Mega Cities not always the biggest polluters

Mega-cities around the world such as New York, London, Los Angeles, Shanghai are often blamed for the high Green House Gas(GHG) emissions but a recent report released found that cities like Sydney(20.6), Calgary(17.7), Stuttgart(16.0), Denver (21.5), Rotterdam (29.8) CO2 equivalent (tCO2e) per capita where far higher than some of the world’s mega-cities including Shanghai (11.7), Tokyo (4.89), Dehli (1.5), Mexico City (4.25), London (9.6) and New York (10.5) CO2 equivalent (tCO2e) per capita. Although it could be seen that the overall city emissions are high however, when measuring  tCO2e per capita it gives a very different picture.

The report focused on the Canadian city of Toronto and the results were surprising across the city as an inner city resident could have an annual emissions as low as 1.3 tCO2e whereas someone in a sprawling outer suburb could have 13.02 tCO2e. The report has a series of aerial images including high-rise(1.31) to outer suburbia(13.02) with the annual emissions for the area which gives a great insight into urban design and consequent emissions.

Lowest emissions in the study where from apartment dwelling city residents using public transit as there main source of transport.

I recommend reading the report ‘Cities and greenhouse gas emissions: moving forward‘ (10 January 2011) – a free copy is available from Environment & Urbanization

NOTE: Values in brackets () are tonne CO2 equivalent (tCO2e) per capita

New Publication: Scapegoat

A recent post by faslanyc we read about Scapegoat – a new journal on landscape, architecture, and political economy. Its available for free download.

Scapegoat is a publication that engages the political economy of architecture and landscape architecture. The figure of the scapegoat carries the burden of the city and its sins.

Toronto: Can it break free from the Sprawl

Christopher Hume, Architecture Critic for Toronto Star writes in Hume: Resisting the Call of Sprawl

Though suburbia has failed to live up to the promise, its appeal isn’t hard to understand. The damage inflicted on cities during the last 50 or 60 years went a long way to make them unlivable. Even now, the suburbanization of Toronto continues.

Hume looks at various players and how they are enabling each others behaviour.

Read more at [thestar.com]

Queens Quay get go ahead – WEST 8

The plan to redesign Queens Quay, the backbone of Toronto’s waterfront revitalization plans, finally has the go-ahead.

The provincial government approved an environmental assessment yesterday for a pedestrian-friendly promenade. Construction of the first phase, an 800-metre section, should begin early next year.

The plan involves cutting the lanes of traffic from four to two, creating a wider boulevard for people to walk on, adding grass in between the streetcar tracks and extending the Martin Goodman Trail through the busiest stretch of Queens Quay.

The TTC’s light rapid transit lines will remain where they are. The three-kilometre project extends from Parliament Street to Spadina Avenue and will be completed in three stages.

An initial $48 million has been set aside by Waterfront Toronto. That will go towards reconfiguring the entire three-kilometre boulevard and building the first section, which is expected to take 18 months. The remaining phases are dependent on funding.

[SOURCE: WEST 8]

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Underpass Park unveiled

Before-after-Underpass-Park_West-screen-res

A derelict area beneath a series of overpasses in the West Don Lands is going to be transformed into the most extensive park to ever be built under an overpass in Canada, and the first in Toronto.

Located within the West Don Lands – home to the 2015 Pan American Games Athletes’ Village – Underpass Park will cover a total of 1.05 hectares (2.5 acres) under and around the Eastern Avenue and Richmond/Adelaide overpasses, between Cherry Street and Bayview Avenue.

Designed by renowned landscape architects Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg in association with The Planning Partnership, Underpass Park embodies design excellence and is the epitome of innovative urban park design.  The design creates a socially-engaging park for community members of all ages and abilities by incorporating public art, recreational space, playful climbing structures and play areas, flexible community space, community gardens, and public gathering places.

Before-after--Underpass-Park-Rendering-evening-screen-res

[IMAGE SOURCE: Waterfront Toronto]

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