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Monday News Roundup

Feb 14, 2011

Tracking Growth in World Cities (Planetizen)
Mega-cities of 10 million people or more are getting a lot of attention these days. But smaller big cities are really where interesting and potentially hazardous growth patterns are occurring, according to this piece.

Who’s got the greenest house on the planet? (Grist)
It’s pretty easy to determine the biggest pie, or longest fingernails, or fattest twins. But what about the greenest house? AOL’s consumer finance site has a nice roundup of what, exactly, it means to have a green home.

In Charleston, an Affordable, Effective Alternative to Highway Expansion (DC.STREETSBLOG)
More street grid, less traffic: The Coastal Conservation League’s proposal for Savannah Highway would cut congestion by reducing the number of curb cuts and establishing secondary roads for those traveling short distances.

Updating and Improving Philadelphia’s Downtown Plazas (Planetizen)
Three public plazas in the center of Philadelphia are set to see much-needed makeovers, and soon.

Researchers Transform Contaminated Shipping Port Sludge into Safe Building Materials (inhabitat)
Swedish researchers have developed a process that can turn contaminated sediment in shipping ports into a cement-like substance that is safe for building.

NYC to Turn Sewage Into an Asset (Planetizen)
Could the 1.3 billion gallons of wastewater that New Yorkers produce daily be an asset?

How Green School Buildings Help Children Grow (The Tyee)
Students and teachers are more healthy and productive in sustainably-built schools, research shows.

Global Eco Cities Panel Explores Innovations in City Building (The Planning Report)
Discussion of a global eco-cities panel at VX2011, the VERDEXCHANGE Green Marketmakers Conference, held in L.A. in January. The panelists (including former L.A. City Planning Director Gail Goldberg, Dean of the USC School of Architecture Qingyun Ma, and AECOM Principal of Building Engineering Alastair MacGregor) imagined global eco cities of the near future.

Let’s Be Smart About Intelligent Cities (Planetizen)
“Intelligent cities” is picking up steam as the new buzzword in planning and a potentially game-changing way of using data to drive decisions. But we need to be sure we don’t lose the human intelligence in planning.

The future of the strip mall: downhill (Crosscut)
Suburban strips with huge parking lots are losing favor, thanks to economic shifts, rising gas prices, and more appealing pedestrian-friendly town centers.

U.S. News ranks Portland #1 for Public Transit (Oregon Live)
TriMet may be running on red ink, slashing services and in the middle of a nasty contract fight with its driver’s union, but Portland is still the nation’s best city for public transportation, according to a new analysis.