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Urban Renewal: The Greening of Cities

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If you imagine a green city, you might not first think of Houston, Texas, but according to a green building index, over half of the commercial square footage there has an EPA Energy Star or LEED rating. In fact, Houston has ranked as high as number 3 in the US for LEED-certified commercial space. “Since Houston is the […]

Wind Tree Project Turns Street Art into Electric Power

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A new French start-up, NewWind, is making wind power beautiful!  Their new Wind Tree offers almost a hundred mini-windmills on an apparatus designed to look like a tree. Due to the light construction of the “leaves,” the Wind Tree generates power at wind speeds as low as 4.4 miles per hour!  This translates into sustained […]

Babies and Beer Gardens: a New Urban Dynamic

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Beer gardens and beer halls are popping up in cities all across America and they are discovering a new category of customer – moms with kids. In traditional German beer gardens, whole families would gather to quaff the ales, munch bratwursts, and socialize with their families, neighbors, and friends. At one time, there were over […]

Tiny House Movement Benefits Low Income Families

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The Tiny House movement seeks to teach people how to live comfortably in less space. Instead of 10,000 square foot mansions, Tiny Houses are usually between 100 and 400 square feet. The objective is not only to teach people how to live a more sustainable lifestyle but also allow them to spend far less of their […]

Turning Detroit Ruins into Locally Grown Fish Farms

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Detroit’s fortunes rose and fell with the American auto industry for nearly a century, but the last few decades have seen Detroit reach new lows as GM began to import cars from Korea, Ford began to import trucks from Eastern Europe, and Chrysler got sold to Italy. The people of Detroit, however, are a tough […]

Abandoned Wal Mart Becomes Super Library

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An abandoned Wal Mart in McAllen, Texas has become the largest, single story library in America while- at teh same time- setting new standards for urban renewal and resource recycling. Massive, empty commercial buildings, in this day and age, tend to stay empty. Especially an old Wal Mart, because if America’s #1 retailer (for better […]

There’s an App for That: Foraging for Free Food

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Over at Falling Fruit (Fallingfruit.org), two programmers have created a global foraging map that shows that allows you to find fruits, vegetables, nuts, berries and lots of other healthy edible plants in public parks, urban farming projects, lining city streets, and even hanging over fences (and, therefor, onto the public domain of sidewalks) from the UK to New […]

Vertical Gardening Gets Real in Australia

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When news broke two years ago that Sydney, Australia would be home to the world’s tallest and largest urban/vertical gardening project, I had some doubts- and I would have bet money that it was vaporware. It was a scam, I was sure- a thing that was so awesome that it was not ever going to […]

Fukushima Factory Becomes Aquaponic Farm

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Superconductors and microchips have to be produced in a sterile environment. But what happens when a former microchip factory becomes obsolete? That’s a question facing many of Japan’s chip-makers these days, but Fujitsu has an answer to that question: If you are Fujitsu Electronics, you convert one of your excess chip factories’ sterile spaces into […]

Vertical Garden Exhibit at Chicago MSI

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Green roof design is becoming popular all over the world, but this vertical garden conceptual model – part of the Fast Forward exhibit at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) – takes the concepts of aquaponics, locally-grown produce, and urban farming to new heights by stuffing all those things into a single, “green” skyscraper. […]

Detroit to Build Massive, 150 Acre Urban Farm

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Nine million dollars, per square mile, per year. That’s what it costs the city of Detroit to simply maintain the vacant property they ended up with when the city’s economy dried up and the population bailed. That adds up to more than $360 million, total, that the recently bankrupt city of Detroit needs to pony […]

Hugelkultur Offers Benefits to Urban Gardeners

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Hugelkultur is wood, buried in soil. That’s the extra-condensed version of the story, anyway- the slightly longer version explains that the techniques behind Hugelkultur allow more plants and crops to be grown in a given horizontal space, giving each plant more sun and more nutrients with less labor and, in some cases, without digging at […]

Gov’t of Peru Bringing Solar Power to Its Poorest People

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Less than 66% of Peruvians currently have electricity, leaving more than two million of Peru’s poorest citizens, literally, in the dark and without access to phones and the internet. That’s all to changing, however, and those changes are accelerating thanks to a new government program that aims to give up to 95% of Peruvians all […]

Aquaponic Rooftop Farm = New Age Fish and Chips

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Green roofs and rooftop farming are some of the latest buzzwords of green architecture, but the guys behind Something & Son in Folkestone, England are taking it a step further. They’ve set up an advanced aquaponic system on the roof of their building, and they’re using the fish to help raise potatoes. In other words: […]