Clean Cities Measure Up Around US, World
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Policy makers have focused recently on how clean cities around the US and around the world.
The United Nations has proposed a new standard for assessing the impact cities have on greenhouse gas emissions. Meeting in Rio de Janeiro in March, UN-Habitat discussed a way that any metropolitan area could assess its own emissions and find a meaningful comparison with other cities.
The core concept of the UN plan is to look at the emissions of about 25 activities typically found in urban life, such as waste management, electricity use or transportation, and then calculate the per capita emissions. The draft document of the plan lists the variables and subvariables for these activities and specifies which units of measurement to use when studying them. The standard would also use, in some places, definitions of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. The goal is to produce an "apples-to-apples" comparison of which cities are cleanest.
The US EPA has taken a single variability, clean buildings, and ranked the top 25 cleanest cities. Los Angeles may have a reputation for smoggy freeways, but with 293 Energy Star buildings covering 76 million square feet of floorspace it tops the EPA list. Washington, DC, with 204 Energy Star buildings covering 55.1 million square feet is second, followed by San Francisco and Denver, which jumped from 7th place the previous year. Louisville, Ky., with 35 clean buildings rounds out the list. The survey notes that collectively the buildings on the list save $731.7 million in energy costs and emissions equivalent to about 470,000 homes.
In other news about clean cities:
Cities - Stories, Links and Resources
Japanese Scientist Blames China for Yakushima's Dying Trees
NYTimes.com - 2013-04-25
Cleaner air starting in 2016, environment officials say
South China Morning Post - 2013-03-28
The answer to Chinese pollution? It's in Japan
Fortune Tech - 2013-03-04
How NASA scientists are turning LA into one big climate change lab
California Watch - 2013-03-04
U.N. says has list of Syrian war crimes suspects
Reuters - 2013-02-18
What Could Disappear in Cities as Sea Levels Rise
Nytimes.com - 2012-11-25
3-D Maps Pictured Sandy's Devastation - Five Years Ago
InsideClimate News - 2012-11-01
Crime Wave Engulfs Syria as Its Cities Reel From War
New York Times - 2012-08-10
Global Resources News stories
Links for the search term: Cities
Santa Fe Institute Project Page on Cities, Scaling and Sustainability
Researchers look to quantify the growth and impacts of cities.
Ethnographic map of Middle East
Shows Sunni and Shia regions of Middle East, along with unpopulated desert and other ethnicities.