Day: November 5, 2013

Applications now being accepted for Smart Growth America’s 2014 free technical assistance workshops

Smart Growth America is now accepting applications for its 2014 free technical assistance workshops. Communities interested in learning about smart growth strategies are welcome and encouraged to submit an application for one of 12 types of technical assistance workshops.

Smart Growth America’s free technical assistance workshops program, now in its third year, helps city and regional leaders find solutions to local issues and concerns. These workshops help participating communities to grow in ways that benefit families and businesses while protecting the environment and preserving a sense of place.

“Smart Growth America’s technical assistance provides the tools and training needed to help local leaders and residents make their communities more prosperous and livable,” says Roger Millar, Vice President and Director of Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute. “Last year, we worked with 22 communities across the nation to help them design and implement effective ‘home grown’ smart growth strategies. With continued grant funding, we anticipate working with more communities in the coming year.”

Smart Growth America will again offer 12 types of workshops as part of the free program. These include:

  • Implementing smart growth 101
  • Planning for economic and fiscal health
  • Regional planning for small communities
  • Sustainable land use code audit
  • Smart growth zoning codes for small cities
  • Complete streets
  • Walkability workshop/audit
  • Transportation performance measurement
  • Parking audit
  • Implementing transit-oriented development 101
  • Cool planning: local strategies to slow climate change
  • Using LEED-ND to accelerate the development of sustainable communities

As a national leader in the field, Smart Growth America’s team of experts have extensive experience working with communities to help them use land strategically, make the most of existing resources and invest purposefully to catalyze private development.

How to apply
Any unit or subdivision of local government, Indian tribe or regional government is eligible to apply for these free workshops. Communities should select one workshop per application; applicants may submit additional applications for more than one workshop. Applications are due by Friday, December 6, 2013 at 5:00 PM EST.

Join us next week to learn about this program
If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, join us for a webinar on Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at 2:00 PM EST to learn more about the types of workshops available and the application process. Click here to register for the webinar.

About the program
Smart Growth America’s free technical assistance workshops are made possible by a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Sustainable Communities under the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program. The Building Blocks program funds quick, targeted assistance to communities that face common development problems. One other nonprofit organization—Global Green USA—also received a competitively awarded grant under this program this year to help communities get the kinds of development they want.

In addition to our annual free workshops, Smart Growth America’s technical assistance is available year round for a fee. Our expert staff can help your community achieve its development goals. Learn more on Smart Growth America’s website.

Human water use has boosted drought

Read the full story at Environmental Research Web.

Drought: it is a word that seems to crop up with increasing frequency in the news. Be it the Amazon River slowing to a trickle, ships stranded by the retreat of the Aral Sea in Kazakhstan, or hosepipe bans in the UK, drought is becoming an all too regular feature in our lives. Climate change is certainly a contributory factor, but a new study suggests that our unquenchable thirst for water is also playing a major role.

Watch VERGE São Paulo Virtual

November 12-13, 2013
Register at

Over a dozen presenters, and hundreds of sustainability and technology thought leaders and professionals will convene for a 2-day virtual event covering:

  • Illuminating keynotes on the future of sustainability.
  • In-depth case-studies covering new energy systems, sustainable mobility, the food-energy-water nexus, next gen buildings, new ecosystems, and resilient cities.
  • Practical sessions to help you understand critical trends, and walk away with actionable information.

Whether you’re involved with sustainability, energy, facilities, fleets, logistics, or consulting, this event should not be missed!

Click here to see the full agenda.

Webinar reminder: Promoting Sustainable Landscapes

AASHE Webinar: Promoting Sustainable Landscapes
Tuesday, Nov. 12 2pm-3pm Eastern

RSVP for this event

Co-hosted by AASHE and the Arbor Day Foundation, this webinar explores the benefits of sustainable campus landscapes and how to build long-lasting support for them by publicizing initiatives, educating and engaging others, and earning recognition locally and nationally. As pointed out in a recent guide about promoting sustainable campus landscapes (published by AASHE in partnership with Arbor Day Foundation), “ultimately, long-term support from administrators, faculty, staff, students and the community will be essential to the implementation and maintenance of sustainable campus landscapes for generations to come.” Representatives at two different institutions will answer questions from the moderator and audience about strategies for successfully engaging others in sustainable landscape efforts, effectively communicating the importance of outdoor spaces, building broad awareness, and other ideas for ensuring support from the campus as well as surrounding community.

