Showing posts tagged climate change

plantedcity:

Slideshow | Patrick Condon’s ‘Seven Rules for Sustainable Communities: Design Strategies for the Post-Carbon World’

From Island Press:

How can the design of cities address the challenge of climate change? Patrick Condon, author of Seven Rules for Sustainable Communities, presents simple guidelines for community design that can help cities flourish in the post-carbon world.

For more on Condon you may want to check out this 7 minute presentation.

(Photo credit: Daniel Lerch, Post Carbon Institute)

(Reblogged from plantedcity) Bookmark and Share

10 Principles for Sustainable Transport + Free, Downloadable Book!

From architect Jan Gehl and and Walter Hook, Executive Director of the Institute of Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), come the following 10 principles for sustainable transport:

1. Walk the walk: Create great pedestrian environments
2. Powered by people: Create a great environment for bicycles and other non-motorized vehicles
3. Get on the bus: Provide great, cost-effective public transport
4. Cruise control: Provide access for clean passenger vehicles at safe speeds and in significantly reduced numbers
5. Deliver the goods: Service the city in the cleanest and safest manner.
6. Mix it up: Mix people and activities, buildings and spaces. 
7. Fill it in: Build dense, people and transit oriented urban districts that are desirable.
8. Get real: Preserve and enhance the local, natural, cultural, social and historical assets. 
9. Connect the blocks: Make walking trips more direct, interesting and productive with small-size, permeable buildings and blocks.
10. Make it last: Build for the long term. Sustainable cities bridge generations. They are memorable, malleable, built from quality materials, and well maintained.

The principles are found in the free, downloadable bookOur Cities Ourselves: 10 Principles for Transport in Urban Life’, which:  

shows how cities from New York to Nairobi can meet the challenges of rapid population growth and climate change while improving their competitiveness. The publication’s purpose is to reframe the issue of transport so that it is no longer seen as separate from, but rather integral to, urban design.

The book was published as a part of the global Our Cities Ourselves campaign to: 

bring attention the critical role of transportation in climate change and rapid urban development.

(Photo credit: Our Cities Ourselves and Fábrica Arquitetura and CAMPO aud)

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A Video Made for Urban Planning Nerds: 'I Don't Care'

I came across this great video today as I was reading a Twitter newspaper. Yup,  you read that right: a Twitter newspaper. I know. Shocking. Well, it was at the beginning of my Twitter adventure anyway. Now I just find them to be pretty effective media aggregators.

Anyway, back to the video where a bearish real estate agent tries to convince his client set on living in a gated community to consider a traditional neighbourhood instead. He patiently points out financial, health, lifestyle and environmental benefits but to most she amusingly and simply responds, “I don’t care.” This is the key appeal of the video. It is cute and cheeky. But it is also a pretty effective and fun way of getting across complex information. Planners could use simple animation like this as a part of community engagement efforts. There’s plenty of inspiration around including RSA Animate, Annie Leonard’s Story of Stuff series and now Vancouver’s Greenest City Draft Action Plan.

There was one more thing I wanted to mention about this fine little video. The gated community supporter reminded me of climate change deniers who continue to confuse efforts to reduce our global and national carbon output. Frustratingly and sometimes infuriatingly they are often people who no matter how clear and compelling the evidence refuse to step out of their little bubbles of unreality. Their mind is set and nothing’s going to change it. What’s their response to global scientific consensus? “I don’t care.”

SG

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Perhaps what most dates Suburban Nation regards the problem we marginally addressed as atmospheric pollution, now understood to be the catastrophe of Climate Change. A better understanding of this issue would have warranted a greater urgency to our call for the reform of suburban sprawl, and positioned the book closer to the center of the current debate. We can now state in no uncertain terms that blame for the planet’s environmental problems lies with the lifestyle of the American middle class: the way we live large and occupy land, the way we must drive to accomplish so many perfectly ordinary tasks, the way we grow our food, and the way a car-dependent social isolation leads us to compensate with an astonishing level of unnecessary consumption. In other words, the root cause of the fearsome crisis is this amiable suburban life of ours, and we have to do something about it RIGHT NOW.

~ Andres Duany, architect and co-founder of the Congress of New Urbanism, writing in the preface of the 10th anniversary edition of Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream.

Click here for a previous post on Duany’s thoughts about Agricultural Urbanism.

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Bicycle City | Architizer

Following up on last week’s incredible story of a pedestrian and cycling community based on Zermatt, Switzerland (but located in South Carolina!), we’ve gotten the inside scoop on the appropriately named Bicycle City.

While we’re seeing more projects that address critical world issues (see: MoMA’s upcoming exhibition Small Scale, Big Change, for example), the planners behind Bicycle City see the city plan as a holistic approach to solving society’s problems as it addresses several problems at once, like obesity, climate change, and alternative energy.

Co-founder Joe Mellett tells us that he envisions car-free towns as a “showcase for wind and solar energy as well as architects who specialize in green and LEED-certified problems.” (Especially prescient, perhaps, since the Southeastern United States is one of the worst perpetrators of carbon emissions in the United States.)

We chatted with Mellett about his grand plans for car-free living and what it takes to build a contained community in the Bible Belt.

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TRANSITION TO ‘COOL ROOFS’ COULD OFFSET TWO YEARS OF CO2 EMISSIONS
As for the urban planning relevance of the preceding post there is plenty, but I just want to point to one thing in particular right now. e360 recently profiled a study which found that:
Using lighter colors for rooftops and streets worldwide could help reduce global temperatures and offset the heat from as much as two years of global greenhouse gas emissions.
 This is particularly important in the context that:

Roofs and pavements cover 50 to 65 percent of the planet’s urban areas, helping to contribute to the so-called urban heat island effect, in which cities are significantly warmer than surrounding areas. That warmth radiates into the atmosphere, which is then absorbed by clouds and trapped by the greenhouse effect. 

SG

TRANSITION TO ‘COOL ROOFS’ COULD OFFSET TWO YEARS OF CO2 EMISSIONS

As for the urban planning relevance of the preceding post there is plenty, but I just want to point to one thing in particular right now. e360 recently profiled a study which found that:

Using lighter colors for rooftops and streets worldwide could help reduce global temperatures and offset the heat from as much as two years of global greenhouse gas emissions.

 This is particularly important in the context that:

Roofs and pavements cover 50 to 65 percent of the planet’s urban areas, helping to contribute to the so-called urban heat island effect, in which cities are significantly warmer than surrounding areas. That warmth radiates into the atmosphere, which is then absorbed by clouds and trapped by the greenhouse effect. 

SG

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Today’s Inconvenient News… this time courtesy of the NOAA in the USA

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released their annual State of the Climate report today explaining that the last decade was the warmest on record and that Earth has gradually been warming over the last 50 years. The report bases its findings on the 10 indicators seen in the picture above. It also places climate change in the context of human history:

human society has developed for thousands of years under one climatic state, and now a new set of climatic conditions are taking shape. These conditions are consistently warmer, and some areas are likely to see more extreme events like severe drought, torrential rain and violent storms.

Here we go Anthropocene

SG

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