Key Lessons From COP26

Observers express cautious optimism as countries come together on climate goals, but developing nations say they need more support to mitigate the impacts of climate change already in progress.

November 22, 2021, 11:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

David Knowles and Ben Adler describe some key takeaways from the COP26 climate conference, which COP26 President Alok Sharma called a "fragile win" for countries seeking to mitigate climate change and slow global warming.

Activists express concern about the nonbinding nature of the pledges made at the conference and the revelation that some countries have been misreporting their emissions data, throwing reductions goals into question.

Developing nations and activists also remain concerned that climate finance is disproportionately tilted toward measures to help developing nations lower emissions — something that most benefits rich countries, since it lowers climate change — and not for preventing, or simply being reimbursed for damage from climate change impacts that are already happening or will be soon.

Yet despite the lack of an enforcement mechanism, Knowles and Adler write that advocates remain hopeful that the conference yielded some promising results that could move the needle on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius, with over 130 countries pledging to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Some countries signed onto 'side deal' agreements to cooperate on climate change goals, while all participants agreed that eliminating fossil fuels and ending deforestation should be at the forefront of their efforts. The conference also established rules for international carbon markets that should close loopholes and implement more rigorous measurement mechanisms.

Sunday, November 14, 2021 in Yahoo News

The New York Public Library's stone lions Patience and Fortitude have donned face masks to remind New Yorkers to wear face coverings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Top Urban Planning Books of 2021

Planetizen's annual list of the top urban planning books of the year is here—maintaining a tradition that dates back to 2002.

November 26, 2021 - James Brasuell

Empty Road

The Roadway Expansion Paradox

Motorists want expensive roadway expansions provided that somebody else foots the bill, but when required to pay directly through tolls, the need for more capacity often disappears. What should planners do?

November 28, 2021 - Todd Litman


Urban Exodus: Data Don't Support the Popular Pandemic Narrative

Americans fled cities in waves during the pandemic, right? Not to so fast.

November 30, 2021 - Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University

Bentonville, AR Central Avenue at night

Opinion: Northwest Arkansas Could Be the 'Next Austin'

The home of Walmart and the University of Arkansas could be poised to see growth as cities like Austin and Boise become less affordable.

December 5 - Bloomberg Opinion

Downtown Houston overlooking Interstate 45.

Contentious Houston Freeway Widening Project Inches Forward

Federal officials have given TxDOT the go-ahead to resume work on a small portion of a controversial interstate widening project in downtown Houston.

December 5 - The Houston Chronicle

An image of President Joe Biden at a meeting in the White House while wearing a mask in February 2021.

Biden's 'Path Out of the Pandemic' Imperiled by Multiple Court Decisions

The vaccine mandate that applies to federal contractors included in President Biden's COVID plan announced in September to slow the Delta surge was halted by a federal judge in Kentucky. That's the third requirement to be paused, leaving only one.

December 5 - Lexington Herald-Leader

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.