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Buildings

My other car is a bright green city
Published 23 January 2008 by WorldChanging (original article)

Alex Steffen of WorldChanging on why developing low-emissions vehicles is nowhere near as important as developing more compact, efficient and livable cities. Focus on new automotive technologies can distract us from the much more effective strategy of building in less-consumptive ways.

Book: Visualizing Density
Published by Lincoln Institute of Land Policy (original article)

This beautiful book is an excellent reference for coming to grips with that slippery but important issue, density. Density can have both positive and negative connotations -- and effects -- depending on its context and execution. The photos in Visualizing Density illustrate this wonderfully, and can help us get a better mental grasp on the variety of ways people can live at a variety of different density levels.

Report/Paper: Southern California Association of Governments Regional Comprehensive Plan, Energy chapter (draft)
Published by The Southern California Assocation of Governments (SCAG) (original article)

The Southern California Association of Governments has released their Draft Regional Comprehensive Plan (RCP) for public review and comment. The Draft RCP includes a chapter on energy uncertainty and peak oil, which sets forth an ambitious performance outcome to decrease the region's consumption of fossil fuels 25 percent from 1990 levels by 2020.The RCP also includes guidance for local governments to address peak oil and become more sustainable. A series of public workshops will be announced soon and approval will be requested in June 2008.

Architecture 2030 FACE IT Webcast
January 30, 2008 - Jan 30 2008
Published by Architecture 2030 (original article)

As part of the Focus the Nation teach-in, the nonprofit group Architecture 2030 will be hosting a half-hour webcast about the role of design education in global warming. Part of their Reverberate campaign, Architecture 2030 aims to draw attention to the environmental impact of the built environment, and create greater awareness in the design community.

Saving the world through zoning
Published 29 December 2007 by Planning (original article)

If our civilization is in trouble, how can planning codes help? In this article from Planning, Chris Duerksen of the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institutedescribes ways in which development codes can be potent tools for dealing with major issues: energy, environment, health and social justice.

Urban Sustainability in China
Published by Plenty Magazine (original article)

From the first International Conference on Urban Sustainability (ICONUS) in Hong Kong, a report on some of the ideas that were shared. Two important threads: building social capital and public involvement can be critical to the success of a project, and renovation of existing stock has the potential to be much more sustainable than new building.

Sustainable building not just a fad
Published by The San Francisco Chronicle (original article)

The impressively green plans for San Francisco's planned new Public Utilities Commission building aren't just an example of the city showing the way and showcasing environmentally responsible technologies and techniques. They're also a sign of a building trend that's not just a fad; green building will remain an important theme in today's architecture because it's a response to a changing world.

New test for developers in Maine: climate change
Published by The Christian Science Monitor (original article)
Environmentalists calculate that a new development in Maine's north woods could generate 500,000 tons of CO2 over 50 years, and are asking state regulators to keep these impacts in mind when considering the developer's zoning application. A huge piece of that emissions total is caused by the development's remote location, which would require residents to drive great distances regularly. This climate-change based challenge may be a first in the nation.
Smart bridges speak to engineers
Published 10 December 2007 by The Globe and Mail (Toronto) (original article)

University of Alberta's Robert Cheng is working on technologies that will allow structures to communicate otherwise invisible information about the stresses they are subjected to, allowing engineers greater ability to build and repair appropriately. "My goals include extending the useful life of structures, greatly reducing maintenance costs, and cutting the need to regularly replace or refurbish infrastructure projects," Dr. Cheng says. "The simple fact is that going forward, we will not have the resources to continue doing things the way we have for the past 50 years."

Spy plane employed to shame owners of heat-loss homes
Published 4 May 2007 by The Times (London) (original article)

Haringey Council, in London, is using high-tech thermal imagery, a spyplane, and the Internet to inform its residents about which buildings are losing heat. The color-coded maps generated by the flyover can be a useful tool in visualizing energy inefficiencies: nearly 60% of a household's heat can be lost through uninsulated roofs and attics.



© 2009 Post Carbon Institute

Post Carbon Cities: Helping local governments understand and respond to the challenges of peak oil and global warming.
Post Carbon Cities is a program of Post Carbon Institute, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization incorporated in the United States.
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