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Eco-City North America 

Splashiest Exhibit at Art Basel Miami is about Climate Change

  At this year’s Art Basel Miami, Lars Jan created the Holoscenes exhibit regarding climate change. It consists of a 3,500-gallon Plexiglas tank that slowly fills with water with a women inside. Twelve tons of water are pumped into the tank over the course of a minute. The woman is holding a basket of persimmons, until it floats out of her hands, spilling the fruits to bob and twirl in the water. She tries to gather them back up, her skirts floating around her. Behind her, palm trees are silhouetted against the sky,…

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Eco-City North America 

Tragically Beautiful Exhibit Shows How Our Oceans Suffer

  In Hawaii, “Never turn your back on the ocean” is a common adage — a warning for anyone who visits the beach. But when Sophie Thomas, a London-based designer, visited the remote Kamilo Beach on Hawaii’s Big Island in 2014, the phrase took on new meaning. Thomas couldn’t keep her eyes off the devastatingly littered shores. Thomas’s exhibit was featured as a part of RSA’s Great Recovery Project, which aims to “turn waste into value and reduce environmental impacts through system thinking.” Kamilo Beach is known locally in Hawaii…

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Eco-City North America 

ToxicSites.us to Locate Superfund

  Superfund sites are hazardous waste sites, and you probably don’t want to raise your kids or park your bounce house near them unless you’re pro-cancer. The first — and most famous — Superfund site was Love Canal, a neighborhood in Niagara Falls, N.Y., where 22,000 tons of toxic waste were buried by Hooker Chemical Company and caused illnesses, miscarriages, birth defects, and death among residents. There are currently more than 1,300 Superfund sites in the U.S., and now, thanks to media artist Brooke Singer, you can more easily find…

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Eco-City North America 

Hidden West Village Rooftop

  It’s been a winning week for the Village’s rooftops. First, a glorious, coveted cabin poised high above East 13th Street came to market, and now, Gothamist relays word of a bucolic rooftop cottage replete with porch and lawn at 719 Greenwhich Street. Color us jealous. The cottage belongs to David Puchkoff and Eileen Stukane, who live on the top floor of the building. A 2006 New York Times article profiling the cottage (yes, you’ve been walking by it unknowingly for at least that long) says that Puckhoff developed the building…

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Eco-City North America 

New York’s “Big U” Climate Change Risk

  New York City, with a population fast approaching 9 million and vast cultural, historical, and financial resources, is fast approaching the danger zone for climate change. The city sits on a “Big U” shaped waterfront property. The OECD ranked New York City among the 10 cities most vulnerable to rising sea levels with 2.9 million people and $2.1 trillion in assets exposed to storm surges by 2070 if sea levels keep rising. Hurricane Sandy is an example of how unprepared that area is for disaster. Tempestuous winds downed trees…

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Eco-City North America 

A Rescue Package for the Ocean

  The Global Ocean Commission, co-chaired by Jose Maria Figueres, has issued a groundbreaking new report that charts a course forward in our effort to protect this beautiful ecosystem. In September this year, the United Nations will begin discussing the future of the high seas and how they should be governed. We are polluting and depleting the ocean at a mind-boggling pace. “From Decline to Recovery: A Rescue Package for the Ocean” will address on some of the threats affecting our ocean. The report identifies five major drivers of ocean…

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Eco-City North America 

Canada Post Plans to End Home Deliveries Within 5 Years

  Canada Post Corp. is one of the many postal agencies facing future financial losses as people abandon traditional mail to electronic communication. However, there still is a need to post offices especially as online shopping sales are increasing. Governments realize to avoid the post office turning into a burden for customers and taxpayers, they must make some changes. To solve this problem, Canada Post said it would convert all households to the community mailbox system over a five-year period. It will eliminate the mail delivery system in the next…

