Most Americans want to live in walkable neighborhoods, but only a fraction can afford it. Housing in places with easy access to stores, restaurants, jobs, and public transit is in short supply, and only about a third of those who say they want to live in walkable neighborhoods actually do. Aaccording to a new study, the people lucky enough to live in the most walkable neighborhoods are often also be the most well-off.
Brookings Institution researchers Christopher Leinberger and Mariela Alfonzo set out to create metrics for judging a neighborhood’s walkability and monitoring its progress. They picked a sample of neighborhoods in the Washington, D.C., area and, by examining several aspects of each one, assigned each a walkability score between one and five.
Once each neighborhood received a score, the researchers began exploring what distinguished high performers from low ones. They found that the most walkable communities boasted the strongest economies—and the most costly housing. Moving up one walkability point came with a $300 monthly bump in rent. Those living in the most walkable communities spent a greater portion of their income on housing and tended to be wealthier. As Leinberger told Atlantic Cities, “Only the wealthiest among us can afford to live in [these neighborhoods].”
Leinberger and Alfonzo say this trend poses “a serious social equity issue.” Living in walkable neighborhood brings a slew of health and economic benefits. It also means life takes less time: commutes are shorter, trips to the grocery store are easier, going to the park requires almost no effort. Often, living in a more “walkable” neighborhood actually requires less walking: Everything a person needs might be located within a two- or three-block radius instead of a 10-block one. Life is just easier.
There’s no reason that these benefits should be reserved for wealthier Americans. Revitalizing urban centers won’t mean much if lower-income people are simply displaced to the suburbs. There is a simple way to start reversing this trend before it takes hold: Build more affordable housing in neighborhoods already full of walkable amenities and public transit options. People of all income levels want to move into these places. They should be able to.
Session 1: June 10 – June 29, 2012
Session 2: July 9 – July 27, 2012
The Center for Sustainability in Shanghai is inviting university students and industry professionals to take part in a comprehensive summer course designed to provide an in depth introduction to today’s sustainability trends in China. Complementary to this 3 week study course, students will be offered a chance to participate in a 6 week internship at a leading Chinese or international company, focusing on sustainable development.
The program will provide students with valuable insight into sustainable and environmental trends in China and will highlight what the current opportunities within the country are. Lecturers from leading universities and enterprises will present seminars covering a range of topics, and participants will be given the opportunity to visit several of these institutions covering a variety of industries.
As well as participating in lectures, exercises and company visits, students will also have the chance to attend several networking events that will take place in various locations, and include people from different industries where sustainability is a main theme. The workload of this course alone will account for 3 US credit hours; with the 6-week internship accounting for a further 3 US credit hours (depending on home institution).
1.Sustainability in China: This course gives an introduction into various aspects of sustainability in China from an international point of view, taking into consideration several aspects of sustainability, including areas such as Clean Tech, Policy Making, Urban Development, transportations systems and how they comply with China’s 12th 5 year plan.
2.Sustainable Buildings: Energy usage in buildings accounts for 40% of all energy consumption, so how we design buildings, manage energy and resources, has an enormous effect on our environment. This course will show how technology can be used to simulate environmental conditions therefore optimizing architectural design and detailing to promote a more energy efficient and environmentally sensitive design.
3.Sustainability as a tool for development: This lecture will explain how we can use the creation of sustainable cities to promote industries that will serve as a tool for the economic development to local communities in developing countries.
4.Environmental Policy: This course exposes how any deliberate action taken in order to manage human activity for the purpose of protecting the environment and natural resources can be considered environmental policy. This course will also study the challenges of implementing policy at the local, national and international levels.
5.Fundraising for Sustainable Projects: This lecture presents the various aspects of raising funds for sustainability related projects, including the challenges and opportunities that we face in China.
6.Certifications: This lecture is designed to draw a one-to-one comparison between western design certifications, such as LEED, BREAM and HQE and Chinese design certifications such as Green star and China Star and to discuss how they differ in concept and enforcement.
7.Environmental Economics: In this course, students will have the opportunity to look at economics from a different point of view in which we recognize that the markets are not the only mechanism of allocation but rather that sustainable allocation is the result of the combined efforts of Markets, Scale and Distribution.
8.Environmental Ethics: This course is designed with the goal of bringing a new perspective to the boundaries of human ethics, and extending them to the natural world and its protection. Through this course students will exercise their critical thinking skills and engage in discussions involving current issues
9.Social Entrepreneurship: This course focuses on engaging critical thinking for the creation of socially responsible enterprises. It teaches students how to engage in an entrepreneurial venture that takes into consideration multiple aspects of sustainability.
