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Worldchanging 101: CITIES


Bright green cities are the closest thing we have to a silver bullet solution for a sustainable future. So what do you need to know about them?

Here are some of the most popular and enduring stories we've published in our first six years, stories we think offer a window into the Worldchanging archives. In these pages you'll find a treasury: more than 10,000 articles on cutting-edge solutions dating back as far as October 2003. This work pushes the boundaries of the global conversation on sustainability, social innovation and planetary thinking. Many of these writers are leaders in their respective industries.

To help get you started, we've compiled a primer in each of our seven meta-categories. We hope you'll use these guides as an entryway. Find the ideas you're most passionate about here, then explore our site for much, much more. Stay as long as you like, and please spread the word.

Understanding Cities: Definitive Principles

Density, Compact Communities and Smart Growth
Compact homes, closely situated, make a drastic difference in the all-around efficiency and livability of a city. With populations in general (and urban populations in particular) on the rise, it's important to encourage attractive growth that can accommodate greater numbers without degrading the surrounding natural environment and encouraging sprawl.

Land Use and Transportation
Today's cars are costly, dangerous and an ecological nightmare. What if the solution to the problems they create, though, has more to do with where we live than what we drive?

Post-Ownership and Urban Life
Dense, walkable communities foster the creation of supportive community networks in which resources can be better shared.

10 Landmark Posts on Cities:

1. My Other Car is a Bright Green City
By Alex Steffen
Published 23 January 2008

2. Infrastructure for the Future We Want
By Alex Steffen
Published 13 February 2008

3. Bike-frastructure 101: Sharrows, Street Parking, Superhighways and More
By Sarah Kuck, Sean Conroe and Christa Morris
Published 28 August 2009

4. Free Parking Isn't Free
By Seth Zeren
Published 4 August 2009

5. Temporary Spaces and Creative Infill
By Julia Levitt
Published 22 July 2009

6. Pioneer City 2030: What the Energy System of the Future Looks Like
By Patrick Mazza
Published 5 July 2009

7. "Shared Space" Traffic Calming: Counterintuitive, But It Works
By Erica Barnett
Published 4 January 2008

8. The Outquisition
By Alex Steffen
Published 12 July 2008

9. The Ruins of the Unsustainable: Searching for Answers to the Suburbs
By Julia Levitt
Published 3 August 2009

10. Seattle To The World: Innovation from the Emerald City
By the Worldchanging Seattle Team
Published throughout 2008 and 2009

Image credit: Sean Conroe

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