Weekly Update - Urban Sustainabilty Directors Network

Brookings Institution First Report on Transit and Job Access in America's 100 Largest Cities An analysis of data from 371 transit providers in the nation's 100 largest metropolitan areas reveals combined scores on transit coverage and job access. The top performers include metro areas with noted transit systems such as New York, Portland, San Francisco, and Washington, but also Salt Lake City, Tucson, Fresno, and Las Vegas. Conversely, 15 of the 20 metro areas that rank lowest are in the South. Read more


Forbes and CNT Rank Most and Least Gas-Price-Vulnerable Cities The study conducted by the Center for Neighborhood Technology ranked American cities by how vulnerable their residents are to increases in gas prices. The rankings took into account not only fuel prices, but the number of miles traveled. New York City, Los Angeles, and Miami top the list of the least vulnerable cities. Charlotte, Atlanta, and Nashville were among the most vulnerable. Read more   


D.C. Transit Data Now Available on Google Maps In a new partnership with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), Google announced a recent update to Google Maps that will now include all of D.C.'s Metro and bus stations, stops and routes, as well as connections to other transit systems in nearby cities-a completely new feature. WMATA has made its transit data available to the general public for use in developing third-party applications for the Internet and mobile devices, the WMATA reports. Read more  




Las Cruces, NM Named Bronze-Level Bicycle Friendly Community The City of Las Cruces was recently designated as a Bronze level Bicycle Friendly Community for the first time by the League of American Bicyclists. Accomplishments include a five-fold increase in miles of bicycle facilities in recent years, an ordinance requiring bicycle parking in new construction and major remodeling projects, and enhanced efforts at education and enforcement directed at cyclists and motorists. Read more 


Louisville "City of Parks" Program Among "Top 25 Innovations in Government" Since 1985, Harvard's Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation has highlighted the most effective government programs to help ward off doubt about government's effectiveness. Among their awardees this year is Louisville, KY's "City of Parks" program - a public/private initiative to buy and develop thousands of new parks, build a 100-mile shared-use path, and make $50 million in improvements to existing parks throughout Louisville, Kentucky. Read more 


Babylon Town Supervisor Honored with EPA Award Babylon Town Supervisor Steve Bellone has spearheaded passing green building and smart growth ordinances and led inter-municipal efforts to achieve sustainability on Long Island. Bellone also took the personal initiative to revitalize downtown Wyandanch - an often neglected Long Island hamlet comprised largely of low-income underserved communities, Brownfield contamination, environmental injustice and urban plight. Read more


Green Infrastructure


NYC Green Roof Benefits May Be Greater Than Projected Last week, ConEd released a study by Columbia University researchers, which found that a quarter-acre green roof on a ConEd building in Long Island City captured rainwater for a mere 2 cents per gallon annually, much less than has been assumed. Green roofs could be one of the most cost-effective stormwater interventions.  Read more  


Renewable Energy


Philadelphia Opens First Municipal Solar Installation The system was built at the Philadelphia Water Department's Southeast Water Pollution Control Plant. The treatment plant will use all of the solar power generated on-site, and PWD owns the Solar Renewable Energy Credits. The project was made possible by $850,000 from the City's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant from the DOE and $850,000 from the PWD and technical assistance from DOE's Solar America Cities program. Read more


Biking and Walking


Portland Increases Funds for Bike Projects Every year, Portland, OR gets millions of dollars from gas taxes and parking revenue to spend as it sees fit on transportation construction. The portion going to bike projects, the mayor told the crowd at the Bicycle Transportation Alliance's Alice Awards, would jump from 4 to 17 percent in the next city budget. Meanwhile, it slashed the amount allocated to motor vehicle projects by 22 percent. Coming out of the recession, the budget is still bruised. Pothole complaints are up. Nearly 60 miles of the city's streets remain unpaved. By allocating 17 times more of that funding on building bikeways, Adams has left no doubt that he wants more commuters on bicycles. Read more

DC's Capitol Bikeshare Releases New Dashboard Capital Bikeshare launched a new website today that provides a wealth of performance data about the bikesharing program. The dashboard features 18 individual performance metrics, which fall under four categories: Ridership, Fleet Performance and Safety, Customer Service and Membership. Performance metrics include: Trip Origin/Destination by Station; Trip Origin/Destination by Municipality; Fleet Maintenance (Number of bikes inspected/repaired) per month; Rebalancing (Number of times bicycles picked up and dropped off at stations); and total number of users. The data covers the entire Capital Bikeshare system, including the District and Arlington. Read more

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Covering the game changing discussions that are taking place in the realm of sustainability. From the impact of the City of Fayetteville's decision to switch its fleet to biodiesel to Paul Stamet's research in the Pacific Northwest on how mycelia...

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