Throughout the 3-week program, students will engage in a practical multidisciplinary exercise where they will take the different educational backgrounds and apply them to a current global issue. Through this exercise we aim to promote the debate from the different fields in order to achieving the common goal.
Trip to Tianjin and Beijing
Participants will have the opportunity to visit Tianjin and Beijing, in order to experience first hand how the planning and implementation of sustainable practices has influenced these cities, while taking the time to enjoy the typical Chinese sightseeing Lectures and company visits will form an integral part of these visits.
Throughout the program participants will visit several Chinese and International businesses that are current leaders in their specific industries for the development and implementation of sustainable practices.
Networking events will be arranged offering students a platform to meet and discuss with both local and international industry professionals currently working in or China or closely involved with the Chinese market.
Pius Leuba (雷朴实)
Architect HTL (Switzerland), MDesS (Harvard)
Pius Leuba is Associate Professor at TongJi University, School of Design and Innovation, Division of Environmental Design in Shanghai. He has extensively researched, designed, taught, published, lectured and built in the realm of sustainable human environment in China. In addition, Professor Leuba is a lecturer at the Shanghai Study Center of Hong Kong University as well as a practicing architect and sustainability consultant. He is advancing green materials in China with GIGA (Green Ideas, Green Action, an online material database), where he sits on the board of directors. He is also a member of X6 Architecture, an international exchange platform for sustainable development in architecture and design.
Pablo Carvallo has a Bachelor in Arts in Economics from the University of Oklahoma and is currently a Master Student of Environmental Management and Sustainable Development at the UNEP – Tongji University in Shanghai. He was the Business Development Manager for CBL International, a company focused on providing international education, working closely with Tongji University in China, University of Oxford in the UK and Higher Colleges in Dubai. Pablo is the program director for the Shanghai Center for Sustainability
Richard Lee M.Sc., Ph.D,
Executive Director, Energy and Sustainability, Asia at CB Richard Ellis
Dr. Richie Lee is the Executive Director with responsibility for the Energy and Sustainability business line in Asia and is based in Shanghai. He oversees and works in collaboration with other business lines within CB Richard Ellis the strategic development, business operations and execution of Energy and Sustainability services and projects across Asia in sustainability consulting, eco master-planning, energy efficiency, renewable energy, green building design and retrofitting and certification, valuation of green buildings and green corporate marketing etc.
AIEMA, LEED AP BD+C
Alessandro is the Founder and Managing Director of BEE inc. – a company based out
of Shanghai that specializes in the procurement of sustainable materials and
consultancy services for LEED certification, with a specialization in building
simulations. He is a LEED AP® and holds formal qualifications in Environmental
Economics and Urban Planning from McGill University. His company has worked on
innovative LEED projects throughout Asia and North America, such as Shangri-La
Hotels and the Shanghai International Financial Center.
With a Bachelor in Architecture from Cornell University and a Master of Science in Architecture with focus on Sustainability from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Thomas Austerveil has worked for the last 10 years for architects such as Norman Foster and Paul Andreu, as well as for the past 4 years in close association with SORANE SA (Switzerland) specializing in energetic rationalization in various building sectors including office, commercial, large and small scale residential, airports and hospitals. Thomas is now the managing director of a_a&d architecture as well as guest lecturer at Tongji and guest critic at Hong Kong University.
Irving Steel LEED AP is determined to make a positive difference for our environment.
He is currently the International Sales Manager at energy efficient LED lighting
company Etrilum, and is also is the Founder and Organizer of Green Drinks China, an environmental awareness and action event in cities across China. Irving was previously on the Board of the nonprofit Eco Design Fair in Shanghai. He is American
and speaks English, French, and Chinese.
For more information please contact us at:
Date: May 5, 2012 – June 2, 2012
Location: Directions to the Stebbins Cold Canyon reserve are found on this website:http://nrs.ucdavis.edu/Stebbins/visitor/directions.html
Contact: Jeffrey Clary, Reserve Director
UC Davis NRS – The Barn
Davis, CA 95616
Saturday morning guided walks (student and staff led, RSVP required). Dates for Guided Hikes at Stebbins Cold Canyon, organized and led by UC Davis undergraduate interns involved in the Student Education Outreach Program of the John Muir Institute of the Environment, are now on the schedule on the sidebar. Learn about the human history of the reserve, as well as about the plants and animals that call Stebbins Cold Canyon home. Reservations for this season’s outings can now be made by email. Please include the date you would like to attend (from the most current list) and the number of individuals in your party.
