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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:

  • Tokyo Cuts Pollution But Not Growth - New York Times
  • Tokyo Moves Forward With Green Urban Innovation - Time
  • The Bicycling Magazine list of 50 best cities for bicycling has been released.
  • The Green Building Opportunity Index has been released by Cushman & Wakefield and BetterBricks.com
  • Recent News about cities

    Below are any various articles and links on cities in our archives. The results start with our original content.

    If you have questions, comments or didn't find what you were seeking, please contact us with the form below.

    GlobalResourcesNews stories on the search term: cities

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    Links for the search term: cities

    Climate Change and Conflict in West African Cities: Early Warning Signs in Lagos and Accra

    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.

    Declining air pollution levels continue to improve life expectancy in U.S.

    Pollutants in some urban areas increase Parkinson’s disease risk

    World Health Organization Database: outdoor air pollution in cities
    Contains an Excel spreadsheet of the database.

    Hestia system tracks carbon emissions in cities on hourly basis
    This data modeling system renders visualizations of how different types of buildings and transport emit carbon at different times of the day.

    Water in African Cities, World Bank Report of June 2012

    Marcellus Shale and Philadelphia's watershed

    TaskForce MegaCities of the International Geographical Union, list of Megacities and UN links

    The 30 largest agglomerations of the world in the year 2010
    according to United Nations World Urbanization Prospects 2009:
    Rank	Agglomeration	Country	Population
    1	Tokyo	Japan	36 668 510
    2	Delhi	India	22 156 810
    3	São Paulo	Brazil	20 262 493
    4	Mumbai (Bombay)	India	20 040 868
    5	Ciudad de México (Mexico City)	Mexico	19 460 212
    6	New York-Newark	United States of America	19 425 069
    7	Shanghai	China	16 575 110
    8	Kolkata (Calcutta)	India	15 552 080
    9	Dhaka	Bangladesh	14 648 354
    10	Karachi	Pakistan	13 124 793
    11	Buenos Aires	Argentina	13 074 389
    12	Los Angeles	USA	12 762 091
    13	Beijing	China	12 385 263
    14	Rio de Janeiro	Brazil	11 949 619
    15	Manila	Philippines	11 628 288
    16	Osaka-Kobe	Japan	11 337 016
    17	Al-Qahirah (Cairo)	Egypt	11 001 378
    18	Lagos	Nigeria	10 577 672
    19	Moskva (Moscow)	Russian Federation	10 549 892
    20	Istanbul	Turkey	10 524 625
    21	Paris	France	10 485 263
    22	Seoul	Republic of Korea	9 772 717
    23	Chongqing	China	9 401 170
    24	Jakarta	Indonesia	9 210 211
    25	Chicago	United States of America	9 203 838
    26	Shenzhen	China	9 005 283
    27	Lima	Peru	8 940 555
    28	Guangzhou, Guangdong	China	8 883 865
    29	Kinshasa	Democratic Republic of the Congo	8 753 869
    30	London	United Kingdom	8 631 325

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