Mayor announces 10 low carbon neighbourhoods in the capital


Energy ‘doctors’ and loans for solar panels are among the green projects which will be pioneered in 10 ‘low carbon zones’ in the capital, the Mayor of London announced today.

Speaking at the London Congress, a meeting of the Mayor of London and the capital’s 33 boroughs at the Guildhall, Boris Johnson announced the 10 successful boroughs which have won funding to become ‘low carbon zones’.

They are: Barking Town Centre (Barking and Dagenham), Muswell Hill (Haringey), Archway (Islington), Brixton (Lambeth), Lewisham Town Centre (Lewisham), Wandle Valley (Merton), Ham and Petersham (Richmond upon Thames), Peckham (Southwark), Hackbridge ( Sutton) Queen’s Park (Westminster).

Each of the winning boroughs will be awarded at least £200,000 to pioneer energy –busting measures in their low carbon zones.

SOURCE: Mayor of London

Australia is now world’s biggest carbon emitter per capita

Numerous news sources have reported that Australia has now surpassed the USA as the world biggest carbon emitter per capita. Emitting approximately 20.5 tons annually per person exceeding the USA’s 19.78 tons. Just as this news was reported, today the CSIRO (Australia’s national science agency) released The CSIRO Home Energy Saving Handbook – How to Save Energy, Save Money and Reduce Your Carbon Footprint launched by Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr.

The press release announces CSIRO scientists say householders can reduce their home and car energy use by as much as 50 per cent by making changes to daily activities.

The CSIRO blurb for the book

The handbook offers information and advice on how to measure and reduce an individual’s carbon footprint in all aspects of modern living, including:

  • simple energy-saving tricks around the house
  • maximising a home’s potential for easy heating and cooling
  • ways to save on shopping and transport
  • making the most of gardens
  • tips for building and renovating homes.

The book is available at bookstores for $AUD29.99

SOURCE: CSIRO

Ed note: I have to wonder why the book is not available in e-book version.

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

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