Creek runs along residential neighborhoods at the city’s north end, through the Highway 151 commercial district, and to the 16th Street Detention Basin before reaching its ultimate destination: the Mississippi River.

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