June 6, 2008
As our first heat wave begins in Boston, consider planting a tree to keep things green, shady, and cool. Planting trees does more than beautify neighborhoods. Well positioned trees drastically reduce energy bills by providing shade for buildings. They also provide millions of dollars worth of air purification, reducing local pollution and respiratory problems. Read more…
Read Full Post | June 06 2008 | Environment | No Comments » |
June 3, 2008
Last Thursday, the Roxbury Master Plan Committee held the third in a series of meetings to gather community input for developing the intersection of Melnea Cass Boulevard and Washington Street (see map). About 35 people attended the event, which was led by the Boston Redevelopment Authority. While there was not complete consensus about the community’s vision for the development of these parcels, many residents were dedicated to the generation of green jobs. Read more…
Read Full Post | June 03 2008 | Environment | No Comments » |
Popular Science came out with its ranking of the 50 Greenest Cities in the United States. Boston ranks number three and Cambridge number six. I’m happy to see that Irvine made it at number 21, right behind New York City. I’m not too confident in the methodology, however. It seemed like they were looking for innovative techonologies and development more than practical and proven enviornmental approaches. Philadelphia, with all of its mixed-use development and public transit, didn’t even make the list.… Read the rest
Read Full Post | June 02 2008 | Environment | No Comments » |
I love the new Comcast Center, and I’m looking forward to checking out the winter garden. Hopefully the building’s LEED green certification will go through. It would be awesome for Philly’s tallest building (and the 12th tallest in the US) to be certified. It’s good that my urban economics class introduced me to Inga Saffron. I’m now quite a big fan of her, especially since she calls the tower a “giant flash drive.” I’ve always liked USB flash drives…… Read the rest
Read Full Post | May 30 2008 | Environment and Swarthmore | No Comments » |
May 30, 2008
Today is the Green Street Initiative’s monthly Walk/Ride Day. ACE believes that walkable streets are essential for promoting clean, green, and healthy communities.
Making sidewalks, streets, and crosswalks safe and accessible for pedestrians has important benefits for our communities. Improved pedestrian access to local businesses helps neighborhood economies. Encouraging residents to walk instead of drive saves gas, keeping air quality and the environment cleaner. Walkability promotes regular exercise, great for health and encouraging neighbors to interact with each other.
Last year, the Brookings Institute rated the Boston area as second in the nation in terms of walkability. A report released yesterday ranked Boston at number three. While these are nice rankings, more important is that all of Boston’s communities can benefit from healthy, walkable communities. Read more…
Read Full Post | May 30 2008 | Environment | No Comments » |
May 26, 2008
As you know from Thursday’s blog, we will be highlighting our Jammin’ awardees leading up to the event this Wednesday. Today’s selected honoree is New Mission High School.
The seniors at New Mission have devoted a tremendous amount of time and effort to four projects this year: affordable housing and gentrification, MBTA service, youth violence and the BU Bioterrorism Lab. This month, these service learning projects were presented as videos, workshops, poems and information booths in a public forum called Unity for the Community. The event culminated in a panel focusing on the relationship between teens and police, and how to cultivate a more respectful, cooperative dialogue. Read more…
Read Full Post | May 26 2008 | Environment | No Comments » |
May 23, 2008
As you know from yesterday’s blog, we will be highlighting our Jammin’ awardees leading up to the event next Wednesday. Today’s selected honoree is TRU member Stuart Spina.
Stuart’s involvement with the T Riders Union (TRU) began with a chance encounter last summer. In June 2007, he was at Dudley Square Bus Station conducting his own research on bus service and came across a TRU organizer doing outreach. He realized that we were working on the same issues, decided to attend a meeting, and as he says, “the rest is history!”
In the past year he has become a prominent face at the ACE office, TRU events and MBTA board meetings. At a recent press conference Stuart presented his research on twelve bus routes in Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan, which he collected over nine months of observations. This report caught the attention of the MBTA, and they offered him a summer internship in scheduling and service planning. Read more…
Read Full Post | May 23 2008 | Environment | No Comments » |
May 22, 2008
ACE’s annual celebration and fundraiser, Jammin’ for Justice, is less than one week away. The evening will feature delicious Middle Eastern cuisine, lively music, and a silent auction. It will also be an opportunity for ACE to showcase our members’ outstanding work of the last year. Over the next few days we will be highlighting some of our honorees. Today’s selected honoree is Chelsea Creek Communities Against the Power Plant.
Chelsea residents, in collaboration with Chelsea Green Space and ACE, successfully organized against a proposed diesel-burning power plant in their community. The plant would have been sited near Chelsea’s Mary C. Burke Elementary School, exposing children to diesel exhaust and particulate matter. Due to residents’ strong, organized resistance against the plant, the developer withdrew its plans in November 2007. This is not the first time residents have successfully fought industrial interests in their neighborhoods. Last year, with help from our legal network, residents forced a local tannery to clean-up its pollution and foul odors. Read more…
Read Full Post | May 22 2008 | Environment | No Comments » |
May 21, 2008
Our friends at No Free Transfer have started a 25 Things I Hate about the T list. Ranking at number seven is the Silver Line bus. While the MBTA promised the residents of Dorchester and Roxbury service equal to or better than the Washington Street Elevated Orange Line that was torn down in 1987, the T’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) replacement has been anything but an improvement.
The Silver Line bus has not incorporated widely used BRT innovations. Even transit-starved Los Angeles has been able to implement signal prioritization and headway-based scheduling (which would reduce the “clumping” of buses which plagues the Silver Line bus) for its BRT, and other cities are following LA’s lead. Read more…
Read Full Post | May 21 2008 | Environment | No Comments » |
May 20, 2008
A bill filed in the Massachusetts state house yesterday would commit $100 million over five years to clean-energy research and development. This is a valuable step to encourage the use of clean and renewable energy in the state, but it is not completely on target. Sixty-five percent of the bill’s funds would go towards researching new technology at academic institutions and a newly created Clean Energy Technology Center.
We believe that the state must also consider grassroots efforts that are using existing green technology to build environmental justice in lower income communities. Community-owned cooperatives, like the one Co-op Power is fostering in partnership with ACE, are effectively promoting local green-collar jobs, solar installations, and green building. The development of green-collar jobs should not be limited to elite academic institutions; instead, it should be part of a movement that provides benefits for all communities, especially those that have been subject to past environmental injustices. Read more…
Read Full Post | May 20 2008 | Environment | No Comments » |