News

Speedy Trains Transform China

Timothy O'Rourke for The New York Times

The high-speed rail station in Changsha, China, opened less than four years ago.

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traditional Porous Green Driveway
flickr photo by ChrisB in SEA

I have always been a fan of permeable driveways (except in my younger skateboarding days). They allow for absorption of runoff, recharging aquifers, and naturally filters the water before it reaches ocean, lake and river outfalls, improving water quality. It reduces the dangers from flooding and the need for huge storm drains and channels. Additionally, it can help with the ‘heat island’ effect where the heat of the sun is stored in all of the concrete and asphalt of urban areas, thereby trapping the heat and altering the micro-climate of the area.

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San Francisco Builds a Visionary Public Transit Hub

If you’ve ever taken Bay Area public transit, you’ll know that there are many options for traveling within and between cities. There are also many options for traveling to different parts of California from the Bay Area using public transit.

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Top 5 Eco-Friendly Building Materials

If you’re trying to be eco-friendly while building your dream home, you might think there’s no way you can compensate for the carbon emissions and resources that you use. However, if you stick to using green companies and you choose your building materials carefully, you could stand to create a truly environmentally friendly home.

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An impressive example of new urbanism!

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Today China officially unveiled the world’s longest high-speed rail line! The 2,298-kilometer (1,428-mile) railway connects Beijing in the north to Guangzhou in the south, and it more than halves the travel time between the two cities. Trains running on the new high-speed line hit 300 kph (186 mph), cutting the total journey time by more than 12 hours.

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by Sarah Burch

To the wobbly tune of a passing ice cream truck, a 12-year old girl slowly pedals her bicycle, weaving down a tree-lined street.  Every so often, she reaches into her basket to grab a folded newspaper, and tosses it onto the doorstep of each house on the block.  The houses are fronted by an expanse of perfectly manicured emerald lawn, a spacious garage, and a tree or two.  The girl’s father is just leaving work, and embarking on a 40 minute drive home.  Her mother is doing the week’s worth of grocery shopping at the sparkly new mall. 

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The idea behind Bicycle City is that people can live, work, and play in a town where everything is accessible by just riding a bike (with parking is at the edge of the community.) Bicycle city was an idea conceived in the 90’s and was just recently started this past year after they received funding. The location for the first Bicycle city is Lexington County, SC, between mountains and a beach. The location is also only 12 miles away from the state capital so some of the necessary big city amenities will be within reach.

Bicycle city mentions that their idea of building a city without cars is not only good for the environment, but also good for people. They explain that vehical emissions are harmful for health. They also talk about how in big cities bicyclists and injured by cars and without this threat, biking to and from places will be much safer. People will also increase their endurance and burn calaires getting around the city and live an all around more healthy lifestyle. Children will be much safer in Bicycle City without the threat of speeding cars racing through the neighborhoods.

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Man, those Torontonians! They continue to impress us with their aggressive green infrastructure policies. Back in January of 2010, Toronto became the first North American city to make installing green roofs on new commercial, institutional, and multifamily residential developments compulsory – now that requirements will apply to industrial developments as well.


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