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green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
Curated by Lauren Moss
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Denmark Is About To Set Even More Ambitious Climate Goals Than All Of Europe

Denmark Is About To Set Even More Ambitious Climate Goals Than All Of Europe | green streets | Scoop.it
Agreement in Denmark's parliament cleared the way for a legally binding greenhouse gas emission reduction target of 40 percent below 1990's levels by 2020.


The bill would establish a legally binding requirement that Denmark cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent below 1990′s levels by 2020, and that the government return to the question every five years to set new 10-year targets. The legislation would also establish a Climate Council — modeled on a similar body in Britain — to advise the government on the best ways to continue reducing Denmark’s reliance on fossil fuels.

Denmark’s present and former governments have already committed the country to a goal of 100 percent renewable energy generation by 2050, and the new bill is seen as a concrete step to achieving that goal.

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Stephane Bilodeau's curator insight, February 22, 4:21 AM

Meanwhile, Denmark has already been making substantial progress on the climate front.According to numbers that Responding to Climate Change pulled from the Danish Energy Agency, renewable energy accounted for 43.1 percent of Denmark’s domestic electricity supply in 2012, and for 25.8 percent of all energy consumption in the country that year. The year before that, renewables provided 23.1 percent of Denmark’s electricity consumption.

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California's Unusual Plan to Cut Greenhouse Gases

California's Unusual Plan to Cut Greenhouse Gases | green streets | Scoop.it

The state is relying on cities to figure out how to cut emissions in their region. Will it work?


When California’s S.B. 375 was passed in 2008, there were many skeptics. The law aimed to get metropolitan regions around the state to cut greenhouse gas emissions through changes to development form and transportation. 

In 2011, the California Air Resources Board set GHG emissions reduction targets by metro region for passenger vehicles and 18 Metropolitan Planning Organizations were then to develop "sustainable community strategies," with integrated transportation, housing, and community development.

The idea was that smart, sustainable community design, coordinated with transportation systems that integrated walkability, bicycles, and next generation public transit, could really make a difference. It's honestly much too soon to tell whether this will work. But here's a quick look at three prominent metropolitan regions and their responses to this mandate.

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In the Climate Change Economy, It's About Efficiency, Not Just Growth

In the Climate Change Economy, It's About Efficiency, Not Just Growth | green streets | Scoop.it

North American cities are producing substantially less wealth per ton of greenhouse gas emissions than their European counterparts.


Research has shown that if you know a country's GDP, you can pretty accurately estimate its carbon emissions. There's "almost a mechanical relationship" between the two. And as a depressing corollary: Emissions rise much faster in good times than they fall during, say, a global recession.

Cities in some parts of the world are already doing a substantially better job at decoupling these two trends than others, wringing the most wealth out of the smallest carbon footprint. These are the cities that produce the greatest amount of GDP per ton of greenhouse gasses emitted.


The Carbon Disclosure Project, along with AECOM and the C40 Cities, have calculated this "economic efficiency" for dozens of global cities that participated in a questionnaire on how they are preparing for climate change...

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Urban Design for Bicycles: a Plausible Sustainable Solution

Urban Design for Bicycles: a Plausible Sustainable Solution | green streets | Scoop.it

Using bicycle-friendly cities like Copenhagen as inspiration, a growing number of cities around the world are changing their urban design to become biking cities.


Each year, Copenhagen eliminates 90,000 tons of CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere from the sheer number of cyclists versus cars.

Designing cities with bicycles in mind reduces emissions, commute times, urban sprawl and illness. More cities are looking to bike-friendly sustainable development as they aspire to become green.

Urban planners and architects are increasingly faced with the challenge of compacting development and designing a sustainable transport pattern...

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ParadigmGallery's curator insight, February 15, 2013 11:46 AM

The photo is Amsterdam...the story is the same....

Etienne Randier's curator insight, November 26, 2013 4:21 AM

A la fin des années 60, Georges Pompidou déclarait que Paris devait s'adapter à l'automobile, revenus de cette hérésie, les urbanistes planchent désormais sur la création d'un cadre de vie conçu pour le bien-être des humains et non celui des machines.

 

guillaume riottot's curator insight, November 29, 2013 5:48 AM

what are we wainting for ...

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Bosco Verticale: The World’s First Vertical Forest Nears Completion in Milan

Bosco Verticale: The World’s First Vertical Forest Nears Completion in Milan | green streets | Scoop.it

Back in 2011 we reported on the Bosco Verticale — a new superstructure designed to bring the world's first vertical forest to Milan, Italy.


