North America

Community conversations often devolve. Could it be partly due to the "midlife crisis" of the North American demographic? Can we look forward to a time of more social connectedness in the next decade, as we recalibrate to less "me," more "we?"
2 days ago   PlaceShakers
Call it the Lac-Mégantic effect - the July 6 conflagration that leveled the downtown, killing 47 people, has implications for all jurisdictions where oil and freight trains run. Cities must recognize that rail insurance policies are woefully lacking.
Jan 14, 2014   The Wall Street Journal
A new documentary from Streetfilms explores how open streets events–which repurpose public spaces for people, rather than vehicles–have grown over the past several decades throughout South and North America.
Jan 12, 2014   Streetfilms
Crude oil may be flammable, but until recently was not thought to be explosive. However, three recent oil train explosions all involving crude oil from the Bakken formation have prodded investigators to determine why Bakken crude is more explosive.
Jan 8, 2014   The Wall Street Journal - Business
In cities like Houston, officials are utilizing established transmission right of ways (ROWs) to provide walking and biking trails without the land acquisition challenges that typically confront urban areas looking to expand their open spaces.
Jan 7, 2014   American Trails
Yonah Freemark assembles his annual review of the year ahead in transit expansion by analyzing the dozens of projects that will start, continue, or complete construction this year in North America. Nearly every metro region is investing in transit.
Jan 6, 2014   the transport politic
Throughout North America's auto-oriented suburbs, front-facing garages are a common feature of home design. According to Brent Toderian, that design decision has a significant impact on speeding and the quality of neighborhoods.
Jan 6, 2014   Huffington Post British Columbia
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reveals why Americans don't use the healthiest, cleanest form of transportation. Hint: it has to do with the frequent injuries we're trying to avoid.
Dec 29, 2013   The Atlantic Cities
Petroleum coke or petcoke, similar to coal, is a nasty though salable byproduct of the oil refining process. Produced from refining tar sands crude in Indiana refineries, it is stored in huge piles in Chicago, blowing dust in the Southeast Side.
Dec 28, 2013   NPR Morning Edition
Though smart cities and smart phones have tended to dominate professional discussions of late, the smart home has been a gleam in the eye of futurists for decades. Experts predict home automation will accelerate over the next few years.
Dec 24, 2013   Los Angeles Times
A new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council demonstrates that commercial investment in green infrastructure, particularly in stormwater management, can lead to substantial financial benefits for both owners and tenants.
Dec 22, 2013   NRDC Switchboard