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Eco-City North America 

Largest NYC Solar Farm: Staten Island’s Freshkills Park

  New York’s landfill-turned-green space is getting the city’s largest solar array, a 10 megawatt system that will sit on 47 acres of Freshkills Park. Renewable energy was always part of the plan for the 2,200-acre site, and the city released an RFP for operators in March 2012. The new array in Staten Island, to be built and run by SunEdison, will double the city’s renewable energy capacity and power approximately 2,000 homes. “Freshkills was once the site of the largest landfill in the world,” Bloomberg said. “Soon it will…

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Eco-City North America 

Las Vegas Venetian Hotel goes LED

  Las Vegas has installed 42,000 new LED streetlights and is saving $2 million a year on reduced electricity bills and maintenance costs. The $2 million in annual savings goes to a special revenue fund to finance other green projects, including a 300 kW solar installation and renovation of a million square feet of public buildings to higher energy efficiency standards. In addition, the city received $5 each for recycling the old streetlights. In addition, hotels such as the Venetian in Las Vegas are also installing LED. New LED lighting…

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Eco-City North America 

Exhibit at Empire State Building

  The Empire State Building had a $20 million award-winning energy retrofit project that was announced in April 2009, it’s quickly becoming a sustainability icon as well. Tomark this important process, which will reduce energy costs by $4.4 million, a sustainability exhibit was opened in the building’s second floor Visitor’s Center in 2010. Recently, the exhibit unveiled numerous audio-visual enhancements to the interactive, multi-media installation, making it even more exciting for visitors to learn how the building is going green. “Each display is also augmented with audio enhancements tailored to…

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Eco-City North America 

Dolphin Carries Dead Calf on Her Back

  Whale watchers in Dana Point, Calif., witnessed an unexpected display on Tuesday when they saw a female dolphin carrying her dead calf on her back, according to KTLA-TV.Passengers aboard Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari saw the dolphin with something on her back supported by her dorsal fin, and before long identified it as a dolphin calf. “The dolphin – unfortunately, for one reason or another – is no longer alive,” remarked Capt. Dave Anderson as he shot footage. “I believe this calf has been dead for many…

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Eco-City North America 

Earth Hour 2013, 6 Year Anniversary

  Tonight, at 8:30 pm local time, houses and commercial buildings all over the world suddenly went dark. No, it’s not a global power outage, it’s Earth Hour! Started in 2007, this annual event has become a worldwide phenomenon, educating people about the threat of climate change, and encouraging a commitment to more sustainable behavior. In a message to the world on the eve of the seventh Earth Hour, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has set the agenda for this year’s hour of inspiration. “We participate with an undimmed determination…

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Eco-City North America 

Brookline, MA Banning Styrofoam December 2013

  The town of Brookline, MA voted this month to impose a ban on polystyrene and other plastic bags starting December 2013. Styrofoam is made with petroleum, which is a non-sustainable resource. Additionally, petroleum production creates heavy pollution. 57 chemical by-products released during the creation of Styrofoam. This not only pollutes the air, but also produces loads of liquid and solid waste that need disposal. The environmental effects are reason enough to ban the stuff. The town ban on certain plastic bags is focused on some retail stores, grocery stores…

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Eco-City North America 

Billionaire Buys Hawaii’s Lanai Island to Turn into Eco-Paradise

  Oracle‘s CEO, Larry Ellison,  wants to turn Hawaii’s Lanai Island into a haven for sustainable technology.  He intents to turn it into an eco-paradise filled with electric cars, organic farms, and plenty of solar power.  Ellison bought 98% of the 141-square-mile Lanai from billionaire David Murdock in June, reportedly for around $500 million. The Lanai holdings include two resorts and golf courses, commercial and residential structures and vast acres of former pineapple fields that now rest undeveloped. In a recent interview with Maria Bartiromo of CNBC he said, “I own the water utility,…

