green streets
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green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
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The Closest Look Yet at the Relative Energy Efficiency of Big Buildings

The Closest Look Yet at the Relative Energy Efficiency of Big Buildings | green streets | Scoop.it

New York City's largest buildings have as outsized a place in the city's energy use profile as they do in the skyline. Just 2% of New York's properties account for 48% of the city's energy use. 

What's a city to do? The Bloomberg administration is doing what it does best: crunching massive amounts of data. On Wednesday, the mayor released the city's second annual benchmarking report, which analyzes the year-to-year energy and water use of New York's 26,680 largest buildings. 

"It's the first time we've had access to this comparative information," says Melissa Wright, an associate director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s City Energy Project who has worked in the Bloomberg administration. "For so long it was this hidden information about what the real energy performance was of a set of buildings or individual buildings."

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Sustainable is not enough: a call for regenerative cities

Sustainable is not enough: a call for regenerative cities | green streets | Scoop.it
Urban resource consumption and waste disposal is widely seen as the root cause of many of the world’s environmental problems.

Because so much damage has already been done to the world’s ecosystems, and solutions need to be found to reverse it, we need to start thinking of regenerative rather than just sustainable urban development.

Since the industrial revolution the process of urbanisation has become ever more resource-intensive, significantly contributing to climate change and to the loss of soil carbon, the natural fertility of farmland, and the world's biodiversity. Our ravenous appetite for resources from the world's ecosystems has severe consequences for all life on Earth, including human life. Cities have developed resource consumption and waste disposal habits that show little concern for the environmental consequences.

Fortunately in some places this seems to be changing. In the past decade concepts that capture the idea of how to future-proof our cities have arisen worldwide: smart cities, liveable cities, sustainable cities, intelligent cities, resilient 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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