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Archive: Urbanization

07 Jul 2014

In China’s Heartland, A Toxic Trail Leads from Factories to Fields to Food

by HE GUANGWEI
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22 May 2014

Putting San Francisco On the Road to Zero Waste

by CHERYL KATZ
For two decades, Jack Macy has spearheaded San Francisco’s efforts to become a global leader in recycling. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, he talks about how San Francisco has engaged the public in a recycling crusade that has resulted in the city reusing or composting 80 percent of its garbage. READ MORE

08 May 2014

In New Delhi, A Rough Road For Bus Rapid Transit Systems

by MIKE IVES
High-speed bus systems in crowded urban areas have taken off from Brazil to China, but introducing this form of mass transit to the teeming Indian capital of New Delhi has proven to be a vexing challenge. READ MORE

24 Mar 2014

UN Climate Report Is Cautious On Making Specific Predictions

by FRED PEARCE
The draft of the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that the world faces serious risks from warming and that the poor are especially vulnerable. But it avoids the kinds of specific forecasts that have sparked controversy in the past. READ MORE

10 Feb 2014

In Flood-Prone New Orleans, an Architect Makes Water His Ally

As these photographs and illustrations show, architect David Waggonner has decided that the best way to protect low-lying New Orleans is to think about water in an entirely different way. READ MORE

16 Jan 2014

Indian Microgrids Aim to Bring Millions Out of Darkness

by DAVID FERRIS
Powered by solar panels and biomass, microgrids are spreading slowly across India, where 300 million people live without electricity. But can these off-grid technologies be scaled-up to bring low-carbon power to tens of millions of people? READ MORE

06 Jan 2014

Urban Nature: How to Foster Biodiversity in World’s Cities

by RICHARD CONNIFF
As the world becomes more urbanized, researchers and city managers from Baltimore to Britain are recognizing the importance of providing urban habitat that can support biodiversity. It just may be the start of an urban wildlife movement. READ MORE

16 Dec 2013

Singapore Takes the Lead In Green Building in Asia

by MIKE IVES
By encouraging the adoption of innovative architectural design and energy-saving technologies, Singapore has emerged as a model of green building in Asia — an important development in a region that is urbanizing more rapidly than any other in the world. READ MORE

10 Dec 2013

A Successful Push to Restore Europe’s Long-Abused Rivers

by FRED PEARCE
From Britain to the Czech Republic, European nations have been restoring rivers to their natural state — taking down dams, removing levees, and reviving floodplains. For a continent that long viewed rivers as little more than shipping canals and sewers, it is a striking change. READ MORE

03 Dec 2013

Out of India’s Trash Heaps, A Controversy on Incineration

by DAVID FERRIS
India is planning to burn more of its trash to generate badly needed electricity. But as the case of a waste-to-energy plant in New Delhi shows, critics are worried about lax air pollution controls and the impact of incineration on people who eke out a living picking through waste dumps. READ MORE

14 Nov 2013

China at Crossroads: Balancing The Economy and Environment

by R. EDWARD GRUMBINE
After three decades of unbridled economic growth and mounting ecological problems, China and its new leadership face a key challenge: cleaning up the dirty air, polluted water, and tainted food supplies that are fueling widespread discontent among the country’s burgeoning middle class. READ MORE

07 Nov 2013

People or Parks: The Human Factor in Protecting Wildlife

by RICHARD CONNIFF
Recent studies in Asia and Australia found that community-managed areas can sometimes do better than traditional parks at preserving habitat and biodiversity. When it comes to conservation, maybe local people are not the problem, but the solution. READ MORE

19 Aug 2013

Bringing Back the Night: A Fight Against Light Pollution

by PAUL BOGARD
As evidence mounts that excessive use of light is harming wildlife and adversely affecting human health, new initiatives in France and elsewhere are seeking to turn down the lights that flood an ever-growing part of the planet. READ MORE

15 Aug 2013

Scientists and Aid Experts Plan for a Warmer Future

by DIANE TOOMEY
Climate scientists and humanitarian relief workers need to collaborate far more closely to prepare for a future of increased extreme weather events. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Harvard University public health expert Jennifer Leaning analyszes the results of a meeting between these two very different factions. READ MORE

