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Archive for the ‘Policy’ Category

Funding Trees for Health: An Analysis of Finance and Policy Actions to Enable Tree Planting for Public Health

Monday, October 9th, 2017
Figure E1. Trees and Public health. Conceptual model of the linkage between urban forestry funding and health funding.

The scientific case for the benefits of trees and urban nature has become more solid over the last few decades. Trees and other natural features in cities can help regulate water quality, water quantity, and the timing of water flow. They can help clean and cool the air, reducing harmful air pollutants and ambient air temperatures. They lend beauty to our streets, enhance citizens’ lives, and significantly increase property values. When you consider all the benefits that street trees can provide to society, there is a strong business case for increased societal investment. One study in California, for instance, found that for every $1 spent on tree planting and maintenance, urban trees deliver $5.82 in benefits.

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Shelley Poticha, Director of Urban Solutions, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017
Shelley Poticha, Director, Urban Solutions, Natural Resources Defense Council

“There really is no conflict between saying you would like to have more infrastructure investment and saying that you’re an environmentalist. They’re one and the same. The challenge is that the plans and projects that are on the books in many states run counter to what we need in our communities to protect people. And that’s where we need to take a hard look at what kind of infrastructure we’re investing in, because the same-old, same-old as we just saw through these two big storms isn’t going to get us there.”

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Electricity Markets and Reliability: US DOE Staff Report to the Secretary

Thursday, September 14th, 2017
Electricity Markets and Reliability: Daily Energy Load Curve

On April 14, 2017, Energy Secretary Rick Perry issued a memorandum requesting a study to examine electricity markets and reliability. With this document, Department of Energy (DOE) staff are delivering a study that seeks not only to evaluate the present status of the electricity system, but more importantly to exercise foresight to help ensure a system that is reliable, resilient, and affordable long into the future. Therefore, while carefully acknowledging history, this study focuses on the present trajectory of trends that are of particular concern in meeting those long-term goals.

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Responsible for what? Carbon producer CO2 contributions and the energy transition

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017
CO2 contributions - Sherco Generating Station - Photo by Tony Webster from Minneapolis, Minnesota

The article this accompanies is the third in an important series. The foundational analysis of the contributions of major carbon producers to atmospheric CO2 emissions and methane emissions was the first to appear (Heede 2014), followed by a rich and concrete analysis of the moral responsibilities of the major carbon producers in light of those contributions (Frumhoff et al. 2015). This third analysis not only refines the calculations of the contributions of major carbon producers to atmospheric CO2 and methane emissions but also expands the calculations to include the contributions of those same producers to global mean surface temperature and global sea level (Ekwurzel et al. 2017).

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Streetfilms: NYC — Cyclists Become “Human Bollards” to Protect 2nd Ave Bike Lane

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

Earlier this summer, DOT filled an 18-block gap in the Second Avenue bike lane in Midtown. But there’s a big problem with the project: On most of those blocks, the new bike lane isn’t protected at rush hour, when the number of cyclists is highest and car traffic is most intense.So this morning, Transportation Alternatives volunteers took safety in their own hands, lining up between 45th Street and 44th Street to form a “human-protected bike lane” during the 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. rush.

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Anita van Breda, Senior Director, Environment and Disaster Management, World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017
Anita van Breda on The Infra Blog

If there is a change in the direction at the federal level, that means it’s all the more important that we at our individual and at our state and our county levels, make sure we are doing more to step up our engagement. We see examples from different mayors and different cities who are being quite proactive on the climate issue, and corporations are stepping forward, and so we have to focus on where there’s positive momentum and support that moving forward.

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P3 Infrastructure Delivery: Principles for State Legislatures

Thursday, August 24th, 2017
Project Delivery Models Along a Continuum of Private Sector Involvement

Because P3s cover a broad range of innovative contracting, project delivery and financing arrangements, a singular definition is difficult to establish. P3s take various forms based on the type of infrastructure involved and level of risk sharing sought by the public sector. Key characteristics of P3s, delineating them from typical arrangements between the public and private sectors, include the transfer of risk from the public sector to the private sector, the marrying of multiple steps of the procurement lifecycle and the shifting of some public sector responsibilities to the private sector.

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Do Streetcars Bring Economic Development?

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

Starting in the late 20th century, modern streetcar proposals started rippling across municipalities in the United States. They’re touted as infrastructure carrying benefits ranging from the social to economic and the environmental. But these projects often make appearances in the news as costly, blunder-filled experiments in public policy. Cities are willing to bet big on […]

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Reactions to the BRIDGE Act

Monday, August 14th, 2017
reactions to the bridge act

Keeping America competitive in the global marketplace requires first-rate highways, bridges, ports, transit and a modernized aviation system. I applaud Senator Warner for crafting bi-partisan legislation that recognizes that necessity. The BRIDGE Act employs a creative financing mechanism which leverages private investments with those from the federal, state and local sources. It is a common-sense approach to attracting billions of private sector dollars to help finance important projects with tangible economic benefits.

– Gov. Ed Rendell, Former Governor of Pennsylvania, Co-Chair of Building America’s Future

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Congressional leaders begin to address infrastructure with a plan of their own

Monday, August 14th, 2017

Delays in the rollout of the Trump administration’s much-heralded $1 trillion infrastructure plan are proving costly for deteriorating U.S. roads, bridges, airports and transit systems. And the longer the delay, the more it will cost taxpayers. Tired of delays on a long-awaited new plan, some members of Congress are busy putting together a “Plan B.”

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