Magazine
Building a More Sustainable West, One City at a Time
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January 20, 2014

In HCN’s second annual issue dedicated to the future of the West, we take a special look at urban sustainability. Packed with facts, figures, and uncommon narratives, this issue includes stories of new and surprising sustainability initiatives in Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and more.

Feature

Is basic solar technology the key to an energy revolution?
Is basic solar technology the key to an energy revolution?
Plain old photovoltaic panels and innovations in energy storage and distributed generation could remake our electricity system.
The Vegas Paradox
The Vegas Paradox
In Sin City, excess and efficiency walk hand-in-hand.

Current

The shareable city: building a better legal foundation for urban sustainability
The shareable city: building a better legal foundation for urban sustainability
A conversation with a sharing economy guru.
A (very small) room with a view
A (very small) room with a view
Microhousing catches on in Seattle and other Western cities.
Phoenix tries to rise from the flames
Phoenix tries to rise from the flames
The Sunbelt city is one of the nation's most sweltering urban heat islands. But simple solutions to help cool it are at hand.
Building better homes in Indian Country
Building better homes in Indian Country
Tribes use green building to address housing shortages.
Will an apple a day keep the food desert away?
Will an apple a day keep the food desert away?
Reinventing the Garden of Eden in the Emerald City.
Oakland transforms waste to renewable energy
Oakland transforms waste to renewable energy
A wastewater treatment plant breaks new ground.
Social media startup cuts food waste
Social media startup cuts food waste
An online exchange puts previously unwanted produce to use.
From paradise paved to paradise saved?
From paradise paved to paradise saved?
New parking technologies and policies could mean less driving and less asphalt in cities.
Battling plasticulture
Battling plasticulture
An Oregon company turns plastic waste into fuel.

Editor's Note

L.A. is here to stay
L.A. is here to stay
Why would any magazine editor include Los Angeles in a special issue on environmental sustainability?

Essays

Brave new L.A.
Brave new L.A.
Los Angeles is an unlikely model of urban sustainability for the West and the world.
How Vancouver, B.C. became North America's smart-growth leader
How Vancouver, B.C. became North America's smart-growth leader
It wasn't visionary city officials; it was a movement to save the city's ethnic Chinese neighborhoods in the '60s.
Stopping deforestation, one pair of chopsticks at a time
Stopping deforestation, one pair of chopsticks at a time
HCN student essay contest winner.

Book Reviews

Las Vegas Periphery: Views from the Edge, by Laurie Brown and Sally Denton
Las Vegas Periphery: Views from the Edge, by Laurie Brown and Sally Denton
Photographs of where development and nature collide.

Heard Around the West

Oilfield workers on Facebook, dynamite in a sperm whale, and more.
Oilfield workers on Facebook, dynamite in a sperm whale, and more.
Mishaps and mayhem from around the West.