Archive for June, 2024

Harnessing Nature To Cool Cities: Parks For Tomorrow

Via Harvard Magazine, an article on how nature can help cool cities: IN 2009, Bas Smets walked across an old industrial plaza in Arles, France. Entirely concrete, the space posed a problem. The area was being transformed into a large art complex, but in the intense summer sun, the ground reflected the heat, doubly baking […]

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Can Mirrors Help Fight Extreme Urban Heat?

Via BBC, a look at the potential for mirrors to help fight the threat of extreme heat: When the inside of your home feels as hot as an oven, it can be impossible to cope. During the dry season, that was the daily reality for Khadija Kamara, living in the Kroo Bay settlement of Freetown, […]

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Extreme Heat Driving Innovation In Municipal Heat Resilience

Via Smart Cities Dive, a report on how extreme heat is driving innovation in municipal heat resilience: As 2024 sets record highs for early summertime temperatures, city leaders once again find themselves at the frontline, grappling with the impacts of extreme heat on their communities. Historically, local governments have been behind the curve in implementing comprehensive strategies […]

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Banks Are Finally Realizing What Climate Change Will Do to Housing

Via Wired, a report on how extreme weather threatens the investment value of many properties, but financing for climate mitigation efforts are only just getting going: Rising sea levels, biodiversity collapse, extreme weather—these are the grisly horsemen of climate apocalypse. But don’t forget the fretting loan officers. A study published earlier this year found that US mortgage […]

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How to Cool Down Parks in Hot Cities

Courtesy of Bloomberg, a look at how researchers at Princeton University are devising ways to transform green spaces into outdoor cooling centers: The drive to be outside, even in hot weather, is hard to overcome. People without air ­conditioning would be more likely to seek relief at their local park, ­according to Elie Bou-Zeid, a […]

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Keeping Stormwater at Bay: A Brooklyn Green Roof Offers a Look at a Climate Resilient Future

Via Inside Climate News, an article on how green infrastructure mitigates the impacts of stormwater on New York City’s sewer systems, limiting the flow of sewage to local waterways: Every Friday afternoon, the Kingsland Wildflower Green Roof opens its doors to the local community. Tall grass and brightly-colored flowers greet visitors after their four-floor trek […]

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ABOUT
BLACK SWANS GREEN SHOOTS
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.