Archive: Feb 2014

  1. Out of the Tower and Into the Streets

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    This month we praise the power of low tech.  As California experiences another month of record drought, Governor Brown reminds us that while we cannot “manufacture water,” we can get back to basics to use the little we have more wisely.  His Emergency Drought Legislation focuses on construction grants for shovel-ready projects that capture storm water runoff, recycle used water and recharge aquifers.  This is not whiz-bang technology, but just basic planning which we should have been doing all along.

    And while we’ve written before of the power of universities as an engine for innovation and economic development, in this month’s edition we feature the distinctly low tech and hard work of universities reaching beyond their ivory walls to engage surrounding communities and stakeholders in solving real problems.  Similarly, while the news of a possible joint Apple/Tesla project makes us practically giddy, we write this month of the transformative power of people coming together to demand more room and attention for bicyclists and pedestrians in what used to be the Car Capital of America.  Still, we can’t resist the urge to spread the word about the work of a USC professor whose CRAFT may radically reduce the cost and time of making houses – and in the process radically disrupting a crucial job-generating sector of our economy, the construction trades.  Read on and pray for rain.

    Sincerely yours,

    Cecilia V. Estolano | Jennifer LeSar | Katherine A. Perez-Estolano

  2. Beyond the Ivory Tower

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    Instead of holing up behind stacks of books, university students, administrators, and faculty are reaching out to their surrounding communities and engaging residents, businesses, and civic organizations on a number of issues, including environmentalism, resource management, local job creation and economic development, transportation, and housing. (more…)

  3. LA’s Multi-Modal Future

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    In a region infamous for its car-choked roads, LA continues to make strides toward becoming a multi-modal metropolis. Overtaxed infrastructure, higher gas prices, air quality issues, and a nascent contingent of car-free activists have conspired to create an environment where pedestrians, transit users, and cyclists are gaining prominence. (more…)

  4. The Future of Urban Housing

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    Micro units and 3D printing may revolutionize the way we meet the housing needs for a growing population, with the potential for reduced production costs and increased affordability. But these emerging trends may also have far-reaching implications for urban land use and the construction industry. (more…)

  5. #LA2050Listens Grants

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    Image from LA2050: http://www.la2050.org/goals/

    Image from LA2050: http://www.la2050.org/goals/

    Apply here for a $5,000 grant to host an #LA2050Listens event to discuss LA2050’s draft goals with your community. The events should be participatory and engaging, but the format and design are completely up to you!  They must take place between March 17th and April 30th, 2014. Applications are due by February 28th, 2014 at midnight PT. More info: http://ow.ly/tEkzE

  6. Sustainable Research Networks Competition

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    Image from PNNL - Pacific Northwest National Laboratory: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pnnl/4296030384/sizes/o/

    Image from PNNL – Pacific Northwest National Laboratory: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pnnl/4296030384/sizes/o/

    The goal of the Sustainability Research Networks (SRN) competition is to bring together multidisciplinary teams of researchers, educators, managers, policymakers and other stakeholders to conduct collaborative research that addresses fundamental challenges in sustainability. (more…)