December WorldChanging Articles
- Ceres Conference Offers Something for Everyone (05/13/2013)
- A Little Energy to Save a Lot: Why Your Company Should Become Energy Star Certified (04/03/2013)
- Sustainability in Supply Chain Remains Top Priority for Major Brands (03/13/2013)
- Using Technology to Drive Supply Chain Sustainability (03/05/2013)
- Getting On Board with Supply Chain Sustainability (02/20/2013)
LEED Green Building
- 7th annual Los Angeles Business Council (LABC) Sustainability Summit (04/29/2013)
- Greening the Green Building Industry (03/26/2013)
- Earth Rangers Journey to LEED® Platinum (02/21/2013)
- Energy Boost: How RECs Support LEED® Certification and Renewable Energy Development (02/14/2013)
- Making the Most of LEED® (01/31/2013)
- Reducing Carbon Emissions Becomes Mission Critical (05/14/2013)
- CDP Supply Chain Program Reporting Period Now Open (04/11/2013)
- 2013 Climate Leadership Conference (03/01/2013)
- Wind PowerED Climate Education for Colorado Kids (03/14/2013)
- 2013 GreenBiz.com Forum New York (03/08/2013)
- A Letter from the Arctic (05/09/2013)
- Eliminating Toxins from the Air We Breathe (05/07/2013)
- Our Silent Partners in the Fight Against Climate Change (04/26/2013)
- The Power of RECs to Improve Human Health (04/25/2013)
- Our Planet’s Most Precious Resource (04/24/2013)
by Jen Biederman on 12/16/2008
WorldChanging.com Articles: Tools, Models and Ideas for Building a Better Future.
Copenhagen, Melbourne & The Reconquest of the City For ten weeks this summer, a twelve-block stretch of Ste. Catherine Street in Montreal was transformed into a vibrant public square. It covered most of the main drag of the Ville-Marie neighbourhood – better known as Montreal’s gay village – in the city’s east end. The ersatz square hosted festivals and parades and accommodated the post-event revelries of jazz and comedy aficionados. Outdoor cafes spilled out onto the street’s cracked concrete, and buskers and sculptures filled the curbside parking spaces. And the catalyst for all of it was a single, simple act: from the start of Montreal’s festival season in June until Labour Day weekend, Ste. Catherine Street was closed entirely to motor vehicle traffic from Berri Street to Papineau Avenue.
On the low metal roadblocks at either end of the pedestrianized expanse, there were celebratory signs that read, “Ville-Marie a pieds, une experience urbaine!” The implication was that walking a city’s streets – its streets, not its sidewalks – was the quintessential urban experience, and perhaps the most refined one. Some might argue, after half a century of automotive supremacy, that it was a radical act, as well.
In any case, Ville-Marie had temporarily joined the ranks of a burgeoning global pedestrianization movement, one that imagines the liberation of the street from the supremacy of the automobile as the sustainable city’s declaration of independence. The Danish architect Jan Gehl, perhaps the movement’s most prominent proponent and most visionary strategist, refers to these places simply as “reconquered” cities.
In recent years, Mr. Gehl has undergone a rapid transformation himself, moving from the staid halls of Danish academia into the global spotlight as a sharp-tongued guru of urban livability. After several decades spent in close study of his native Copenhagen – home of possibly the world’s most elaborate inner-city pedestrian and bicycle networks – Mr. Gehl has taken his reconquest mission worldwide. He and his team of “urban quality consultants” have played an instrumental role in urban renaissances from Oslo to Barcelona and from London to Melbourne. (Mr. Gehl is especially renowned in Australia, where he is treated like a sort of patron saint of the sustainable metropolis.) Read more of this blog by Chris Turner here.
Reader Report: Notes From Greenbuild 2008 On November 19 the Greenbuild 2008 conference kicked off in Boston, Mass. Approximately 30,000 people from all around the world attended the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) event, which featured four days of discussions, seminars, tours, 800 industry vendors and tons of networking opportunities.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu delivered the opening plenary with a poignant message: "We are all one. If you are hurting, I am hurting." His words set the tone for the rest of the conference, as attendees seemed to share a feeling of hopeful anticipation for the coming year, hinged on the results of the recent U.S. election.
Between getting inspired by talks like this, and ogling new products (at varying levels of "green") in the vast exhibition hall, I listened to lectures from celebrated movement leaders such as Van Jones, Majora Carter and Bill McKibben. Each discussed their current projects and offered tips for getting involved. Topics for the educational sessions ranged from sustainability and poverty to green teaching tools, to discussions examining specific LEED projects.
The building and construction industry is in a key state of transition and recognizes that currently frontline standards such as LEED are not the sole solution. Ambitious solutions like "living buildings" are the goals that will push the status quo to new levels in the future. Keep reading this article here.
New Research Ranks Top Renewable Energy Options New research from Stanford University ranks wind power as the most promising alternative source of energy. Titled Review of solutions to global warming, air pollution, and energy security, the report from civil and environmental engineering professor Mark Z. Jacobson ranks the world's energy options -- putting wind, concentrated solar and geothermal at the top of the list, and nuclear power and coal with carbon capture and sequestration in a tie for dead last.
According to a recent article from PhysOrg.com,
Jacobson has conducted the first quantitative, scientific evaluation of the proposed, major, energy-related solutions by assessing not only their potential for delivering energy for electricity and vehicles, but also their impacts on global warming, human health, energy security, water supply, space requirements, wildlife, water pollution, reliability and sustainability. His findings indicate that the options that are getting the most attention are between 25 to 1,000 times more polluting than the best available options.
"The energy alternatives that are good are not the ones that people have been talking about the most. And some options that have been proposed are just downright awful," Jacobson said. "Ethanol-based biofuels will actually cause more harm to human health, wildlife, water supply and land use than current fossil fuels." He added that ethanol may also emit more global-warming pollutants than fossil fuels, according to the latest scientific studies.
The raw energy sources that Jacobson found to be the most promising are, in order, wind, concentrated solar (the use of mirrors to heat a fluid), geothermal, tidal, solar photovoltaics (rooftop solar panels), wave and hydroelectric. He recommends against nuclear, coal with carbon capture and sequestration, corn ethanol and cellulosic ethanol, which is made of prairie grass. In fact, he found cellulosic ethanol was worse than corn ethanol because it results in more air pollution, requires more land to produce and causes more damage to wildlife. Read the rest of Sarah Kuck's article here.