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106: Community Gardens Grow Community

Saturday, April 19th, 2008

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pm106_150.jpgPatrick Marcus and other motivated citizens sprouted a community garden on city land slated to be a park in Ashland, Oregon. When the garden was threatened by plans to develop the park, they got active. Their research and advocacy led to official policy supporting community gardens in city parks. As the volunteer garden manager, Patrick affirms gardening isn’t just for leisure — it helps build community. It creates bonds among people from diverse social spheres — through shared work, classes, potlucks and, most of all, shared passion. [www.communitygarden.org]

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101: Energy and Climate Initiatives in Santa Barbara

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

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pm101_150.jpgSanta Barbara is serious about lowering carbon emissions. Guided by a comprehensive greenhouse gas emissions study, they’re adding solar panels to city buildings, requiring lower energy usage for new buildings, switching to biodiesel and hybrid vehicles, and giving free bus passes to downtown workers. City councilmember Das Williams urges citizens to push officials to make substantive (i.e. funded) changes to mitigate the effects of peak oil and climate change. [www.santabarbaraca.gov]

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76: City Repair - Permaculture for Urban Spaces

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

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pm76_150.jpgWhat happens when citizens apply permaculture principles to a city grid? They create friendly places within the grid that invite people to come together. Mark Lakeman, co-founder of Portland, Oregon’s City Repair Project describes these “creative intervention” projects as placemaking at its best. People learn to work together, build trust and have fun. The results, from painted intersections to cob benches and other organic structures, invite people “to inhabit the planet on our own terms” rather than the grid-locked culture imposed by the city. [www.cityrepair.org]

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74: San Francisco Takes Action on Climate Change

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

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pm74_150.jpgCal Broomhead and Melissa Capria of the Energy & Climate Program discuss the rationale, aggressive plans, and activities for city-wide energy self-reliance and greenhouse gas reduction. Tools include energy efficiency in buildings, transit alternatives, alternative vehicle fuels, generating electricity with renewable energy, and solid waste reduction. [www.sfenvironment.org]

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73: Post Carbon Cities - Planning for Energy and Climate Uncertainty

Thursday, August 23rd, 2007

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pm73_150.jpgSmart municipalities are planning and preparing for energy vulnerability and climate change. Daniel Lerch, manager of the Post Carbon Cities project, has prepared a guidebook including case studies of cities large and small planning how to maintain essential services in the face of energy and climate uncertainty. [www.postcarboncities.net]

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47: The San Francisco Peak Oil Resolution

Thursday, February 15th, 2007

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pm47_150.jpgSan Francisco is the first American city to formally address the challenges of oil depletion. Dennis Brumm and Alyse Heartwell recount how members of SF Oil Awareness envisioned, wrote and presented to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors a Peak Oil resolution, which they passed unanimously in April 2006. They explore next steps: public hearings and plans to create a task force to assess the city’s energy vulnerability. [www.sfbayoil.org/sfoa]

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35: The Vancouver Food Policy Council

Thursday, November 23rd, 2006

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pm35_150.jpgVancouver’s food charter calls for a “just and sustainable food system.” Council member Spring Gillard elaborates on city-wide collaborations to improve access to groceries, waste management, institutional food purchasing, and a goal of 2010 food-producing garden plots by 2010. [www.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/socialplanning/initiatives/foodpolicy/policy/council.htm]

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