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green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
Curated by Lauren Moss
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Zero-Energy Districts: Energy Strategies and Sustainable Opportunities

Zero-Energy Districts: Energy Strategies and Sustainable Opportunities | green streets | Scoop.it

An ambitious experiment in sustainable Fort Collins, Colorado, supporting development of the nation’s first major urban zero-energy district (ZED) is already hinting at important lessons for future implementation possibilities.


Along the Colorado Front Range, the resulting data illustrates how the strategic integration of energy generation, storage, and conservation activities can reduce an electricity grid’s overall energy load at critical peak-demand periods. As workplaces become increasingly energy-efficient, they will also have to generate and store more energy on site. With distributed generation, electricity will ultimately be delivered in a far cleaner fashion than is generally the case with the mostly coal-powered mega–power plants that now feed American power grids.


Working with the city-owned electricity supplier Fort Collins Utilities (FCU) and several locally based clean-energy specialists, participating employers were able to collectively reduce peak-load demand on a designated microgrid within the ZED’s boundaries by more than 20 percent during test periods that lasted more than four weeks...

Lauren Moss's insight:

An interesting case study on Zero Energy Districts, in practice... 

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Cities on Rails: Mobile Master Plan Turns Trains into Towns

Cities on Rails: Mobile Master Plan Turns Trains into Towns | green streets | Scoop.it

Modular thinking is brilliant and infectious, expanding and spreading from industrial-revolution technologies to three-dimensional printing... even to cities!


The Swedish architecture firm Jagnefalt Milton explores this issue in their daring and award-winning design of A Rolling Master Plan, conceived of as a way to utilize existing rail routes to shift entire towns – or even cities – worth of people and places.


Consider seasonal migrations, for instance: festivals, markets, concerts and other events that move throughout the year. What if they could take their architecture with them as they traveled? Then there are hotels, restaurants and other commercial functions that see demand change over time as well as by season. What if they could deploy rooms or eateries around a country at will? Sure, it is conceptual, but the real-life applications are astonishing once you start thinking about ways buildings could adapt if only they could move more freely...

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