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thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
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After the deluge: Brisbane's new flood resilient ferry terminal

After the deluge: Brisbane's new flood resilient ferry terminal | green streets | Scoop.it

Cox Rayner Architects and Aurecon have designed a new generation of flood-resilient ferry terminals in Brisbane.

The completed terminal at Milton is the first of many to be rolled out along the Brisbane River in 2015. The flood resilient terminal design has been inspired by the way private pontoons simply float over their piers in a flood. Michael Rayner, director of Cox Rayner, called on his own experience in the 2011 floods in designing a terminal that could also deflect debris.

The design features a pier that provides commuters with panoramic views of the Brisbane River, with the pontoon essentially tethered to the pier via the gangway. During a flood, the gangway slides across the pier as the river rises and detaches. It then swings with the current of the flood waters, secured to the side of the pontoon, to avoid the build-up of debris. The gangway incorporates a unique floor which maintains level whatever the tide. The pontoon, which is anchored at the downstream end, features a hull-shaped base that allows flood waters to flow underneath it unhindered.

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Urban Plunge: Swimming in the City

Urban Plunge: Swimming in the City | green streets | Scoop.it

An exhibition at the Roca London Gallery presents a series of architectural proposals to reclaim natural water sources in London, New York and Copenhagen for recreational use. We spoke to curator Jane Withers about how we can better exploit our rivers and harbours.

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+POOL: The World's First Floating Water-Filtering Aquatic Facility, NYC

+POOL:  The World's First Floating Water-Filtering Aquatic Facility, NYC | green streets | Scoop.it

Born of the desire to swim in new york city's rivers, '+pool', the world's first floating water-filtering aquatic facility, will be the largest publicly funded civic project ever.

Three new yorkers have worked with international engineering and design firms such as ARUP to create '+pool', the world's first recreational floating aquatic filtering facility. The layered structure is designed to purify river water, over a half million gallons daily.

Composed of four sections forming the '+', the program is designed to accommodate everyone -- children and adults, athletes and bathers alike. the project is finished 'tile by tile', where each block is inscribed with a name or personal message of a sponsor or group of sponsors who donate over 25 USD.

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The Costs of Population Growth

The Costs of Population Growth | green streets | Scoop.it

The United States population is expected to pass 400 million by 2051.


That’s 85 million more people who will need good jobs, sufficient space, clean water and energy.


We will need to make adjustments in order to have a healthy economy in the coming years. So what would happen if the world population – including in the United States – just kept growing? It’s simply not sustainable. The costs to both people and our planet would far outweigh the benefits.

Read the complete article for the relevant facts on the potential impacts of population growth on environmental and social issues...

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MissPatel's curator insight, December 17, 2014 2:07 AM

It is constantly a strain on the environment but what about economically? 

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How sprawl worsens the impacts of drought & how smart growth can help...

How sprawl worsens the impacts of drought & how smart growth can help... | green streets | Scoop.it
Our country is experiencing its worst drought in over half a century. Sprawling land use is not the cause of drought, but it can exacerbate drought's impacts in at least two ways.

 

If you live in the US and have been outside lately, chances are you don’t need to be reminded that this is the hottest summer many of us can remember, and also one of the driest, following a relatively dry winter and spring.

As written earlier this week on CNN, our country is experiencing its worst drought in over 50 years. At least 55 % of the US was in moderate-to-severe drought last month, and things have only gotten worse, as June 2012 ranks as the third-driest month nationally in 118 years. Among consequences: 38 percent of the corn planted in the 18 leading corn-producing states is considered to be in poor or very poor condition, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

I’m not naïve enough to claim that the way we have built suburbs over the last few decades is a proximate cause of drought, but sprawling land use can exacerbate its impacts in at least a couple ways. First, the large-lot residential development characteristic of sprawl uses significantly more water than do neighborhoods built to a more walkable scale...

