Articles in the The Environment Category
Editorial, Headline, The Environment »
When you’re an environmentalist, like me, spring means freshening up the table display for the green fairs, energy conferences, and Earth Day celebrations that invade parking lots, LEED-certified meeting rooms, and repurposed, old brick school buildings all over the city. Native plants are for sale, Rachel Carson’s name is affixed to a march or lecture series at least once weekly, and wrists get sore from signing petitions and postcards to go to the EPA.
For the Pittsburgh region, spring also means receiving bad news from the American Lung Association’s State of the Air Report, which ranks the cleanest and dirtiest air in our cities. (Pittsburgh always gets bad news.) Angry rebuttals from editors and think tanks are released almost as quickly, questioning methodology, sampling rates, and monitor locations.
Great Lakes, Politics, The Environment »
And we’re not talking about the state’s recent labor showdown.
What hasn’t gotten as much attention, is the new governor’s “assault on environmental regulations,” writes Gary Wilson in a commentary on Great Lakes Echo. Wilson cites several examples, among them: a proposal to weaken regulation around phosphorous. (More on why you should care about that and how it impacts the Great Lakes here.)
Wilson sees this as especially unfortunate, as the state was long considered a leader on environmental issues.
He tells Echo readers:
“National labor leaders rallied behind Wisconsin workers as …
Featured, Great Lakes, Regionalism, The Environment »
For some less-than-reassuring reading, take a look at this piece in the Grand Rapids Press, which highlights some potential invasive species threats to the Great Lakes.
We’ve all heard about the threat posed by Asian carp, but there are other species that could hurt the Lakes, this article explains.
Among the 75 contenders: the northern snakehead (pictured above and subject of the movies ‘Snakehead Terror’ and ‘Frankenfish,’ according to Wikipedia), monkey goby, New Zealand mudsnail, killer shrimp, golden mussel and hydrilla, according to the Press.
Featured, The Environment, Urban Planning »
This video explains how the city of Philadelphia is reducing storm water management costs using “green infrastructure” such as bioswales.
Green City, Clean Waters from GreenTreks Network on Vimeo.
Meanwhile, the Cleveland region spends $3 billion under an order from the EPA to separate its storm and sanitary sewers. Perhaps if there would have been more thoughtful planning …
Kudos to Philadelphia for taking a smart approach to water management.
(Also, thanks Chris for alerting us to this story.)
Water quality management and Smart Growth: two things you’re going to be hearing about more in …
Urban farming in places like Detroit (and elsewhere) has gotten a lot of good press, this blog included.
But the author of this piece, Richard Longworth says we shouldn’t necessarily be praising urban farming, but instead seeing it as a symptom of how far some cities have fallen. (We’ve written about Longworth, and his work at the Chicago Council’s Global Midwest Initiative before.) His suggestion? Better grocery options for central-city neighborhoods, including big box retailers like Wal-Mart.
Reading Longworth’s post reminded me of a speech I heard at last year’s GLUE (Great Lakes Urban …
Rust Wire correspondent Ivy Hughes recently visited Germany’s Ruhr District, a northwestern part of the country recovering from the loss of jobs in of the steel and coal industry. The district includes 53 cites and more than 5.3 million residents. The region is a 2010 European Capital of Culture, an annul EU designation awarded to a city or region for the purpose of showcasing its cultural development. As such, the municipalities within the Ruhr District worked within a €62.5 million budget to create 300 projects and 2,500 events highlighting its …
From The Nature Conservancy via the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
“Americans are collectively moving from the places that are best equipped to deal with climate change to those that are least equipped,” (a Nature conservancy blogger) writes.
The five cities at the bottom in water sustainability (Las Vegas, Phoenix and Mesa, Tucson, and Los Angeles) grew by an average of 37 percent from 1990-2000.
But among the five most water-sustainable cities, only Chicago grew. The other four cloudy and water-rich towns – Cleveland, Milwaukee, Detroit and New Orleans — all lost …
There’s been a lot written about last week’s midterm elections and I’m hesitant to add to it.
But I know I’m not the only person who noticed several of the states that swung from blue to red were in our region: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Why is this? High unemployment? Higher turnout of white working class voters dissatisfied with Obama?
What do you think? We’ve got a lot of collective brainpower amongst our readers, I am curious to hear people’s thoughts. Also, what policies enacted by Obama and the Democratic …
Book Review, Economic Development, Editorial, Great Lakes, Headline, Politics, Regionalism, The Environment »
Earlier this week, Rust Wire was thrilled to chat with Great Lakes journalist Jeff Alexander, author of Pandora’s Locks: The Opening of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway. The book details how opening the Great Lakes to international shipping traffic via the Seaway allowed a number of invasive species in that have hurt the Lakes. I recommend the book for anyone who is interested in understanding more about the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem and the changes it has undergone in the last several decades. -KG
RW: “Could you start out …
Architecture, Art, Good Ideas, The Environment, The Media, Urban Planning »
Clevelanders: This sounds like a great film screening to attend- The Olmsted Legacy: a film about Frederick Law Olmsted and America’s great city parks.
Lots of people know Olmsted as the landscape architect of New York’s Central Park, but he designed nearly 100 public parks in his lifetime.
You likely have even been in a park he designed – in any one of Buffalo’s system of parks, Belle Isle Park in Detroit, as well as parks in Chicago, Milwaukee, Dayton and Scranton.
“The parks, he held, were to be vital democratic spaces in …