Accurate Maps of Streams Could Aid in More Sustainable Development

Stream

Stream (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)

Where a stream ends is clear, but where it begins can be more difficult to discern. Researchers from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science have developed a new method to solve this problem, resulting in a new map of the Potomac River watershed stream network that significantly improves the information needed for assessing the impact of urbanization on aquatic ecosystems.

“For the first time, we have an accurate representation of where streams once flowed through major urban areas of Baltimore and Washington, D.C. and where streams currently flow through forests,” said the study’s lead author Dr. Andrew Elmore of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s Appalachian Laboratory. “This information is critical for quantifying the impact of urbanization on aquatic ecosystems.”

More information:  sciencedaily.com

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The food we eat may not be providing us with the nutrients we need

This image shows various dry fruits.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When it comes to eating well, the advice we get is that fresh is better than processed, fruit and veg are better than fats and carbs, and organic is best of all.

But what if the food we eat is not truly feeding us? Many choose to buy organic to be assured food doesn’t have the “bad stuff” in it. But how do we know it’s got the “good stuff” in it – flavour, wholesomeness, vitamins, minerals?

More information: theguardian.com

Green Building Should Not Cost More, Report Says

Eco-friendly buildings

Building green and performing green retrofits for commercial uses need not cost more than traditional construction and renovation methods as long as cost strategies, program management and environmental strategies are built into the project plan from the start, according to a report released by M&G Investments’ real estate division.

Ultimately, the delivery of cost-effective sustainably-built commercial property is about taking a “long-term view and translating that into short-term actions,” according to Creating a Better World, The Case For Green Buildings.

More information:  environmentalleader.com

Urban Dwellers Happier in Cities with Trees and Green Space

Park

Park (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)

Washington, DC (April 22, 2013) — New research finds that people who live in urban areas with more green space tend to report greater well-being than city dwellers who don’t have parks, trees, or other green space nearby. Survey respondents reported less mental distress and higher life satisfaction when they were living in greener areas, even accounting for changes in participants’ income, employment, marital status, physical health, and housing.

City park and green spaceThe new research, published in Psychological Science, examines data from a national longitudinal survey of households in the United Kingdom conducted at the European Centre for Environment & Human Health at the University of Exeter Medical School.

According to the research, “Living in an urban area with relatively high levels of green space compared to one with relatively low levels of green space was associated with a positive impact on well-being equivalent to roughly a third of the impact of being married vs. unmarried and a tenth of the impact of being employed vs. unemployed.”

More information: actrees.org

Everything European

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Leatherhead’s two and half-day Everything European course aims to provide delegates with comprehensive coverage of the principles and application of current and upcoming EU food law with indications of some national quirks. Leatherhead’s Regulatory experts will explain how to identify, keep up-to-date with and apply relevant legislation as an aid to both new product development and legality of current product ranges.

The course will provide delegates with an opportunity to discuss and comment on the long-awaited Article 13.1 health claims list and other challenging regulatory issues, such as the Food Information Regulation and the new Union lists on food additives and flavourings.

More information: euagenda.eu

The Creative Economy: Nashville Case Study

English: Downtown Nashville

Downtown Nashville (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Creative Placemaking has come of its own within the last year, with art and culture at the heart of a portfolio of integrated strategies to drive community transformation through creativity and diversity. The understanding of the value capture of creative placemaking is thanks in no small part to the work of organizations like ArtPlace in the US, the do-it-yourself Artscape in Canada, and private practitioners like Joe Nickol.

Joe will lead this webinar on an exploration of recent breakthroughs in the creative economy, using his UDA work in Nashville as a case study to the elements of creative cities and how they drive innovative economies. In Joe’s words: ”What about our cities enables and sustains this creativity is not a world where there is an artist colony and a separate place that everyone else occupies but a common set of town-building parameters that we all need in order to exercise the inherited or acquired creativity we have to offer. The same set of physical characteristics and relationships that allow a city to harbor world-class music, for example, are equally necessary to develop the newest technologies or innovative economies we thrive on.”

More information: placemakers.com