Energy Use

Two men in white and yellow hard hats and matching jackets looking up at power infrastructure in outdoor electrical substation or plant.

AI’s Thirst for Energy Threatens Electric Grids

The rapidly growing demand for electricity could lead to shortages and is already impacting where data centers are built.

May 21, 2024 - GovTech

Exterior view of a Microsoft data center. Black multistory industrial building with Microsoft logo.

Virginia Coalition Calls for Increased Data Center Industry Oversight

Environmental groups voice concern that the states large, and growing, number of data centers is putting unsustainable pressure on natural resources and utility infrastructure.

December 13, 2023 - Inside Climate News


How Urban Sprawl Came To Dominate U.S. Cities—And How To Change That

The auto-centric development patterns of American cities are a result of decades of misguided, but reversible, policy decisions.

May 4, 2022 - Popular Science

Walkable Street

Ten Urban Success Stories From 2021

Still battling a global pandemic and its widespread economic and social effects, cities nevertheless made progress in some unexpected ways.

December 31, 2021 - Bloomberg CityLab

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Report Addresses Climate Change and Equity in New Orleans

A new report details steps the city can take to help prevent climate change and protect its most vulnerable residents.

October 5, 2019 -

Air Conditioner

The High Cost of Cool Air

Air conditioning has drastically changed modern life and the ways cities have developed. But, the environmental consequences are immense, and it’s time to cut back.

September 14, 2019 - The Guardian

Energy Efficiency Infographic

Infographic: Track the Flow of Energy in the United States

The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has a collection of infographics illustrating the use and waste of energy in the county and in specific states by year.

October 23, 2018 - Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory


U.S. Households Using Less Energy

Total on-site energy use in U.S. homes declined between 2009 and 2015, thanks to new new building technology and warmer winters.

July 14, 2018 - Housing Perspectives

Google Self-Driving Car smaller

Self-Driving Cars Hog Power

Self-driving cars process a tremendous amount of data to pilot themselves through crowded streets. That computing power needs electricity, and lots of it.

February 15, 2018 - Wired

Miami Temperature

A Guide to Cooling the House in Summer Heat

Christopher Ingraham does everyone a favor and produces a how-to guide for cooling your house "like a wonk."

July 17, 2016 - The Washington Post - Wonkblog

The 'Energy Atlas' of Los Angeles County Lets Planners and Citizens Track Energy Use

"Not knowing which kinds of buildings consume what is like not being able to gauge differences between a diesel truck and a hybrid car."

October 7, 2015 - CityLab

Sustainability Initiatives Pay Green Dividends for S.F. Schools

Five years after San Francisco hired its first sustainability director for the city's school system, the controversial decision is paying off in environmental benefits and substantial energy savings.

September 30, 2013 - Sa Francisco Chronicle

U.S. Carbon Emissions Fall to Lowest Level in Two Decades

A new report indicates that carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. have fallen by 13% in the past five years. The last time carbon emissions were this low, Ace of Base was topping the charts and "Pulp Fiction" was reviving the career of John Travolta.

February 1, 2013 - The Guardian

Mapping Energy Consumption, Block-by-Block

A new interactive map produced by researchers at Columbia University reveals the energy use of nearly every building in New York City. Besides being an interesting curiosity, the map is a crucial first step in improving energy efficiency.

February 3, 2012 - Fast Company Co.Exist

LEED Challenged By New Green Rating Systems

As New Yorkers prepare for city-mandated, publicly-accessible 'report cards' on their buildings' energy use, they're finding fault with the LEED rating system for its lack of attention to actual energy measurement.

January 20, 2011 - Crain's New York Business

LEED's Energy Problem

Two recent studies on the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED certifications have found that many of the building's with the green certification are actually energy hogs. This piece from The Atlantic offers an explanation.

December 8, 2009 - The Atlantic

Cities Focus on Existing Buildings To Save Energy

Old buildings could be to blame for much of a city's energy waste. That's the case in New York, where officials are putting together a plan to retrofit older buildings to be less wasteful.

May 14, 2009 - Grist

The Future of Urban Lighting

This article showcases six new types of streetlights that reduce energy use in very different ways.

May 1, 2009 - The Infrastructurist

That Goat Position in Vancouver? Filled

The city of Vancouver is hoping to reduce its energy use and carbon emissions by hiring a goat to maintain the grounds at city hall. Though the mayor wants to expand the goat program to schools and parks, some have reservations.

April 3, 2009 - The Vancouver Courier

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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.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.