Energy

October 31, 2008, 1pm PDT
Al Gore did in fact invent the 'electranet', or at least he coined the term to explain the necessity of a new smart grid to transmit electricity from new, green sources like wind and solar. GOOD Magazine reports on the state of the electranet.
GOOD Magazine
October 31, 2008, 11am PDT
Solar energy initiatives are taking off all across the country, despite some reservations over the impacts of large-scale installations.
AlterNet
Blog post
October 31, 2008, 10am PDT

The most recent bicycle counts from two of America's most progressive cities, New York City and Portland, have been made public. The results are impressive as much as they are instructive.

Mike Lydon
October 31, 2008, 7am PDT
No sooner had Chrysler released its new hybrid SUV- a Dodge Durango 40% more efficient than its gas-only counterpart- than it has been forced to close the factory where both versions are produced in order to save on costs.
Bloomberg.com
October 31, 2008, 6am PDT
Gas prices are falling, and drivers are going right back to their gas-guzzling ways.
The New York Times
October 30, 2008, 1pm PDT
David Morris of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance wonders if the economic crisis will see alternative energy fall off the political agenda, or if the next president will recognize the economic benefits of renewable energy investments.
AlterNet
October 30, 2008, 11am PDT
Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, is reinventing itself as an increasingly wealthy and fast developing country through its architecture.
Architectural Record
October 29, 2008, 8am PDT
Historically, green initiatives come about as responses to energy crises, but are abandoned when oil prices drop and the economy busts. This time around, though, that's less likely to happen.
NPR
Blog post
October 28, 2008, 3pm PDT

When Vancouver City Council approved the new EcoDensity Charter and Initial Actions earlier this year, among these was a prioritized action to further develop the idea of laneway housing. 

The issues and options report relating to this work program is now available for downloading from the EcoDensity website. 

Brent Toderian
Blog post
October 28, 2008, 11am PDT

This morning I was reading through my daily dose of planning related blogs and dropped in on The Overhead Wire, Jeff Wood's excellent transit soapbox. One of Jeff's most recent posts links to an October 25th Reuters article announcing China's $272 billion dollar investment in new rail infrastructure. Yes, you read that correctly. 272 billion. Can't you see president Hu Jintao bringing his pinky to his lips, à la Dr. Evil?

Mike Lydon
Blog post
October 28, 2008, 6am PDT

Here in New York City, there is an incredibly popular burger stand in Madison Square Park called The Shake Shack. It's one of the touchpoints for Silicon Alley, and a great meet-up spot. The problem is that its usually insanely crowded, with an hour-long line stretching well across the park.

Not to be defeated, Silicon Alley geeks created the Shake Shack Twitter Bot, which serves as a sort of chat room for people to report wait times at the Shake Shack. It's a few dozen lines of code that leverages Web 2.0 technology to make the city smarter, more efficient, and more fun.

Anthony Townsend
October 24, 2008, 12pm PDT
Plunging oil prices are hitting three oil-producing countries the hardest: Venezuela, Iran, and Russia. This article looks at each of them and evaluates how they will fare if oil prices do not rise, including their relationships to the U.S.
The New York Times
Blog post
October 24, 2008, 8am PDT
 Technology innovation – that’s all we need to solve the energy crisis!  Unleash American ingenuity and we’ll be able to cope with higher energy costs.  The Windmillmobile, should go a long way toward reducing petroleum consumption.  It seems to work fine unless there is a strong tailwind.  The engineers are still working on the sensor to fold down the windmill for garages and overpasses.  

 

Steven Polzin
Blog post
October 23, 2008, 11am PDT

Is it possible to condense two weeks of soaring rhetoric by politicians into a single graphic? Let's find out.

In my last post I covered free online tools for creating information graphics.  Here is a look at another free online tool that can be used to easily create sophisticated visualizations and information graphics.

Abhijeet Chavan
October 22, 2008, 9am PDT
The new 'oil shock' is one of plummeting oil prices and its effect on alternative technologies and energy. Combined with the credit crisis, the fallout in some green technologies is shown by difficulties in attracting capital and customers.
The Washington Post
October 21, 2008, 2pm PDT
Before the fiscal crisis, there was the global climate crisis. After the fiscal crisis, we’ll still have the global climate crisis — for the rest of our lives.
Citiwire.net
October 19, 2008, 9am PDT
Faith Cable reports on the CEU's 3rd annual conference, held in Oslo, Norway, which addressed cities and their ability to address climate change through urban design.
WorldChanging
October 18, 2008, 5am PDT
Honolulu is moving ahead with an ambitious plan to use deep seawater as a natural air conditioning for downtown buildings. The system should be in place for up to 40 clients by 2010.
Honolulu Star-Bulletin
October 14, 2008, 1pm PDT
As oil prices plunge to well below $100/barrel, will Americans reverse all their fuel-efficient behavior learned from $145 oil seen in July? It appears that the economic crisis may continue where the energy crisis left off.
The Wall Street Journal
October 11, 2008, 11am PDT
Oil, gas and wind man T.Boone Pickens is clearly interjecting himself and his plan into presidential, and vice-presidential politics. Recently, he sat down with Sarah and Todd Palin to promote his plan of using natural gas as a transportation fuel.
Boone Blog