Mayor visits Pittsburgh in search of ideas to help here
Hamilton group finds striking similarities, inspiration
The possibilities are apparent on every street corner as a group of Hamiltonians travel this Pennsylvania city that is transforming itself from a steel power to a white-collar metropolis based on research and medicine.
Amid gleaming corporate towers are heritage buildings that remind this contingent of home. An historic downtown hotel where the group is booked is eerily reminiscent, from the street and inside, of the dormant Royal Connaught Hotel in its heyday. The 596-room William Penn Omni Hotel is fully booked mid-week in March.
Mayor Fred Eisenberger, who leads the group of city staff and arts advocate Jeremy Freiburger, says he’s hopeful the Connaught, owned by a powerful local consortium, will be revived. “I think it’s only a matter of time. I’m quite optimistic about it,” he says.
Just a stone’s throw from the hotel is a former Gimbels department store that now serves as office space for ketchup giant Heinz. It bears more than a passing resemblance to the Lister Block that is undergoing redevelopment on James Street North.
There are several reminders of what’s been lost in Hamilton, too. Pittsburgh’s courthouse echoes the former City Hall that was torn down to make way for the Eaton Centre. A stretch of old theatres in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District conjure up visions of the Century Theatre that was recently demolished. There are two incline railways that carry riders up Mt. Washington on the city’s southern end, much like Hamilton once had.
The group excitedly talks about a return of an incline. Perhaps it could be a project of civic pride and Hamiltonians could pitch in to make it happen again, is one suggestion.
Pittsburgh has many of the elements Eisenberger wants for his city: a light rail system, a waterfront stadium, downtown employment. Much like Hamilton but on an even greater scale, the compact, pie-shaped Pittsburgh downtown is a bustling hub in the daytime. It literally clears out at the end of the day……
Four women I know — none of whom know one another — are building chicken coops in their backyards. It goes without saying that they already raise organic produce: my town, Berkeley, Calif., is theVatican of locavorism, the high church of Alice Waters. Kitchen gardens are as much a given here as indoor plumbing. But chickens? That ups the ante. Apparently it is no longer enough to know the name of the farm your eggs came from; now you need to know the name of the actual bird.
The London Orchard project: bringing fruit to car parks
The London Orchard Project was founded by Rowena Ganguli and Carina Dunkerley. In less than a year the team has assessed, prepared and planted orchards on 12 sites in nine boroughs around the capital; and trained 50 orchard leaders in orchard management skills.
This year, though, Detroit’s small-scale, volunteer urban farm movement will see the most dramatic steps yet toward making urban farming an economically viable industry.
These steps promise that within the next few years, urban growers in Detroit will produce jobs and a tax base along with their salad greens.
Consumers will struggle when they see an increase in their hydro bills in Ontario, critics say, after the Liberals revealed Saturday that a new levy will help cover $53 million of the government’s conservation and green energy program.
Many major North American cities, including Vancouver, Victoria, New York, Seattle, Chicago and Los Angeles, together with Ontario communities such as Niagara Falls, Brampton and Guelph, allow the small-scale raising of hens. Now it’s
Kingston’s turn to join this positive and growing trend.
In the decades after the Second World War, many urban and suburban communities across Canada and the U.S. instituted laws to distance people from their then-unfashionable rural roots.
In recent years, many of us have begun to realize that maintaining a close connection to our food supply is a positive choice — a way to a healthier and more ecologically sustainable lifestyle.
The idea is so simple: Trees produce more food than people can eat. Most of the fruit goes to waste. Get the food and donate it to those in need.
While big farms are slipping in number, Washington is seeing a rise in small farms, the main supplies of farmers markets. Developers are now treating a small farm as an attractive amenity, attracting those hooked on the FarmVille fantasy game.
With scores of people crowding the sidewalk and taking up one lane of traffic on Divisadero in front of Mojo Bicycle Cafe, Mayor Gavin Newsom, Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi and city department heads heralded a new “parklet” sidewalk extension as a piece of a growing trend of re-purposing street space for people instead of cars. The new trial parklet was built into the space formerly occupied by two parked vehicles, providing several hundred square feet of public space and benches, tables, planters and bike racks.
