GM airs funny electric vehicle commercial during Super Bowl

February 10, 2021 by  
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While people rooted for the Kansas City Chiefs or Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Sunday, General Motors waged a war with greater implications. The foe? Norway . General Motors’ war isn’t directed at the Norwegian people but at beating them for global leadership in electric vehicles sales. For a commercial that aired during the Super Bowl, the auto company recruited actors and comedians Will Ferrell, Kenan Thompson and Awkwafina (Nora Lum) to play three Americans ready to fight Norway for EV supremacy. The commercial is part of GM’s “Everyone In” ad campaign designed to bring electric vehicles into the mainstream and increase North American sales. Related: GM pledges carbon neutrality by 2040, expands electric fleet So far, the Chevy Bolt has been General Motors’ EV offering. But in the last few months, the company has introduced the new Cadillac Lyriq SUV and the GMC Hummer EV. Hummer fans may be able to buy an electric model by the end of 2021. The Lyriq will likely go into production late next year. Both of these vehicles are featured in the Super Bowl commercial. General Motors has promised 30 models at a variety of price points coming out over the next four years and plans to sell only electric vehicles by 2035. “We feel like this transition is one that will protect all of our futures,” said Dane Parker, GM’s chief sustainability officer. “And it will help us create a future that will benefit not only the planet but the people.” So why take on Norway? More than half of cars sold in the Scandinavian country are electric, compared to about 4% in the U.S. General Motors was careful to prepare Norwegian leaders in advance of airing the commercial. The officials must have had a sense of humor about it, because part of the commercial was even filmed in Norway. Ultimately, the Super Bowl ad pokes fun at Americans, not Norwegians. Especially the ending, which mocks Americans’ notoriously bad grasp of geography when Will Ferrell winds up in Sweden while Awkwafina and Thompson find themselves on a snowy road in Finland. + General Motors Via Motor Biscuit and CNET Images via General Motors

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GM airs funny electric vehicle commercial during Super Bowl

Nordic unveils LEED Gold-targeted visions for Indias greenest airport

February 10, 2021 by  
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Architecture firms Nordic, Grimshaw, Haptic and STUP have unveiled competition-winning designs for the passenger terminal of Delhi Noida International Airport (DNIA) at Jewar, an ambitious LEED Gold -targeted project that could become “India’s greenest airport.” Designed to combine efficiency and hospitality, the airport design will set sustainable benchmarks for airport terminal buildings in India, from its goal of net-zero carbon operations to the infusion of lush green spaces throughout. When complete, the Delhi Noida International Airport will serve as a new gateway to the state of Uttar Pradesh in the quickly developing industrial region between Delhi and Agra. The winning design for DNIA was selected from a three-phase design competition between June and August 2020, during which the invited architecture teams prepared, collaborated and presented their airport designs remotely. The consortium winners were selected by Zurich Airport International (ZAIA); the public limited company signed a concession agreement with the Government of Uttar Pradesh to develop DNIA in the fall of last year. Related: Singapore’s jaw-dropping new airport has the world’s largest indoor waterfall In addition to raising the bar for sustainable airport design, the competition-winning proposal will also help shape Jewar as a future aviation city and include flexible expansion options with a target goal of 30 million passengers per year with minimal environmental impact . Lush landscaping will surround the airport grounds; plants inside the terminal will bring a hint of nature into the light-filled airport. “We are pleased to partner with Nordic, Grimshaw, Haptic and STUP to design this long-envisioned strategic project at Jewar,” says Christoph Schnellmann, CEO of Delhi Noida International Airport. “The team created the winning design with an efficient layout, convincing design language, multiple high-quality areas, spaced out with lush greenery with a balanced concept for both energy savings and a tangible sense of sustainability. The team demonstrated their proficiency in complementing customer comfort with sustainability, timeless design with flexibility for future needs. We will work closely with the team to ensure a design with everything available that a passenger expects at a world-class airport.” + Nordic Images by Tegmark

