NewsWatch: Sustainable Communities -- America's 10 Dead Cities, "Bendy E-Readers," More ...

Cities Compete for Electric Vehicles, Clean Truck Program in Court, Cameras on DC Bus Drivers, University Students Seek Sustainability.

by / August 30, 2010

America's 10 Dead Cities
A city does not die when its last resident moves away.  Death happens when municipalities lose the industries and vital populations that made them important cities. 24/7 Wall St. Check out the slide show on

"Bendy E-Readers" are Flexible News Readers
LG is planning a flexible electronic newspaper to cut down on paper used to produce daily newspapers. The e-newspaper, which has a 19-inch flexible display, is expected to be put into production by the end of this year. The "bendy e-reader" will look and feel just like a newspaper page, but will be able to update itself with the latest news and even issues of favorite magazines. Inhabitat

Cities Scramble to Woo First Wave of Electric Vehicles
It's not enough to be charged up about electric vehicles coming later this year; cities have to prove they're plug-worthy. The makers of electric cars are conducting a nationwide dating game of sorts to determine which cities get the vehicles first. Hoping for widespread electric vehicle adoption, the carmakers are rolling out first in cities where motorists will encounter the fewest headaches. Boston Herald

Most of "Clean Truck" Program Prevails in Court
A federal judge has given the nation's busiest port complex authority to require shipping trucks to reduce air pollution. U.S. District Court Judge Christina Snyder ruled Thursday that the Port of Los Angeles' Clean Trucks Program can require trucks coming in and out of the port to meet diesel emissions standards. The American Trucking Assn. sued after the port put the rules in place in 2008, saying that while it supported the clean air goals, the port's regulations violated a federal law prohibiting states and localities from regulating interstate trucking. The port's rules also would have eliminated owner-operator drivers, making it impossible for independent operators to work the harbor. Los Angeles Times

Cameras to Monitor DC Bus Drivers
Metro is installing cameras on its entire fleet of 1,500 buses as part of a five-year, $3 million program to monitor bus driver performance and improve safety. The cameras record constantly during bus operations, and when a driver makes any extreme movement -- such as turning the bus sharply or braking or accelerating quickly -- the cameras capture the eight seconds before the incident and the four seconds after. The video and audio of the incident are then automatically downloaded wirelessly from the bus. Washington Post

Oregon Students Seek Key to Sustainable City
Roughly 600 University of Oregon students in architecture, planning, law, journalism and business classes will devote 80,000 hours to Salem during the coming year as part of the university's three-year-old Sustainable Cities Initiative. Students will explore how Salem, Ore., could nurture green business clusters, reuse industrial byproducts, connect parks with bicycle paths, redevelop brownfields and design energy-efficient municipal buildings, among other things. The students will consider market and regulatory barriers to implementing their ideas. New York Times