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Archive for the ‘Sustainability’ Category

Future of Rail 2050

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014
This graphic depicts countries and territories with 2050 urban populations exceeding 100,000. Circles are scaled in proportion to urban population size.

ARUP
This thought-piece focuses on the passenger and user experience. The journeys imagined here are intended to generate a conversation about the future and provide the big picture context for future planning and decision-making by the rail industry and by governments. They are also intended to set out a forward-looking and inspiring vision for rail. With the increasing pace of technological change, perhaps the more imaginative scenarios will come to fruition. The case studies indicate trends taking place in rail. They are early signs of possible directional change, and reveal directions in which the future could be heading. Whether these become more widely implemented remains to be seen.

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Health Benefits of Carbon Standards for Power Plants

Friday, October 3rd, 2014
Figure 1: The Co-Benefits of Carbon Standards Study

HARVARD SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: CENTER FOR HEALTH AND THE GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT
SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL & ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING
BOSTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the nation’s first-ever carbon pollution standards for existing power plants on June 2, 2014. The EPA-proposed Clean Power Plan would achieve a 30% reduction in carbon emissions from U.S. power plants below 2005 levels by 2030 (USEPA 2014a). Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an important greenhouse gas and a major driver of human-induced global climate change. Fossil-fuel-fired power plants are the single largest source of anthropogenic CO2 emissions in the U.S. They emitted 2.2 billion tons of CO2 in 2012 (AOE 2014) and currently account for 39 percent of total U.S. CO2 emissions (USEPA 2014b).

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Solar-Paneled Roadways: Future Infrastructure

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014
Solar-Paneled Roadways: Future Infrastructure

We’re all aware that America’s infrastructure is in trouble and needs some serious restoration work done ASAP…I don’t need to convince you that we have an urgent problem…Instead, I am here to spark a conversation about a potential solution to two of the problems. In my opinion it’s a pretty sweet deal as it is one solution that fixes two issues. I don’t know about you, but when I’m shopping around I’m a sucker for two for one deals so this tickles my fancy nicely. The problems are our aging roadways and power grid. The solution, potentially, is solar freakin’ roadways.

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Advantage Local: Why Local Energy Ownership Matters

Monday, September 29th, 2014
Local Ownership Means More Jobs & More Local Economic Impact

INSTITUTE FOR LOCAL SELF-RELIANCE

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A Global High Shift Scenario: Impacts And Potential For More Public Transport, Walking, And Cycling With Lower Car Use

Thursday, September 18th, 2014
Figure 7: Total Urban Passenger Travel for Select Countries/Regions

INSTITUTE FOR TRANSPORTATION & DEVELOPMENT POLICY
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS
This report is the first study to examine how major changes in urban transport investments worldwide would affect urban passenger transport emissions as well as mobility by different income groups. It starts with the most recent United Nations urban population forecasts and the most recent model framework and forecasts used by the International Energy Agency (IEA) for global mobility modeling. The study extends these with new research on the extent of various urban passenger transport systems in cities across the world, as well as new estimates of the extent of mobility by non-motorized transport and low power e-bikes.

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Renewable Energy in the Western States

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014
ELECTRICITY GENERATION BY SOURCE, 2013

AMERICAN COUNCIL ON RENEWABLE ENERGY
With the growing prominence of renewable energy in the western power, heat, and transportation sectors, states are implementing and exploring technology and policy options to effectively manage its production and use. Renewable energy is now responsible for over 20% of electricity generation in six western states, and the region saw the addition of nearly 4 GW of new renewable energy capacity in 2013 alone – which is more than two thirds of total 2013 U.S. capacity additions.

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#WomenInSTEM: Making a Cleaner Future

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014
#WomenInSTEM: Making a Cleaner Future

Mallory uses geographic information systems or GIS – a mapping software that she compares to “a real-life videogame” – to assess how various constraints, such as wetlands or an airport, may interact with potential renewable energy projects. Her aim is to site and design projects that can effectively co-exist with the surrounding environment.

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Illinois Highway Materials Sustainability Efforts

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014
Figure 1. Reclaimed material use, 2013.

ILLINOIS CENTER FOR TRANSPORTATION
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has many years of experience using a variety of reclaimed and recycled materials in highway construction. Major material use in highway construction is in the form of aggregates, concrete, and hot-mix asphalt (HMA). It should be no surprise that reclaimed and recycled material use is aligned with usage of these basic construction materials. This report presents the quantity of materials used in 2013, along with specific reporting as required in Illinois Public Act 097-0314. Specific reporting on use of shingles, along with efforts to reduce the carbon footprint and to achieve cost savings through the use of recycled and reclaimed materials, in asphalt paving projects is presented.

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Lansing, MI: Sustainable Construction on Moores River Drive

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014
Lansing, MI: Sustainable Construction on Moores River Drive

The Moores River Drive Project began in April of 2014. As a part of the project, the existing seawall will be removed and replaced with a sloping embankment along the shoreline. A pathway will also be installed along the embankment. Moores River Drive east of Waverly Road will be reconstructed from a four-lane boulevard to a two-lane road. Mt. Hope will be converted from a four-lane road to a three-lane road with bike lanes. The project will be complete in October 2014.

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Performance of Alternatively Fueled Buses

Friday, September 5th, 2014
Figure 3-2. Comparison of performance and costs of 40-foot buses, diesel vs. hybrid.

NATIONAL CENTER FOR TRANSIT RESEARCH
Florida transit agencies have been dealing with volatile fuel prices and changes in regulations regarding diesel engines and fuel. In addition, emphasis on reducing the overall consumption of fossil fuels has increased, as well as reducing carbon emissions by transit agencies. Florida transit agencies and funding entities continue to be under pressure to reduce operating costs and to run a more sustainable and environmentally friendly fleet in the urban environment. A popular strategy to pursue these goals has been the acquisition of alternatively fueled buses. However, higher reliance on alternative fuels has increased both capital and operating costs for some fixed route operators, and has created challenges for the widespread adoption of advanced transit technologies.

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