Biden signs $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill into law, unlocking funds for transportation, broadband, utilities
CNBC – November 15
President Joe Biden signed the more than $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill into law on Monday, including $550 billion in new funding for transportation, broadband, and utilities. The legislation will put $110 billion into roads, bridges, and other major projects. It will invest $66 billion in freight and passenger rail, including potential upgrades to Amtrak, and it will direct $39 billion into public transit systems. The plan will put $65 billion into expanding broadband, a priority after the coronavirus pandemic left millions of Americans at home without effective internet access. It will also put $55 billion into improving water systems and replacing lead pipes.
California Attorney General Bonta puts focus on affordable housing
Associated Press – November 3
California Attorney General Rob Bonta said last Wednesday that he is putting a new emphasis on trying to alleviate the state’s seemingly intractable affordable housing problem, including by creating a “strike force” to focus on tenant protections, on local governments that don’t comply with state housing laws, and related issues. The 12-member strike force will draw on attorneys from four existing sections within the state Department of Justice, said Bonta.
San Diego proposing 86 new strategies to make the city more resilient to climate change
The San Diego Union-Tribune – November 8
San Diego officials have developed 86 proposals and strategies to make the city more prepared for the worst effects of climate change: severe wildfires, droughts, flooding, sea level rise, and extreme heat waves. The proposals, which include adding dunes to fight sea level rise and planting trees to cool down low-income neighborhoods, would cost millions of dollars and would be implemented over several years.
San Jose sets a new goal to become the largest U.S. city to go carbon neutral by 2030
East Bay Times – November 8
San Jose has become the largest city in the country to set an ambitious goal to go carbon neutral by the end of the decade. In a unanimous vote by the City Council on Monday, San Jose joined a handful of cities across the nation, including Menlo Park, Flagstaff, Arizona and Ithaca, New York, to adopt a goal of reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. By 2030, the city intends to emit the same amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as it offsets by alternative means, such as producing more electricity from solar panels and encouraging more residents to drive electric vehicles over gas-powered vehicles.
The technology that could turn buildings into climate-fighting tools
Bloomberg – November 11
Design firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill says that designers need to go beyond the existing “net zero” efficiency goals targeted by some in the real estate sector. Designers with SOM introduced the firm’s vision for carbon net-negative architecture at COP26 on November 11. This model, called “Urban Sequoia,” imagines high-rise structures that use exotic technologies such as direct air capture in order to absorb atmospheric carbon and generate biofuels.