Buildings are the biggest source of emissions and energy consumption in Canada.
They play a major role in the environmentally unfriendly trends projecting energy consumption to increase by 37 per cent and greenhouses gases by 36 per cent over the next 20 years in North America alone. Add to that that these buildings are interconnected by a series of roads and highways and you begin to see the magnitude of the issue.
There was an estimated $30-billion worth of building-construction plans in architects’ offices in cities across Canada as 2007 began. Once completed, these more than three million new buildings will have a lifespan of between 50 to 100 years – during which time they will consume energy in the form of electricity, and generate greenhouse gases by burning fuel oil, natural gas or liquid propane. Enter the role of the architect
Read more @ the Source: Daily Commercial News – Architects must encourage real progress on green building, not ‘greenwash’ by Kiyoshi Matsuzaki, FRAIC
Acclaimed Texas artist Margo Sawyer’s geometric work “Synchronicity of Color” was dedicated at Houston’s new downtown park, Discovery Green.
City Council Member James Rodriguez, Dawn Ullrich, director of the City of Houston Convention & Entertainment Facilities Department, Jonathon Glus, CEO of Houston Arts Alliance, Guy Hagstette, president of Discovery Green Conservancy, and Sawyer participated in dedication ceremonies. Sawyer received a mayoral proclamation from Council Member Rodriguez, who presented it on behalf of Mayor Bill White.
“Synchronicity of Color” is the newest addition to the City of Houston ‘s inventory of more than 400 civic art works in public spaces. The two-piece architectural installment of red- and blue-themed aluminum boxes conceal concrete stairwells that lead into the Convention District parking garage beneath Discovery Green, across from the George R. Brown Convention Center. More than 1,400 aluminum boxes were used to create the vibrant “Synchronicity of Color.”
Discovery Green is scheduled to be opened to the public on April 13.
Landscape Architect: Hargreaves Associates
Source: City of Houston Press Release
The Sustainable Urbanization in conference addresses the global challenges posed by rapid urbanization and its impact on global warming and the natural environment – from poverty and inequality to natural and manmade disasters – by calling for better sustainable planning for urban growth.
The conference will be held during Earth Week and start on April 23
United Nations Headquarters
First Avenue at 46th Street ECOSOC Chamber
New York, NY, 10017 United States
Sustainable Urbanization in the Information Age
“University Heights. That’s the new name, all right? … And we have a logo and everything and you’ll be seeing that all over.”
— Ward 8 Councillor Anthony Perruzza, on his mission to rebrand Jane and Finch
Over the past three decades, Jane and Finch has remained a crack in Toronto’s wall that has, again and again, been covered up with wallpaper.
It has been decorated with grants, surveillance cameras, task forces and studies. But as politicians furrowed their brows at the somehow-surprising findings of each commissioned report, all along, residents have been calling for a new foundation.
Jim Watson politely disagrees with critics who say the provincial government hasn’t committed itself financially to fixing Jane and Finch.
Read more at the Source: TorontoSun.com – Toronto And GTA- Lots of fixes, no solutions.
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
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