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Monday News Roundup

Feb 21, 2011

The Importance of Cities to the World (Planetizen)
Neal Peirce expounds on the increasing power and importance of cities, a dominant message in the new book “Triumph of the City” by economist Edward Glaeser.

Our High Speed Rail Plan Should Look More Like China’s (TreeHugger)
I don’t want to perpetuate the US vs. China who-will-be-the-economic-superpower narrative that’s already rampant in our press enough these days, so let’s frame this one from another, even simpler angle — China is doing a bunch of really great stuff in clean tech that we should be doing too.

New Solar Panel Array Doubles the Energy and Halves the Cost of Traditional Solar (inhabitat)
NREL just announced a huge breakthrough in making solar electricity competitive with fossil fuels as they unveiled the Amonix 7700 Concentrated Photovoltaic or CPV Generator.

Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary named among world’s most liveable cities (The Vancouver Sun)
Vancouver topped the list of the world’s most livable cities for the fifth straight year, while Melbourne claimed second place from Vienna and Australian and Canadian cities dominated the list’s top 10 spots.

To gain housing, Pioneer Square needs a boost (Crosscut)
Seattle’s first neighborhood, Pioneer Square, has essentially missed out on every major economic boom to hit the Northwest since the Gold Rush.

Annals of Cycling – 8 (Price Tags)
An occasional update on items from the Velo-city, this is part 8.

Ford Assembly Building Adaptive Reuse Wins AIA Honor Award (Treehugger)
Marci Wong of MarciWongDonnLogan Architects writes that their adaptive reuse of the Albert Kahn-designed former Ford Assembly Plant In Richmond, California has won and AIA Honor Award.

Peter Calthorpe on why urbanism is the cheapest, smartest way to fight climate change (Grist)
Cities may be the trendy topic du jour, but Peter Calthorpe has been talking about the benefits of urbanism since the 1970s. In 1993, he was one of the founders of the Congress for the New Urbanism, an influential national organization that promotes walkable, mixed-use, transit-rich development.

Eat your subdivision (Landscape Architecture Magazine)
Amid growing concern about food quality and supply, new residential communities incorporate sustainable farming.

‘Reskinning’ Gives World’s Old Urban Buildings Energy-Saving Facelifts (Solve Climate News)
The practice of ‘reskinning’ exteriors of aging infrastructure can help retrofit entire cities to be ‘more efficient’ and ‘more beautiful,’ advocates say.

Can suburbs be reinvented for 21st century? (Crosscut)
To make suburbs fit into modern realities, we will have to re-imagine and re-engineer them.