Category: Green Living

Renewed Push on Energy Efficiency Bill, But It’s Not Over Yet

There is little to get excited about in Congress these days, but the reintroduction of a bipartisan energy efficiency bill is welcome news. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) reintroduced their marquee energy efficiency bill, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, with the addition of ten bipartisan amendments and ten new sponsors

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NLC Joins “Rails-to-Trails” Supreme Court Brief

Lisa Soronen is the Executive Director of the State and Local Legal Center and a regular contributor to CitiesSpeak. Perhaps your city is fortunate and has extensive biking and recreational trails.  If so, have you ever wondered, where do bike paths come from? Many bike paths in the country come from abandoned railroad land grants or

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Cities lead, but cannot go it alone

An extended conversation with NLC President Chris Coleman. Listen to an abbreviated podcast of this interview on NLC’s Sound Cloud account. As the end of the year approaches, top 100 lists, year-in-reviews and “person of the year” recognitions are beginning to make their rounds. What are the year’s biggest themes in politics, culture and entertainment? How

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Government Shutdown Puts America’s Waterways in Jeopardy

It’s now day two of the federal government shutdown, and many city leaders and residents are still wondering what the impact will be on their communities. Certainly, the shuttering of national parks throughout the country as well as the Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo here in Washington, DC (not to mention the Panda Cam!)

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STAR Communities Announces 2014 Leadership Program & Financial Assistance

This post was written by Lacey Shaver, Outreach and Program Coordinator, STAR Communities. For the past 10 months, more than 30 cities and counties from across the U.S. and Canada have been tracking their sustainability progress through participation in the STAR Community Rating System’s (STAR) pilot program. Working through the rating system with other communities

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Seattle Leads by Example with Green Buildings

Most of us are familiar with the popular Earth Day catch phrase, “Make Earth Day Every Day.”  While we might not always live up to this ideal, I try to keep this quote from Denis Hayes, founder of the Earth Day Network and president of Seattle’s Bullitt Foundation, in mind when I need a little

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Leading City Issues of 2012: Snapshot from CitiesSpeak.org

Jobs and the economy, sustainability, government performance, youth violence prevention, community design, and, wouldn’t you know it, beer, emerged as leading city themes of 2012.  We surveyed the most read posts of the year from NLC’s CitiesSpeak.org blog to get a snapshot of the top local issues on the minds of readers. In order of

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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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Opportunities and Impact for Small-Town Sustainability

Of the many misconceptions that sustainability as a field encounters, the notion that it is an approach exclusive to large, well-resourced cities is as pervasive as it is untrue. Last week I had the opportunity to attend a roundtable discussion on strategies to connect and support sustainability efforts in cities and towns across the state

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