- Posted 27 August 2007 inPublished 17 August 2007 by Global Public Media
How will rising oil prices affect low- and middle-class lives? Sociologist and professor Rowan Wolf sees at-risk populations growing while government services and class divides are increasingly strained. A member of the Portland Peak Oil Task Force, she discusses relocalizing our economies to counter globalization based on an unsupportable grow-or-die economic model.
- Posted 27 August 2007 inPublished 21 August 2007 by WorldChanging.com
In 2005, green architect William McDonough and British engineering firm Arup separately announced plans to build ambitious eco-cities housing up to 500,000 inhabitants in mainland China. In recent months, Newsweek, Popular Science and other publications have looked at how these cities are actually shaping up -- and the reality on the ground so far is disappointing.
- Posted 15 August 2007 inPublished 14 August 2007 by Portland Tribune (Oregon)
Starting Wednesday, a new City ordinance requires every service station in the city selling diesel to also sell a biodiesel-diesel blend. This comes in tandem with an ongoing initiative that is developing partnerships with eastern Oregon farmers to grow the energy crops needed to meet the biofuel mandate.
- Posted 13 August 2007 inPublished 16 April 2007 by Planetizen.com
An American transportation planner reports from the 17th annual Polis Conference --where European city leaders recently gathered to exchange advice on innovative local transportation strategies-- and wonders what lessons U.S. cities can learn from its counterparts in the E.U.
- Posted 10 August 2007 inPublished 2 August 2007 by The Republic of East Vancouver (Canada)
The critically-acclaimed 2004 film The End of Suburbia spurred hundreds of citizen groups and local governments across the U.S. and Canada to start thinking about preparing their cities for peak oil. The much-anticipated sequel, Escape From Suburbia (which premiered this June in Toronto), takes an updated look at what some communities are doing about energy depletion and the challenges that still lay ahead.
- Posted 8 August 2007 inPublished 5 August 2007 by Vancouver Sun (BC)
A clear, concise look from the mainstream Vancouver Sun (British Columbia) at how a growing number of energy experts, government agencies and oil companies are quietly acknowledging that peak oil is a serious problem.
- Posted 7 August 2007 inPublished 1 August 2007 by U.S. State Energy Program Office newsletter
Some of the best fossil fuel alternatives are not just renewable sources but also local and decentralized sources: Projects in California and Texas are capturing methane from local dairy farms to generate electricity for public use. Meanwhile, Rock Port, Missouri, is set to become the first U.S. city entirely powered by wind.
- Posted 6 August 2007 inPublished 1 March 2007 by SustainLane
Minneapolis is a big city with a small sustainability program -- but it accomplishes more than many other cities' sustainability efforts. In this interview with SustainLane Government, Gayle Prest and Daniel Huff of the City of Minneapolis sustainability program discuss how their small, decentralized initiative is spurring changes across city departments and throughout the community.
- Posted 3 August 2007 inPublished 25 July 2007 by Green A City (blog)
A glance at a list of America's fastest growing cities reveals quite a surprise: most are really overgrown suburbs. SustainLane's Warren Karlenzig looks at "Boomburbs," a new Brookings Institution book on the phenomenon, and how this next generation of suburban sprawl is impacting planning approaches for water, natural resources, air quality, traffic -- and sustainability in general.
- Posted 2 August 2007 inPublished 31 July 2007 by YouTube
Short video about Amsterdam's new "CityCargo" freight streetcar program, which promises to reduce truck traffic (and pollution) in the central city by transporting inbound freight via a local distribution network of streetcars and electric trucks.
- Posted 1 August 2007 inPublished 22 July 2007 by The Toronto Star
As the U.S. Southwest grapples with historic drought, water supply depletion and the creeping sense that things can only get worse, concerns are rising that long-term climatic shifts may eventually force major regional population shifts across North America. This may be good news, however, for older Rust Belt cities in more temperate climes, like Cleveland, Buffalo and Toronto.
- Posted 31 July 2007 inPublished 1 July 2007 by Orion Magazine (USA)
Our health care system is incredibly dependent on petrochemicals. Despite this enormous vulnerability, public discussions of health care routinely ignore the prospect of peak oil. Health care consultant Dan Bednarz explores how the looming threat of peak oil combined with ever-rising health care costs might overwhelm our medical system -- and how we can avoid collapse by creating a health-care system that consumes fewer (and different) resources.
- Posted 30 July 2007 inPublished 4 July 2007 by ICLEI
Having transformed itself from a ‘gray’ polluted city to a progressive ‘green’ one, Kitakyushu (Japan) is making further improvements, hoping to achieve the title of the world capital of sustainable development.
