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Alex Steffen: The shareable future of cities

Alex Steffen: The shareable future of cities
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Revitalizing Struggling American Cities (September 16, 2011) Living Cities is working with five US municipalities to develop an ecosystem for solving urban problems. (Illustration by Angus Greig) I have spent much of my professional life looking for the lever that would transform the lives of low-income people. In the 1980s, I believed it was housing. This question changed my life. Four years ago, Living Cities, a 20-year-old funding collaborative of 22 leading foundations and financial institutions, shifted its focus, in part to build a blueprint for dynamic collaboration. Living Cities was founded on the belief that real change could be achieved only through private and public collaboration. During its first 15 years, Living Cities’ $1 billion of direct investment was leveraged 16 times over, moving neighborhood redevelopment efforts from isolated successes to greater scale, shaping federal funding programs, and helping to build homes, stores, schools, and community facilities. Ben Hecht is president and CEO of Living Cities.

Tiny House Design » Kits / Prefab A paradigm shifting change is sweeping the globe and shaking the foundation of the current establishment – people are empowering people. At some point a critical mass of innovators and early adopters will force the establishment out of the driver’s seat and put the meek back at the helm. This sort of revolution won’t happen at the end of a gun barrel, but by sharing information and ideas that empower each other. The Acquisition Paradigm As the current paradigm – built on a single-minded focus on acquisition – requires every increasing economic growth and the increasing centralization of control to operate. To the folks steeped in the acquisition paradigm the moment they stop acquiring or loose control is the moment they think things will fall apart. Revolution in Thinking As more people share information freely, the majority will learn that there is more power in sharing than hoarding. WikiHouse WikiHouse from 00 on Vimeo. The Paradigm Shift

An Efficient 60 Watt LED Bulb For Under $15 | Ecopreneurist CleanTech Published on August 30th, 2011 | by Elizabeth Smyth Yesterday, Lighting Science Group and Dixon Technologies announced one of their first joint products: A high-performance, omnidirectional 60-watt equivalent A19 LED bulb that retails for under $15. According to the company, “The newly announced bulb fits perfectly into existing screw-in light sockets and creates a clean, bright light level equivalent to a conventional 60-watt incandescent bulb using 85% less electricity.” Currently, the majority of 60W LEDs retail in the $40 range. The companies confirm this new technology will go on to power a full line of products, including street lights, outdoor and industrial light fixtures and replacement bulbs. The new LED bulb will be available in India by the end of the year and sold worldwide by early next year. Image source: Lighting Science Group / PR Newswire.LSG press release. About the Author

A Closer Look at the Green City Index | Business [Editor's Note: Siemens' new Green City Index for North America has provoked the inevitable comments and questions about why some cities nailed top ratings, others tanked and still others weren't counted at all. NRDC's Kaid Benfield takes a deep dive into the scores. Here is the first installment of his two-part examination.] I may as well start with the caveat that any attempt to measure, score or rank places with respect to almost anything will be incomplete at best and can be wildly misleading at worst. Second, even measurements based on quantitative data are complicated. That said, such ratings and rankings are fun, because they start conversations about what is important. Overall evaluations So, with that out of the way, let's get to the findings of a new study of 27 large American and Canadian cities by the Economist Intelligence Unit, conducted for the global corporate giant Siemens. San Francisco Vancouver New York City Seattle Denver Detroit St.

phoenixcommotion eco-business.com Energy production and supply units may be fined up to VND100 million (US$4,800) for administrative violations leading to the waste of energy under a new decree to become effective on October 15. The highest fine will be applied to units who purposefully do not reject obsolete technology and low-output electricity generators or those who build new generators with obsolete technology. Decree 73/2011/ND-CP regulates fines on administrative violations relating to economical and effective energy use. It applies to violations of regulations on energy audits, energy labels, production, imports and energy using devices or violations on economical and effective energy use at key energy using units. “The decree aims to guide the implementation of the law on economical and effective use of energy that came into effect at the beginning of this year,” said deputy director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Science and Technology Department Phuong Hoang Kim.

The Impacts of Energy-Smart Buildings This white paper from Microsoft, Accenture and the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory looks at how conducting an IT retrofit of building management tools can have a quick return on investment. Microsoft, in partnership with Accenture and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, deployed smart building management systems on 2.6 million square feet of its corporate campus -- which totals 15 million square feet over 118 buildings. Through energy management, alarm management and fault detection and diagnosis, Microsoft expects to save more than $1 million per year in energy costs, with a payback time of less than 18 months. The findings of the project, which is intended in part to be a learning experience to understand the potential and limitations of current building management systems, can be put to work for almost any company. The white paper lays out some other success stories from similar projects, including:

Swamplot: Houston's Real Estate Landscape » Houston, Texas real estate development, home buying, landscape, and design

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