News Roundup › Environment
Feb 19 2013
American politicians, including those who argued to cut back on money for preventive measures after Sandy, might want to see how the Dutch have managed to improve public life, public space and the landscape at a fraction of the billions American taxpayers pay out for repairing hurricane damage.
Jan 8 2013
Nov 23 2012
Sep 24 2012
Sep 11 2012
What if the schedule of city-life had recess built into it, just like elementary school? A team of social innovators in Detroit is asking that question with their upcoming project Hopscotch Detroit, a social free-for-all that puts a schoolyard spin on community engagement—and even intends to break a world record, using nearly a ton of chalk, stencils, and city’s sidewalks.
Sep 11 2012
It’s remarkable what some people can accomplish in a single weekend. While others spend those days catching up on lost sleep or exploring their city with friends, Texas-based nonprofit The Better Block uses that time to rally communities to rethink their neighborhoods. Since its inception in 2010, the project has built temporary dog parks, pop-up shops, urban forests, cafes, and bike lanes. They’ve left their mark in more than 35 cities including Philadelphia, Wichita, Cleveland, Houston, and Oklahoma City.
Jun 1 2012
Studies show that most Americans want to live in walkable neighborhoods. They also conclude that neighborhoods boasting the best walkability also come with the highest price tags. Since easily-traversable neighborhoods encourage healthier and more robust communities, the costliness of walkability poses “a serious social equity issue.”
Mar 26 2012
On March 21, 2012, the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority unanimously approved the 50-year, $50 billion five-year update of the state’s master plan for coastal restoration and hurricane storm surge protection, and sent it on to the Legislature.
Now in front of the Louisiana Legislature, the comprehensive, “revised plan is the result of two months of public hearings and intense jawboning by parish elected officials, legislators and others.”
Feb 28 2012
Ever-increasing in its complexity, the trial set to examine BP’s responsibility regarding 2010 oil spill reparations has been delayed a week. The new trial date is set for Monday, March 5th, 2012. The delay of trial has stirred some to believe a settlement between BP and the myriad individuals and businesses affected by the disaster is, perhaps, close to being reached.
Jan 17 2012
On January 12, 2012 Louisiana state officials released a $50 billion, 50-year master plan to rebuild land lost due to erosion and protect coastal communities from future storm surges. The 50-year strategy is outlined in the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority’s plan update. Ambitious in scope, the plan takes into account funds that “the state is reasonably sure it will receive.” Although a monumental undertaking, restoring lost coastal wetlands and marshes is integral to maintaining a healthy coastline and community.
Mar 22 2011
“It is critical that the Greater New Orleans region has a comprehensive water management plan that can mitigate risk while enhancing economic opportunities and improving the quality of life for our citizens,” said Senator Mary Landrieu. “We are fortunate to have a dream team in place to do this important work. Waggonner & Ball has extensive expertise in water management gleaned from projects that span the globe, and GNO, Inc. is uniquely positioned to manage the process efficiently.”
Mar 21 2011
Nov 10 2010
“This is the most productive ecosystem in North America, on this continent, right here in the Gulf of Mexico,” he said. “The repercussions of this oil spill, the repercussions of this hurricane, the statistics prove, the facts prove there are national and international repercussions. Every taxpayer in this country is paying for the loss and the degradation of this ecosystem.”
Oct 16 2010
Ending our love affair with the automobile, no matter how unhealthy it has become, seems overwhelmingly disruptive. Although more and wider roads lead only to more congestion, states are loath to reject federal highway dollars such as those offered in economic stimulus packages. Highways are easy things to spend money on, so who cares if what they stimulate is sprawl?
Sep 21 2010
“We haven’t had any oil released since the 15th of July and we continue to respond to these pockets of oil,” Zukunft told reporters. “They’re basically job sites where we still have residual oil in 600 miles of coastline that are still affected.”
He said about 22,000 workers are still involved in the cleanup in remote wetland locations.
“When people think coastline, you normally think the straight coastline of the Florida panhandle,” he said. “But when you get over here in Louisiana, it’s back in the marshes and estuaries in very remote locations.
“So the logistics are a challenge. There’s still quite a bit of work remaining,” he said.
Jun 1 2010
May 21 2010
In the past two years, 12.6 miles of bike lanes have been added to city roads, including the three-mile St. Claude Avenue bike lane, the 1.8-mile shared lane and 0.8-mile off-street path along Robert E. Lee Boulevard and the 2-mile Gentilly Boulevard bike lane, said Jennifer Ruley, a bicycle and pedestrian engineer who provides technical assistance to City Hall on behalf of the Louisiana Public Health Institute and Entergy New Orleans.
More bike paths are to come: The city is using bond money to finance “bikeway” development in conjunction with federally funded road resurfacing projects, Ruley said.
May 16 2010
May 9 2010
“BP needs to stop avoiding the truth and allow all public officials to prepare for a worst case scenario. We are at the door. Hopefully, a miracle will occur but we should plan for the worst, but without real information, that is impossible. We should have all learned from Katrina that rather than denying the worst case, we should be ready for it.
