Sustainability Tools, News, and Resources
Whatâ€™s only 2.7 miles long but offers significant urban habitat for salmon, birds and other wildlife? Crystal Springs Creek in Portland, OR where the Crystal Springs Restoration project replaced urban culverts to support salmon runs, winning the 2015 Sustainable Parks, Recreation and Open Space Project Award in the Second Annual Awards for Excellence in Sustainability. Partners included the US Army Corps of Engineers.
Can you envision a day when new buildings come with a dashboard? The Chesapeake Bay Foundationâ€™s Brock Environmental Center, 2015 Sustainable Building Project Award winner in the Second Annual Awards for Excellence in Sustainability, allows users to monitor the building's energy and water use and energy generation from its web-based Living Building Challenge Dashboard. Real-time results are a mouse click away!
Local governments donâ€™t always have resources to devise practical solutions that bridge the gap between food production and food security. Growing Food Connections is actively engaging and partnering with representatives from 8 communities across the US to help them bridge the gap between food production and food security through public policy. Research activities include understanding policy barriers faced by communities and identification of innovative policy and planning strategies for each communityâ€™s unique food systems needs.
The most recent Global Roundtable conducted by The Nature of Cities (TNOC) engaged 14 photographers in Imaging the urban wild--capturing the vibrancy of â€œnature nearbyâ€ found in several cities around the world. Nature provides services from storm water management to habitat to beauty in urban areas, making cities rich in biodiversity, human society, sustainability, resilience, and livability.
Urban nature also helps the economic bottom line. City Lab reports on How a Quick Glimpse of Nature Can Make You More Productive, referencing results from an Australia-based research team soon to be published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology. These results support other recent findings on the restorative power of nature. Take a peek out the window! Image: Green roof, Vancouver, BC, NNECAPA/Flickr
Lifestyle trumps affordability in central Seattle, even for some budget-stretchers. The Seattle Times reports that while affordability was a No. 1 concern across the region as a whole, residents in Seattleâ€™s center who participated in the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) 2014 Travel Study ranked â€œwalkable neighborhoods near activitiesâ€ as a top priority over affordability. An interactive graphic illustrates how central Seattle compares to other areas of the metro in nine priority areas, including school quality and â€œspace and separation.â€
By 2050 one-third of the US will be age 65 or older, and older adults have indicated a preference to â€œage in placeâ€ while maintaining healthy lifestyles. Writing on ALSAâ€™s The Dirt Blog Jared Green poses the pertinent question: What Do Seniors Need in Parks? and offers helpful recommendations from the UCLA Lewis Center in a set of guidelines for senior-friendly open spaces. Suggestions center on security, control, choice, accessibility, privacy, nature, social support and physical activity.
How are you celebrating National Bike Month this May? Bike riders in Minneapolis can cheer their first place listing in Walk Scoreâ€™s bikeability index ratings; San Francisco and Portland, OR had the next highest scores. Planetizen reports as 154 Cities Earn Marks in Updated Bike Score Rankings.