Increased Density could mean reduced emissions

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Last week the NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL released a report titled DRIVING AND THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT: THE EFFECTS OF COMPACT DEVELOPMENT ON MOTORIZED TRAVEL, ENERGY USE, AND CO2 EMISSIONS stating that

Increasing population and employment density in metropolitan areas could reduce vehicle travel, energy use, and CO2 emissions from less than 1 percent up to 11 percent by 2050 compared to a base case for household vehicle usage……

The report continues to give examples of if 75% of all new and replacement housing units were developed at twice the density and people drive 25% less then then CO2 emissions would be reduced by 7-8% by 2030, 8-11% by 2050. However if only 25% of housing was developed at twice the density and drove 12% less then the reduction in CO2 would only be 1% by 2030 and 1.7% by 2050.

The report also outlined the obstacles with trying achieve 75% dwellings at twice the denisty including local growth, local zoning regulations, concerns about congestion and home values.

The report also stated that

Government policies to support more compact, mixed-use development should be encouraged, the report says. The nation is likely to set ambitious goals to address climate change and, given the large contribution of the transportation sector to greenhouse gas emissions, changes in land use may have to be part of the effort.  If so, land use changes should be implemented soon, because current development patterns will take decades to reverse

For more information about the report go to the NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL website.

SOURCE: NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL

IMAGE SOURCE: Flickr austrini (suburbia)  Flickr DrPleishner (city)

2009 Open Architecture Competition winners announced

Teton School

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2009 Open Architecture Challenge: Challenge Winner

Teton Valley Community School Location: Victor, Idaho, USA Designed by: Section Eight [design]

The 2009 Open Architecture Challenge: Classroom invited the global design and construction community to collaborate with primary and secondary school teachers and students to create smarter, safer, and more sustainable learning environments.

The Teton Valley Community School (TVCS) is a non-profit independent school located in Victor, Idaho. At the base of the Teton Mountain range, Victor is 6,200 feet above sea level and is a quickly developing alpine area. The town’s eclectic mix of pioneer families and new residents from around the globe exemplify Victor’s unique history and diversity.

TVCS’s master plan is to eventually build five of the proposed classroom buildings. The design allows for flexibility in their spacing and construction. The classroom buildings can be either site built or prefabricated in two modules that can be shipped to the site. The design objectives were to create flexible spatial configurations, reduce the school’s ecological footprint, and create a strong connection to the outdoors in response to the mountain climate.

Excepting the vegetable garden areas, the landscaping will incorporate native, drought resistant vegetation to reduce required irrigation. Zen rock gardens will be created using stones removed from the building sites during excavation. Perviousness will be promoted on the site by the use of pavers with grass and sand infill for the parking and pathway areas. Play areas will utilize the natural site features like trees, rocks, and berms.

Continue reading 2009 Open Architecture Competition winners announced

Waynesboro to host Urban Tree Workshop

The News Leader reports

On Thursday, hundreds of arborists and other agricultural workers will flock to Waynesboro’s Ridgeview Park for a workshop about growing and maintaining healthy trees in a crowded urban environment.

The Virginia Department of Forestry and the Virginia Urban Forest Council sponsor various workshops around the state, but this is the 14th year Waynesboro will host the Plant Health Care for Urban Trees program.

SOURCE: The News Leader

Download the Registration PDF from Virginia Urban Forest Council

Local environment groups get a $5million boost – Australia

Landcare and Coastcare community groups in Australia are eligible to receive grants of between $5,000 and $20,000 for local projects under a new $5 million program. Groups will be able to apply online for projects including coastal rehabilitation, sustainable farming, tree planting, dune rehabilitation and other projects that improve and rehabilitate the landscape.

SOURCE: Australian Department of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries

Low2No Competition winners announced

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Images from the submission by ARUP (London, UK) – Sauerbruch Hutton – Experientia – Galley Eco Capital

The Low2No Competition for an energy and innovation block in Jatkasaari, Helsinki, is shifting from ideas to implementation. The five international teams, selected out of 74 applicants to take part in the competition last May, have delivered their competition
proposals during the summer. The competition results were published on Tuesday, September 1st in Helsinki, Finland.
The jury selected the proposal of team ARUP – Sauerbruch Hutton – Experientia – Galley Eco Capital called c_life – City as living factory of ecology the winner. In their proposal, the multinational team leveraged a particularly promising consumer/behavioural framework to empower citizens in meeting the goal of sustainability. In addition, the team presented an innovative funding model for developing Jatkasaari into the first carbon neutral district in Finland.

Low2No Competition Teams (in alphabetical order)

WINNERS – ARUP (London, UK) – Sauerbruch Hutton – Experientia – Galley Eco
Capital

– Bjarke Ingels Group, BIG (Copenhagen, Denmark) – Vahanen – ARUP
Foresight Innovation – Transsolar Energietechnik – Anttinen Oiva
Arkkitehdit AoA – Masu Planning – Passiivitalo.fi – Pasi Maenpaa –
Mikko Jalas

– Peter Rose & Partners (Boston, USA) – Michael Van Valkenburgh
Associates – Guy Nordenson and Associates – Matthias Schuler,
Transsolar Climate Engineering – Mobility in Chain – ARO
Architectural Research Office

– REX/Croxton Collaborative/NOW (New York, USA) – Transsolar
Energietechnik – Magnusson Klemencic Associates – Bureau Bas Smets –
2×4 – Arup New York – Front – Jonathan Rose Companies

– WSP Group (London, UK) – Heatherwick Studios – B&M Architects – JK MM
Architects – Space Syntax – Helsinki University – AA Palmberg Ltd –
Pekka Himanen – Pauli Aalto-Setala

SOURCE: Sitra
IMAGES COURTESY: ARUP

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