While many were skeptical when it came to the feasibility of construction, Boeri Studio reports that the structure is certainly more than just a fantasy — in fact, it's well on its way to being completed this year. The project's two towers have already reached full height, and since April of 2012 teams have been installing trees on the structure. Though construction has slowed due to rain and snowfall in Milan over the last couple months, things are anticipated to kick up again very soon to meet the late 2013 opening.


Milan is one of the most polluted cities in the world – the Bosco Verticale project aims to mitigate some of the environmental damage that has been inflicted upon the city by urbanization. The design is made up of two high-density tower blocks with trees and vegetation planted on the facade. The plants help capture CO2 and dust in the air, reduce the need to mechanically heat and cool the tower’s apartments, and help mitigate the urban heat island effect experienced in the city – particularly during the summer when temperatures can reach over 100 degrees.

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Energy Land(ing)-scape | Calderara di Reno Italy

Energy Land(ing)-scape | Calderara di Reno Italy | green streets | Scoop.it

Energy Land(ing)-scape | Calderara di Reno Italy

This project seeks to find a effective balance between two principal necessities: to redevelop and revitalize the area, with a strong ecological impact on surrounding territories. The solution was to transform the area into a ZEA: Zero Emission Area.

A ZEA promotes the area and seeks for investments and a new economical initiatives to transform an area into a environmental zone. The project consists of a solar roof installed over the existing warehouse’s roofs and over the outdoor areas, including parking, producing clean energy, reduces emissions, collects water and gives a new image of the region to all people that are taking off or landing in the close Airport of Bologna.

The project seeks to give new life to this area from an economic point of view, as well as to demonstrate how development can have a positive ecological impact.

 

Visit the article link for more renderings, aerial imagery, site plans, and diagrams...

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How Urban Farming can Transform our Cities & our Agricultural System

How Urban Farming can Transform our Cities & our Agricultural System | green streets | Scoop.it

As concerns mount over the accessibility and quality of meals in cities, urban agriculture is becoming a practical solution to give communities more choice—all while helping address greenhouse gas emissions from centralized agriculture.
With more than 80 percent of the American population living in metropolitan centers, urban farming has the ability to dramatically enhance economic growth, increase food quality and build healthier communities.

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Building the architecture for green growth

Building the architecture for green growth | green streets | Scoop.it
Image Songdo International Business District is a sustainable city currently under construction on 1,500 acres near Incheon, the Republic of Korea.

The success of Korea’s green growth can be attributed to at least three factors, including the visionary leadership of a political leader firmly committed to a new green growth strategy; the ‘me-first’ approach to carbon emissions reduction and environmental protection; and an effective coordination among all the relevant ministries.

One of the objectives of Korea’s green growth policies is to promote the adoption of a green growth strategy in all countries, especially the developing ones. A global architecture for green growth will enhance the effectiveness of national green growth policies, offer a foundation for global sustainable development, and facilitate international cooperation for the mitigation of climate change...

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ULI Korea's curator insight, March 9, 10:19 AM

By setting the physical framework for all urban activities, urban development is an important factor for holistic urban green growth strategies. Furthermore, the synergies that can be made between urban development policy and other policies (economic, social, transportation, etc.) are endless when there´s a common goal, as green development.

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How Green Roofs can Improve our Cities

How Green Roofs can Improve our Cities | green streets | Scoop.it

We all love a room with a view, but when it comes to planning for the future of a building we tend to forget about the world beyond its walls. We home in on the structure itself – its foundations and floors, cavities and cracks – isolating it from its natural surroundings. But the performance of a building depends very much on conditions outside.

The smartest designs are an active part of local ecosystems: they harness heat from the sun, facilitate the flow of fresh air, or take advantage of trees and hillsides for shelter. And they give back, too: habitats for wildlife, drainage for stormwater, greenery to keep a dense city block cool.

The value that local ecosystems offer urban areas is just beginning to be recognised. A recent study in New York City found its trees to be worth $122 million thanks to their part in reducing pollution, improving aesthetics, and keeping inner city temperatures comfortable...

