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3,000 NY City Buildings to Get Energy Retrofits

The New York City skyline.Image: The New York City skyline.

energymanager.com - September 23rd, 2014 - Linda Hardesty

New York City is committing to an 80 percent reduction in emissions by 2050, with 2005 as a baseline. Central to that commitment, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a sweeping plan to retrofit public and private buildings – One City, Built to Last: Transforming New York City’s Buildings for a Low-Carbon Future.

Every single city-owned building with any significant energy use – about 3,000 buildings – will be retrofitted within the next ten years, by 2025, with interim goals along the way.

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NY Spends $40M on Microgrid Contest

August 29, 2014 Linda Hardesty

New York is hosting a $40 million NY Prize Competition to inspire a new generation of local power by challenging New York businesses, entrepreneurs, and electric utilities to design and implement community-based microgrids.

The competition aims to inspire new plans for protecting and strengthening the electrical system in the face of major storms.

http://www.energymanagertoday.com/ny-spends-40m-microgrid-contest-0104504/

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Gov. Cuomo’s Plan To Use Clean Water Funds For Tappan Zee Bridge OK’d

Tappan Zee Bridge as seen from Chopper 880 on May 13, 2014. (Photo by Tom Kaminski, WCBS Newsradio 880)August 6, 2014 7:31 PM - cbslocal.com - CBS Radio Inc.

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to use clean water funds on the new Tappan Zee Bridge was approved Wednesday by a key state board despite objections from environmental groups that said the money should support drinking water and sewer treatment projects. 

The $256 million loan from the clean water fund would help pay for the $3.9 billion span being built north of New York City. Cuomo’s administration argues the novel use of the funds would help minimize the cost of tolls on the new bridge and pay for work associated with the construction that would protect the Hudson River Valley.

 http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/08/06/gov-cuomos-plan-to-use-clean-water-funds-for-tappan-zee-bridge-okd/

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How Can a City Measure Its Happiness?

Santa Monica will begin to survey residents about their well-being next month. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)By Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow | Next City | August 19, 2014

At one time, questionnaires about well-being were the province of mental health professionals. But in recent years, a growing number of city governments have been getting into the game. Last year, Santa Monica, California won a Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayors’ Challenge grant to create a “Local Well-Being Index,” based in part on a survey it plans to administer next month. Other cities, including Seattle and Nevada City, Calif., are at various stages of implementing the idea as well (with different levels of direct municipal involvement). All share a goal that some see as unsuitable for government and others consider its fundamental task: to make citizens happier.

http://nextcity.org/daily/entry/happiest-cities-well-being-survey-policy

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Let's Stop Improvising Disaster Recovery

submitted by John Patten

      

rockinst.org - by James W. Fossett - July 2013

“We can surge troops and equipment, but you can’t surge trust.” - General Carter Ham

The American intergovernmental system needs to stop improvising the way it manages long-term recovery from major disasters such as Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy and the terrorist attacks of 9/11. From financing to decisions about the proper response to long-term climate change, the American system for disaster recovery is ad hoc, uncoordinated, and reinvented from scratch after every major disaster. As a result, recoveries have been lengthy and conflictual, imposed considerable welfare costs on families and businesses, and have resulted in only marginal improvement in the vulnerability of areas afflicted by these disasters.

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PlaNYC Newsletter Returns, August 2014

      

CLICK HERE - Newsletter - August 2014

PlaNYC is the sustainability and resiliency blueprint for New York City. Together with our collaborators – the agencies, organizations, and New Yorkers who make this plan a reality – we have made significant progress in just a few years:

  • The cleanest air in 50 years
  • 865,000 trees and five million square feet of reflective rooftop added to our urban landscape
  • Building codes upgraded to prepare for floods, wind, and extreme weather
  • 19% reduction in carbon emissions since 2005, well ahead of our goal to reach 30% reduction by 2030

A changing climate, a growing population, aging infrastructure, and an evolving economy with increasing inequality pose challenges to our city’s success and quality of life. Recognizing that we determine New York's future by how we shape our response to these challenges, PlaNYC includes actions to mitigate climate change while also preparing for the risks it presents, ensuring quality of life for generations of New Yorkers to come.

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How citizen scientists use the web to track the natural world

A screenshot of the Frog Watch map.Image: A screenshot of the Frog Watch map.

greenbiz.com - July 8th, 2014 - Yale Environment 360

By making the recording and sharing of environmental data easier than ever, web-based technology has fostered the rapid growth of so-called citizen scientists — volunteers who collaborate with scientists to collect and interpret data. Numerous Internet-based projects now make use of citizen scientists to monitor environmental health and to track sensitive plant and wildlife populations. From counting butterflies, frogs, and bats across the globe, to piloting personal drones capable of high-definition infrared imaging, citizen scientists are playing a crucial role in collecting data that will help researchers understand the environment. Here is a sampling of some of these projects.

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Clean Power, Off the Grid

Image: Eleni Kalorkoti

nytimes.com - by David J. Hayes - July 17, 2014

STANFORD, Calif. — AFTER years of hype, renewable energy has gone mainstream in much of the United States and, increasingly, around the world. . .

. . . But many communities that need small-scale renewable energy remain out in the cold — literally and figuratively.

In Alaska, for instance, the vast majority of the more than 200 small, isolated communities populated primarily by native Alaskans rely on dirty, expensive diesel fuel to generate their electricity and heat.

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TIDES - Occupy Sandy: A New Model for Disaster Relief

      

TIDES (Transformative Innovation for Development & Emergency Support) - July 9, 2014

Over a year and a half ago, on Monday, October 29, 2012, Superstorm Sandy made landfall near New Jersey.  It was the second costliest storm in United States history,responsible for 65 billion dollars in damage and 159 deathsacross the U.S., causing severe damage to New York City and New Jersey.  The damage from this catastrophic storm is still visible today and some fear that this type of storm will become the norm.

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The Blue Carbon Project

submitted by Joe Browder

      

Offsetting carbon emissions by conserving ocean vegetation

thebluecarbonproject.com

What is Blue Carbon?

The problem: The growing emission of carbon dioxide from a wide range of human activities is causing unprecedented changes to the land and sea. Identifying effective, efficient and politically acceptable approaches to reduce the atmospheric concentration of CO2 is one of society’s most pressing goals.

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