Author: Raksha Vasudevan

State of the Cities 2013: Infrastructure Connects the Dots

This is the fifth post in a seven-part series on trends and themes in local leadership. On February 4, 2013, Mayor Anthony Foxx left his constituency with a final message about the state of their city, Charlotte, N.C.. In a speech that was both reflective of the past and hopeful for the future, Mayor Foxx

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Building for the Future in an Uncertain Present: State of the Cities 2013

“Synergy is when the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. When applied to finding new solutions to the challenges we face in building a community, this requires an inclusive process that seeks input and ideas from many people. In doing so, we can generate new and better ways of doing business.” On

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The Parallel Pathways of Resilience and Sustainability

In the aftermath of last year’s extreme weather events the topic of ‘resiliency’ has become the subject of much discussion, excitement and some confusion within cities and the field of urban planning. But is this just yet another ‘buzz word’ to be casually thrown about or is there something more going on? This blog post

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Progress Sustainability Through Local Partnerships

We often hear that local governments struggle to implement sustainability programs because they lack the capacity and the funding to do so. In a time when every penny really does count, this issue hits home for small—and large—city governments alike.   However, while budget and staffing issues are no doubt a reality for sustainability offices throughout

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Elevating the Principles of Net-Zero Buildings to Teach Us About Building Sustainable Communities

A few weeks ago, at the Greenbuild conference in San Francisco, I attended a session that featured NREL’s Research Support Facility (RSF) in Golden, CO. The session’s speakers described the design and construction process of the RSF, a net-zero energy building (NZEB) that today serves as a model for performance-based design. The possibilities presented about

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Measure, Monitor, Adjust, Repeat: Cities Effectively Use Performance Measures to Achieve Community Goals

“What is City government doing? How well are we doing it? How can we do it better?” These three questions guide Devin Quirk’s work for the City of Boston.  Devin serves as Citywide Performance Manager and runs the “Boston About Results” (BAR) Program, an online database of performance measures that, over the last six years,

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Development, Housing Affordability, and Gentrification: Utilizing the Tools (Part 3 of 3)

This is the final post in a three –part series that explores gentrification as an ‘unintended consequence’ of the (re)development of a place, and identifies innovative tools that cities are using to address the overlapping issues of mobility and affordability. The previous blog posts (part 1 and part 2) in the series highlighted some of

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Development, Housing Affordability, and Gentrification: Knowing Your City (Part 2 of 3)

This is the second in a three–part series that explores gentrification as an ‘unintended consequence’ of the (re)development of a place, and identifies innovative tools and strategies that cities are using to address the overlapping issues of mobility and affordability. In the first blog post of this series, I outlined my concern with the effects

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Development, Housing Affordability, and Gentrification: Exploring the Issues (Part 1 of 3)

This is the first in a three –part series that explores gentrification as an ‘unintended consequence’ of the (re)development of a place, and identifies innovative tools that cities are using to address the overlapping issues of mobility and affordability. A few weeks ago, a blog post announcing the 50 “fastest-gentrifying neighborhoods in the United States”

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What can demonstration projects teach us about sustainability?

Large- scale demonstration projects—ones that are focused on combining and testing various physical systems within a confined geography– are increasingly gaining popularity with cities interested in pushing the sustainability envelope.   As someone who readily transitioned from architecture to urban planning (eager to address some of the larger-scale systems questions that a section drawing didn’t quite

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