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Nordic unveils LEED Gold-targeted visions for Indias greenest airport

Big in 2021: American jobs created by EV companies

January 6, 2021 by  
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Big in 2021: American jobs created by EV companies Katie Fehrenbacher Wed, 01/06/2021 – 00:30 One of the big things I’m thinking about to kick off 2021 is how electric vehicles will be entwined with a U.S. recovery. Even before Joe Biden has formalized any green stimulus plans, the EV industry in the U.S. is showing important indicators that it will see solid growth this year — and that means jobs. New industry jobs. Electric jobs. Climate jobs.  Recently I chatted with the CEO and founder of Lion Electric , an electric bus and truck maker based in Saint-Jerome, Quebec. Marc Bedard founded the company 12 years ago — after working at a diesel school bus company in the 1990’s — with the goals of eliminating diesel engines for school buses and diesel fumes from the air that school kids breathe.  Lion got its start making electric school buses and has delivered major orders to the Twin Rivers Unified School District in Sacramento, California, and White Plains School District in White Plains, New York. More recently it unveiled an electric delivery truck and scored orders with Amazon and Canadian logistics provider CN.  While Lion Electric already has a factory in Montreal that can make 2,500 e-buses and trucks a year, the company tells GreenBiz it plans to expand into the U.S. by buying and converting an American factory that could be large enough to make 20,000 vehicles a year. Lion will unveil more details about where exactly that factory could be in the coming weeks, although vehicle production there probably won’t start for a couple of years. The expected rise of EV jobs across new and established automakers offers a spark of good news amidst expected anemic job growth for the first half of the year. Lion isn’t the only EV truck maker eying expansion into the U.S. market. Arrival — a London-based EV truck maker with a 10,000-EV deal with UPS —  plans to invest $43 million into its first U.S. factory in Rock Hill, South Carolina. The factory is expected to produce 240 jobs, with operations to start in the second quarter of 2021. The company’s U.S. headquarters will be in nearby Charlotte, North Carolina. In addition to Arrival and Lion, a handful of other independent U.S. EV makers have emerged in recent years to tap into the growing American electric truck market, including Lordstown Motors , Hyliion , XL Fleet , Rivian, Nikola and Lightning eMotors. All of these companies recently have raised hundreds of millions of dollars and gone public by merging with “blank check” companies, or Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (also called SPACs).  Although the financial tool is a bit speculative in nature — the SPAC process is far quicker and less rigorous than going public via a traditional initial public offering — it turns out that SPACs, strangely enough, could help create thousands, if not tens of thousands, American EV industry jobs. Hopefully, most of those will end up being long-term, stable jobs.  And those are just the latest jobs from the newest players. Ford is developing an all-electric cargo van at a Kansas City plant that will create 150 jobs this year. That’s on top of the hundreds of other new EV jobs created by Ford’s new electric vehicle lines, the electric F-150 and the Mustang Mach-E. Likewise, Daimler Trucks North America has been converting and expanding its factory to make electric trucks at its Swan Island headquarters in North Portland, Oregon. The new EV jobs couldn’t come at a better time. Thanks to the pandemic, 2020 saw historic American unemployment rates peaking in April and recovering to just 6.7 percent unemployment as of November. But with a slow vaccine rollout and surging infection rates, prolonged long-term high unemployment rates are expected. Clean energy jobs have been equally hit hard, with about a half-million clean energy workers left unemployed by the pandemic this year.  Despite not knowing what Biden’s green stimulus will look like, the administration already has signaled that the automakers could be a big part of a recovery. Biden selected former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm as his energy department secretary. Granholm worked closely with the Obama administration and the auto industry throughout the green stimulus program following the 2008 financial crisis.  The expected rise of EV jobs across new and established automakers offers a spark of good news amidst expected anemic job growth for the first half of the year. And these are just jobs from the vehicle manufacturers.  Equally strong job growth is expected for EV infrastructure providers riding the same electric wave and could get even more of a boost from a green infrastructure stimulus. A federal government stimulus also could inject funding and jobs into a growing domestic EV battery production sector.  In what is expected to be another dark couple of quarters for employment in 2021, look to EV jobs to offer a bright spot.  Sign up for Katie Fehrenbacher’s newsletter, Transport Weekly, at this link . Follow her on Twitter. Pull Quote The expected rise of EV jobs across new and established automakers offers a spark of good news amidst expected anemic job growth for the first half of the year. Topics Transportation & Mobility Jobs & Careers Electric Vehicles Electric Bus Electric School Buses Electric Trucks Featured Column Driving Change Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off

