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Healthy Cities & Urban Planning

There are many reasons to integrate parks into cities. Used as part of a green infrastructure plan, parks help shape urban form and buffer our build environment. They’re safe, naturally beautiful, and serve as green engines to  address several critical urban needs from health to housing, education and environmental justice, even countering urban sprawl to combat crime. Social benefits and bringing...

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This year I was fortunate enough to spend the holidays exploring the lush ecosystems of Costa Rica. It was a trip full of jungle hikes, snorkeling adventures, bird watching, and wildlife viewing in one of the most biologically intense ecoregions of Central America. Visiting this green country inspired me to think about the ways in which...

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It’s common knowledge that Europe has lately been in a below-average economic situation. Some countries such as Italy are facing an especially bad crisis that started in 2007 and has not quite been relieved. This economic crisis has consequently effected the urban landscape of Italy; a lot of buildings, having been still under construction at the time,...

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The greenhouse effect of climate change involves primarily the absorption of infrared radiation by greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere. Other components besides GHGs also enhance or decrease the distribution of incoming solar radiation by either absorbing or reflecting the sunlight. Land and ocean surfaces have a variety of different albedo values for reflecting or absorbing...

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Portland has seen some of the fastest population growth in the last few years, yet it still remains one of the greenest cities in the nation. In fact, Portland is a Pacific Northwest sustainability pioneer. What’s the catch? One possible reason why Portland is commonly ranked among the cleanest cities is simply due to its...

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Technology is one of the most important and pivotal drivers in human advancement, sustainability included. Technology has given a generation of sustainable practitioners a new outlet for improving the field. With the technological age growing in significance in the upcoming years, there is no doubt an obligation for practitioners in the field to learn about the...

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Just like many species around the globe will have to adapt to the changing climate and altering ecosystems, humans too must respond accordingly to the dynamic conditions of our planet. One aspect of the climate change crisis is the question of food security and urban poverty. Urban agriculture would be a wise precautionary tool to...

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Top 5 Design Eco-Christmas Trees

December 22, 2014 |

At this time of year individuals are contemplating whether to buy a real Christmas Tree or design Eco-Christmas Trees.  U.S. customers bought about 33 million real trees last year compared to 14.7 million artificial trees according to the National Christmas Tree Association. As we know, real Christmas trees are not taken from the forest anymore,...

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Urban planning in today’s environment requires new thinking. The old way of doing things is simply not sustainable. This is why some of the top ranked healthy cities in the world such as Vancouver, BC can provide mentorship to other communities around the world. The strategies already in place by other cities to solve massive...

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Cities are complex and intricate systems that face a mix of challenges when it comes to decisions about development. As cities continue to grow, so too does the need for the sustainably integrated infrastructure, improved social cohesion, and better quality of life for residents. Urban planners must apply practical and critical thinking skills to solve...

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