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Sustainaility Issues

Better Planning Shifts Stormwater From Nuisance To Resource

vegas floods urban storm water

Las Vegas Flash Floods

With the ever growing population and increase in the size and scale of urban centers, a virtual ocean of concrete has been laid down. Concrete is a wonderful material and useful in so many ways but planners and engineers have been building our cities with the idea that water is nuisance that must be swept off all of those concrete surfaces as fast as possible. Little further thought has been given to how all of that run off could be used.

A Range Of Challenging Problems
lake lanier 2008 drought
Lake Lanier after southeast drought

A growing population and a reduction in reliable water sources is going to change all of that whether we like it or not. The examples of a our fresh water sources becoming less stable are plenty. In Florida Lake Okeechobee's water levels have been at record lows at times becoming unnavigable. Atlanta GA has had major problems in the past few years with their main water source, Lake Lanier dropping to the point where local lake residents are in litigation over water... ...read full post

Climate Change And Traffic Safety Linked In Unexpected Ways

A summary of a recent article from asladirt…

By 2030, 60 percent of the world’s population will live in cities. To avoid an explosion of cars, which creates air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, congestion, and traffic deaths, new, more sustainable patterns of urban development are needed, with higher-density urban cores and “sustainable transportation systems at the heart of these places.

Mayor Bloomberg, also offered a global perspective, arguing that traffic is now the 5th largest killer of people worldwide. In many cities, he added that car pollution (including carbon emissions) account for up to 80 percent of the total. In contrast with these global trends, Bloomberg said NYC now has the lowest level of traffic fatalities on record and cars now only contribute 20 percent of emissions (this is because buildings are the real source of emissions in the city). The mayor is increasingly focused on redesigning roads so they work for “people, not just cars.” All the modes — “bicycling, walking, trolleys, buses” — are now in the mix. Times Square was recently closed to traffic and has become a permanent pedestrian mall. The initiative, which cab drivers hated, has been a huge success. Foot traffic is way up. “Rents on... ...read full post