San Francisco breaks ground on new "Tunnel Tops" national park

November 7, 2019 by  
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Today, San Francisco has broken ground on “Tunnel Tops,” a new 14-acre national parkland that will span two sections across the top of the Presidio Parkway highway tunnels. Designed by New York-based James Corner Field Operations, the landscape architecture firm behind the High Line, the new park will include a campfire circle, scenic overlooks, a play area and more. The project is slated to open in fall 2021. Building on the international movement of turning post-industrial structures and underutilized transit areas into public green spaces, the new Presidio destination will provide direct pedestrian access from Crissy Field to the Presidio’s Main Post for the first time in eight decades. Created with input from more than 10,000 community members in the city, the elevated park will be free to access and provide dramatic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the bay, the Presidio and the San Francisco skyline. Related: James Corner Field Operations wins major competition to design a new national park in San Francisco Tunnel Tops will offer a variety of amenities for all of San Francisco’s communities and visitors. It will include interactive educational and recreational opportunities. Located directly adjacent to the newly opened Presidio Visitor Center and a planned transit center, Tunnel Tops will welcome guests with the Gateway Plaza and Visitor Center at the heart of the park. From there, visitors can explore the Campfire Circle; the spacious Golden Gate Meadow; a Cliff Walk with 360-degree panoramic views of the surroundings; the Crissy Field Center Youth Campus with new Learning Labs, a new Field Station and a new Youth Courtyard; and a multisensory learning environment for children called the Outpost. “The Tunnel Tops will provide greater access to fresh air, beautiful views, gardens and gathering spaces, where people can come to relax, play and connect with each other,” said Jean Fraser, CEO of the Presidio Trust. “Having a national park so close to downtown is part of what makes San Francisco great, and we hope it will inspire new visitors to discover the many things the Presidio, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and other national parks have to offer.” + Tunnel Tops + James Corner Field Operations Images via James Corner Field Operations

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San Francisco breaks ground on new "Tunnel Tops" national park

Climate change heightens Californias drought and wildfire risks

October 31, 2019 by  
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Global warming and climate change are to blame for creating the strong winds and low humidity that are currently turning California into a tinderbox. Tracts of Golden State land are drying out, making them more prone to insect infestation, forest disease outbreaks and extended wildfire seasons. In response, two of the state’s main electricity companies, PG&E and SDG&E, have implemented brownouts, unplugging entire cities to minimize fire hazard risks. The California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection , or CalFire, recently reported that “while wildfires are a natural part of California’s landscape, the fire season in California and across the west is starting earlier and ending later each year. Climate change is considered a key driver of this trend.” Related: Thousands of animals have been displaced by California wildfires The growing intensity of present day wildfires is a sobering reminder that greenhouse gas emissions and the global carbon footprint must be curbed, lest our planet be faced with irreversible climate consequences. Accelerated warming and the burning of fossil fuels trap more heat on the planet, shifting precipitation patterns and amplifying the risks of wildfires and their prolonged seasons. Temperature rises from climate extremes likewise lead to drier air that quickly desiccates vegetation on the ground. These drought conditions transform the landscape, inviting infestations of ravenous, bark-eating pests to excessively feed on trees, making them more susceptible to woodland diseases. These ailing California forests are thus compromised further, pushing them to the brink of mortality. High temperatures, strong winds, dry conditions and ailing flora are a formula for wildfire risks. But another variable to increased California wildfire occurrences is attributed to the sparks that can ignite the tinderbox; those sparks can be started by electrical utility infrastructure. Shutdowns of California power grids are now the new normal, according to the California Public Utilities Commission , which regulates services throughout the Golden State to “safeguard the environment and assure access to safe and reliable utility infrastructure and services.” To protect California, the regulatory board has implemented a number of climate initiatives that include a utility wildfire mitigation plan calling for electrical power-downs to customers, especially during exceptionally hot and dry conditions. Many customers in the Golden State oppose the electrical shutdown measures. So, what other solutions are there? California has been at the forefront of fighting climate change, even promoting renewable energy and solar power as go-to strategies. Similarly, insurance companies have been shying away from securing housing development in fire-prone locations, leading to a shift in household relocation trends. Plus, researchers — in academia, military and public and private sectors — are now studying fire-resistant or non-flammable materials to harden California buildings and houses in hopes of making them more resilient. Even with these ideas in place, the best practices will rely on curbing climate change, which increases the likelihood and frequency of wildfires in the first place. Via CNN Image via U.S. Department of Agriculture

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Climate change heightens Californias drought and wildfire risks

Is California’s low carbon fuel standard helping EV deployment?

August 6, 2019 by  
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Lessons from this deep dive may apply beyond the Golden State as well.

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Is California’s low carbon fuel standard helping EV deployment?

Here’s one clean energy policy California shouldn’t miss

August 24, 2018 by  
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The Golden State continues to lead the way — if this passes.

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Here’s one clean energy policy California shouldn’t miss

Innovation will permeate the dialogue at Stockholm World Water Week

August 24, 2018 by  
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The water sector seeks new approaches to addressing a ‘wicked problem’.

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Innovation will permeate the dialogue at Stockholm World Water Week

4 bold collaborations tackling California’s drought

October 19, 2016 by  
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Nonprofits with corporates such as Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola, General Mills are throwing their weight behind big water projects in the Golden State.

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4 bold collaborations tackling California’s drought

One year later: McDonald’s supply chain, sustainability chief Francesca DeBiase

March 1, 2016 by  
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Is the role of sustainability and supply chain at the Golden Arches still a dream job?

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One year later: McDonald’s supply chain, sustainability chief Francesca DeBiase

Your commute is nothing compared to this 50-lane gridlock in China

October 9, 2015 by  
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Video via Sploid You think your measly four-lane rush hour commute is bad? How about trying to navigate a bottleneck that spans 50 lanes and several miles. This week, seemingly every person in China – in reality, nearly 750 million people – were on the move for the week-long Chinese Golden Week celebration, resulting in a gridlocked highway-to-hell that extended for miles. Read the rest of Your commute is nothing compared to this 50-lane gridlock in China

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Your commute is nothing compared to this 50-lane gridlock in China

World’s longest glass-bottomed bridge opens in China

September 29, 2015 by  
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World’s longest glass-bottomed bridge opens in China

California close to passing new legislation to set fierce climate change standards

September 8, 2015 by  
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Putting the words “California” and “progressive” together probably won’t blow any minds. But the Golden State is about to take it to a whole new level with a rigorous commitment to climate change that could set a new standard for other states. Mother Jones reports that a series of bills aimed at tackling climate change could soon pass in the state Assembly. The bills would address doubling the energy efficiency of state buildings; sourcing 50 percent of the state’s energy from renewable energy; and cutting fuel consumption in cars and trucks in half. Read the rest of California close to passing new legislation to set fierce climate change standards

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California close to passing new legislation to set fierce climate change standards

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