I just want to say one word to you: sustainability – SFGate.com

During six years writing about architecture for The Chronicle, I’ve seen trends come and go. Glass is the new stucco. Towers are taller and some of them twist. Celebrity architects spend as much time on self-promotion as serious design.

But here’s the trend that sticks, the one lasting change: Visual drama is no longer enough. Environmental sustainability counts for more than curb appeal.

That’s why San Francisco’s planned Public Utilities Commission building (KMD Architects) is so much a sign of the times. It’s conceived to be a showcase of “green” design, a departure from the bureaucratic norm. But by the time it opens in 2010, I’ll wager that even more adventurous buildings are close behind – because the world has changed, and architecture has to change with it.

read more at SFGate.com – I just want to say one word to you: sustainability. – Author: John King

Cape Wind project gets a lift from environmental impact report | Rhode Island news | Rhode Island news | projo.com | The Providence Journal

The wind farm proposed by Cape Wind Associates LLC for Nantucket Sound off the coast of Massachusetts would have mostly “negligible” or “minor” adverse impacts on the environment, recreation, tourism and property values, according to a major report released yesterday by the federal agency in charge of the project’s permitting process.

The Minerals Management Service, part of the U.S. Department of the Interior, released its findings yesterday in a 718-page Draft Environmental Impact Statement that was two years in the making

Cape Wind project gets a lift from environmental impact report | Rhode Island news | Rhode Island news | projo.com | The Providence Journal.

China’s cities: faster, bigger, better?

Today Pudong has joined Manhattan and the City of London as one of the world’s foremost business hubs.

Countless other Chinese cities are determined to follow in Shanghai’s steps. Cities have been the engines of China’s economic growth, contributing 70% of its annual gross domestic product. But they are also the stage on which China’s most intense social and environmental struggles are being played out.

The rapid expansion of cities and swelling of urban populations has been the most spectacular feature of China’s rapid economic development over the past two decades. China has become one large construction site: the stock of urban buildings has doubled in a mere five years, reaching almost 15 billion square metres in 2004. In 2005, Shanghai constructed more building space than exists in all the office buildings of New York City. Construction projects in China account for 30% of the global total.

China has become a global laboratory of urban change and an incubator of technological, design and policy innovations. Paradoxically, therefore, China’s urban mayhem has made it the epicentre of global debate on sustainable urbanisation.

Read more at Bangkok Post : Business news. LEO HORN-PHATHANOTHAI

Fifteen Group Unveils Vision for Model Community

Fifteen Group Land & Development LLC today announced a plan to redevelop the 1930s era-Wyvernwood Garden Apartments into a 21st century, sustainable community that increases the amount of rental and for-sale housing, retail and commercial space in Boyle Heights.

Los Angeles-based landscape architect Meléndrez to design a community that meets the standards for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Development (LEED ND).

Fifteen Group Land & Development LLC Unveils Vision for Model Community in East Los Angeles – Business Wire

Melbourne leads Australia in cleaning stormwater naturally

EVERY year, about 500 billion litres of stormwater washes off the roofs, roads and footpaths of Melbourne into our rivers and bays.

That’s about the same amount of water that Melburnians consume each year.

Often it comes in a thunderous rush, surging out of drains, damaging waterways, and pouring litter into Port Phillip and Western Port bays.

But a $20 million bid to use Melbourne’s stormwater on “rain gardens” across the metropolitan area has gathered speed since early last year.

Rain gardens are designed to absorb large volumes of water from downpipes, road surfaces and paved areas.

Melbourne leads Australia in cleaning stormwater naturally | Herald Sun.

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