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Friday News Clippings 8 June 2012

Things have been really busy around here, and writing has caught the brunt of it, truly falling off the side of the desk. I’m not going to make any promises here, but I hope to pick things up a bit again over the coming weeks.

To kick this off, I thought I’d share some links of interest from around the web, I haven’t done this for a while, as my twitter and facebook feeds have been covering that off. But I know that there are readers who are not fond of these social media apps, so here are four links from the week that got me thinking, we’ve got stormwater, transportation, solid waste management, and water treatment. All of these articles present challenges to society’s sustainability and question how industry and engineers can overcome the barriers.

This Is Why You Never Park Over a Manhole During Stormy Weather in Montreal – The Atlantic Cities (with Video)

Last Tuesday, a hellacious system whipped over Canada to deliver an upside-down volcano of rain. Nearly three inches slammed into the city, causing streets to develop Class IV rapids and spreading dismay among thousands of office drones, who had to stay late because outside had all of a sudden become SeaWorld. The Montreal metro’s Orange Line ground to a halt. Rain began seeping into the basement of the Museum of Contemporary Art, where workers would later find hundreds of rare paintings soaked.

One of the most immediate effects of this terrific deluge was felt by Montreal’s troubled sewer system. Ever since Mayor Gérald Tremblay took office 10 years ago, the city has poured more than $1 billion into bringing its pipes and drains up to snuff. But maybe $2 billion was needed. The lingering inadequacy of the sewer system became painfully apparent on Tuesday when the storm crippled and overloaded it “within minutes.”

Check out the City of Vancouver’s 2040 Transportation Plan update – presentation to Council

The City of Vancouver is developing Transportation 2040, a long-term transportation plan that supports an inclusive, healthy, prosperous and livable future for Vancouver.

The plan will guide transportation decisions for how people and goods will move in and around Vancouver over the next 30 years. It’s our roadmap for a future where walking, cycling, and transit are viable first-choice options for getting around.

Fast Company’s Co-Exist explores whether zero waste is actually possible

 Consider the 28 million tons of plastic waste we send to landfills each year, essentially re-burying the oil in the earth, but this time in places that make it virtually impossible to recover. Then we repeat the process over and over again.

What if we could mitigate at least some of this madness by putting those waste plastics to productive uses? What about the other 140 million tons of other types of waste that we send to landfills each year? Bottom line: Is a zero-waste society plausible and profitable or just a pipe dream?

The effects of the birth control pill are being felt in Britain’s water treatment sector

Britain faces a £30bn bill to clean up rivers, streams and drinking water supplies contaminated by synthetic hormones from contraceptive pills. Drastic reductions in these chemicals, which have been linked to collapses in fish populations, are proposed in the latest European Union water framework directive.

Thanks for reading, be sure to check us out on twitter and facebook!

Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of UrbanWorkbench.com and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada. If I post something here that you find helpful as you navigate the world of engineering, planning and building communities, that’s wonderful. But when push comes to shove: This is my personal blog. The views expressed on these pages are mine alone and not those of my employer.

One thought on “Friday News Clippings 8 June 2012

  1. Here’s a tidbit of news you should also know. This video: http://t.co/ai3eAidg of engineering students who built the ultimate machine to share a coke. It’s gotten thousands of views. The coolest thing I’ve seen in a while. I hope you like it.

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