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Big in 2021: American jobs created by EV companies

Big in 2021: American jobs created by EV companies

January 6, 2021 by  
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Big in 2021: American jobs created by EV companies Katie Fehrenbacher Wed, 01/06/2021 – 00:30 One of the big things I’m thinking about to kick off 2021 is how electric vehicles will be entwined with a U.S. recovery. Even before Joe Biden has formalized any green stimulus plans, the EV industry in the U.S. is showing important indicators that it will see solid growth this year — and that means jobs. New industry jobs. Electric jobs. Climate jobs.  Recently I chatted with the CEO and founder of Lion Electric , an electric bus and truck maker based in Saint-Jerome, Quebec. Marc Bedard founded the company 12 years ago — after working at a diesel school bus company in the 1990’s — with the goals of eliminating diesel engines for school buses and diesel fumes from the air that school kids breathe.  Lion got its start making electric school buses and has delivered major orders to the Twin Rivers Unified School District in Sacramento, California, and White Plains School District in White Plains, New York. More recently it unveiled an electric delivery truck and scored orders with Amazon and Canadian logistics provider CN.  While Lion Electric already has a factory in Montreal that can make 2,500 e-buses and trucks a year, the company tells GreenBiz it plans to expand into the U.S. by buying and converting an American factory that could be large enough to make 20,000 vehicles a year. Lion will unveil more details about where exactly that factory could be in the coming weeks, although vehicle production there probably won’t start for a couple of years. The expected rise of EV jobs across new and established automakers offers a spark of good news amidst expected anemic job growth for the first half of the year. Lion isn’t the only EV truck maker eying expansion into the U.S. market. Arrival — a London-based EV truck maker with a 10,000-EV deal with UPS —  plans to invest $43 million into its first U.S. factory in Rock Hill, South Carolina. The factory is expected to produce 240 jobs, with operations to start in the second quarter of 2021. The company’s U.S. headquarters will be in nearby Charlotte, North Carolina. In addition to Arrival and Lion, a handful of other independent U.S. EV makers have emerged in recent years to tap into the growing American electric truck market, including Lordstown Motors , Hyliion , XL Fleet , Rivian, Nikola and Lightning eMotors. All of these companies recently have raised hundreds of millions of dollars and gone public by merging with “blank check” companies, or Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (also called SPACs).  Although the financial tool is a bit speculative in nature — the SPAC process is far quicker and less rigorous than going public via a traditional initial public offering — it turns out that SPACs, strangely enough, could help create thousands, if not tens of thousands, American EV industry jobs. Hopefully, most of those will end up being long-term, stable jobs.  And those are just the latest jobs from the newest players. Ford is developing an all-electric cargo van at a Kansas City plant that will create 150 jobs this year. That’s on top of the hundreds of other new EV jobs created by Ford’s new electric vehicle lines, the electric F-150 and the Mustang Mach-E. Likewise, Daimler Trucks North America has been converting and expanding its factory to make electric trucks at its Swan Island headquarters in North Portland, Oregon. The new EV jobs couldn’t come at a better time. Thanks to the pandemic, 2020 saw historic American unemployment rates peaking in April and recovering to just 6.7 percent unemployment as of November. But with a slow vaccine rollout and surging infection rates, prolonged long-term high unemployment rates are expected. Clean energy jobs have been equally hit hard, with about a half-million clean energy workers left unemployed by the pandemic this year.  Despite not knowing what Biden’s green stimulus will look like, the administration already has signaled that the automakers could be a big part of a recovery. Biden selected former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm as his energy department secretary. Granholm worked closely with the Obama administration and the auto industry throughout the green stimulus program following the 2008 financial crisis.  The expected rise of EV jobs across new and established automakers offers a spark of good news amidst expected anemic job growth for the first half of the year. And these are just jobs from the vehicle manufacturers.  Equally strong job growth is expected for EV infrastructure providers riding the same electric wave and could get even more of a boost from a green infrastructure stimulus. A federal government stimulus also could inject funding and jobs into a growing domestic EV battery production sector.  In what is expected to be another dark couple of quarters for employment in 2021, look to EV jobs to offer a bright spot.  Sign up for Katie Fehrenbacher’s newsletter, Transport Weekly, at this link . Follow her on Twitter. Pull Quote The expected rise of EV jobs across new and established automakers offers a spark of good news amidst expected anemic job growth for the first half of the year. Topics Transportation & Mobility Jobs & Careers Electric Vehicles Electric Bus Electric School Buses Electric Trucks Featured Column Driving Change Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off

