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Cities Are Depaving for a Cooler Future

It all started because a man named Arif Khan wanted a garden.  In 2007, he had recently moved into a house in Portland, Ore., whose backyard was covered in asphalt. Some friends helped him tear up the impervious surface, and soon after, they won a small grant to carry out a similar project in front ofREAD MORE

Swimmable Cities Are a Climate Solution 

As recently as the 1940s, New Yorkers swam in floating pools in the Hudson and East Rivers. A safer alternative to swimming directly in the river, the municipal baths kept residents cool in hot summer months until they were closed over sanitation concerns.  Now, as the city contends with life-threatening heat, can New Yorkers once againREAD MORE

Meals on Wheels Is a Climate-Relief Model

When an unprecedented heat wave bore down on Portland, Oregon, in June 2021, Jonna Papaefthimiou, the city’s chief resilience officer, immediately thought of the city’s most vulnerable populations: older people sweltering, often alone, in their homes. She called Suzanne Washington, who runs the local chapter of Meals on Wheels. “That overlap of their demographic and theREAD MORE

Cities Are Rethinking What Kinds of Trees They’re Planting

After a series of winter storms pummeled California this winter, thousands of trees across the state lost their grip on the earth and crashed down into power lines, homes, and highways. Sacramento alone lost more than 1,000 trees in less than a week. Stressed by years of drought, pests and extreme weather, urban trees are inREAD MORE

San Giovanni solar array

Italy Is Fighting Energy Poverty — and Climate Change

San Giovanni a Teduccio is a working-class neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples, Italy. Once an industrial center, today it’s home to abandoned factories that sit in ruins by the sea. But the rooftop of a former orphanage points to new beginnings for the community. There, the sun shines onto the deep blue surface of 166READ MORE

How Norway Became the World’s Electric Car Capital

When Trondheim-based Magnus Korpås bought his first electric car in 2019, he settled on a Tesla—the model of car that offered the most charging stations available to him at the time. However, in just a few years, Norway built out its charging infrastructure so quickly that no matter what type of electric vehicle (EV) you choose,READ MORE

PS 184 playground

Greener Playgrounds Are an Overlooked Climate Solution

The new schoolyard at PS 184M Shuang Wen, a grade school in Manhattan’s Chinatown, features new play equipment, a yoga circle, a stage and basketball and tennis courts.  It also has a porous turf field that can capture an estimated 1.3 million gallons of stormwater runoff, according to New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).READ MORE

Detroit compost

Composting in Detroit Gets a Boost From the Philippines

On a recent Saturday morning, Pamela McGhee and several neighbors were busy at work in a community garden on Detroit’s East Side, weighing food scraps and assessing compost piles for compliance. Items in the compost are assessed according to a “yuck” and “yay” system. “Yuck” items, like animal bones and meat, which do not compost well,READ MORE

U.S. Route 40 Overpass Bridge (1978) over Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard at Mulberry Street, Baltimore, MD

“It Was Like Taking the Heart Out of the Body.”

Growing up in Rosemont, a once vibrant Black neighborhood on Baltimore’s West Side, Glenn Smith remembers “having everything you needed” — parks, markets and even a movie theater — within walking distance of the home he shared with his parents and seven siblings. “It was a Norman Rockwell existence,” he said.  But in 1974, when SmithREAD MORE

How Cities Can Help the U.S. Reduce Food-Related Emissions

The United States must cut back on its meat consumption in order to meet its climate goals. Meat and dairy account for nearly 15 percent of global greenhouse emissions, and Americans eat more meat per capita than any other country.  Though it is long understood that reducing meat consumption is one of the most meaningful waysREAD MORE