08 Aug 2013

Recycling’s ‘Final Frontier’: The Composting of Food Waste

by DAVE LEVITAN
A move by New York City to begin collecting food scraps and other organic waste is just the latest example of expanding efforts by municipalities worldwide to recycle large quantities of unused food and slash the amount of material sent to landfills. READ MORE

05 Aug 2013

With Tar Sands Development, Growing Concern on Water Use

by ED STRUZIK
Environmental questions about Canada’s massive tar sands development have long centered on greenhouse gas emissions. Now there are mounting concerns about the huge volumes of water used by the oil industry and the impact on the vast Mackenzie River Basin. READ MORE

11 Jul 2013

In Mekong Delta, Rice Boom Has Steep Environmental Cost

by MIKE IVES
Vietnam has become one of the world’s leading rice producers, thanks to the construction of an elaborate network of dikes and irrigation canals. But these extensive infrastructure projects in the storied Mekong Delta have come at a high ecological price. READ MORE

24 Jun 2013

Our Overcrowded Planet: A Failure of Family Planning

by ROBERT ENGELMAN
New UN projections forecast that world population will hit nearly 11 billion people by 2100, an unsettling prospect that reflects a collective failure to provide women around the world with safe, effective ways to avoid pregnancies they don't intend or want. READ MORE

19 Jun 2013

Coal Pollution and the Fight For Environmental Justice

by DIANE TOOMEY
As its director of "climate justice," Jacqueline Patterson is leading the NAACP’s campaign to shut down coal-burning power plants in minority communities. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, she talks about the skepticism she faces from her own constituents. READ MORE

21 May 2013

For Africa’s Solar Sisters, Off-Grid Electricity is Power

by DIANE TOOMEY
U.S. businesswoman Katherine Lucey is working with a network of women entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa to sell inexpensive, household solar energy systems. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Lucey explains how solar electricity can transform lives, particularly those of rural women and girls. READ MORE

16 May 2013

In Post-Tsunami Japan, A Push To Rebuild Coast in Concrete

by WINIFRED BIRD
In the wake of the 2011 tsunami, the Japanese government is forgoing an opportunity to sustainably protect its coastline and is instead building towering concrete seawalls and other defenses that environmentalists say will inflict serious damage on coastal ecosystems. READ MORE

22 Apr 2013

Will Electric Bicycles Get Americans to Start Pedaling?

by MARC GUNTHER
Electric bicycles are already popular in Europe and in China, which has more e-bikes than cars on its roads. Now, manufacturers are marketing e-bikes in the U.S., promoting them as a "green" alternative to driving. READ MORE

11 Apr 2013

Copenhagen’s Ambitious Push To Be Carbon Neutral by 2025

by JUSTIN GERDES
The Danish capital is moving rapidly toward a zero-carbon future, as it erects wind farms, transforms its citywide heating systems, promotes energy efficiency, and lures more people out of their cars and onto public transportation and bikes. READ MORE

14 Mar 2013

Into the Heart of Ecuador’s Yasuni

Few places on earth harbor as much biodiversity as Ecuador’s Yasuni Biosphere Reserve, which sits atop vast deposits of oil and now faces intense development pressure. In a Yale Environment 360 video, filmmaker Ryan Killackey travels to the heart of Yasuni with scientists inventorying its stunning wildlife and plants. The researchers hope their work will bolster initiatives to preserve this threatened land. READ MORE

05 Mar 2013

Why a Highly Promising Electric Car Start-Up Is Failing

by MARC GUNTHER
Better Place was touted as one of the world’s most innovative electric vehicle start-ups when it launched six years ago. But after selling fewer than 750 cars in a major initiative in Israel and losing more than $500 million, the company’s experience shows that EVs are still not ready for primetime. READ MORE

26 Feb 2013

In Tibet, Change Comes to the Once-Pristine Roof of the World

by GEORGE SCHALLER
Renowned biologist George Schaller has been traveling to the Tibetan Plateau for nearly three decades, studying its unique wildlife. But with climate change and overgrazing taking a toll on the landscape, he reports, scientists and the Chinese government are working to preserve one of the planet’s wildest places. READ MORE