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Eco-City North America 

4.5 Maine Earthquake Felt Throughout New England

  An earthquake has struck Maine and parts of New England, according to the United States Geological Survey and wide-ranging social media reports. The earthquake, measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale, was centered near Lake Arrowhead in western Maine, according to the USGS. The Earthquake was felt about 100 miles far away all the way to Boston. Surprisingly, earthquakes in New England are pretty common, although we’re not aware of them because they were usually a magnitude less than 2.5. One clue that there are earthquakes in eastern Massachusetts comes…

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Eco-City North America 

Sustainable High Line Park in NYC’s West Side

  A former industrial structure given new life as a public green space, the High Line takes the idea of reuse to another level.  The High Line was a freight rail line, in operation from 1934 to 1980. It carried meat to the meatpacking district, agricultural goods to the factories and warehouses of the industrial West Side, and mail to the Post Office. Now, the High Line is a public park built on a 1.45-mile-long elevated rail structure running from Gansevoort Street to West 34th Street on Manhattan’s West Side. It…

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Eco-City North America 

7 Hot to 1 Cold Ratio Causing Wildfires

  This year the hot to cold weather ratio is 7 to 1 that is  burning homes among other things. How does global warming tie with wildfires? Simply, when the ground doesn’t cool, dry land becomes combustible with the slightest spark. Since Jan. 1, the United States has set more than 40,000 hot temperature records, but fewer than 6,000 cold temperature records, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministratioN. So far this year, more than 2.1 million acres have burned in wildfires, more than 113 million people in the U.S….

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Eco-City North America 

Electric Rental Cars in Cayman Islands

  The Cayman Islands is part of the nationwide “Green Globe” certification initiative for sustainable tourism. The Green Globe goals are to save energy and resources, reduce operational costs and contribute positively to the environment. In the Grand Cayman, this initiative is taking steps by launching eco-friendly cars. Wheego rental vehicles is installing solar panels charging stations for electric cars in the Grand Cayman. The new stations, produced by U-Go, generate electricity using pollution-free solar cells, reducing carbon emissions to zero. Over the next year, 12 stations will be installed throughout Grand…

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Eco-City North America 

NY Interactive Building Energy Consumption Map

  A Columbia University study has plotted the energy use of New York City’s buildings on a beautiful, interactive map where you can view energy consumption by block. The map really illuminates how different areas of the city, and the types of buildings located in those areas, use energy differently. In New York, buildings account for 2/3 of the energy used by the city, a major reason that the city has pushed for retrofitting programs. This new map can help city officials know where to concentrate their improvements. The model uses…

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Eco-City North America 

Energy and Oil Reduction Plan for US Virgin Islands

   The tiny U.S. territory in the Caribbean has just 110,000 residents, all the beach, surf, wind and sun you’d ever want, but energy prices that are four to five times higher than are paid in the continental United States. Like many islands on earth, the U.S. Virgin Islands are almost 100 percent dependent on imported oil for electricity and water generation. Residents pay about 47 cents per kilowatt hour to light their homes and run their appliances. Imported oil is even used to desalinate the water because there is…

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Eco-City North America 

Recycling Mardi Gras Beads

  Let’s say you made it out of the Big Easy in one piece after helping les bons temps to rouler — and you’ve returned home from Mardi Gras. But about those beads — specifically, the 25 million pounds of the plastic, made in China necklaces — left over and/or unceremoniously littered after those mammary gland-heavy cannot be collected and recycled in the same manner as, let’s say, that big bottle of water. Some New Orleans-based nonprofits have taken it upon themselves to gather up the discarded throws and resell…

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Eco-City North America 

LED Times Square New Year Ball Drop

  New Year’s Eve in New York City is more than just a celebration – it’s a global tradition. However, December 31st, 2011 will carry new significance as the Times Square Ball-the preeminent lighting symbol of New Year’s Eve- helps usher in a new era of energy efficiency in the United States. At 12:01AM on January 1st, the new EISA (Energy Independence & Security Act 2007) legislation will take effect. EISA is the bipartisan bill that was signed in 2007 as a common sense approach to energy efficiency. One of…