UC Davis students have taken the lead in organizing this year’s outings. They are offering guided walks along the Homestead Trail, a relatively gentle 2-mile roundtrip (although the trail is rough in places), as well as more challenging guided hikes up to the Blue Ridge overlook (approximately 3 miles roundtrip, but with a 1,300-foot altitude gain).
It has turned out to be an exceptional spring for wildflowers out at the canyon this year. The bush lupines, sticky monkeyflower and fairy lanterns are at their peaks right now. The stream is still running nicely, although the flow has dropped noticeably over the last couple of weeks. A few California newts are still hanging out in some of the deeper pools, and pipevine swallowtail butterflies are everywhere!
Stebbins schedule of Saturday events:
May 12 Homestead nature hike (easy)
May 19 Homestead nature hike (easy)
May 19 Blue Ridge overlook guided hike (strenuous)
May 26 Homestead nature hike (easy)
May 26 Kids’ S.C.E.N.E. (Stebbins Canyon Environment and Nature Exploration) – a family-oriented day at the reserve targeted at kids ~5-9 years old.
June 2 Homestead nature hike (easy)
June 2 Blue Ridge overlook guided hike (strenuous)
For these activities, please email (email@example.com) to reserve a spot.
Also offered are the Friday morning “pick up” guided hikes at 10:00 a.m., without reservation, until summer heat becomes too unpleasant (check nrs.ucdavis.edu/Stebbins.html for updates). These provide an opportunity for you to show up and spend some time with UC Davis Natural Reserve staff and interns for less-structured interaction – the focus will be on whatever interests attendees have about the reserve.
The mission of the University of California Natural Reserve System (NRS) is to contribute to the understanding and wise management of the Earth and its natural systems by supporting university-level teaching, research, and public service at protected natural areas throughout California. In 1965, the University of California began creating a network of protected sites that would represent California’s rich ecological diversity.
These outdoor classrooms and laboratories make long-term studies of California’s natural environment possible. Most NRS reserves are closed to the public to protect research projects from disturbance – Stebbins Cold Canyon is a rare exception where research, teaching and public access coexist. The NRS is the largest university-operated system of natural reserves in the world. The NRS reserves are used by students, teachers, and researchers from the University of California, and from educational institutions around the world. Help us protect the educational mission of this site by respecting all signs of research activity (flagging, plots, marked plants, insect traps, etc.) that you may see along the trails.
by Brad Johnson.
Cross-posted from ThinkProgress Green.
Five senators and 39 representatives received a perfect 100 percent score from the Koch brothers’ astroturf group Americans For Prosperity (AFP) for
the first half of the 112th Congress. AFP judged Congress on their votes to protect the Koch brothers’ right-wing petrochemical empire on such issues as the repeal of President Obama’s new health care law,
preempting EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases, Chairman Paul
Ryan’s budget to end Medicare, ending ethanol subsidies, several
Congressional Review Act resolutions of disapproval to overturn new
regulations, and the fiscal year 2012 appropriations bills.
The Koch Five are Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Orrin
Hatch (R-Utah), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who have
received a combined $187,400 in campaign contributions from the Koch empire:
Senator Koch Contributions
The Kochs were the top contributors to Johnson’s successful
campaign to unseat Russ Feingold in 2010. Like first-termers Rubio and
Johnson, Coburn has a perfect lifetime Koch score.
at UC Davis
Date: February 23, 2012 – February 24, 2012
Location: UC Davis; Davis, CA
This day-and-a-half course on California water basics and water district board member governance will be held February 23 and 24, 2012 on the Davis campus of the University of California. The course will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. February 23 and 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. February 24.
The course is open to anyone interested in learning more about the history of and the management structure of water in California and about the water issues facing the state. The course will be especially beneficial to water resource industry staff, engineering and environmental firm personnel, legislators, legislative staff, advocates, stakeholders, environmentalists, public interest organizations and water district directors.
Top speakers are committed to teach the course led by Foundation Board Member Byron Buck, executive director of the State and Federal Contractors Water Agency.
Educational sessions the first day will include discussions on:
- California’s natural water environment
- California’s water rights systems
- Water demand and use
- Current issues in California water management
- The legal and institutional management framework
On the second day participants will be provided with a governance primer for water district directors that will include the roles and responsibilities of a director, legal requirements of board members and points on understanding the news media.
Cost: $150. Registration fee includes all educational materials, coffee breaks, lunch on February 23, and a graduation certificate upon completion of the day and a half course.
Watch the Web site for more information or contact the Water Education Foundation, 916-444-6240. Visit the Web site to register: http://www.watereducation.org/doc.asp?id=2230&parentID=849
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