Nov 30, 15

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Struggling to Adjust: Adaptation Finance in Developing Countries

by Tan Copsey The need for humans to adapt to climate change is clear, but the where, when and how remain fuzzy. Tan Copsey reports on existing – and hotly debated – plans for financing change in vulnerable countries. The climate is changing and human beings will need to change with it. People will have to adapt to floods, droughts, disease, increasingly severe weather events and disrupted water and food supplies. But some of those facing these threats have limited capacity to...

Future City: Portland & Networked Urban Sustainability

In preparation for our Future City event this Friday, we're comparing progress towards urban sustainability in Portland and Seattle. When cities first stepped up as leaders in climate action, a few simple projects would get you noticed. For a good 15 years, just doing anything set you apart. But, almost without realizing it, we have walked into a new phase of urban sustainability – version 2.0 – where cities are being pushed to tackle the really tough issues. Retrofitting City Hall is...


Clinton Global Initiative 2010 - Day 2: Strengthening Market-Based Solutions

This week I'm blogging from the Clinton Global Initiative 2010 Annual Meeting. In this post I go back in time to highlight the presentations on Strengthening Market-Based Solutions from Day 2. For links to all my CGI coverage click here. The "Action Area" focus for the first half of Day 2 was "Strengthening Market-Based Solutions." There were three excellent breakout sessions that made me wish I could be many places at once:"Advancing Development By Design" (video; start at 07:25). Here is...


Clinton Global Initiative 2010 - Day 1: Empowering Women

This week I'm blogging from the Clinton Global Initiative 2010 Annual Meeting. I hope to post at least one daily recap a day. Here is Day 1 (for my first post click here). Today was a very sober and inspiring day at CGI. The main topic for discussion at the two plenary talks and breakout sessions was the first "Action Area" of Empowering Girls and Women: Around the world, girls and women continue to suffer from a lack of economic opportunity, inadequate health care and education, early...


CABE's Large Scale Urban Design Guidelines

The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), the public body advising on architecture, urban design and public space in the UK, has recently launched this set of guidelines on how to develop a large scale urban design. It includes a substantial number of international examples of best practice and describes an approach to design that recognizes that many social, economic and environmental challenges need to be addressed at a larger scale than that of an individual borough...


Pakistan Flooding: Crowdsourcing Solutions

Rajan Pur, Punjab: An aerial view of flooded areas. | Photo by Mk Chaudhry/EPA (via The Guardian: Pakistan Floods: The Displaced and the Saved) Triggered by monsoon rains in late July, Pakistan has been experiencing its worst flooding since 1929. Rivers burst their banks and entire communities have been destroyed. More than 20 million people have been affected by the floods, which is more than the number of people affected by the 2005 South Asia tsunami, the 2005 South Asia earthquake and...


Upcoming Events in Design and a Call for Reader Reports

There are three interesting conferences coming up in the design world this month (see below for details). If you are planning to go to any of these events (or even some others we haven't yet heard of), please consider submitting a "Reader Report." We'd love to get your 'inside scoop' and learn more about all of the cool, innovative projects and ideas likely to be presented at these conferences. Please email me at if you'd like to contribute a report! ASLA Annual...

HafenCity: A Case Study on Future-Adaptive Urban Development

Cities need to plan for the future now by developing infrastructure and communities that make them resilient, rugged and adaptable to planetary changes. Coastal cities are particularly vulnerable to increased flooding from larger storm surges and sea level rise. And, as Bruce Stutz noted last year, "adapting to this reality has become a key part of future planning for London, Rotterdam, St. Petersburg, Tokyo, and Seattle, as well as low-lying cities across Asia" and New York City. Here's...


Hygroelectricity: A Prospective New Energy Source - Electricity Pulled Out of Thin Air!

by David Bois Recent scientific advancements have led to one innovation that can extract potable water from atmospheric moisture and another that produces synthetic fuel feedstock by removing atmospheric carbon dioxide. Science Daily now reports of cutting-edge clean energy developments that are poised to harvest the electrical energy produced naturally in the atmosphere. It's a phenomenon that has been known about for centuries. Nikola Tesla knew that the interaction between air and...


Invisible Heroes of Dharavi: Improving the Lives of Waste-Pickers in India

In the chaos of Mumbai’s best-known slum, thousands of recyclers process the megacity’s garbage and provide an invaluable environmental service, but the health and social costs are high. Today, many organizations are working to improve the working conditions of India's valuable waste-pickers... by Anna da Costa “It’s funny how we popularise our movie stars,” said Vinod Shetty, director of the Acorn Foundation, when we met in his crowded office in Mumbai. “There are so many other...

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