May 3 2010
Sep 30 2009
Feb 3 2009
By law, the city is supposed to pick up trash only at residential buildings with four or fewer units and at small businesses producing, in the Quarter and CBD, less than 35 gallons of solid waste a day. All bars, restaurants and hotels are supposed to arrange for private collection.
Jul 15 2008
A year after the introduction of the sturdy gray bicycles known as Velib’s, they are being used all over Paris. The bikes are cheap to rent because they are subsidized by advertising, and other major cities, including American ones, are exploring similar projects.
Jun 28 2008
Long before the recent spike in the price of energy, environmentalists decried suburban sprawl a waste of land, energy and tax dollars. Governments from Virginia to California have in recent decades lavished resources on building roads and schools for new subdivisions in the outer rings of development while skimping on maintaining facilities closer in. Many governments now focus on reviving their downtowns.
Jun 9 2008
Now that’s changing. Flaherty, a former grass-roots organizer for Ronald Reagan, argues that conservatives have been slow to recognize that today it’s corporations, not government, that drive many big social changes. That’s been true recently on issues like gay rights, health-care costs and the environment.
May 27 2008
So what are intelligent responses to our predicament? First, we’ll have to dramatically reorganize the everyday activities of American life. We’ll have to grow our food closer to home, in a manner that will require more human attention. In fact, agriculture needs to return to the center of economic life. We’ll have to restore local economic networks — the very networks that the big-box stores systematically destroyed — made of fine-grained layers of wholesalers, middlemen and retailers.
Mar 7 2008
Sep 29 2007
We help homebuyers, renters, and real estate agents find houses and apartments in great neighborhoods. Walk Score shows you a map of what’s nearby and calculates a Walk Score for any property. Buying a house in a walkable neighborhood is good for your health and good for the environment.
Jun 19 2007
Cypress swamps are clear-cut and entire trees are ground up to make cypress garden mulch. Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and Lowe’s are driving destruction of the Gulf’s best natural storm protection by selling cypress mulch all over the country. It’s time they stopped.
Jun 19 2007
Working from barges and tugboats off New York City’s Roosevelt Island, engineers are battling northeasters and this month’s heavy spring tides to install the first major tidal-power project in the United States. The project involves a set of six submerged turbines that are designed to capture energy from the East River’s tidal currents.
Jan 17 2007
Oct 18 2006
The office of Farr Associates is no next-generation green-building prototype — it’s located in the historic 114-year-old Monadnock Building, Chicago’s tallest all-brick skyscraper. But inside, green spores of sustainability burst forth. The open studio spaces have walls that have been painted by a local artist who used milk-based, non-toxic paints. The desktops are made of natural linoleum, and a translucent divider embedded with leaves separates one desk from another. “Occupancy sensors” trigger energy-conserving lights in the kitchenette, conference room, and main studio. Large, operable First Chicago School windows gaze over nearby Printer’s Row, letting in eastern and southern light that is welcomed by the many living creatures in the space.
Sep 29 2006
Question: How did you go from neighborhood rallies to running a nationally renowned organization?
Answer: Well, the street protests were cute and motivating and all, but eventually I decided it was time to get serious. In 2001, I founded Sustainable South Bronx — not as a moral crusade, but as an economic-development group that was about planning our future, not just reacting to environmental blight. I wanted to play offense, not defense. I wanted to give our community permission to dream, to plan for healthy air, healthy jobs, healthy children, and safe streets.
Jun 5 2006
With world oil production approaching a plateau, energy demand soaring, growing talk of global warming, and fossil-fuel habits under scrutiny, you may be worried about the employment outlook for traditional energy industries like oil. But according to Kevin Doyle, author of The Complete Guide to Environmental Careers in the 21st Century , there is a bright side for job hunters: Renewable energy.
“In 2006, we’ve made a switch: Alternative energy is no longer alternative,” he says.
May 17 2006
The landfill lacks some of the safeguards that existing dumps do, like special clay liners. The government says they are not needed because demolition debris is cleaner than other rubbish.
Residents and environmentalists think otherwise, because after Hurricane
Katrina the state expanded the definition of construction and demolition
debris to include most of a house’s contents, down to the moldy mattresses and soggy sofas.
Feb 3 2006
Hurricanes have been kneading the Gulf Coast like putty for eons, carving out inlets and bays, creating beaches and altering plant and animal life — but up to now, the natural world has largely been able to rebound. Trees, marine life and shoreline features tourists and anglers enjoyed in recent years were largely the same types as those 17th century buccaneers and explorers encountered.
But scientists say the future could be different. Nature might not be able to rebound so quickly. The reason: the human factor.
Nov 2 2005
A Louisiana environmental group said Tuesday that the cake-like muck that Hurricane Katrina dumped in much of St. Bernard Parish is loaded with toxic substances in amounts exceeding federal and state recommended levels, and the group contends that federal and parish officials are not giving returning residents enough warning about potential health risks.