Cleveland’s Surprising Climate Buffers

Trees ready to be planted in the Slavic Village neighborhood. (Courtesy Terry Schwarz)
In Cleveland, temperatures are rising three times faster than the national average. Researchers believe that paved surfaces and a shrinking tree canopy in the former “Forest City” are contributing to the increase. Rust Belt cities like Cleveland have one feature that newer cities don’t, though: Plenty of urban vacant land. A pilot project is using that space to increase the climate resilience of the city’s neighborhoods by using empty lots for rain gardens, food gardens, community gathering places, native plants,... Read more

Cultural Resources Climate Change Strategy

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Cultural resources are our record of the human experience. Collectively, these archeological sites, cultural landscapes, ethnographic resources, museum collections, and historic buildings and structures connect one generation to the next. The National Park Service is charged with conserving cultural resources so that they may be enjoyed by future generations. Climate change is adding challenges to this role, and will continue to affect cultural resources in diverse ways. At the same time, through the tangible and intangible qualities they hold, cultural... Read more

Interdisciplinary ASU Project Creates Model to Predict Land Use, Climate Effects and Even Potential Profit of Urban Farming

Phoenix skyline (Joshua Lott / Bloomberg / Getty Images)
As Phoenix sprawls toward Tucson, urban planners are working to prevent the entire 100-mile corridor between Arizona’s largest metro areas from becoming nothing but concrete and asphalt. Seeking sustainable solutions, a team of Arizona State University researchers has been working to create an innovative, physics-based model that can predict how gardens and farms can most efficiently be integrated into cities to produce food in the face of a changing climate, cool the urban heat island and make people happier. Read... Read more

Las Vegas Uses New Markets Tax Credits to Rehab Historic Former School

The historic Westside School in Las Vegas (Credit: KME Architects)
Westside School in west Las Vegas was the public school attended by Native American students from the Paiute Indian reservation and the first school in the city to be racially integrated. But by the time the building entered into the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, it was unoccupied. Last year, the city-owned property re-opened after rehabilitation as a community center and office space. Read more... Read more

Include Nature in Infrastructure to Make America Great

Along the Green Line, 1,000 new trees, as well as nine rain gardens and stormwater planters along University Avenue, absorb and filter the rainwater (Source: Capitol Region Watershed District)
President-elect Trump has promised to rebuild crumbling roads, bridges, airports, water treatment facilities, flood control systems and more across the U.S. This infrastructure windfall offers many benefits for many people. But if we proceed with traditional infrastructure that relies only on bricks and mortar, we will be missing an opportunity. It’s critical that we build resilient infrastructure that works and inspires, that people will value and use. Read more... Read more
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