Reinvent Cities

Car-Free Cities a Pipe Dream? They’re Already Here . . .

Banning automobiles from cities may sound like one of those utopian ideas that never actually gets implemented, but it turns out that in Germany there is such a place. Vauban, a former military area in southern Freiburg, was transformed in the early 1990s into an environmental district that bans cars from the city center.

Blog Argues Against Replacing Urban Highways

Interesting essay in the Firefly Living blog argues that cities should not build new highways to replace crumbling ones that had to be torn down. Firefly Living is a real estate firm that emphasizes sustainable housing that “leaves a light environmental footprint.”

Pop-Up City on Printable Solar Cells for the Masses

We usually think of solar power in terms of large, clunky, expensive panels that require expert installation. But what if solar cells were tiny and could be manufactured with a special printer? Could that make solar power accessible to the masses? The Pop-Up City reports that researchers in Australia are making progress on wafer-thin, cheap photovoltaic cells…

Food Recovery Network a Delicious Idea

Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best ideas. That’s the case with the Food Recovery Network, which collects leftovers from restaurants and campuses that are destined for trash dumpsters and distributes this perfectly edible cuisine to the homeless and needy.

Meet the New, Eco-Friendly Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is about much more than Mormons and mountains. According to Smart Growth America, Mayor Ralph Becker is transforming the city into a “prosperous urban center” that emphasizes “accessibility, sustainability and livability.” Light rail, rapid bus transit, bike share and a plan to make all city government buildings “net zero” emission facilities are…

Reports: Houston is the New Face of Green

Automobile-dependent Houston is synonymous with oil, gas and the sort of sprawl that drains life from downtowns, but according to Governing and CNN, the city is making a concerted effort to be more green, sustainable, walkable and bike-friendly. There’s even a “Green Houston” plan that aims to transform Car City into Green City.

London Aspires to be a Walker’s Paradise


London is serious about pedestrian traffic. So serious that it devised a plan more than a decade ago to make its streets more accessible and attractive to walkers. The “Walking Plan for London” includes these goals to make the city among the world’s most walkable by 2015:

Vietnam’s Sea of Motorbikes to Face Stricter Emissions Standards


To a first-time visitor to Vietnam, the flood of motorbikes on the roads is overwhelming. In most countries, the majority of vehicles have four wheels, and there’s a smattering of motorcycles. In Vietnam, it’s flipped around — the roads are jammed mostly with motorcycles and scooters, and the Vietnamese are very inventive about carrying huge objects on motorbikes that wouldn’t…