The second way in which sprawl exacerbates the impacts of drought is by with more pavement around watersheds, which send billions of gallons of rainwater into streams and rivers as polluted runoff, rather than into the soil to replenish groundwater...

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Water management for sustainable cities

Water management for sustainable cities | green streets | Scoop.it

One of the greatest environmental and social challenges facing many countries is the development of urban water management strategies that will support significant population growth in an era of climate change.

By the middle of this century, about 70 per cent of the world’s population will be living in cities where existing water services and planning processes are ill equipped to handle such growth and the accompanying economic and climatic challenges. Climatic extremes of droughts, floods and heatwaves will place increasing pressure on the livability of cities.

Australia has responded by developing exceptional skills and innovation in water management. One of its most internationally respected experts is Professor Tony Wong, who co-founded the Centre for Water Sensitive Cities (the Centre) at Monash University in 2010.

“One of the biggest global challenges we face is urbanisation,” Wong says. “There is the issue of our natural water resources being able to support population growth, the vulnerability of that resource to climate change and urban pollution, and the issue of liveability in cities.”

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The Cost of Sprawl on Clean Water

The Cost of Sprawl on Clean Water | green streets | Scoop.it
The way we grow could have a major impact on water quality in the future.

Sustainable, smart growth and development is necessarily about location, form and function. Becoming greener doesn’t just mean a municipality’s adding a pleasant new park here and there, or planting more trees, although both components may be useful parts of a larger effort.

How a town is designed and developed is related to how well it functions, how well it functions is related to how sustainable it really is, and how sustainable it is, is directly related to how it affects its local waters and those who use those same waters downstream...

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New York City Commits to Green Solution for Harnessing Water

New York City Commits to Green Solution for Harnessing Water | green streets | Scoop.it
With a landmark announcement this week, New York City has officially joined a growing number of cities around the country in embracing a smarter--and paradigm-shifting--approach to reducing water pollution. Using a suite of techniques like strategically located street plantings, porous pavements, and green roofs, collectively known as green infrastructure, New York is turning the problem of excess stormwater into a solution that will improve the health and livability of its neighborhoods, while cleaning up the waterways that course through and around the city.

It's hard to overstate what a dramatic shift in thinking this represents. Instead of viewing stormwater as waste, New York is turning it into a resource. With this move, New York is showing the rest of the country that if the largest city in the U.S. can finally tackle its chronic water pollution problems with green infrastructure--they can, too.

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Sustainable Infrastructure as Public Amenity

Sustainable Infrastructure as Public Amenity | green streets | Scoop.it

Ok, I’m impressed.  Have you seen Sherbourne Common? If you haven’t, I suggest that  you check it out.  This is the most recent project to be unveiled as part of Toronto’s ambitious waterfront.

Designed by landscape architects Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg, Sherbourne Common is an example of how critical infrastructure – in this case a neighbourhood storm water treatment facility – can be fully integrated into a neighbourhood. The brilliant part is that the facility doubles as an elegant public space where current and future residents of the planned East Bay Front community will be able to gather, play and interact

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How Five Cities Improved Their Water Supply at the Source

How Five Cities Improved Their Water Supply at the Source | green streets | Scoop.it
According to a new report released by The Nature Conservancy, investing in the water upstream from your city just might help secure water for urbanites. The project, titled Urban Water Blueprint, maps several city’s watersheds by combining hydrological models and data from the City Water Map, to convey where 534 large cities get their water from. The ultimate implication is that there is a more sustainable approach to engineer the water flow to our amenities and even save millions of dollars, as New York City has since adopting the Safe Drink Water Act in the nineties.
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What Cities Are Doing To Become Water Smart | EarthTechling

What Cities Are Doing To Become Water Smart | EarthTechling | green streets | Scoop.it

Many cities are already getting a jump start on smart water solutions and their work provides models for other places dealing with water challenges.

