Technology

Blog post
March 16, 2009, 10am PDT

High Speed Rail (HSR) is the favorite moniker to describe the new era of trains envisioned and partially down-paid by the recent stimulus.  The idea, linking major regional corridors via fast trains that rival door-to-door times for air travel and put highways to shame, is a powerful elixir to the crunch of congested highways and airways that represented a failed – or to be more accurate, incomplete - twentieth century vision to satiate America's transport needs.  Perhaps this vision, if implemented with undeterred gusto, can renew our perception of travel and convenience while simultaneously reinvigorating our gagged transportation system.

Ian Sacs
March 15, 2009, 7am PDT
Vivek Kundra, the Washington D.C. chief technology officer who created an innovative publicly accessible database of city information, will be heading to a new office in D.C. -- at the White House.
Citiwire
March 14, 2009, 9am PDT
CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) is an abbreviation that may become more common if the coal industry has its way. But The Economist argues that carbon taxes are a better way to improve the environment than investing in CCS technology.
Minneapolis Star-Tribune
March 13, 2009, 1pm PDT
Jacksonville, Florida officials are considering removing pay phones on sidewalks and in downtown parks, which are often viewed as nuisances that hinder efforts to make neighborhoods cleaner and safer.
The Florida Times-Union
March 12, 2009, 7am PDT
Treehugger recently heralded fuel-producing algae the hottest green technology going. GOOD Magazine takes a clear-eyed look at the promise and the pitfalls.
GOOD Magazine
March 11, 2009, 1pm PDT
Though challenged with facing a multi-tiered government, Nicholas Sarkozy has nonetheless devised one of the most ambitious plans ever for Paris. To reimagine this bolder, greener "Grand Paris," he has put 10 teams of architects and planners to work.
AFP
March 10, 2009, 7am PDT
CA's Air Resources Board has issued a new regulation to reduce carbon from fuels - and the ethanol industry isn't happy.
Los Angeles Times
Blog post
March 6, 2009, 12am PST

Once again, US Air (a.k.a. US-SCARE) has made my life difficult. I was hoping to fly back from Myrtle Beach, SC to Denver yesterday and they cancelled my flight (Myrtle Beach is where the GeoTools conference was and a meeting of the Ecosystem Based Management Tools Network).  

Ken Snyder
March 5, 2009, 1pm PST
Slums have garnered some positive attention lately, from academics (Teddy Cruz) to royalty (Prince Charles). This article looks at just what it is we can learn from them, as well as the challenges that face legitimizing the world's shantytowns.
The Boston Globe
March 5, 2009, 5am PST
Prisons around the country are looking less and less like the typical concrete box; Washington state has 34 LEED-certified prisons, some of which offer "green work" programs.
The New York Times
March 4, 2009, 9am PST
A new study shows that green buildings are far more expensive than they are made out to be, and that it may take longer than advertised for energy savings to cancel out costs.
The New York Times
Blog post
March 3, 2009, 4pm PST

A new design competition thinks it can.

In a recent post, I discussed the value of open design competitions in strengthening a city's "culture of design". I explained how Vancouver, often described as a city by design but in past years perhaps lacking a competition skill-set, is seeking to strengthen that culture, albeit by small steps and grass-roots efforts thus far. Here's the link - you might want to read that post first

Brent Toderian
Blog post
March 1, 2009, 12pm PST

 Architecture is certainly headed for its own version of the Big Bang. A density of firms are simmering with scarce backlog, delinquent collections, looming layoffs, high overhead, low morale as weakened management relies on a foggy stimulus package to forestall an explosion of great magnitude. After the inevitable, our profession will reconstitute based on a new chemistry.

Rick Abelson
February 26, 2009, 9am PST
Transportation reporter Tom Belden of the Philadelphia Daily ponders how and where the $8 billion in stimulus funds allotted to high-speed rail should be spent, referencing a report by the Progressive Policy Institute.
Philadelphia Daily
February 24, 2009, 9am PST
In his first foreign trip, President Obama will meet with Canadian PM Harper to discuss, amongst other topics, the environmental impact of mining Alberta's oil sands.
The Washington Post
February 22, 2009, 7am PST
In an effort to get a more precise look at the city and its distinct neighborhoods, the <em>Los Angeles Times</em> is starting a collaborative mapping project to set clear and adaptable boundaries for L.A.'s neighborhoods.
Los Angeles Times
February 22, 2009, 5am PST
Forbes releases its first ever list of "America's Fastest-Changing Cities", documenting the cities that have undergone the most drastic economic shifts.
Forbes
February 20, 2009, 6am PST
At 3 AM, Feb. 19, the state Senate secured its third Republican vote necessary to pass a budget and fill the $42 billion budget deficit. This article looks at one of many environmental rollbacks demanded by Republicans.
Los Angeles Times
February 19, 2009, 6am PST
This piece from <em>NPR</em> looks at the debate over plans to use more than $7 billion from the stimulus plan to expand broadband Internet access in rural areas.
NPR
February 18, 2009, 2pm PST
The Wall St. Journal reviews the latest in smart technology for infrastructure, from vehicle infrastructure integration to smart utility meters.
Wall St. Journal