Researcher and Paratransit Operator Collaboration in South Africa

Meeting of the Minds took a few moments to talk with Herrie Schalekamp about new working relationships between researchers and paratransit operators in South Africa and beyond. Herrie is the ACET Research Officer at the University of Cape Town’s Centre for Transport Studies. In addition to his research, teaching and consulting in the fields of paratransit and public transport reform he is involved in specialised educational programmes for paratransit operators and government officials. Herrie’s activities form part of a broader endeavour to investigate and contribute to improved public transport operations and regulation in Sub-Saharan African cities under ACET – the African Centre of Excellence for Studies in Public and Non-motorised Transport.

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Leveraging Big Data & Analytics to Revitalize Brownfields

Brownfields are sites that are vacant or underutilized due to environmental contamination, real or imagined. There are brownfields of some kind in virtually every city and town in the U.S., usually related to a gas station, dry cleaner, auto repair shop, car dealership or some other ubiquitous local business that once benefited the community it now burdens with environmental hazards or old buildings.

In addressing this issue, technology has not been effectively deployed to promote redevelopment of these sites and catalyze community revitalization. We find that the question around the use of technology and data in advancing the redevelopment of brownfields is twofold:

How can current and future technology advancements be applied to upgrade existing brownfield modeling tools? And then, how can those modeling tools be used to accelerate transformative, sustainable, and smart redevelopment and community revitalization?

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New Public and Private Funding Strategies for Urban Parks

Across the country, urban parks are enjoying a renaissance. Dozens of new parks are being built or restored and cities are being creative about how and where they are located. Space under highways, on old rail infrastructure, reclaimed industrial waterfronts or even landfills are all in play as development pressure on urban land grows along with outdoor recreation needs.

These innovative parks are helping cities face common challenges, from demographic shifts, to global competitiveness to changing climate conditions. Mayors and other city officials are taking a fresh look at parks to improve overall community health and sense of place, strengthen local economies by attracting new investments and creating jobs, help manage storm water run-off, improve air quality, and much more. When we think of city parks holistically, accounting for their full role in communities, they become some of the smartest investments we can make.

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California to be at 50% Renewable Energy by 2030

In addition to meeting traditional electricity needs for homes and buildings, demand for electricity is growing with increased population, economic growth, water pumping, recycling and desalination, and millions traveling in electric cars, buses and rail. Although California has only 13 percent of the nation’s population, it has half the nation’s solar power, half the grid storage, and half the electric vehicles.

California is on track to use 50 percent renewables in 12 years. Today, California is coal free and nuke free, generating 40 percent of electricity from solar, wind, geothermal, and hydropower. Wind and solar power are being added, often for less than four cents per kilowatt-hour. Renewables, energy efficiency, energy storage, microgrids, and software are enablers of the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy.

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China Solar and Wind Surges as Coal Peaks

China Solar and Wind Surges as Coal Peaks

Kitty Bu starts each morning in Beijing checking the air quality report; many days she must keep her one, three and five year old inside all day. Estimates range from 600,000 to 1.6 million that die prematurely in China each year due to air pollution. Since China’s...

The UN Global Compact Cities Program for Sustainable Cities

The UN Global Compact Cities Program for Sustainable Cities

The UN Global Compact is a strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption. By doing so, business,...

Is this office the future of government work?

Is this office the future of government work?

by Frances Heewon Cha SEOUL, South Korea — The red-brick low rise building on a quiet side street in this bustling city doesn’t look like much on the outside. But the sleek offices inside have completely changed Chung-won Lee’s quality of life. Editors note: This...

4 Unique Ways Food Waste Is Used for Fuel

4 Unique Ways Food Waste Is Used for Fuel

Getting food from farms to your table is a huge energy expense. According to a National Resource Defense Council report, it consumes 10 percent of the United States' energy budget, guzzles 80 percent of the nation's total water consumption and uses 50 percent of the...

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New Report: Evolving Towards a Sustainable End-State

A new report from Deutsche Bank Climate Change Advisors We believe that the first phase of a long-term mega shift toward an end-state scenario of clean, domestic, sustainable and efficient use of energy, materials and environmental services is now firmly established...

IT in Canada interviews Bill Reinert

After Bill's presentation Changing Cities – Changing Cars, Mary Allen of IT in Canada Magazine interviewed Bill Reinert about the future of personal vehicles. An excerpt from the accompanying article: The underlying premise of the “Changing Cities – Changing Cars”...

Work-life balance coverage from CNBC

CNBC's Rob Reuteman cites Meeting of the Minds co-founder Gordon Feller in his new article, Companies Embrace Telecommuting as a Retention Tool. An excerpt: [blockquote]Cisco Systems, with 65,000 employees in 92 countries, has saved $1 billion in the past 2.5 years...

ReNew Canada asks: Will the Car Always Be King?

As part of their Meeting of the Minds 2011 coverage, ReNew Canada asks their readers: Should we be trying to further mass transit by tackling the last-mile problem or should we admit cars aren’t going anywhere and look for more efficient vehicles? The online poll...

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