Fact: Texas Coal-Fired Power Plants Release More Mercury Than Those In Any Other US State
Using publicly available data maintained by USEPA, an Environmental Integrity Project report lists Texas as having five of the 10 largest power plant mercury air pollution sources in the nation. The sum result: nearly 12 tons per year of mercury emitted into the Texas skies during 2008.
Kahn’s new book, “Creative Community Organizing: a Guide for Rabble-Rousers, Activists and Quiet Lovers of Justice,” is a manifesto for the politically active.
The village of Cowichan Bay is North America’s first official “slow city,” part of Europe’s slow food movement, a designation earned because of a transfomation that began in a defunct fish processing plant.
True Grain Bread Ltd. has spun off cottage industries such as jam and cheese making, and it is slowly putting this out-of-the-way seaside community on the culinary map for foodies.
Peter Calthorpe likes to say that how far someone is willing to walk to reach public transit depends on how interesting the journey is.
It’s that kind of thinking that got the California-based new urbanism planner and champion of the “walkable city” hired to design a revolutionary, transit-dependent live-work community in Markham.
Langstaff Gateway — built upward rather than outward — will raise the bar for suburban transformation, possibly across North America.
Be a good neighbour
Katie Stiel is taking on Big Steel in Hamilton.
The recent Environment Hamilton recruit is co-ordinator of the non-profit organization’s new Good Neighbour Campaign, with the stated aim of persuading steelmaker ArcelorMittal Dofasco to cut air emissions of cancer-causing chemicals faster than the company now plans.
“The overall goal is to open lines of communication between industry and the community,” Stiel said in an interview this week. “One reason for the campaign is that a lot of volunteers and area residents coming to us expressed concern about industrial pollution — black fallout, smell and noise.
Why Haven’t Electric Bikes Caught On?
From a $350 electric commuter bike to fancy German e-bikes that apply electric assist direct to the power train, we’ve had no shortage of cool motorized bicycles here on TreeHugger. And they’ve even ignited some important debate, including Trevor’s musings on whether his electric bike is lame, and Lloyd asking if electric bikes will get people out of their cars. Now the folks at Sightline Daily are taking up the discussion with a series of posts on electric bikes in our culture—asking why e-bikes are not more popular than they are, and what can be done for them to fulfill their potential.
Cardboard Furniture is Durable and Recyclable and Everywhere
Cardboard is popping up everywhere. A strong and durable material, it is made from recycled paperboard and is itself recyclable when you get bored. It is long lasting, can be assembled easily, comes in a flat-pack and some say is softer and friendlier than wood or plastic. It certainly is cheaper….
“Basically, a NORC is a place (a building, a development, a neighborhood) with a sizeable senior community that wasn’t purpose-built as a senior community. What counts as a “sizeable elderly population” varies from place to place (and from one level of government to the next), but NORCs are important because once a community meets the respective criteria, it becomes eligible for local, state, and federal funds retroactively to provide that community with the support services elderly populations typically need. These include (but are not limited to): case management and social work services; health care management and prevention programs; education, socialization, and recreational activities; and volunteer opportunities for program participants and the community.
Canadians’ water conservation efforts declining: 2010 Canadian Water Attitudes Study
“These findings suggest that Canadians haven’t made the link between water and energy conservation,” says Sandford. “What Canadians may not realize is that generating energy requires a lot of water, and moving water - to make it available for when and where we want it - in turn requires significant amounts of energy. Until people make the link between the two, we won’t achieve anything approaching sustainability.”
Just the headlines:
The Global Food Market (VIDEO): Why Do Some Eat Well While Others Starve?
In Defense Of Non-Commercial Culture
All Together Now: Green Modern Cooperative Living in Australia
World Crude Oil Production Projected to Peak a Decade Sooner
Infographic: “How Cars are Killing Us Around the World”
Carrotmob: Green Shopping Goes Social