How to Make Cities Safe for People On Bikes

 

Here’s an explanation of Dutch-style multi-modal intersections that prioritize cyclists and pedestrians and safety. This video explains how to make cities safe for people on bikes.

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Restoring and Reusing Degraded Landscapes

High Line Restoring and Reusing Degraded Landscapes

New York City’s High Line is an elevated greenbelt.

 Restoring and Reusing Degraded Landscapes

In 1992, Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson wrote: “Here is the means to end the great extinction spasm. The next century will, I believe, be the era of restoration in ecology.”

Check out this Sourceable article about restoring degraded landscapes with ecological restoration. New York City’s High Line park, China’s Loess Hills, and Minneapolis’ riverfront have all been reclaimed and are now useable and beautiful.

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With Powerful Backing, Green Globes Standard Advances at LEED’s Expense

powerful-backing-green-globes-standard-advances-leeds-expense

Green Globes has recently seen several favorable government decisions.

With Powerful Backing, Green Globes Standard Advances at LEED’s Expense

As LEED has become more ubiquitous, it’s also drawn the ire of the timber, chemical, and plastics industries that say the standard maligns their products. In response, they created their own green building standard, Green Globes, administered by the Green Building Institute of Portland, Oregon.

Though launched by a timber-industry executive, Green Globes is now run by Jerry Yudelson, a veteran figure in the green building movement. The GBI counts as board members several members of the timber, plastics, and chemical industries.

Read the Sourceable article here. More info here and here.

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Do the Health Benefits of Bike Sharing Outweigh the Risks?

bike share photo: Health Benefits Bike Sharing Outweigh Risks?

Doctors at Boston Medical Center can now write a prescription for $5 access to Hubway, the city’s bike-share program.

Do the Health Benefits of Bike Sharing Outweigh the Risks?

Bike-sharing programs have grown in popularity in recent years, with schemes now operating more than 643,000 bikes in more than 50 countries.

 A recent innovation comes from Boston, Mass., where doctors at Boston Medical Center can now write a prescription for $5 access to Hubway, the city’s bike-share program. Memberships regularly cost $80.

The full story is here.

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Will Your Next House Be Printed?

Will Your Next House Be Printed?

3D printing is now a reality for small structures, and may soon be able to “print” larger buildings on site.

 Will Your Next House Be Printed?

Using recycled industrial waste, construction waste, and concrete, a Chinese company recently “printed” 10 small buildings at their factory near Shanghai. The process involves grinding the materials and creating a thick, quick-drying slurry that the machine lays down layer by layer. The company says the buildings cost just under $5000 USD each.

This process offers great potential for creating affordable housing and other buildings all over the world. Some people envision taking the printer to the job site and printing a structure all at once. Others think modular components could be printed at the factory and delivered to the job site ready to assemble.

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Looking to the Village for Tomorrow’s City Design

Looking to the Village for Tomorrow’s City Design; photo of dense urban city

Some dense urban cities grew from multiple villages, today’s neighborhoods.

 Looking to the Village for Tomorrow’s City Design

This article for Sourceable examines Kent Larson’s ideas about city design. He says, “Paris was a series of these little villages that came together, and you still see that structure today.” “The 20 arrondissements of Paris are these little neighborhoods. When you have that kind of structure, you get a very even distribution of shops, physicians, pharmacies, cafes, in Paris.”Larson, an architect and researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, advises a similar type of urban planning for today’s growing cities. He calls a neighborhood a “compact urban cell.” They’re about 1.5 kilometres across, and may house 20,000 to 50,000 residents, as well as most businesses and services the residents need on a daily basis.

“Most of what people need in life can be within a 5- or 10-minute walk,” Larson said in his TED Talk.

With 300–400 million Chinese moving to the cities in the next dozen years, accommodating more residents is crucial. His team at M.I.T. has been working on a city car and an “open loft chassis” that, he says, enable more people to live comfortably in a neighborhood.

The article continues here.

And here’s more interesting info about cities:

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Dee Williams Tiny House

Dee Williams tiny house photo

Dee Williams tiny house

Here’s a New York Times article about Dee Williams’ tiny house. With just 84 square feet, this one is really tiny. It’s well designed and beautifully crafted, and a couple photovoltaic panels provide her electricity. She has it parked on a friend’s lot, which seems to be the major issue with tiny houses—where do you put it?

More about tiny homes:

Tiny Homes Can Serve Diverse Housing Needs

Is This the Best Tiny House Design?

Tiny Homes with Great Design

A Tiny House in the Back Yard

A Tiny House Village

Tiny Homes and Green Neighborhoods

Does LEED-ND Work for Established Neighborhoods?

image of established neighborhood; Does LEED-ND Work for Established Neighborhoods?

LEED-ND was developed jointly by the Natural Resources Defense Council, Congress for The New Urbanism, and the United States Green Building Council.

Does LEED-ND Work for Established Neighborhoods?

Similar in ambition and execution to GBCA’s Green Star – Communities program, LEED-ND provides a framework for “greener” development on a neighbourhood scale. Thanks to the different missions of the principles involved in its genesis, LEED-ND combines elements of green building, New Urbanism, and smart growth.

More about LEED:

Ohio Senate Votes to Ban LEED

Do Green Ratings Impact Affordable Housing?

 

‘Sustainable’ Doesn’t Have to Cost More

 

 

 

 

Which Is Greener, White Roofs or Green Roofs?

house roofs in white reflect heat

Are white roofs or green roofs more better for the environment?

Which Is Greener, White Roofs or Green Roofs?

In this article for Sourceable.net, I looked into the environmental benefits of white roofs compared to green, or living roofs, as stated in a new report by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. It turns out that white roofs are most cost effective overall, and most effective at mitigating climate change by reflecting heat back into the atmosphere.

Green roofs, however, offer other benefits, and last roughly twice as long as white roofs or traditional black roofs. Green roofs of living plants can absorb pollutants such as particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides. Green roofs also produce oxygen, consume carbon dioxide, and help to manage stormwater and runoff. Over their lifespan, green roofs are not necessarily substantially more expensive than white roofs.

Is Sprawl Development Simply Unaffordable?

photo of sprawling city; is sprawl development simply unaffordable?

Sprawling development costs more than it pays back.

Is sprawl development simply unaffordable? Also called “suburban sprawl,” this has been the dominant development pattern in the U.S. since World War II.

This article for Sourceable.net cites Sustainable Prosperity, a think tank at the University of Ottawa. The group published a report about sprawl in 2013. “Suburban Sprawl: Exposing Hidden Costs, Identifying Innovations,” offers a number of observations and conclusions regarding sprawl.

Chuck Marohn of Strong Towns calls the traditional suburban development pattern a “Ponzi scheme.”

The Farmhouse Media is all about living sustainably through

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