Presenters include:

  • Heather Spaulding, Sustainability Leadership & Outreach, Portland State University
  • Mary Sweeney, Program Manager, Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree Campus USA Project
  • Matthew James, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture, South Dakota State University

Webinar: Discover Your World With NOAA

A live training Webinar, “Discover Your World with NOAA: Learn How NOAA Monitors the Pulse of the Earth, and How to Access and Use NOAA’s Free Online Resources,” will be offered Wednesday, November 13, 2013.

Discover Your World With NOAA

*  Start Time: 2 p.m. Eastern Time

*  Duration:  60 minutes

*  Summary: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a global leader in studying and communicating how Earth’s atmosphere and water systems influence people’s lives and how they influence those systems. NOAA monitors the Earth’s dynamic environment through observing systems which provide real-time data to study the processes and interactions of Planet Earth and works to ensure that this critical information is delivered to the public. Attendees will learn how NOAA monitors the pulse of the Earth, and how they can access NOAA’s free online resources that offer primary real-time and archived data along with valuable information, and a wide range of multimedia content.


Molly Harrison, Education Coordinator,NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service.

Molly Harrison has been an educator for 18 years in the Maryland public school systems and Federal Government. She currently divides her time between NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service andNOAA’s National Ocean Servicefocusing on climate change, protected marine species, and US fisheries.

Bruce Moravchik, Education Specialist, NOAA National Ocean Service

Bruce Moravchik has been an educator for 18 years teaching biology, oceanography, and earth science in classroom and field settings. Currently, Bruce managesNOAA’s Climate Stewards Education Project, which provides sustained professional development in ocean, climate and atmospheric science to formal and informal educators nationwide.

Peg Steffen, Education Coordinator, NOAA National Ocean Service.

Peg Steffen has been an educator for over 30 years teaching grades 8-12 in biology, physics, and astronomy/geology, and providing teacher professional development workshops across the globe. In 2006 she joined NOAA’s National Ocean Service where she leads a team providing web-based products, professional development and educational games.

Registration is required. Space is limited on a first-come, first-served basis. Upon registering, an e-mail confirmation of registration will include instructions for joining the Webinar.

Registration confirmations for the Webinar will be sent from <>. To ensure delivery of registration confirmations, registrants should configure junk mail or spam filter(s) to permit messages from that email address.

Forget green: Healthy buildings are the next big thing

Read the full story at SmartPlanet.

No need to worry about health insurance. What people really need are healthier buildings.

And architects? Think of them as “upstream doctors,” working to beat sickness and disease at their source, before people are affected.

This idea will be among the topics of discussion at the upcoming U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in Philadelphia, Greenbuild, in mid-November. Sparking the conversation is the splashy launch of the Building Health Initiative last week by the USGBC’s Northern California Chapter, during its annual gala.

Not Dead Yet: America’s manufacturing sector shows signs of life.

Read the full review in City Journal.

Made in the U.S.A.: The Rise and Retreat of American Manufacturing, by Vaclav Smil (MIT Press, 256 pp., 27.95)

Conventional wisdom holds that America’s transition from a manufacturing to a service-based economy is nearly complete. Mining and making stuff are out; surgery and software development are in. The U.S. has entered a post-industrial era. Not so fast, says Vaclav Smil. In his new book, Made in the U.S.A.: The Rise and Retreat of American Manufacturing, Smil argues persuasively that manufacturing matters as much in the current century as it did in the last—and that a revitalized manufacturing sector is vital for restoring growth, jobs, and American social dynamism.

Why is Europe failing to take the energy-water connection seriously?

Read the full story in The Guardian.

The US has woken up to the interdependence of the economy’s water and energy needs, but Europe appears to still be sleeping.

Great Lakes Commission launches restoration database

Read the full story at Great Lakes Echo.

You can now track progress on restoring the Great Lakes at a new database provided by the Great Lakes Commission.

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