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News & analysis from WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities
Updated: 4 hours 51 min ago

Low-Carbon Cities Are Better for Your Health Than Any Superfood

Mon, 2018-07-02 13:13
Climate change is already harming people’s health. In August last year, over 45 million people in India, Bangladesh and Nepal were affected by unprecedented monsoon flooding, while last year’s Atlantic hurricane season was the costliest on record. The scale of ...

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Getting Urban Transformation Right

Thu, 2018-06-28 01:39
Every other Sunday, thousands of people spill onto otherwise auto-clogged city streets across India. For a few hours, the roadways are theirs – to walk, cycle, skate, practice yoga, CrossFit, even Zumba. Open streets days, known locally as Raahgiri Days, ...

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4 Andean Cities Adapting to Glacier Retreat to Preserve Water Security

Wed, 2018-06-27 13:13
Glaciers do more than feed our rivers and lakes, they also serve as critical savings banks for water withdrawals when other sources dry up. In South America, the glaciers and snowpack that crown the Andes provide slow, consistent meltwater that ...

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From China to Colombia, 5 Cities Making Streets Safer by Design

Mon, 2018-06-25 13:13
In 2015, the global community committed to halving road deaths and serious injuries by 2020. But city streets are still not safe. More than 3,200 road fatalities occur every day, and this number is expected to increase threefold by 2030, ...

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For Thriving Cities, People vs. Nature Is a False Choice

Fri, 2018-06-22 13:13
Municipal leaders face hundreds of difficult choices every day. With so many needs and worthy programs, how does one choose where to invest limited funding? In the face of pressing human needs, cities too often decide that funding for environmental ...

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Kate Logan on How Data Transparency and Social Media Are Cleaning Up China’s Air: Fighting for Blue Skies Part 2/3

Wed, 2018-06-20 13:13
In 2010, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing began reporting data on local air quality from a monitoring station on its roof. Once the dismal numbers were shared on Twitter, a storm of public outcry was unleashed that would culminate in ...

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Raahgiri 2.0: Re-Engineering Car-Free Days for Smaller Cities in India

Mon, 2018-06-18 13:13
If you drive out of New Delhi west along National Highway 48, you will find yourself reaching a small district in Haryana state named Jhajjar. Just 50 miles from the national capital, its demographic contrast is unmistakable. The bustle and ...

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There’s an Easy Way for National Governments to Help Cities Act on Climate Change—Give Them Data

Fri, 2018-06-15 13:13
Thousands of cities have committed to act on climate change, but few have yet turned their goals into tangible results. One of the important items that can help them begin is data from national governments. Establishing an “emissions inventory,” measuring how much greenhouse ...

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How Behavioral Science Can Boost Household Energy Efficiency

Thu, 2018-06-14 13:13
Persuading people to use energy more efficiently has long been heralded as a simple, effective way to help tackle climate change. The problem lies in the persuasion. Historically, policies and programs to encourage people to save energy have relied largely ...

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What if Citizens Set City Budgets? An Experiment That Captivated the World – Participatory Budgeting – Might Be Abandoned in its Birthplace

Wed, 2018-06-13 18:31
Neighbors in Porto Alegre, Brazil, have been getting together regularly since 1989 to discuss the future of their city. Everyone is encouraged to speak at district meetings in churches, gyms and clubs, discussing everything from water supply and sewage to ...

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Can Latin America Move From Quantity to Quality of Infrastructure?

Mon, 2018-06-11 13:13
At a recent Latin American Development Bank (CAF) Infrastructure for Development Conference in Buenos Aires, regional experts and policymakers delved into the unique urban landscape for the area, from early approaches to modern challenges around inequality and better service. Pre-Incan ...

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Cleaner Air, New Jobs, Reduced Inequality: The Benefits of Low-Carbon Cities

Fri, 2018-06-08 19:09
Climate action is rarely a primary consideration when investments are made in cities. Roads and transport networks are built to improve mobility, homes to provide shelter, offices to create places to work. But with more than three-quarters of global emissions ...

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Better Engineering Can Significantly Improve Road Safety in India

Wed, 2018-06-06 09:42
Road engineering – the way urban streets are designed and built – plays an extremely important role in ensuring road safety. The right kind of engineering for a street includes measures that actively restrict the scope for road users to ...

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4 Ways Businesses Can Get the Most Out of Public-Private Collaboration:  Lessons from the Building Efficiency Accelerator

Mon, 2018-06-04 13:13
How can businesses provide more value to, and receive more value from, collaborative initiatives with cities? Businesses are the ones that design, build, finance, own, operate, renovate and occupy most of the buildings in cities. Without active collaboration and support ...

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The People of Bogotá Want Cleaner Air. Will the City Listen?

Thu, 2018-05-31 13:13
Bogotá is one of Latin America’s most polluted cities – but thanks to its citizens, its air may be getting cleaner. A decision from the mayor’s office to keep using diesel fuels in the next generation of buses in the city’s bus ...

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Informal Workers Make Cities Work for All: 3 Stories from Thailand, India and Colombia

Tue, 2018-05-29 19:00
Think of the delicious food stands in Southeast Asia, the street performers in Africa, the rickshaw driver in Bangladesh, and the invisible home-based workers who embroider garments and stitch shoes in India. What do they all have in common? They ...

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As China’s Urban Rail Transit Systems Boom, Public-Private Partnerships Face a Reckoning

Thu, 2018-05-24 13:13
To curb car congestion and boost the economy, China is embracing trains at an unprecedented rate. In June 2017, the government approved 5,770 kilometers of new urban rail systems, almost 17 times the total amount of track in all of ...

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Boosting the Cool Factor of Energy Efficiency

Tue, 2018-05-22 13:13
Energy efficiency’s image is due for a makeover. Long seen as one of the simplest ways to reduce consumer costs, energy efficiency also offers multiple benefits that improve people’s lives while cutting air pollution and curbing climate-warming emissions. And yet, ...

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Making India’s Streets Safer Means Confronting Political Economy Barriers

Mon, 2018-05-21 13:13
On average, two people die on Mumbai’s roads owing to traffic crashes every day. The city ranks seventh in the country in terms of absolute numbers of road traffic fatalities. Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists are most vulnerable, and are involved in ...

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Financing Sustainable Cities: New Tools Help Leaders Get from Aspiration to Action

Wed, 2018-05-16 13:13
By the year 2050, more than two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities. Cities are primary drivers of economic, cultural and political advancements and, as such, require vast quantities of the world’s resources – today, cities generate more ...

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