Over 120 cities and counties in California have a climate action plan either completed or in the pipeline. As cities develop these plans and initiatives to address climate change, it is important to emphasize that social equity is integrated within environmental policies. The vulnerabilities, resilience and sustainability of the human ecosystem are as much determined by diversity and inter-dependence as its natural counterpart. As Pope Francis said in Laudato Sí, “a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.” [Read more…] about Why climate change action cannot succeed without social equity
California’s Bay Area housing disaster tells Southern Californians that our housing crisis will only get worse and doing nothing is both an irrational and irresponsible response. We are faced with deciding to have more neighbors or pay more taxes as we desperately need money to fix our city’s crumbling infrastructure. The conundrum is that we despise taxes and the mere mention of ‘density’ polarizes any discussion into either demands for no new growth or building tall towers.
I believe answers to meet San Diego’s housing demand are found in the following two-tier approach: [Read more…] about Its not Smart Growth… It’s Called Avoiding a Housing Crisis
On June 2, 2015, San Diego’s independent TV station KUSI set aside a segment of their weather report to editorialize about climate change. The message: climate change is minimal and natural – not man made. The message was delivered by Mark Mathis, KUSI’s weather reporter who has an A.S. degree in meteorology. Mr. Mathis based his argument primarily on the two following assumptions: [Read more…] about How TV weather reporters are aiding and abetting climate change
While I was a graduate student at UC Berkeley studying architecture, ideas were always buzzing around; at design charrettes, guest lectures and of course, at the dining table. International House, where I lived, was home to residents from eighty countries enrolled in various academic programs. Our insatiable thirst for learning extended to coffee hours and dinner, with enough food for thought to go around. [Read more…] about Celebrating Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas
The City of La Mesa has cut down all the shade trees along its commercial mainstreet. This occurred as construction began on the La Mesa Downtown Streetscape “enhancement” project. Some of these trees were tattered, unhealthy, or buckling the sidewalks. However, the city removed nearly all the trees, problematic or not. Rather than replacing these trees with environmentally and pedestrian friendly shade trees (e.g. native varieties like Western Sycamores, Live Oak, or Black Oak), the replacements tree choice is being guided primarily by maintenance concerns, leaving a limited selection of relatively small non-native and non-shade trees. Additionally, the Streetscape Masterplan shows an abundance of the grossly overused fan palm, sparing only La Mesa Boulevard between Acacia and 4th, and a few other blocks. [Read more…] about Who Hijacked La Mesa’s Trees?
Local and regional parks can be used to mitigate the urban heat island effect and minimize local climate change. Unfortunately, this idea is not often shared, discussed, and/or adequately understood. If you do a search on the web on “climate change and parks,” you will find that most of the results are links to information about how climate change is impacting national parks. Examples include a discussion on the National Park Service (NPS) website, and recent articles published by National Geographic and Scientific America. [Read more…] about Parks and Climate Change: The L.A. County Story
The profession of Design is about to drastically change. If you’re an architect, engineer, planner or builder, the way you build is about to undergo some radical new transformations. [Read more…] about What Hurricane Sandy teaches us about our built environment
The meeting involved solidifying a commitment for federal funding, according to the mayor’s website. The Federal Transit Administration will fund 50 percent of the project, $745.2 million. [Read more…] about Portland Gets Committment for Light Rail Funding
In Portland, bicycles provide both an economic boost and a healthy way to get around for residents. [Read more…] about Portland Tops Rankings for Bike Commuting