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Rome Restricts Car Use to Reduce Emissions, Improve Air Quality

Rome Restricts Car Use to Reduce Emissions, Improve Air Quality | green streets | Scoop.it

With climate talks taking place in Durban this week, all eyes have been on South Africa. But whether climate discussions yield binding targets or not, cities around the world are suffering the very real consequences of greenhouse gas emissions and taking necessary steps to lower pollution levels. Rome, Italy, for example, exceeded air safety limits 56 times this year, according to 3news. Traffic congestion and car traffic are the main contributors to the six consecutive days of emergency level air pollution rates in Rome, and therefore the city is taking action by using partial vehicle blocks and pedestrian weekends to push air pollution levels down.

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Four Innovative Green Technologies That Just Might Save The World

Four Innovative Green Technologies That Just Might Save The World | green streets | Scoop.it

With many developing nations rapidly industrialising, dependent on fossil fuels as their energy mainstay, CO2 concentrations show no signs of abating. What will the ramifications be for food production and health moving forward in to the 21st century if weather patterns become even more hostile than the previous decade?


Fortunately, scientists and engineers are working on ways to neutralise emissions in to, or actively reduce the carbon content of the atmosphere until the time arises when we can transition to cleaner energy solutions. In the interim phase we find ourselves however, there are no perfect solutions, but there are technologies and techniques that can help combat the climate catastrophe that will be unleashed if CO2 concentrations continue to rise unchecked. Here a four such technologies…

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Brian Hammerstix's curator insight, February 1, 2:54 PM

This has some interesting ideas but I'm not so sure about  bio-engineering... that seems like it could backfire or get out of control and have unintended side-effects.

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New designs to breathe life back into our cities

New designs to breathe life back into our cities | green streets | Scoop.it
Urban buildings use up precious materials and cause pollution. We need visionary thinking to create more sustainable designs that respond to their environment.


By the middle of this century, our cities are likely to be hotter, experience more dramatic changes in weather, be noisier and have an increasingly tenuous relationship with our natural world.

There’s a problem. Not only are cities responsible for 40% of our total carbon emissions, but they also deal with a limited set of physical conditions, and assume that our weather is going to be constant. Our buildings are designed for dryness and therefore deteriorate in the presence of water. Modern architecture is also designed to just house people, not other life forms, and therefore does not inherently promote biodiversity.

We therefore need to think about architecture very differently. We must search for new models for constructing buildings, as well as searching for improvements to our current industrial processes.

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How Green Building Standards Can Actually Change People's Behavior

How Green Building Standards Can Actually Change People's Behavior | green streets | Scoop.it
New research suggests LEED-ND projects can dramatically cut down on driving rates.


Confirming previous analysis, newly published research indicates that real estate development located, designed and built to the standards of LEED for Neighborhood Development will have dramatically lower rates of driving than average development in the same metropolitan region.

In particular, estimated vehicle miles per person trip for 12 LEED-ND projects that were studied in depth ranged from 24 to 60 percent of their respective regional averages.

The most urban and centrally located of the projects tended to achieve the highest shares of walking and transit use, and the lowest private vehicle trip lengths.

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9 Steps Cities Must Take to Dramatically Cut Carbon Emissions

9 Steps Cities Must Take to Dramatically Cut Carbon Emissions | green streets | Scoop.it

A very long, very bold to-do list for the next 20 years.

The city of Toronto has already begun to sketch out policies that could reduce the area’s greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades. Officials have proposed greening the electric grid, banning incandescent light bulbs, promoting green roofs on commercial buildings, retrofitting 1960s-era high-rises and implementing a stricter energy-efficient building code for new construction. With transportation, the city wants to expand bike lanes and transit infrastructure, all while it anticipates that electric vehicles will grow slowly more common.

This is a pretty standard menu of ideas, and according to scientists it will get the city part of the way toward the kind of changes broadly needed to really keep global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius.

But to really alter the future prospects for climate change, much more will have to happen in Toronto, and every other city. Researchers used the city as a case study to model what a truly aggressive framework might look like. If Toronto wants to cut emissions by 70 percent by 2031, all of these actions (or others with a similar impact) might be required in tandem...

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Pamela D Lloyd's curator insight, February 13, 2013 6:13 PM

While the steps being proposed in Toronto may not be as aggressive as those recommending by researchers concerned with reversing the climate changes caused by humanity's activity, they are at least a step in the right direction and far more than what seems likely in most U.S. cities.

