Moving Downtown to save on car costs

The Associated Press and other news outlets have reported over the last few weeks on the growing trend for young people and empty nesters moving downtown in major cities across the USA to save on fuel costs and to reduce their travel time.

The other growing trend is more people opting to use public transport to get to work whether it be driving to a station and riding to work.

Both of these shifts in commuter patterns is due to fuel however it is not solely in the USA, across Europe and Asis are changing their habits however many governments have been left lagging on public transport as they never anticipated a huge spike in oil. 

Let’s hope this shift to downtown living and use of public transport stays for the long term and creates more livable walkable cities.

The reference SOURCE: Associated Press – Renters go downtown to save on gas, commuting

Eco-towns set to face toughest ever green standards : Directgov – Newsroom

The UK Government has released the report with proposal’s for the Eco Towns, below is the full details.

Underlining the government’s determination that only the best quality schemes with very high sustainability standards should qualify for eco-town status, the standards being developed are set to include:

* achieving zero carbon status across all the town’s buildings, including commercial and public buildings as well as homes – a significantly tougher threshold than any existing or agreed targets
* allocating 40 per cent of land within the town to be green space, at least half of which should be open to the public as parks or recreation areas
* providing a minimum of 30 per cent affordable housing to provide more homes for social rent and assist those struggling to get on the housing ladder
* creating more options for travel and reducing residents’ reliance on the car to enable the majority of journeys to be made by sustainable transport, such as public transport, walking and cycling
* ensuring a minimum of one job per house can be reached by sustainable transport to reduce dependence on the car
* locating the average home within 10 minutes walk of frequent public transport and everyday neighbourhood services
* raising the threshold for individual homes so that they must all achieve at least level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, which includes standards for household waste recycling, construction waste, water efficiency measures and reduced pollution.

SOURCE: Directgov – NewsroomEco-towns set to face toughest ever green standards :

Don’t let green roofs be victims of the crunch – Building Design

Phil Clark of Building Design asks Why bother specifying a green roof when it adds extra costs, consultants, hassle and work? This attitude seems common when it comes to deciding whether to add vegetation to your scheme’s structure. And in the credit crunch, any part of a project that could be considered an added expense is likely to be first for the chop. So does this spell a decline for the green roof, which has emerged as a significant sustainable design addition in the past few years?

Read more @ the SOURCE: Building Design(bdonline.co.uk) – Don’t let green roofs be victims of the crunch –

Solar-powered cars begin race to Calgary

CBC.ca reports that 15 solar-powered cars, including four managed by teams from Canadian schools, rolled out of a suburb of Dallas, Texas, on Sunday en route to Calgary in the 2008 North American Solar Challenge.

The race should end on July 22 at the University of Calgary

CBC.ca – Solar-powered cars begin race to Calgary.

State-of-the-art sustainable neighborhood- Columbian.com

A former industrial site on prime waterfront real estate in the city’s core sheds its working-class roots for a future as an urban neighborhood reconnecting people to the water.

Sound familiar? Except this isn’t Vancouver’s Columbia River waterfront, where developers envision a dense cluster of apartments, condos, offices, retail, restaurants and parks.

It’s in Victoria, B.C., and it’s a glimpse of what might be possible here. Called Dockside Green, this self-contained neighborhood is being built on 15 acres on the city’s Inner Harbor, and is hailed as one of the most environmentally advanced projects of its kind.

They intend to incorporate green principles in the build-out of the 32-acre site along the Columbia River that they call Columbia Waterfront. Gramor and the city of Vancouver have hired PWL Partnership, a landscape architect firm involved in Dockside Green, to work on the 10 acres of parks planned for the Boise site.

SOURCE: Columbian.com – State-of-the-art sustainable neighborhood

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