24 Jan 2013

To Tackle Runoff, Cities Turn to Green Initiatives

by DAVE LEVITAN
Urban stormwater runoff is a serious problem, overloading sewage treatment plants and polluting waterways. Now, various U.S. cities are creating innovative green infrastructure — such as rain gardens and roadside plantings — that mimics the way nature collects and cleanses water. READ MORE

17 Jan 2013

Black Carbon and Warming: It’s Worse than We Thought

by CARL ZIMMER
A new study indicates soot, known as black carbon, plays a far greater role in global warming than previously believed and is second only to CO2 in the amount of heat it traps in the atmosphere. Reducing some forms of soot emissions — such as from diesel fuel and coal burning — could prove effective in slowing down the planet’s warming. READ MORE

07 Jan 2013

Hurricane Sandy Relief Bill Fails to Face Coastal Realities

by ROB YOUNG
As part of the sorely-needed aid package to help victims of Hurricane Sandy, Congress is also considering spending billions on ill-advised and environmentally damaging beach and coastal rebuilding projects that ignore the looming threats of rising seas and intensifying storms. READ MORE

05 Dec 2012

Designing the Urban Landscape To Meet 21st Century Challenges

by DIANE TOOMEY
Martha Schwartz, a professor at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, explains in a Yale Environment 360 interview how creative landscape architecture can help cities become models of sustainability in a world facing daunting environmental challenges. READ MORE

19 Nov 2012

A Global Treaty on Rivers: Key to True Water Security

by FRED PEARCE
No broad-based international agreement on sharing rivers currently exists, even though much of the world depends on water from rivers that flow through more than one nation. But that may be about to change, as two separate global river treaties are close to being approved. READ MORE

06 Nov 2012

Battered New York City Looks For Ways to Hold Back the Sea

by BRUCE STUTZ
New York City had been gradually preparing for a world of rising seas and more powerful storms. But the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy is now forcing officials to consider spending billions of dollars on storm protection, including a network of surge barriers. READ MORE

10 Jul 2012

Cooling a Warming Planet: A Global Air Conditioning Surge

by STAN COX
The U.S. has long used more energy for air conditioning than all other nations combined. But as demand increases in the world’s warmer regions, global energy consumption for air conditioning is expected to continue to rise dramatically and could have a major impact on climate change. READ MORE

13 Feb 2012

Can Smarter Growth Guide China’s Urban Building Boom?

by DAVID BIELLO
The world has never seen anything like China’s dizzying urbanization boom, which has taken a heavy environmental toll. But efforts are now underway to start using principles of green design and smart growth to guide the nation’s future development. READ MORE

07 Nov 2011

Building Retrofits: Tapping The Energy-Saving Potential

by DAVID BIELLO
No more cost-effective way to make major cuts in energy use and greenhouse gas emissions exists than retrofitting buildings. Now, from New York to Mumbai to Melbourne, a push is on to overhaul older buildings to make them more energy efficient. READ MORE

17 Oct 2011

A Once-Polluted Chinese City Is Turning from Gray to Green

by CHRISTINA LARSON
Shenyang — once a key in Mao Zedong’s push to industrialize China — has begun to emerge from its smoggy past, cleaning up its factories and expanding its green spaces. In doing so, this city of 8 million people has been in the forefront of a growing environmental consciousness in urban China. READ MORE

14 Jul 2011

On Biking, Why Can’t the U.S. Learn Lessons from Europe?

by ELISABETH ROSENTHAL
Building bike paths alone will not get people out of their cars in the U.S. and onto bicycles. To create a thriving bike culture in America’s cities, people must begin to view bicycling as Europeans do — not just as a way of exercising, but as a serious form of urban mass transportation. READ MORE

10 Mar 2011

U.S. High-Speed Rail: Time to Hop Aboard or Be Left Behind

by ANDY KUNZ
In recent months, several conservative governors have rejected federal funds to begin constructing high-speed rail lines in their states. But a high-speed rail advocate argues that such ideologically driven actions are folly, as other U.S. states and countries around the world are moving swiftly to embrace a technology that is essential for competitive 21st-century economies. READ MORE

02 Dec 2010

Green Roofs are Starting To Sprout in American Cities

by BRUCE STUTZ
Long a proven technology in Europe, green roofs are becoming increasingly common in U.S. cities, with major initiatives in Chicago, Portland, and Washington, D.C. While initially more expensive than standard coverings, green roofs offer some major environmental — and economic — benefits. READ MORE

