Environment

A broad category of content focused on environmental topics in cities.

Examples: climate change, natural disasters, sea level rise, climate adaptation, climate mitigation.

A Book Review of New York: 2140 A Novel

Up in floating cloud villages is where many of the world’s inhabitants live after coastlines are submerged under 58 feet of water. This is a book about the future written with the benefit of hindsight. We can predict, with a high degree of certainty, that: melting ice from Greenland and Antarctica, the warming oceans, and subsiding coastlines, will all contribute to rising sea levels. There is an inevitability to sea level rise that is palpable today. This is no ordinary work of fiction, but rather a novel set within an accurate scientific forecast. In 2140, Stanley Robinson does what a generation of environmental advocacy has failed to do: make climate change personal.

How Green Infrastructure in Parks Can Lead to Community Empowerment

Green infrastructure stormwater management has been become a preferred alternative to traditional approaches to controlling stormwater in many urban communities. The many environmental and economic benefits such projects achieve are proving the value of green over...

Maintaining Boston’s Vibrancy and Transportation Systems in the Face of Sea Level Rise

A city reclaimed from the sea Settled by European colonists in 1630, Boston was founded on the narrow Shawmut Peninsula behind the protective landforms of what are today Stellwagen Bank, Winthrop, Hull and the 34 Boston Harbor Islands. Our ancestors sited Boston...

Three Principles of Sustainable Business

Over the past 15 years working in the sustainability industry I have witnessed many businesses sacrifice environmental goals to uphold quality and profit. Although sustainable resources and green technologies abound, increasing return on investment while achieving and...

Corporations Lead in 100 Percent Renewables

This November, Microsoft contracted for a massive 237 MW of wind power in Kansas and Wyoming. Most new electricity generation in the U.S. is from wind and solar, with much of the electricity being purchased by major corporations, like Microsoft. These corporations are...

Dreams Come True on the Cool Block

Ten years ago, a Big Idea constellated in the mind of pro-social behavior change researcher and innovator David Gershon, CEO of the Empowerment Institute. The idea was to operationalize the modest goal of keeping the planet viable into the long-term future and improving the quality of life for humanity at the same time.

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 Puyallup Watershed Initiative: A New Approach to Community-Centered Change

1,000 Square Miles of Shared Future In 1873, just eight years after its founding, the city of Tacoma was chosen as the terminus for Northern Pacific Railroad’s transcontinental route. Upon winning this coveted prize, the leaders of the day dubbed Tacoma the...

Paris Climate Agreement Will be Ratified

The European Parliament approved ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement, taking us well past the threshold of nations and collective emissions needed. The agreement is not legally binding for 30 days. We are on a path to breathing cleaner air; our children are...

Creating a Smart, Resilient Water Future

Today, cities are confronted with a unique challenge: they face budget constraints and aging infrastructure, yet increasing customer expectations. In addition, cities must often deal with the impacts of urbanization, climate change, and an aging workforce. To meet...

Zero-Net-Energy Schools

In the Marx Brothers comedy classic Duck Soup, Groucho as a nation’s president said, “Why a four-year-old child could understand this report. Run out and find me a four-year-old child. I can’t make head nor tail out of it.” When it comes to zero-net-energy (ZNE)...

Climate Change: Creating an Abundance of Private Sector Opportunities

The effects of climate change present daunting challenges for government at all levels. And, it’s only going to get worse. According to a July 2016 report from the RAND Corporation, roads, bridges and seawalls will require ongoing attention because of the ravages of...