Policy Brief: Can Compact Growth Decrease Automobile Emissions?

Tailpipe emissionsScientists and policy makers have examined the usefulness of vehicle technologies, alternative energy sources, and regulatory mechanisms to control automobile emissions. However, changing the patterns of future land development may be a promising complementary strategy often overlooked outside of planning circles. Existing evidence suggests that building more compactly, with harmonious land uses and with infrastructure to support transit, pedestrian, and bicycle modes of travel, may assist in decreasing harmful tailpipe emissions and mitigating global warming. Continue reading

Recent Trends in Climate, Vegetation and Food Security in Northern Burkina Faso

Colin Thor West, assistant professor in anthropology, studies how households in semi-arid regions cope with limited or fluctuating natural resource availability and focuses on food security. One such region, the northern Central Plateau of Burkina Faso, lies in the Sahel of West Africa where droughts commonly occur and there is high population pressure. West has been studying Mossi communities in this area for over a decade, learning more about livelihoods and how people adapt to climate variability. Continue reading

Upcoming Brown Bag: Recent Trends in Climate, Vegetation and Food Security in Northern Burkina Faso

Colin West, Assistant Professor, Anthropology

grainThe Sahel of West Africa is a region commonly associated with desertification, droughts, political instability, and famine. Like many parts of Africa, the Sahel faces significant social, economic, and environmental challenges, and we mostly hear about this area during infrequent but extreme crises. We rarely learn about the much more common, yet less newsworthy, every day and routine ways in which societies of the Sahel are adapting to climatic and social change. This talk will present findings based on ethnographic fieldwork in northern Burkina Faso. It will discuss recent positive trends in climate, vegetation, and food security among rural Mossi smallholders.

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Upcoming Brown Bag: North Carolina Coastal Federation: Working Together for a Healthy Coast

coastal fedTodd Miller, Executive Director and Sarah King, Development Officer, North Carolina Coastal Federation 

Todd Miller and Sarah King will speak at the Department of City and Regional Planning about the Coastal Federation’s work, from its inception in 1982 to the changing political climate in North Carolina today. This will include a case study on low impact development and applying the skills of city and regional planning to the environmental field. This presentation is sponsored by the Center for Urban & Regional Studies and the Planner’s Forum.

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