Resources

A broad category of content focused on resources in cities.

Examples: energy, water, food systems, resource management

The Transformative Potential of Community Solar

America is following the sun. Last year, the U.S. welcomed a new megawatt of solar capacity every 36 minutes, which created 1 out of every 50 new American jobs. Solar energy is abundant, affordable, and clean – and it’s growing. Thanks to community solar, it could also become a transformative way to share power, welcoming low-income communities to the economic opportunities of clean, distributed energy.

While rooftop solar has become a familiar part of the solar sector’s growth, it’s not accessible to half of the country. If you don’t own your own roof, don’t have good sun exposure, or don’t have good credit, it’s not an option. From an industry perspective, that means that the solar sector is missing out on at least half of its potential customers.

From carbon-neutral laneway homes to Passive House rental apartments, Canadian cities are quietly leading in building innovation

In a country with relatively dense urban centers, a cold climate, and predominantly fossil fuel heating, it’s no wonder that for many of Canada’s largest cities, buildings are the largest single source of carbon emissions.

Recognizing both the need to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and that they hold many of the tools to do so, Canadian local governments are approaching the built environment as a key leverage point to creating low-carbon cities. Builders are increasingly seeking first-mover advantage while building operators are hedging against the lifetime costs of electricity and heating fuels. Combined with sky-high real estate costs in cities like Toronto and Vancouver, public and private incentives for innovations to cut energy use, emissions, and long-term expenses in the building sector are stacking up.

Sustainable Cities Require Urban Agriculture

Growing urbanization goes hand in hand with growing consumer demand for food Cities are where we find large concentrations of consumers for the end-product of our food systems and it is the responsibility of cities to ensure that all their inhabitants are food-secure....

Best States to add Solar Power and Wind Energy

A massive 16 GW of renewable energy (RE) was installed in the United States in 2016, adding more new electricity generation than from coal, nuclear, and natural gas combined. This growth in renewables was driven by commercial and industrial (C&I) users like...

Tangled up in Blockchain: Blockchain, communities and their global implications for a new energy paradigm

The promise: Off grid communities producing and sharing resilient, cost-effective solar energy without an electricity supplier, and generating a SolarCoins as added income…. Communities in major cities choosing the price or type of electricity generation moment by...

2030 Districts: High Performance Building Districts Leveraging Public-Private Partnerships

Our cities can be the cornerstone of the green circular economy, supporting resilient societies and inclusive communities with universal access to public services and economic opportunity. The WBCSD’s cornerstone Vision 2050 report calls for laying out a pathway to a...

Schools Save Millions with Solar + Storage

The 125,000 public schools in the U.S., kindergarten through twelfth grade (K-12), spend $8 billion annually on energy. School districts are installing energy efficiency, solar, and energy storage to reduce energy cost, freeing more money for better education. Schools...

SCE Replaces Nukes and Gas with Renewables + Storage

Southern California Edison (SCE) serves 15 million people in Southern California. SCE’s power generators and over 12,000 employees keep on the lights and charge 100,000 electric vehicles. SCE delivers reliable electricity in the face of enormous challenges. Two large...

People Power: How Residents of Northern Manhattan are Creating an Energy Revolution

The heat is on: This past July was the hottest month on record; the summer of 2016 was one of the five hottest the world has ever experienced. These trends have led President Obama to declare climate change a “terrifying” threat for humankind. But, even as leaders...

Tesla and SolarCity: Harbingers of Future Mobility and Energy

In Leonardo DiCaprio’s new documentary film, “Before the Flood,” DiCaprio walks the floor of Tesla’s new Gigafactory while he talks with Elon Musk about the future of energy and mobility. Elon Musk is a brilliant visionary. As CEO of Tesla, he has made a reality of...

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.

Western Electricity from “Cali phobia” to Cooperation

The 80-foot wide display showed California renewables at 41 percent of total generation as I watched for 20 minutes during a warm September morning. I was at the nerve center of California’s grid – CAISO (California Independent Systems Operator). CAISO is a...