Category: climate

5 Steps Your City Can Take to Boost Building Energy Efficiency by 10%

The year-long process to develop the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code culminates with cities’ online vote beginning November 18. In just a few days, cities across the country have a golden opportunity to boost the efficiency of America’s Model Building Energy Code (the International Energy Conservation Code, or IECC) by at least 10%. Buildings are

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Housing Resilience in San Antonio

Housing affordability is about more than the list price of a home. San Antonio, for example, is one of the fastest growing large cities in the United States. The region’s rapid economic and population growth has caused local housing costs to increase faster than AMI for nearly two decades. For residents, that means homes are increasingly

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How Austin’s Commitment to Sustainability is Driving Prosperity

By Kathleen M. O’Donnell, writer and editor at the American Institute of Architects. Austin, Texas, is a shining example of how sustainability can contribute to the development and growth of a city. Through its Office of Sustainability and the work of local architects, Austin provides a thoughtful framework for other cities to consider when crafting

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When Politics, Science and Faith Come Together

For many world religions, a respect for nature and a desire to care for our planet lies at the heart of their practices and rituals. In 2015, Pope Francis surprised the world with Laudato Si, a papal encyclical on “care for our common home.” Around the same time, 27 Buddhist and 60 Hindu leaders from

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Meet Evanston: a Mid-Sized Climate Powerhouse

Picture the scene: Approximately one thousand ten-year-olds packed into an expansive field house, explaining to their parents, teachers and other guests what worsening climate impacts will feel like in Evanston, Illinois, and how their ideas or products could help mitigate these effects. The crowd convened at Evanston Township High School (notably, the country’s largest high school

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How Sustainability is Changing Regional Cooperation

Mayors in towns large and small recognize the power of collaboration — the strength in numbers. In my last blog post, we discussed the Greenest Region Compact (GRC), which featured 115 municipalities and 10 councils of government in Northeast Illinois as signatories at last count. It is the largest regional collaboration on sustainability in the United

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You Can’t Meet Energy and Climate Goals Without Building Efficiency

This is guest post by Bill Fay, Coalition Director, Energy Efficient Codes Coalition There is no national policy issue that is as largely in cities’ hands to develop as writing building energy codes. With little effort and no expenditure of public funds, cities, towns and villages can help write the nation’s building energy code. All

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How Cities Can Revive Recycling

As America celebrates the 49th Earth Day, we reflect on how much has changed and how much more still needs to change to create a more sustainable world. Municipal recycling has always been closely linked to Earth Day as one of the most direct and personal ways that Americans contribute to sustainability efforts. But if you’ve

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How American Cities Made Earth Day

On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans from all walks of life took to the streets, the auditoriums, and college campuses to put environmental concerns on the front page. This first Earth Day was a response to dire environmental challenges of the era. An oil well blew out and spilled off the coast of Santa

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Local Leaders Will be Our Climate Change Heroes

As another Earth Day approaches, I feel the need to make a confession related to something I heard at a climate conference two years ago. The speaker (who will remain anonymous), exclaimed to the jam-packed and dumbfounded room, “Folks, somehow, I am able to hold two totally contradictory ideas in my head at once: ONE

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