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Eco-City Home North America 

Americans Leaving Suburbs

  There are many in America who don’t like or trust cities, primarily because they harbor a disproportionate number of Democratic voters. They don’t like investments in transit, either, preferring the privacy and freedom of the car. But whether they like it or not, America is changing. First, the existing supply—that’s right, today’s stock—of conventional lot (> 1/8th acre) single-family detached homes exceeds the projected demand for these homes in 2035. There is no need for building another single family detached house, period, for the next 23 years. So if…

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Eco-City North America 

#1 Solar Private School- New England Prep

  How it ranks in SAT scores or Ivy League admissions, we have no idea. But in the highly competitive world of New England prep schools, the Berkshire School in Sheffield, Mass., is definitely No. 1 at … solar. The private boarding high school and SolarWorld announced the completion of a 2-megawatt (MW) ground-mounted array at the school’s campus. Covering eight acres and featuring 8,332 SolarWorld SunModule solar panels, it’s the largest solar installation at a private school in New England, and the latest of three large SolarWorld projects in…

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Eco-City North America 

LA to SanFran Rail Project

  Across the country, the era of ambitious public works projects seems to be over. Governments are shelving or rejecting plans for highways, railroads and big buildings under the weight of collapsing revenues and voters’ resistance- But not in California. State leaders —have rallied around a plan to build a 520-mile high-speed rail line from Los Angeles to San Francisco, cutting the trip from a six-hour drive to a train ride of two hours and 38 minutes. And they are doing it in the face of what might seem like…

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Eco-City North America 

Cutting Rockfeller Center Tree

  This week, a Norway spruce planted in 1931 was cut down in the prime of its life. It was loaded onto a truck in Mifflinville, Pennsylvania and sent east to New York City, where it arrived on Friday. On November 30, it will take place as the latest in a long line of majestic Christmas trees, each the most famous of its day. The poor tree! Cutting the tree does not help the environment. The problem is that it feels wrong to complain about this. What would Christmas in…

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Eco-City North America 

RI Renewable Energy Grants

  If you are a business interested in implementing renewable energy at a lower cost, look to see if your state if offering grants. For example, Governor Lincoln D. Chafee and Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC) Executive Director Keith Stokes on October 27,2011 announced $2.7 million in new grants through the RIEDC’s Renewable Energy Fund (REF) that will help accelerate 16 renewable energy projects with combined private and public investments totaling $5.7 million. An example is Rhode Island awarded $2.7 million in clean energy grants. The grants are a…

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Eco-City North America 

Canadian Renewable Wal-Mart

  Wal-Mart Canada has revealed that they’re working towards getting 100 percent of their electricity from renewable energy. To meet that goal, Walmart has fitted two large Canadian stores with rooftop solar panels and wind turbines. Other major projects are on the way. The retail store intends to generate enough renewable energy to sell some back to the grid. If this project succeeds in Canada, we may see some change in the United States as well. Many stores here have been outfitted with solar panels, and a New Jersey store…

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Eco-City North America 

Genzyme Most Green Building in US

  What Makes Genzyme Center a Green Building? Genzyme Center is designed to be one of the most environmentally-responsible office buildings ever built in the United States. Genzyme registered the building with the U.S. Green Building Council under its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System. Sustainable Site Development: Building is located near public transportation. Consists of a vegetative roof that will help reduce storm water runoff and heat island effects in the area. Water Savings: Dual flush toilets and waterless urinals will cut down on…

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Eco-City North America 

Calgary #1 Eco-City in 2010

  According to Mercer, Calgary, Canada ranked as the #1 Eco City in the world for its optimizing renewable energy sources and generating lowest pollution level possible. A couple steps it took to accomplish this: The City of Calgary opened the new $430-million Pine Creek Wastewater Treatment Centre on Tuesday to meet its growing population for the next decade. Pine Creek, the city’s third such treatment centre, can treat up to 100 million litres of wastewater daily, or enough to fill the Calgary Tower four times.

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