Green City

Station leaves the train

Green City: Is the Transbay Terminal rebuild moving away from its high-speed rail showcase?
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steve@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY The Transbay Terminal rebuild is moving forward, but this multi-modal downtown transportation station seems to be pulling away from what was supposed to be its showcase centerpiece — the California High-Speed Rail Project — before it can satisfy the design and capacity needs rail officials require.

San Francisco officials from Mayor Gavin Newsom to Sup. Chris Daly, who sits on the Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA) Board of Directors, all say high-speed rail must be a component of the Transbay Terminal. Read more »

Think globally, shop locally

Green City: Bay Area eco-boutiques bridge the distance
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culture@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY When we say a product is "eco-friendly," what we really mean is "eco-friendlier," as in "less ecologically damaging to the environment than available alternatives." The manufacturing process always has some negative effect on the environment, and while products may be labeled organic, biodegradable, recycled, acid free, ecospun, fair-trade, unbleached, vegetable-based, cruelty-free, or all-natural — they all require land, unclean energy, and unrenewable resources to produce.

The easiest way to start thinkin Read more »

Stimuutf8g transit

Green City: Overcoming obstacles to establish effective alternatives
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news@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY Public transit agencies in the Bay Area are being hit with deep cuts to their operating budgets, thanks to the recent state budget deal, and are hoping to use money from the federal economic stimulus bill to maintain their operations.Read more »

Home improvement

Green City: Create an eco-happy home (whether or not you own)
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culture@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY If you're thinking of greening your home, you might imagine that your that only option is to install expensive energy-efficient appliances — which many renters can't do and many homeowners can't afford. But don't despair. There are ways to reduce your carbon footprint without significantly reducing your bank account, with or without a landlord's help. Below are several tips from San Francisco's premier green architect and eco-remodel guru Eric Corey Freed, principal at organicArchitect. Read more »

Compostmodern

Green City: Examining the intersection of design and sustainability
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news@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY The easier a compost bucket is to use, the more people will use it. But Compostmodern '09 isn't about compost at all — it's about design. Read more »

Tailpipe turnaround

Bay Area leaders and communities are demanding even more to offset the harm that comes from emissions
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news@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY Word that automobile emissions standards may soon improve was good news, but Bay Area leaders and communities are demanding even more to offset the harm that comes from tailpipes.

President Barack Obama last month called for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to allow California and as many as 13 other states to employ their own emissions restrictions. "Our goal," said Obama at the White House, "is not to further burden an already struggling industry. Read more »

Strange bedfellows

Green City: San Francisco's bicycle community finds itself in an awfully strange position
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news@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY San Francisco's bicycle community found itself in the strange position of encouraging Superior Court Judge Peter Busch — someone many cyclists revile for his strict enforcement of a far-reaching injunction against bike projects in the city — to reject a city-sponsored bike safety proposal during a Jan. 22 hearing. It was one more sign of the desperation bicyclists and city officials are feeling over the three-year-old ban on all things bike-related, from new lanes to simple sidewalk racks (see "Stationary biking," 5/16/07).Read more »

Transportation bonanza

Inauguration Issue: The first year of Obama's term could see the biggest federal investment in transportation projects since the creation of the interstate highway system
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steve@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY The first year of President Barack Obama's term could see the biggest federal investment in transportation projects since the creation of the interstate highway system, so there's now a mad scramble to determine where — both geographically and in terms of transportation modes — that money will go.

Transportation activists were already geared up for this October's omnibus transportation bill reauthorization, the first serious chance in four years to alter federal policies and spending priorities. Read more »

Street fighters

Green City: StreetsBlog throws an edgy curve into San Francisco bicycle coverage
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steve@sfbg.com

StreetsBlog (www.streetsblog.org) isn't your average blog, but rather a well-funded institution that helped promote and propel a major transformation that has taken place on New York City streets since the site was founded in 2006, sparking rapid and substantial improvements for bicyclists and pedestrians.

In the process, StreetsBlog — which is part of the Livable Streets Network, along with StreetFilms and the StreetsWiki, started by urban cyclist Mark Gordon, founder of the popular file-sharing site LimeWire — developed a loyal following among alter Read more »

Losing the West

Green City: "Americans have to start caring about the survival of small communities, their local towns, and their local resources"
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amanda@sfbg.com

GREEN CITY Our society can't continue functioning the way it does. Exploiting the natural abundance of resources in the western United States, without balancing the needs of nature, has lead to the myriad environmental problems outlined in The American West at Risk, a book recently penned by Bay Area–based geologists Richard W. Hazlett, Jane E. Nielson, and Howard G. Read more »