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San Francisco library boasts a green roof and LEED Gold status

February 7, 2020 by  
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When Hacker Architects redesigned a historic, 1969 branch library in the southeastern Bayview neighborhood of San Francisco in 2013, the firm wanted to make sure that the building continued to serve as an educational and communal space for the area. As such, added sustainability measures were included to support the environmental goals for the library but also to act as teaching tools for the community. The library replaced an original building on the same site and features green design elements, such as solar panels and a lush green roof, that earned it LEED Gold certification. Despite its modern, sustainable technologies, the project honors its history and celebrates the local culture and community in its design. Related: LEED Silver museum’s shimmering, iridescent facade evokes flames in Kansas In the center of the library, a courtyard brings in natural ventilation and light, all while providing visitors with views of an urban garden. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow natural light even deeper into the building. The library’s green roof is also visible from the inside. The vegetation, mostly native grasses and perennials, on the roof helps filter stormwater runoff, while the onsite electricity is generated through solar panels. Additionally, a natural ventilation system inside helps to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the interior. The 9,000-square-foot library was renamed in 2015 to commemorate Linda Brooks-Burton, who worked as the head librarian of the branch from 1995 until 2011. Brooks-Burton was an advocate for education, co-founding the Bayview History Preservation Project and the Bayview Footprints Network of Community Building Groups in 2007 and 2008, respectively. Brooks-Burton passed away unexpectedly in 2013, just months after the library was rebuilt. The building received the 2013 Sustainability Award from the Portland, Oregon chapter of the American Institute of Architects San Francisco and was named a New Landmark Library by the Library Journal. Karin Payson Architecture and Design (KPa+d) was awarded the Kirby Ward Fitzpatrick Prize by the San Francisco Architectural Foundation for its role as associate architect and interior designer for the project. + Hacker Architects Photography by Bruce Damonte via Hacker Architects

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San Francisco library boasts a green roof and LEED Gold status

