Energy

May 1, 2009, 10am PDT
Clean energy is a major component of the Obama Administration's plans for an upgraded electricity grid. But with variable outputs, clean energy generation from solar and wind will need to be augmented, according to this piece from <em>NPR</em>.
NPR
May 1, 2009, 7am PDT
In the sixth of a ten-part series, National Public Radio investigates the sustainability of smart grid technology in the places where its likely to be applied.
National Public Radio
April 30, 2009, 9am PDT
Now that Los Angeles' Century Plaza Hotel has been listed as one of the nation's most endangered historic places, preservationists argue the irony behind developers' plans to demolish the building to "green" the area.
Los Angeles Times
April 29, 2009, 9am PDT
The effects of the U.S. Green Building Council's new LEED-ND certification for neighborhoods leaves plenty of questions to be answered regarding its effects (intended or not) on land use, sprawl, and property values.
REJournals.com
April 29, 2009, 8am PDT
Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has unveiled plans to turn an industrial parcel of land near downtown into "the global capital of clean technology."
Los Angeles Times
April 28, 2009, 2pm PDT
The 2009 Mercer Quality of Living Survey is dominated by Swiss, German and Austrian cities, while Vancouver hangs on to fourth place, the only city in the Americas to crack the top 10.
Citymayors.com
April 28, 2009, 12pm PDT
CA's Air Resources Board approved another 'first' - a low carbon fuel standard that will play a key role in meeting the state's aggressive climate action plan by reducing the carbon intensity of transportation fuels. Winners and losers are created.
San Francisco Chronicle
April 28, 2009, 8am PDT
Creating a "smart" grid to better handle the nation's electricity sounds like a great idea, but the job's going to be a tough -- and expensive.
Los Angeles Times
April 27, 2009, 11am PDT
The Wall Street Journal asked four architects (including William MacDonough and Steve Mouzon) to design an energy-efficient, sustainable house of the future. The results are in, and couldn't be more different.
The Wall St. Journal
Blog post
April 27, 2009, 5am PDT

One of the many glorious perks of being an engineer is that we are so bad at thinking up clever names for programs and tools that there's been an unabashed, universal concession by the general public to accept our use of horribly convoluted acronyms.  My favorite transportation acronym sub-genre is the collection of traffic signal configurations that for no clear reason (other than because engineers are, deep down, fun people) have flown off on a winged tangent.  The original intersection signal control which included pedestrian push buttons was “PEdestrian LIght CONtrolled”, close enough to be named “Pelican”.  A “Pedestrian User-Friendly INtelligent crossing” alternative to the Pelican is named “Puffin”.  Since a combined pedestrian/bicycle signal means two (

Ian Sacs
Blog post
April 26, 2009, 5pm PDT
"Rules established in another era need to be rethought, " said Xavier de Sousa Briggs, associate director of the White House Office of Management and Budget this weekend in Cambridge. Briggs' job touches almost everything, from the postal service to the Department of Homeland Security, and it was admittedly exciting to see someone with an urban planning background in such a powerful position. Briggs spoke at lightning speed, and I could almost see the multitude of invisible connections going into his brain and back out to the White House. Much of what he's working on, he explained, is taking "old stovepipes" -- government agencies that have worked in silos for decades -- and making them talk to each other.
Tim Halbur
April 24, 2009, 10am PDT
In a step toward accomplishing PlaNYC's goal of reducing the city's carbon emissions by 30% in the next twenty years, Mayor Bloomberg has announced that larger buildings will be retrofitted to be more energy efficient.
The Architect's Newspaper
April 24, 2009, 9am PDT
The Energy Department has announced that it will be increasing grant limits to implement smart grid technology. The current $20 million per grant, officials say, just isn't enough to get the technology used at a commercial scale.
The Washington Post
April 24, 2009, 7am PDT
Twenty-two national parks in California will get a portion of $97 million to repair historic buildings, install solar panels, and fix trails.
San Francisco Chronicle
April 23, 2009, 2pm PDT
Vatican City has plans to build the largest solar plant in Europe, which will supply enough power for 40,000 households in a state of 900 inhabitants.
Bloomberg
April 23, 2009, 11am PDT
In order to reduce his carbon footprint, Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates is providing an excellent example for all municipal leaders by giving up his car.
San Francisco Chronicle
April 23, 2009, 7am PDT
An historic house in Placerville is preserved and expanded to create a sustainable new office building for an architecture firm.
YouTube
April 21, 2009, 9am PDT
The Vatican has announced plans to build Europe's largest solar plant to power the state.
Bloomberg
April 21, 2009, 6am PDT
This piece from <em>National Geographic</em> looks at how green roofs are sweeping across the tops of buildings all over the world.
National Geographic
April 20, 2009, 10am PDT
'Peak oil' refers to a belief that growing oil demand will outstrip finite oil supplies. Peak U.S. oil consumption is premised on the belief that 2007 marked the peak, population increase notwithstanding, due to efficiency, biofuels and batteries.
The Wall Street Journal