Today’s Solutions: October 26, 2021

Sustainable Urban Development

With cities expected to host about 70 percent of the world's population, sustainable urban development is key to making communities worldwide more resilient against the growing threat of climate change. Find out about the latest urban practices from across the world aiming to make our cities more sustainable and inclusive in these good-news stories from The Optimist Daily.

The future is bright white! How paint can help cool a city

Last year, we wrote about a team of researchers led by Purdue University mechanical engineering professor Xiulin Ruan who invented a kind of paint that is so white it reflects more than 95 percent of the sunlight that falls on surfaces covered in it. We love keeping track of solutions as they Read More...

St Andrews University embraces pollinator-friendly rewilding on campus

If you visit St. Andrews University in Scotland, you will probably be impressed by the beautiful campus, but the university is going above and beyond to make its grounds even more impressive by transitioning its lawns into pollinator-friendly meadows. The Urban Meadows for Pollinators Project Read More...

Sunlight and saltwater is all you need for this electricity-free cooling system

Researchers at Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) are working on a cooling system that requires zero electricity, something that would be highly valuable in many parts of the world that lack infrastructure but get a lot of sunlight. The team’s strategy Read More...

Vertical modular farms aim to solve the problem of urban food deserts

Millions of people in the US experience food insecurity on a daily basis. This problem has been exacerbated by the pandemic, which has pushed the total number of Americans experiencing hunger to an estimated 42 million people, many of whom live in urban food deserts which lack adequate access Read More...

Phoenix is using green space to tackle urban heat disparities

Our latest Optimist View discussed how urban green space impacts heat exposure and health outcomes in cities. One of the cities grappling with this issue is Phoenix. As the hottest city in the US, Phoenix is very focused on keeping things cool in a warming world. The city has pledged to reach Read More...

CA introduces trio of laws to make housing more affordable and sustainable

With new policies surrounding oil extraction, recycling, and building codes, California has led the way on green policymaking this year. Now, the state is taking aim at low-carbon affordable housing with a series of new laws that remove red tape surrounding progressive construction. The first Read More...

NYC to build one of the country's biggest EV charging networks

Electric vehicles aren’t a common sight on the streets of New York City. In fact, this fast-paced city seems to have finally slept on EV adoption. It lags behind Los Angeles, a city that boasts four times as many registered EVs and around eight times more chargers—but NYC plans to turn this Read More...

100 solar EVs will soon feed the Dutch energy grid with renewable power

The Dutch city of Utrecht has just become the first region in the world with a bidirectional charging ecosystem, where energy harnessed by electric vehicles is fed back into a home or into the grid. As part of the initiative, the fourth largest city in the Netherlands will use vehicle-to-grid Read More...

Amsterdam's underwater bike garage will also improve aquatic habitats

The Netherlands is a country that is home to more bikes than people, which explains why city train stations have more than half a million bicycle parking spots, including the largest single garage in the entire world located in Utrecht. Even so, cyclists often struggle to find a spot to park Read More...

These US cities are home to tree-mendous green spaces

Urban green spaces and forestry have a multitude of benefits ranging from cognitive development and mental health to decreased crime rates, lower energy costs, and cleaner air. They also offer shelter for wildlife, boosting local biodiversity. The following US cities have taken urban forestry in Read More...