 

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Green and Healthy Buildings: monitoring consumption & ecology in the built environment

Green and Healthy Buildings: monitoring consumption & ecology in the built environment | green streets | Scoop.it

According to the United Nations Environment Programme, buildings account for approximately 40 percent of worldwide energy use and are responsible for 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. They also play an important role in the health and wellbeing of those who inhabit them each day.

The mass of information about what makes a building green tends to concentrate on new and innovative designs that create beautiful photo spreads. While such examples are inspiring, they make up a very small percentage of all buildings in operation.

Green Buildings Alive is an environmental initiative aimed at collecting and sharing data on existing buildings between 10 and 60 years old. The data is collected from office towers in Australian Central Business Districts (CBDs) and shared on a public website.


For more on this innovative, environmental initiative that provides interactive visualizations of building-performance data to help understand the complexities and relationships among sustainability, health, and energy, read the complete article

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Cities will convert 260 million tons of waste to energy | SmartPlanet

Cities will convert 260 million tons of waste to energy | SmartPlanet | green streets | Scoop.it
New research shows an increase in energy generation from waste.

As urban populations continue to grow so will the amount of waste produced by cities. But with landfills reaching capacity cities are looking for alternatives.

One solution that is becoming more popular with cities is a system to convert waste to energy. According to a new report from Pike Research, in 10 years cities will convert at least 260 million tons of waste to base load power or heat each year. That number could reach as much as 396 million tons per year or 429 terawatt-hours of power...

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What Makes Some Cities Greener Than Others

What Makes Some Cities Greener Than Others | green streets | Scoop.it
Today I turn my attention to the economic, demographic, and other factors associated with cities and metros that have lower levels of carbon emissions.

 

Several Martin Prosperity Institute colleagues and I [Richard Florida] took a simple, straightforward statistical look at several things research and common sense suggest should be associated with higher and lower levels of carbon emissions.

We measure emissions three ways, as a function of population (per capita), workforce (per worker), and economic output (per economic output). All the caveats regarding correlation not being causation apply. However, our findings underscore the fact that carbon emissions are linked as much to the way we live as how we produce and manufacture things...


Via Flora Moon
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In New Copenhagen Suburbs, Aim Is Sustainable Living

In New Copenhagen Suburbs, Aim Is Sustainable Living | green streets | Scoop.it
Hard times or not, two urban development projects — from two centuries — plow ahead.

How does a city expand and, at the same time, reduce car use and emissions? Officials in Copenhagen believe part of the answer is to build and extend a modern mass transit network while trying to eliminate the need for commuting altogether.

Copenhagen, with a population of 1.2 million in the city and its suburbs, will need to find homes for a projected 100,000 new residents by the year 2025.

Fortunately, the city still has room to grow.

In 2001, the first building in a new master-planned suburb called Orestad, south of downtown and named for the Oresund, the channel separating eastern Denmark from Sweden, was completed. Work on preparing a second major site, Nordhavn, in the docks north of the city, has just begun on land freed up by the departure of heavy industry...

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London’s First Zero-Emission Electric Taxis Hit the Streets

London’s First Zero-Emission Electric Taxis Hit the Streets | green streets | Scoop.it
ClimateCars in London have unveiled the first zero emission electric taxi - the Renault Fluence Z.E.

When it comes to clean transportation, London is charging ahead at maximum speed – not only is the city’s mayor a cycling enthusiast, but he helped to push the introduction of London’s first hydrogen fuel cell taxis just in time for the 2012 Olympics! This week The Big Smoke rolled out their first fleet of zero emission taxis, which are now making their way across the city’s busy streets...

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How Green Is High-Speed Rail?

How Green Is High-Speed Rail? | green streets | Scoop.it
Experts say America's bullet trains will need to carry 10 million passengers to offset the environmental impact of construction...

There's a lot of talk right now about the capital costs of high-speed rail - the planned Los Angeles-San Francisco line, which would be the model for America, may eventually cost some $98 billion (or about $75 billion in 2010 money) - but for the most part its environmental benefits are taken for granted. Rail transport tends to be greener than car and air travel, so it stands to reason that as high-speed rail attracts people off the roads and runways, net carbon emissions will fall.

Often that comparison overlooks one critical detail: the environmental damage caused by building high-speed rail lines in the first place. Unless high-speed rail travel reduces emissions by more than what it generates during construction, the project may not be worthwhile from an environmental perspective. Indeed, some researchers have their doubts. A recent British study suggests that high-speed construction emissions may be significant enough to call entire projects into question...

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