Perkins and Will designs modular, affordable housing for the homeless

December 4, 2019 by  
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In response to the homelessness crisis in Los Angeles, Perkins and Will’s Los Angeles studio has proposed DOME , a stackable, modular furniture system that would provide affordable and flexible interim housing for the homeless. The patent-pending design was created after months of research — including visits with community members, fabricators and operators — in the studio’s Innovation Incubator, which provides micro-grants and support to employee projects. Perkins and Will’s Los Angeles studio drew inspiration for the DOME project from L.A. Mayor Garcetti’s A Bridge Home initiative, a program to provide emergency homeless housing in the city. According to the firm, nearly 60,000 people are in need of adequate housing in Los Angeles on any given night, yet nearly three-quarters of those in need forgo the shelter system in favor of living independently in tents outdoors. To provide a lifeline to those individuals and to meet the city’s goal to create 1,500 new beds by 2020, Perkins and Will designed the DOME to not only meet the basic necessities of privacy and safety but to also provide for efficient storage and shipping, low installation costs and easy configurations. Related: LEED Platinum housing for the homeless takes over a formerly vacant L.A. lot Having tracked down a potential fabricator — Kansas City-based SHIELD — Perkins and Will estimates that each collapsible DOME unit would cost $4,749 and range from 42 to 55 square feet in size. Each unit would be equipped with all of its own essential furnishings, including an extra-long twin bed with room for storage underneath, a lockable wardrobe, partitions, an aisle light, an outlet and an optional kennel area that accommodates up to a 30-pound pet. Low-maintenance, solid surfaces would be used for the exterior shell and internal shelving, while birch plywood closet doors lend warmth to the interior. An optional fabric canopy could be added for additional privacy. The modular nature of the design would also give operators the flexibility to add or remove units as needed or to even combine units to accommodate couples or to create social spaces. “DOME could have been a utilitarian box, but this isn’t just about putting people in beds as quickly as possible, it’s about attention to detail and experience,” said Yan Krymsky, design director and principal at Perkins and Will’s Los Angeles studio. “We want it to feel residential, not institutional. It sends a message that people care.” A DOME prototype is currently on show at the Architecture and Design museum in Los Angeles; the firm hopes to get DOME into production as soon as possible. + DOME Images via Perkins & Will

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Perkins and Will designs modular, affordable housing for the homeless

Architecture students design and build a LEED Platinum smart home in Kansas

November 25, 2019 by  
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Every year, graduate students at the University of Kansas Department of Architecture enroll in the nonprofit Studio 804 program to design and build a sustainable, affordable and innovative home over the course of the year. In 2018, the group not only accomplished their goal of a LEED Platinum-certified house but also created the program’s first fully integrated smart house. Located in the Brook Creek neighborhood of Lawrence, Kansas, the net zero energy-targeted residence is a shining example of sustainable housing that even comes with an accessory dwelling unit. Located in a flood plain, the house takes the form of two floating, modern glass boxes that are elevated yet accessible with a ramp. The home takes flooding into account and makes water conservation and management a central theme in its design. All stormwater is managed onsite and is either funneled through underground pipes to native plantings or absorbed into the onsite subsurface. Inside the home, low-flow fixtures were installed and all but one fixture are WaterSense-rated. An Energy Star-rated heat pump water heater also helps reduce energy and water use. Related: Students build a low-cost yet high-quality sustainable home from recycled materials The house achieves energy savings through its airtight, highly insulated envelope, Energy Star-rated appliances and use of solar panels on the highly reflective roof. The east side of the building is completely glazed to let natural light flood the interiors and to bring the outdoors in. As a fully integrated smart house, all the appliances can be remotely controlled and “communicate with each other” to ensure energy efficiency. “As we always try to do, we took the potential negative of the site — being in a flood plain — and tried to make it a positive,” Studio 804 explained. “The buildable site was built up with compacted earth above the flood plain. The dwellings are carefully composed glass boxes perched on concrete plinths, off which they cantilever. The buildings seem to float in what is a park-like setting.” + Studio 804 Photography by Corey Gaffer Photography via Studio 804

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Architecture students design and build a LEED Platinum smart home in Kansas