07 Oct 2010

How One Small Business Cut Its Energy Use and Costs

by TOM BOWMAN
How significant would it be if America’s 29 million small businesses increased their energy efficiency and reduced their emissions? Judging from the example of one California entrepreneur, the impact could be far greater than you might expect. READ MORE

16 Aug 2010

LEED Building Standards Fail to Protect Human Health

by JOHN WARGO
LEED certification has emerged as the green standard of approval for new buildings in the United States. But the criteria used for determining the ratings largely ignore factors relating to human health, particularly the use of potentially toxic building materials. READ MORE

24 May 2010

Toward Sustainable Travel: Breaking the Flying Addiction

by ELISABETH ROSENTHAL
Flying dwarfs any other individual activity in terms of carbon emissions, yet more and more people are traveling by air. With no quick technological fix on the horizon, what alternatives — from high-speed trains to advanced videoconferencing — can cut back the amount we fly? READ MORE

26 Oct 2009

The Greenest Place in the U.S. May Not Be Where You Think

by DAVID OWEN
Green rankings in the U.S. don’t tell the full story about the places where the human footprint is lightest. If you really want the best environmental model, you need to look at the nation’s biggest — and greenest — metropolis: New York City. READ MORE

28 Sep 2009

What Makes Europe Greener than the U.S.?

by ELISABETH ROSENTHAL
The average American produces three times the amount of CO2 emissions as a person in France. A U.S. journalist now living in Europe explains how she learned to love her clothesline and sweating in summer. READ MORE

03 Sep 2009

Reconnecting with Nature Through Green Architecture

by RICHARD CONNIFF
Stephen Kellert, a social ecologist, is a passionate advocate for the need to incorporate aspects of the natural world into our built environment. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, he explains what we can learn from cathedrals, why flowers in a hospital can heal, and how green design can boost a business’s bottom line.audio READ MORE

06 Apr 2009

China’s Grand Plans for Eco-Cities Now Lie Abandoned

by CHRISTINA LARSON
Mostly conceived by international architects, China’s eco-cities were intended to be models of green urban design. But the planning was done with little awareness of how local people lived, and the much-touted projects have largely been scrapped. READ MORE

03 Mar 2009

Pursuing the Elusive Goal of a Carbon-Neutral Building

by RICHARD CONNIFF
Yale University’s recently opened Kroon Hall is a state-of-the-art model of where the green building movement is headed. Yet even this showcase for renewable energy highlights the difficulties of creating a building that is 100 percent carbon neutral. READ MORE

05 Feb 2009

The New Urbanists: Tackling Europe’s Sprawl

by BRUCE STUTZ
In the last few decades, urban sprawl, once regarded as largely a U.S. phenomenon, has spread across Europe. Now an emerging group of planners is promoting a new kind of development — mixed-use, low-carbon communities that are pedestrian-friendly and mass-transit-oriented. READ MORE

13 Oct 2008

Green Strategies Spur Rebirth of American Cities

by KEITH SCHNEIDER
U.S. cities have been using green planning to spark economic development, helping create a real urban renaissance in America. With a new administration soon to arrive in Washington, these same approaches may finally start being used on a national scale. READ MORE

e360 digest

22 Jul 2014: Costs of Urban Light Pollution Highlighted in Citizen Science Effort

03 Jul 2014: Human Activity Has Boosted Plant Growth Globally, NASA Data Show

09 Jun 2014: Air Conditioning Can Raise Urban Nighttime Temperature by 2 Degrees

22 May 2014: Interview: Putting San Francisco On the Road to Zero Waste by 2020

05 May 2014: New European Satellites To Give More Detailed Views of Earth

10 Apr 2014: Mapping Program Helps Cities See Money Saved by Planting Trees

08 Apr 2014: 'Living Fences' Dramatically Cut Livestock and Lion Killings in Tanzania

01 Apr 2014: Delaware River Watershed Is Focus Of Large-Scale Restoration Project

24 Mar 2014: Ride-Sharing Could Cut Taxi Trips by 40 Percent in NYC, Analysis Shows

07 Mar 2014: U.S. Car-Sharing Programs Have Taken 500,000 Cars off Roads, Report Says


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