In the U.S., the infrastructure isn’t designed to handle the increased floods and droughts that come with global warming and we need to be smarter about our precious water supply in the coming years. Many cities are already getting a jump start on smart water solutions and their work provides models for other places dealing with water challenges.

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Water sensitive design: integrating water with urban planning

Water sensitive design: integrating water with urban planning | green streets | Scoop.it

Water has become a risk rather than an opportunity in our cities and that must change.


At Ecobuild, Professor Tony Wong, chief executive of the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities, spoke about the steady progression up the agenda of water sensitive urban design (WSUD) in Australia. Successive years of flooding and some of the worst droughts in history have threatened the health and wellbeing of the population and nearly brought industry grinding to a halt, prompting the government to think differently about water.

A new report published in March reinterprets the WSUD concept and its concludes: for too long, we have been designing water out of our cities when we should have been designing it in.


For example, sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) – the creation of ponds, wetlands, swales and basins that mimic natural drainage – can be a cost-effective way to prevent surface flooding while creating valuable public amenities. But we need to go further and join the dots between flood risk management and water resource management, and put water at the heart of discussions about what makes places great to live...

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Noor Fatima's curator insight, April 20, 2013 10:10 AM

impotant 

Keith Thorogood's curator insight, June 18, 2013 3:31 PM

Water resource management.

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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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Sustainable cities: considering the city of tomorrow as an ecosystem

Sustainable cities: considering the city of tomorrow as an ecosystem | green streets | Scoop.it

More than 3.5 billion people now live in cities and this figure is continually increasing. When the UN put the subject of sustainable cities on the Rio+20 agenda it confirmed the fundamental importance of redefining the city, given that rapid urbanization is placing great pressure on water resources, their treatment, the environment, biodiversity and public health. The city must not be designed as a goal in itself, but as an ecosystem in which sustainable resource management – whether of water or energy – is a fundamental priority...

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Put a Green Roof On It...

Put a Green Roof On It... | green streets | Scoop.it
A new tool visualizes green roofs on any building, and the water and energy they could save.

The rivers and streams advocacy group American Rivers has just come out with a cool new tool for what might seem an off-message topic: green roofs. A posterchild of the green building movement, green roofs have gained a lot of popularity in recent years with the rise of green building certifications like LEED, a high-profile roll out on the roof of Chicago's City Hall and the general uptick in concerns about energy usage in buildings. Growing a garden on top of your office building has rapidly evolved from crackpot to conventional...

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Brightening Up NYC for Earth's Most Precious Resource

Brightening Up NYC for Earth's Most Precious Resource | green streets | Scoop.it

If you’ve ever been to Manhattan and gazed at the magnificent skyline, you may have noticed that most of the buildings are topped with huge wooden water tanks.

I lived there for 2 years before they were pointed out to me on a boat cruise around the island. It turns out that they aren’t ancient relics from the past, but are actually still used today on all buildings over six stories throughout the 5 boroughs. They use gravity to provide water pressure. Just as these crucial devices have gone unnoticed by many, so has the water crisis that we are facing today.


A non-profit, Word Above the Street has taken on a project to bring awareness to our Earth’s most precious resource: fresh water. The Water Tank Project will reshape the city’s skyline as artists and public school children decorate the tanks with original water-conservation themed artwork. The wrapped tanks will be up for 3 months in the Spring of 2013 for the world to see, hopefully inspiring other major cities to do the same...

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Landscape Optimism: Chris Reed on Landscape Urbanism

Landscape Optimism: Chris Reed on Landscape Urbanism | green streets | Scoop.it

It is about time that landscape practices wake up:

 

Contemporary landscape practices are witnessing a revival of sorts, a recovery of the broader social, cultural, and ecological agendas. No longer a product of pure art history and horticulture, landscape is re-engaging issues of site and ecological succession and is playing a part in the formative roles of projects, rather than simply giving form to already defined projects.


Via Ana Valdés
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Jan Johnsen's curator insight, Today, 8:45 AM

and so much more to come....