SPOTLIGHT

Around the world, people and communities are taking on urbanization challenges in their cities. Here we share some of these stories.

Disclaimer: The organizations or companies linked here do not amount to an endorsement by the Cool Cities team.

Efficient Housing Project Moves Forward in Chicago Despite Loss of Key Architect

Blacks In Green (BIG™) serves as a bridge and catalyst among communities and their stakeholders in the design and development of green, self-sustaining, mixed-income, walkable-villages in communities owned and populated by African Americans. In these places, every household can walk-to-work, walk-to-shop, walk-to-learn, walk-to-play, and neighbor dollars circulate to reduce greenhouse gases. (Blacks in Green, 2019)

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How America's Hottest City Will Survive a Rapidly Warming World

This month, Phoenix is a hotspot in every sense of the word. The coronavirus is raging out of control. Protesters have flooded the streets after police officers fatally shot a man in a parked car on July 4. It’s been more than a month since the daily maximum temperature dropped below 100 degrees.Yet the city is working to fight the literal heat. The goal is for Phoenix to become the country’s first heat-ready city — equipped to survive a rapidly warming world. (Washington Post, July 2020)

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This European Country May Have the Most Ambitious Green Agenda Yet

The centerpiece of Leonore Gewessler’s plan is a radical revamp of Austria’s public transportation networks, giving residents nationwide access to buses, trains and subways for a flat yearly fee that works out at €3 ($3.38) a day, encouraging citizens to leave their cars at home. (Fortune, June 2022)

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Rebuilding and Resiliency with LEED in Greensburg, Kansas

Ten years after a two-mile-wide tornado devastated the town of Greensburg, Kansas, the rebuilt community is a model for what green building can do. More than just an environmentally sound choice, building green can also mean building for self-sufficiency and resiliency, qualities always embodied by residents of the plains states. (US Green Building Council, May 2017)

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Biophilic Cities Network Partners

The Biophilic Cities Network is comprised of cities from around the globe dedicated to improving the connection between residents and urban nature. Biophilic Cities acknowledges the importance of daily contact with nature as an element of a meaningful urban life, as well as the ethical responsibility that cities have to conserve global nature as shared habitat for non-human life and people. (Biophilic Cities Network)

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Billion Oyster Project

Billion Oyster Project is restoring oyster reefs to New York Harbor in collaboration with New York City communities. Oyster reefs provide habitat for hundreds of species, and can protect our city from storm damage — softening the blow of large waves, reducing flooding, and preventing erosion along the shorelines. (Billion Oyster Project, 2020)

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Bringing Energy Upgrades to the Nation's Inner Cities

America’s inner cities are filled with aging buildings that are notoriously energy-inefficient...Donnel Baird has launched a startup that aims to revolutionize how small businesses and nonprofits secure funding for energy efficiency and clean energy projects in low-income neighborhoods. (Yale E360. May 2016)

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5 Ways Momentum for Climate Action Has Grown Since the Paris Agreement Was Signed

In Medellín, Colombia, the installation of an aerial tram system called Metrocable is linking low-income hillside communities with the center of the city and thus boosting access by residents to jobs, education and other services. The mayor of Paris has made her plan for a '15-minute city', where residents can meet all their needs within 15 minutes of traveling from home, a cornerstone of her re-election campaign. (World Resources Institute, Apr. 2020)

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Walmart, Schneider Electric Team Up to Help Suppliers Transition to Renewable Energy

For Walmart to meet the goal of avoiding one billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, suppliers have to get on board. The retailer was one of the first in its class to take a swing at supply chain emissions (also called scope 3 emissions), which make up the vast majority of Walmart's total output. (Utility Dive, Sept. 2020)

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