As our cities grew and our housing settlements changed, we began to separate the places where we live from the places where food is grown. The average North American food item now travels 1,500 kilometres to reach the grocery store shelves.
The quest for a more sustainable way of living is taking aim at this separation of people and food with a commitment to urban agriculture. There are few places in North America where urban agriculture is exploding as fast as it is in the Vancouver area.
The urban agricultural movement promises a new vision where people are living in harmony with the lands and ecosystems around them. Urban agriculture invites food production back into our communities through innovative planning and design.
Source – Vancouver Sun – Urban agriculture exploding in Vancouver by Bob Ransford
“Once people become more aware of green issues, they recognize the advantages,” he says. “If a house, because it is well-insulated and has an efficient heating system, costs $300 less a month to maintain than a similar neighbouring house, that house is worth more.”
An Eco Home survey conducted by Royal LePage Real Estate suggests Canadians are looking for greener homes and are ready to put their real estate dollars on the line for these purchases. Almost three quarters (72 per cent) of the 1,266 people surveyed said they would look for an environmentally improved property when buying their next home, and 63 per cent said they would pay more for an eco-friendly home.
Source: globeandmail.com: The push to greener housing.
Can eco-density be beautiful? By Adele Weder
Vancouver, B.C. wrestles with how to make new buildings and greater density produce better, less uniform architecture. It turns out nobody has a very clear image of what that would look like.
…..Nobody has a clue what an eco-dense city will actually look like — or even what we want it to look like. New York? Shanghai? Disneyland?
At this and other eco-density public hearings, presenter and star eco-densifier Peter Busby has brandished a freshly produced, beautiful little booklet entitled mdash; what else? mdash; “Busby on Eco-Density,” as he offered an impassioned manifesto. The booklet contains clear and attractive illustrations of what Vancouver might “look like” under varying degrees of eco-density mdash; but in the abstract.
Source: Crosscut Seattle – Can eco-density be beautiful?.
Editors Note: The article is well written and well worth the read
As landscape architects and design professionals we try our hardest to be green in our designs with water sensitive design, plants from the local ecology and materials from close to the project. And we also try to bring that green environment to our offices and work places with recycling bins, energy efficient lighting and providing bike racks for staff. But we often forget about the things that we have over the years become more and more reliant on – our computers and printers.
Over the last few years we have swapped our energy sucking CRT monitors for LCD panels and changed to digital format of pdf and dwf. However we always use the printers day in and day out and now Xerox has created the Sustainability Calculator to help us truly find out how green our office is by calculating all our office printers – Energy, Greenhouse Gas and Solid Waste use.
Xerox have also provided a few tips on how your office could be greener.
Source: Xerox North America