Robert Watson is often hailed as the father of LEED, the nationally recognized gold standard for green buildings. As a founding member of the U.S. Green Building Council in the early 1990s, Watson, formerly senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council, helped devise the now-popular rating system. But Watson has bigger aspirations yet: He is determined to turn LEED into a worldwide benchmark.
These days the New Yorker is busy bringing his green-building experience to China and India with his recently-founded enterprise, EcoTech International, a consultancy that provides green technology and project development expertise. He believes that market push, combined with government mandates, will spur sustainable development. Violet Law of Plenty magazine caught up with Watson in Hong Kong during his recent business trip to China.
Read more @ Greener Buildings | News & Columns | The Father of LEED Takes on China and India.
Scientists and property developers say green roofs on commercial buildings are good for the environment and good for the soul.
“Green roofs reduce energy through insulation, reduce stormwater run off and benefit individuals and communities,” says Green Roofs Australia president Geoff Wilson. “But Australia is behind the rest of the world. We have to act soon. Climate change is a fact.”
read more @ theage.com.au – Oases in the sky are a growing trend in our concrete jungles | .
Two Massachusetts cities made the top 10 list in the March issue of Popular Science’s 50 most innovative cities in the U.S.
Boston was ranked third — behind San Francisco and Portland, Ore. — and Cambridge sixth on the list of “greenest” cities based on criteria such as electricity use, transportation habits, air quality and recycling programs. Popular Science used raw data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Geographic Society’s Green Guide which collected survey data and government statistics for American cities of over 100,000 people in more than 30 categories.
Out of a possible 30 points cities could score based on the criteria Boston scored 22.7 and Cambridge scored 22.2 points.
Read more @ Boston Business Journal: Boston, Cambridge recognized as green cities –
UAE. Dubai World Africa today announced that it will invest US$200 million in the Bilene Hotel, a luxury beach resort, golf estate and eco development along 4 kilometres of exquisite prime beachfront in Mozambique.
Situated in a popular holiday village to the south of the country, just North of Maputo, the resort spans a 1,000 ha and encompasses the 18 kilometre Sao Martinho Lagoon, nature reserve and turtle breeding area.
Read more @ Business Intelligence Middle East
PLANS for a controversial wind farm near Pontefract have been slammed by a Wakefield Council consultant.
The news has come as a massive boost to local pressure groups fighting a dogged campaign to see off the plans by developers Banks Developments.
That is the same company planning a wind farm on the outskirts of Leeds in the Hook Moor area near Micklefield, where residents have been similarly outraged.
Read more @ Blow for wind farm proposals by Stuart Robinson – Yorkshire Evening Post.
The human species is, at this moment, in the process of becoming a mainly urban animal after a thousand generations spent mainly in rural conditions. Many economists and sociologists see this trend as our potential salvation in a world heading toward 9 billion people, although there are some big ifs.
Gridlock already is estimated by some experts to cost New York City up to $20 billion a year in lost productivity. India’s cities are mired in traffic. China is seeing ever more millions abandon bicycles in favor of autos. We’re heading toward a world of a billion cars sometime around 2020.
Do you live in or around a city, and if so how do you get to work? Would you take a train or bus if traffic thinned out? Should drivers essentially pay for transit riders?
Read more @ New York Times – Managing Traffic in the Urban Age – Dot Earth – Climate Change and Sustainability by Andrew Revkin
Shanghai and Baoding have become the first cities to take part in a new WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) initiative to research less carbon-intensive paths to urban development in China, the international environmental organization said.
The Low Carbon City Initiative will initially focus on energy efficiency in buildings, renewable sources of energy and the manufacturing of energy-efficient products.
“Cities are an important part of China’s economic development, but many face problems such as low energy efficiency and degraded environmental quality,” Li Lin, head of conservation strategies at WWF-China, said.
Read more @ Chinadaily.com – Cities join WWF to cut carbon use by Sun Xiaohua (China Daily)