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Archive for the ‘Stories’ Category

Plain Dealer’s Steve Litt article in Architectural Record on Cleveland Regaining its Urbanity

Though its population has shrunk to just below 400,000 from nearly 1 million in the 1950s, Cleveland is experiencing a $6 billion burst of development that includes everything from big downtown projects to the fine-grained revival of a half-dozen neighborhoods. An influx of young professionals, drawn by jobs in tech, digital media, marketing, and biomedical companies, has led to a tight downtown rental market with a residential population of about 10,000 and growing, and an occupancy rate of nearly 96 percent.

Cleveland, Ohio | American City | Features | Architectural Record.

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Translating sustainability and the triple bottom line  into accessible concepts and actions has long been a difficult aspect of broadening the audience and stakeholders for sustainability initiatives.  This has been particularly true in how everyone can take action.

At its recent Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Summit, The City of Cleveland launched its new dashboard.  The new tool includes performance measures that will help to capture progress made along the 10 year initiative:

Measuring progress is essential to the success of Sustainable Cleveland. The performance indicators measure results, inform strategy, shine a light on what is working and they educate and inspire us through stories and metrics.

The framework focuses on sustainability initiatives in the areas of business, personal/social, built and natural.  Most importantly, the site highlights how you can affect these areas at home, work and in your community.   While some of the measurements have yet to be published, it is definitely worth at look.  Visit the SC 2019 dashboard site to see where you can make a difference!

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Involving youth in sustainability through urban issues… great post by Celesa Horvath on Maximum City program in Toronto

Making Sense of Responsibility

Last month, I had the opportunity – and the privilege – to participate in the Maximum City program in Toronto.  This program is the brainchild of Josh Fullan, a high school humanities and languages teacher at the University of Toronto Schools, my alma mater.  Last year, Josh ran a pilot program that brought a small group of students from two Toronto-area high schools together with a team of experts and professionals in a wide range of urban disciplines, including architecture, design, planning, transit, municipal governance, community development, and communications.  Over the course of  a week, the students listened to lectures and took part in design exercises and field trips in a series of modules that exposed them to new ideas and key concepts in urban development:  Built City, Planned City, Engaged City, Transit City, Liveable City, Pedestrian City, Governed City

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 But to have hope of a truly enduring future, our whole global enterprise will need to slow down — in its addictive consumption and grasping for quick rewards — and begin to find a rhythm for the long run.

I could not agree more… There is something to be said for the turtle winning the race.

Grist

I learned about energy efficiency in a very painful and embarrassing way. Many years ago, I entered the famous Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run, which follows tortuous old gold-miners’ trails over the Sierra Nevada Mountains. I had calculated that I’d burn about 130 calories per mile, which meant I’d need about 13,000 calories to get through that run. So, I planned to consume about 80 PowerBars along the way. The first few hours went easily enough, but by the time I reached a major aid station at 54 miles, I was deathly sick and severely dehydrated — yet could no longer stand the sight of either food or water. How on earth were the other runners able to keep going? Only later did I learn that evolution has created a kind of bodily ecology that with training enables very small amounts of carbohydrate to interact with small amounts of fat…

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President Obama at DNC “And, yes my plan will continue to reduce the carbon pollution that is heating our planet – because climate change is not a hoax. More droughts and floods and wildfires are not a joke. They are a threat to our children’s future. And in this election you can do something about it.”

Grist

James Hansen has been beating the “climate change is happening” drum so long that his arm must be getting tired. His recent declaration that he was over-optimistic in his famously pessimistic 1988 congressional testimony was based on scads of new data showing the extent to which the climate has already shifted.

Shortly after his declaration, NASA (where Hansen acts as director of the Goddard Institute) released this video that demonstrates his points. Here’s how the average summer temperature in the Northern Hemisphere has shifted over time.

The blog Marginal Revolution (where we stumbled onto this) describes what you’re seeing.

The initial smooth distribution is based on data from 1950-1980. The video advances in yearly increments showing data for 10 year periods from 1950-1960 through to 2001-2011. As the data advances one can see a pronounced shift in the curve to the right and also, a little less clearly, the curve…

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Opening at select locations in November, Chasing Ice, is  painstakingly compiled footage of how the earth is changing.  From the film website

In the spring of 2005, National Geographic photographer James Balog headed to the Arctic on a tricky assignment: to capture images to help tell the story of the Earth’s changing climate. Even with a scientific upbringing, Balog had been a skeptic about climate change and a cynic about the nature of academic research. But that first trip north opened his eyes to the biggest story in human history and sparked a challenge within him that would put his career and his very well-being at risk.

Chasing Ice is the story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. Within months of that first trip to Iceland, the photographer conceived the boldest expedition of his life: The Extreme Ice Survey. With a band of young adventurers in tow, Balog began deploying revolutionary time-lapse cameras across the brutal Arctic to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers.

As the debate polarizes America and the intensity of natural disasters ramps up globally, Balog finds himself at the end of his tether. Battling untested technology in subzero conditions, he comes face to face with his own mortality. It takes years for Balog to see the fruits of his labor. His hauntingly beautiful videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. Chasing Ice depicts a photographer trying to deliver evidence and hope to our carbon-powered planet.

Its release is fairly limited, see if it is coming to your city…

 

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