Athlete and activist runs across the US to raise awareness of plastic pollution

July 30, 2019 by  
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Sam Bencheghib, a 22-year-old athlete and environmental activist, has kicked off his effort to become the first person to run across America — and he’s doing it all to raise awareness about plastic pollution . Bencheghib’s initiative is a collaboration with his nonprofit Make a Change World and Parley for the Oceans. He started out his journey last week after a ceremony that included remarks from the Assistant Secretary General of the U.N. Environment Program. He will run 20 miles a day, six days a week, for five months, stopping in 13 states including Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Arizona and California. Related: Man plans to swim the Pacific Ocean to raise awareness for plastic pollution “In times of such environmental concern, we’re really on a countdown,” Bencheghib said. “I really believe that no idea is crazy enough and so I think that by running 3,000 miles, it’s definitely a crazy feat, but it’s a good metaphor to showcase the severity of the plastic problem in the ocean. It is also an incredible opportunity to engage with as many communities as possible to tell them about the effects of plastic.” Throughout his journey, Bencheghib will stop at schools and businesses to educate people about the plastic pollution crisis and encourage them to sign on to Parley’s pledge to take action. His advice is to avoid using plastic when possible, intercept plastic that is incorrectly heading to landfills or waterways and redesign plastic waste into recycled and upcycled materials. Bencheghib will be running in Adidas sneakers upcycled from ocean plastic in a marketing partnership with Parley. “Sam and his brother Gary have already proven with previous initiatives that the real superpower of change lies in courage and individual action,” said Cyrill Gutsch, founder and CEO of Parley for the Oceans. “Everyone can change the world. Step by step. We need to include everyone in this conversation — fostering awareness and action to address these issues and drive solutions because they affect everyone, even those away from the coasts and major cities. This is an invitation to everyone who wants to rise up and have a role in the movement.” You can follow the Ocean2Ocean run via social media and watch video updates at www.makeachange.world . + Make A Change World + Parley for the Oceans Photography by Eric White and Charlie Rubin via Parley for the Oceans

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Athlete and activist runs across the US to raise awareness of plastic pollution

Glenwood Springs, Colorado set to run on 100 percent renewable energy

May 30, 2019 by  
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Like many cities around the world, Glenwood Springs, Colorado has set a goal to run on renewable energy . But instead of picking a date a year or two ahead, they’re going renewable now. As of June 1, Glenwood Springs is the seventh U.S. city to run on 100 percent renewable electricity. “Many cities and towns across the country have set aggressive targets, and we are doing our part now — our future is now,” Glenwood Springs Mayor Jonathan Godes told the Post Independent . Related: India will surpass Paris Agreement pledges with renewable energy investment In April, the Glenwood Springs City Council resolved to move entirely to wind power supplied by Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska (MEAN). They’ve since modified this commitment to include seven percent hydroelectric renewable power. Signing a contract is not usually a public event, however, the city decided to celebrate the move to renewable energy by signing the contract at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, a theme park perched atop Iron Mountain with an elevation of more than 7,000 feet. Since Glenwood Caverns is a city electric customer, it will be the one of the country’s first amusement parks to be powered by 100 percent renewable energy. “Protecting the environment and natural resources has been our primary goal since we gave our first cave tour in May 1999,” Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park owner Steve Beckley told the Post Independent. “Sustainable tourism is an important issue these days and this move is a huge step in the right direction for Glenwood Springs as a whole.” To celebrate the signing, the park gave free gondola rides to visitors and the first 50 attendees received free LED light bulbs. The city will save money with the new contract, dropping the per-megawatt hour cost from $51 to $46 and saving Glenwood Springs a half million dollars per year. However, the city will be constructing a new electrical substation that will cost approximately $2.5 million. The other six cities that are already running on 100 percent renewable energy are Aspen, Colorado, Burlington, Vermont, Georgetown, Texas, Greensburg, Kansas, Rock Port, Missouri and Kodiak Island, Alaska. Via The Hill Image via inkknife_2000

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Glenwood Springs, Colorado set to run on 100 percent renewable energy

How strategic public-private partnerships are shaping up in cities

June 26, 2018 by  
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Examples from Charlotte, Kansas City, Salt Lake City and beyond.

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How strategic public-private partnerships are shaping up in cities

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