- Posted 27 July 2007 inPublished 11 July 2007 by BBC News
As attitudes towards global warming change in the US, grassroots ventures are pushing both personal and government solutions. Mayor Sam Pierce of Sebastopol, California sees a clear connection: "Our community is very tuned in, very well informed on climate change, and wants to take action. So, as a result, the policy-makers are very aggressive, and find ways to satisfy that demand in the public."
- Posted 26 July 2007 inPublished 24 July 2007 by The Times (UK)
Cities and developers in the UK have been asked to bid for the development of five new carbon-neutral, sustainably-powered "eco-towns" built on disused urban and suburban land. The family-oriented small settlements, each containing 5,000 to 20,000 homes, will be expected to have ample green spaces and good transport links with existing towns and cities.
- Posted 25 July 2007 inPublished 24 July 2007 by The Independent (UK)
Växjö, Sweden (pop. ~78,500) recently won the European Union's inaugural sustainable energy award for a community, an accolade which some might say makes it the greenest city on the continent. The city didn't reduce both local electricity costs and per-capita GHG emissions overnight, however: they've been planning for over ten years to become a "Fossil Fuel Free City." Växjö's efforts continue today with a waste biomass-fuelled central heating plant, and construction of an eight-story wooden apartment block.
- Posted 24 July 2007 inPublished 21 July 2007 by The Oregonian
"What would Portland look like if we implemented solutions to global warming and peak oil?" Portland City Commissioner --and possible mayoral candidate-- Sam Adams said. "It would look a lot like Portland circa 1920, a time when the main means of motion were your feet, streetcars and bikes."
- Posted 23 July 2007 inPublished 20 July 2007 by United Press International
Solar Cities is an $75 million AUD ($67 million USD) government demonstration project that gets solar panels and smart meters directly into urban homes, schools and businesses. The country's fifth designated Solar City actually involves 13 different municipalities and features two 300-kilowatt solar parks that some participants will have the option to buy into.
- Posted 23 July 2007 inPublished 16 July 2007 by Sierra Club
On July 16th, twelve large U.S. counties and the Sierra Club launched the "Cool Counties Climate Stabilization Declaration", a major new initiative to combat global warming. Signatory counties pledge to reduce global warming emissions 80 percent by 2050. The Declaration also urges the federal government to require an 80 percent emissions reduction by 2050, and calls for vehicle fuel economy standards to be raised to 35 miles per gallon within a decade.
- Posted 20 July 2007 inPublished 29 June 2007 by Global Public Media
Global Public Media's Andi Hazelwood interviews two leaders in the new and quickly-growing international "Transition Towns" movement: Rob Hopkins of TransitionCulture.org in the UK and Sonya Wallace of Creating a Sustainable Sunshine Coast (CASSC) in Australia. Sonya and Rob discuss their work on creating town Energy Descent Action Plans (EDAP), and the benefits and challenges of working with citizens, businesses and local officials on energy depletion issues.
- Posted 20 July 2007 inPublished 20 July 2007 by The Ottawa Citizen
The Ontario government has launched an online climate change map that graphically shows a hotter, drying province is on its way. But one of the province's leading environmental experts says the public's understanding of the threats is already sufficiently high: "We're really at a stage where we should be able to do things as opposed to striking another committee to study things."
- Posted 19 July 2007 inPublished 1 July 2007 by New Urban News (US)
The US Green Building Council's new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) certification integrates the principles of smart growth, urbanism, and green building into the first national standard for neighborhood design. This article describes nine of the diverse developments from all over the U.S. that have registered to be LEED-ND pilot projects.
- Posted 18 July 2007 inPublished 18 June 2007 by ICLEI
At the Local Renewables 2007 event in Freiburg, Germany in June, city and business leaders from 34 countries called for renewable energy to be the basis of a decentralized and secure energy supply. They also agreed that measures to curb the dramatic impact of climate change must be carried out immediately, and that the local government level plays a crucial role in this.
- Posted 18 July 2007 inPublished 15 July 2007 by The Oregonian
A small number of US cities are attracting significant investment from the rapidly growing global wind energy industry. This article explores how one city --Portland, Oregon-- came to be well-positioned for this lucrative segment of the 'green economy'.
- Posted 17 July 2007 inPublished 16 July 2007 by The Times (UK)
William Rees-Mogg, former editor (1967-1981) of the The Times -- the UK's newspaper-of-record -- takes a hard look at the debate around oil peaking and what it means for the global economy.