If sustainability action plans and eco-districts were three legged stools, most would fall over. Environmental and economic sustainability are typically well-accounted for in these plans, but as San Diego UrbDeZine writes, social sustainability, is often an afterthought. However, marginalized communities face a high share of environmental degradation and as poverty sprawls outwards, it will be impossible to successfully address environmental sustainability without a legitimate social component. Looking forward, city-makers that can create three strong sustainability legs will have lucrative prospects, and a stool for cities to sit on.
Facing an unprecedented drought, Los Angeles is turning to an ancient water-management solution, cisterns, combined with new technology, the cloud. As Next City writes, the project, initiated by Tree People, is a small test that is part of a broader effort to retain a quarter of the city’s groundwater by 2024, a 100% increase over today. This is particularly important with a great deal of wet weather expected with this winter’s El Nino phenomenon. New innovations on ancient ideas, another opportunity to create a sustainable future.
Two years ago, the City of Portland turned to the local software industry to make its RFP process more effective and efficient. In response, local firm Switchboard offered a simple “Ask & Offer” approach. Recognizing that departments, firms and others may know what the challenge is, but not how (or who) to best solve it, Switchboard connects users who have requests or offers. The solution has effectively connected start-ups and City departments, while also supporting the local tech industry. Read more at Next City.
Transit organizations in many sprawled cities struggle to provide quality service. To fill the gap, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (GA) partnered with Uber to provide first-last mile connections to improve service and attract new customers. MARTA will also test-run free WiFi on city buses to enhance their services. Read more about their initiatives.