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Cities Solving Problems Through Tech

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Mayors mobilizing residents to engage communities and address issues

In the spring of 2017, the doors to a new type of community center swung open in Louisville, Kentucky. The Gigabit Experience Center, located in the city’s long underserved West End, provided a now critical 21st century public service: free high-speed internet access. Although an estimated 94% of Americans have web access today, many low-and middle-income families are......read more

Cabinets Of Curiosities From Steffan Dam

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Intricately Crafted Marine Life Specimens Suspended In Glass

Artist Steffan Dam produces fantastical and intricately-crafted specimens that look as though they exist in the real world. Suspended in glass jars and on plates, their forms mimic well-known creatures of the sea and budding plants. Although Dam’s work is based in imagination, his skills as a craftsman—including glass blowing, casting, and grinding—produce a hyperrealistic......read more

The Return Of London's Fog

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With Cities Driving Public Climate Policy, Lets Look At London

Cambridge, England — IN January, researchers at King’s College London announced that pollution levels on Oxford Street, in central London, had exceeded limits set for the entire year in just the first four days of 2015. Similarly alarming numbers have been recorded for other streets in the city — and yet the mayor, Boris Johnson, has delayed implementation of stricter......read more

Wake Up Call From Baltimore

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We Can No Longer Ignore Our Inner Cities

They’ve been talking about the riots in Baltimore for a long, long time. The last big riots, that is. I moved to Baltimore, my wife’s hometown, from Colorado in the mid-aughts, and lucked into a job as a writer for a local magazine. Every city in America was fighting to be the “greenest” at the time, and while I knew next to nothing about cities, and nothing......read more

Why New York's Fracking Ban Is A Victory For Communities Everywhere

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Andrew Cuomo killed fracking in the state yesterday.

Fracking took a beating yesterday, when New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, on the heels of a stern recommendation from the state’s acting health commissioner, announced his intention to ban the unconventional drilling method. But even if he’d failed to do so, frackers would’ve been effectively barred from a large number of the state’s communities, anyway. That’s......read more

5 Awesome Urban Projects

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From coast to coast, American cities are shaping a sustainable future

From writer Rachel Signer and our friends at Collectively: When it comes to climate change, we usually look to world leaders and national governments to take responsibility for building a more sustainable future. But with the formation of organizations like Cities Climate Leadership Group, or C40, a global network of city mayors focused on sustainability,......read more

I used to live in Carrboro, North Carolina—a town that has a lot going for it in terms of sustainability. (So much so, that it was the chosen image for one of Zach's posts about car-free living.) But despite my knowledge of its urban farm tours and goat-powered landscaping companies, I wasn't aware of one important fact: Carrboro has long had policies in place to nurture and protect......read more

Conservative Cities Quietly Prepare For Extreme Weather

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Just don't call it climate change

John Flesher for the Associated Press: GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (AP) — With climate change still a political minefield across the nation despite the strong scientific consensus that it's happening, some community leaders have hit upon a way of preparing for the potentially severe local consequences without triggering explosions of partisan warfare: Just change the subject. Big cities and small......read more

Megacities: The Future of the Planet

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Composite images by Marcus Lyon offer a glimpse of our urban future

In 2001, Goldman Sachs economist Jim O'Neill coined the term 'BRIC' in reference to the megacities of Brazil, Russia, India and China -- urban magnets that he rightly predicted would drive economic growth in the coming years. Drawing in rural workers with the promise of higher wages and a higher quality of life, the ever-growing BRIC megacities are defined by the fine balance between expanding......read more

Open Source Movement Spreads to Seeds

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Restriction-free seeds include 29 new varieties of 14 different crops, including broccoli, carrots and kale

Last week, the Open Source Seed Initiative (OSSI) announced the release of 29 new plant varieties that are free of intellectual property (IP) protection. The new seeds, which include varieties of carrots, kale, broccoli and quinoa, can be freely used by anyone as long as they don't restrict use by others through IP protection. Spearheaded by a group of scientists from the University of......read more

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