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green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
Curated by Lauren Moss
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Eco-Friendly Architectural Projects Raising Awareness of Earth's Biomes

Eco-Friendly Architectural Projects Raising Awareness of Earth's Biomes | green streets | Scoop.it
The largest natural biome in the world is the maroon colored Taiga, a Russian word for forest, covering large parts of Canada, Europe and Asia with coniferous forests.

The term “Boreal” forest refers to the southern part of this biome and has heavier tree cover while the Taiga refers to the northern portion which is a mostly barren area that borders the Arctic treeline. In order to understand how biomes work, scientists and researchers have created projects like Biosphere and Eden.

The design refers to the integration of architectural structures into natural ecosystems, emphasizing a symbiotic relationship between buildings, landscapes, people and nature.

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To stay relevant, conservationists embrace cities

To stay relevant, conservationists embrace cities | green streets | Scoop.it

Environmentalists have not always embraced cities as sustainable enclaves.

It’s easy to see why. An idyllic natural setting isn’t exactly the first thing you think of when you walk through a city. And to build modern day Manhattan, for example, a forest was essentially clear-cut.

But environmentalists are beginning to warm to the idea of the city. The notion that many people can live more efficiently on a relatively small tract of land is appealing. But even if environmentalists are hesitant to declare cities as bastions of sustainability, our world is rapidly urbanizing with or without their support...

So to stay relevant to the realities of most people in the world, the Nature Conservancy, one of the largest conservation organizations in the world, is shifting from looking just at preserving large swaths of open space — the idyllic forms of nature — to also focusing more on natural habitats in cities.

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Road Ecology: An Often Overlooked Field Of Conservation Research

Road Ecology: An Often Overlooked Field Of Conservation Research | green streets | Scoop.it
Earlier this year, the open access journal Ecology and Society had a special feature called The Effects of Roads and Traffic on Wildlife Populations and Landscape Function.

Because roads keep humans connected, they are an integral part not only of our daily lives, but also of our social structure. One important goal--shared by biologists in a number of fields--is education of the public, including those individuals that make policy decisions. Hopefully, greater awareness will lead to smarter, safer use of roadways, and choices that bode well for the future of wildlife that live in heavily-trafficked areas.

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Designing Water-Efficient Communities

Designing Water-Efficient Communities | green streets | Scoop.it
Harold Smethills explains why—and how—we can design future communities around water conservation.

As managing director of Sterling Ranch, one of Colorado’s most anticipated community developments, Harold Smethills is setting the standard of what it means to build a sustainable community. From wildlife conservation and open space planning to alternative energy sources and community-supported agriculture, Smethills and his development team have one goal for the 3,400-acre proposed community in the Chatfield Basin—to use sustainability as its overriding design principle.

But if you ask him what the critical issue is for his development—not to mention the building industry as a whole—his answer may surprise you. “As we look out to 2020 and far beyond, the very critical issue is water,” Smethills says. “Potable, reliable water is probably is the defining issue for this coming millennia.”

In fact, water conservation has been one of the defining features of Sterling Ranch. The development, which aims to use one-third the water traditionally required in Douglas County, has been recognized by the Colorado Water Conservation Board for it ambitious approach and is being lauded by many as the “blueprint” for designing future water-efficient communities...

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Why Smart Growth is Important to Land Conservation

Why Smart Growth is Important to Land Conservation | green streets | Scoop.it

For decades, the amount of developed land in our country has grown much faster than population, in some regions of the country several times faster. In the 25-year period from 1982 to 2007, we lost some 23 million acres of agricultural land - an area the size of Indiana - irretrievably to pavement, malls, and subdivisions, according to the American Farmland Trust.

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Rediscovering the Road to the Sustainable City

Rediscovering the Road to the Sustainable City | green streets | Scoop.it
Those of us who write about cities should be students of history and experience, and with some humility listen to scholars and the legacy of urban development from from around the world.
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