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  • Christopher Miller
    Some interesting recent entries on the CoolTowns blog: Tuesday, January 29, 2008 ... Cool spots - Identifying low carbon neighborhoods A picture is worth a
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 3, 2008
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      Some interesting recent entries on the CoolTowns blog:

      Tuesday, January 29, 2008



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      'Cool spots' - Identifying low carbon neighborhoods



      A picture is worth a thousand words, which is why the folks at the
      GIS savvy planning firm Criterion created a tool to not just analyze
      where to best invest in low-carbon development, but to illustrate it.

      The concept is referred to as Cool Spots, and is described as "places
      where land use, transportation and energy data converge to create the
      best places for low-carbon development."

      The process, as described in more detail here:



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      1. Analyze the region's energy usage, from CO2 building emissions to
      transportation, using existing GIS information.
      2. Map the walkable areas around transit nodes and commercial
      corridors, as well as major destinations, as displayed in the image
      to the left. Notice that it also defines areas that should be conserved.
      3. Utilize this data to suggest development sites that improve
      transportation choice and energy infrastructure efficiencies (top
      image).
      4. Attract new low-carbon (ie cool town) development to those sites.

      Read a full review or download the program.

      Posted by Neil Takemoto | Link | Comment (0)


      Wednesday, January 30, 2008



      This isn't your father's light rail

      (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEToYMWeOw0)

      ...which is why in Europe they call them trams, apart from 'light
      rail' which is associated with those clunky, boxy trains you see in
      the U.S. The tram in the video above debuted in November 2007 in
      Nice, France.

      The Strasbourg, France line pioneered the sleek look in 2006 and has
      been an overwhelming success ever since, not to mention a favorite
      photo subject for tourists - now how often does that happen? Notice
      in the video above how its futuristic silhouette contrasts with the
      historic fabric around it, in effect enhancing the buildings around
      it. Other countries, like Dublin, Ireland, have followed with modern
      versions of their own.

      Trams are expensive and justified at 10,000 people/hour, but for
      higher densities subways are the newly hot trend and ultimate urban
      status symbol, while for lower densities you'll start to see the rise
      of BRT, which are essentially rubber-tired trams with electronically-
      guided lines replacing steel tracks, the same quiet ride and the
      freedom to go 'off the lines' at any time.

      Posted by Neil Takemoto | Link | Comment (1)



      Monday, December 17, 2007


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      London's car-free shopping day a huge hit

      What does $200 million have to do with cars? Absolutely nothing if
      you were in London's famous West End shopping district on Saturday,
      December 1st, known as Shop West End VIP (Very Important Pedestrians).
      That's because 600 retailers on Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent
      Street were open only for pedestrians, billed as the world�s largest
      area ever to be dedicated to shopping for the day. Not surprisingly,
      many retailers reported the best sales day of the year.

      That's just the beginning. City and business leaders are pushing for
      more car-free days, and there's already a plan to make it permanent
      by 2013, no doubt aided by its preparation for the 2012 Olympics.

      Open from 10:30 am to 8 pm, the event featured 1 million attendees
      and enjoyed $40 million more revenue than the previous year (this is
      the event's third year).

      If there's any doubt that the event has garnered a wide and deep cast
      of support, read what the retailers themselves had to say here.

      Image resource: Matteo C.




      If you are interested in more, click on the links in the Categories
      side bar on the right hand side of the CoolTowns homepage.

      Christopher Miller
      Montreal QC Canada



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