Archive for February, 2024

The Cities Stripping Out Concrete For Earth and Plants

Courtesy of BBC, a report on how cities are replacing built infrastructure with natural solutions: From Australia to Ontario, cities are taking up unnecessary stretches of concrete and asphalt, allowing nature to take hold in their place. On a hot July day, Katherine Rose picked up a sturdy metal pole and jammed it under the […]

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The Colorado Community Already Living In An All-Electric Future

Via Canary Media, a report on Colorado’s Geos net-zero community, offering a glimpse into what a decarbonized neighborhood can look like: (Alison F. Takemura/Canary Media) On a gray Saturday, I pull up to the curb of the Geos neighborhood during a snowstorm. Through the fat falling flakes, I can just make out the multicolored buildings that look modern, attractive […]

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Cities Using Nature To Cut Urban Temperatures

Via World Economic Forum, a look at how cities are using nature to cut urban temperatures – by 2°C in one case: Cities around the world are turning to natural solutions to try and reduce temperatures. This includes Medellín in Colombia, which has cut temperatures by 2°C by developing a network of green corridors. The […]

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We Can’t Air-Condition Our Way Out of Global Heating Problem

Via The Hindustan Times, a look at extreme heat response and urban resilience: In 2022, the two organisations announced a collaboration and created this position to mainstream heat response and resilience-building actions in cities worldwide In 2023, atmospheric heat crossed some of its critical thresholds even as countries continued to grapple with fundamental questions about […]

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Collective Adaptation: When Homes Hit 40°C Inside, It’s Better to Draw on Residents’ Local Know-How 

Via The Conversation, a look at the role of collective adaptation in taking on urban heat: Weather extremes driven by climate change hit low-income communities harder. The reasons include poor housing and lack of access to safe and comfortable public spaces. This makes “climate readiness” a pressing issue for governments, city planners and emergency services in fast-growing areas such as Western […]

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Botanical Gardens ‘Most Effective’ Green Space at Cooling Streets in Heatwaves

Courtesy of The Guardian, an article on new research that suggests that botanical gardens are the ‘most effective’ green space at cooling streets in heatwaves: Few things are as soothing on a hot summer’s day as a walk through a beautiful botanical garden, but they are not just oases of calm. As climate breakdown fuels […]

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Black Swans / Green Shoots examines the collision between urbanization and resource scarcity in a world affected by climate change, identifying opportunities to build sustainable cities and resilient infrastructure through the use of revolutionary capital, increased awareness, innovative technologies, and smart design to make a difference in the face of global and local climate perils.

'Black Swans' are highly improbable events that come as a surprise, have major disruptive effects, and that are often rationalized after the fact as if they had been predictable to begin with. In our rapidly warming world, such events are occurring ever more frequently and include wildfires, floods, extreme heat, and drought.

'Green Shoots' is a term used to describe signs of economic recovery or positive data during a downturn. It references a period of growth and recovery, when plants start to show signs of health and life, and, therefore, has been employed as a metaphor for a recovering economy.

It is my hope that Black Swans / Green Shoots will help readers understand both climate-activated risk and opportunity so that you may invest in, advise, or lead organizations in the context of increasing pressures of global urbanization, resource scarcity, and perils relating to climate change. I believe that the tools of business and finance can help individuals, businesses, and global society make informed choices about who and what to protect, and I hope that this blog provides some insight into the policy and private sector tools used to assess investments in resilient reinforcement, response, or recovery.