Climate Change, Urbanization Put the Squeeze On Housing

photo of floating apartment complex; Climate Change, Urbanization Put the Squeeze On Housing

Dutch architect Koen Olthuis’ floating apartment complex.

Climate Change, Urbanization Put the Squeeze On Housing

Climate change and urbanization are challenging cities in much of the world to find room for responsible housing for residents.

Rising sea levels repeatedly flood rapidly-growing slum areas, but residents have few options for homes further from coastlines. Floating cities, Dutch architect Koen Olthuis said in his recent TED Talk, could help cities and residents adapt to climate change and urbanization while they alleviate a host of urban ills.

Read more here.

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Granny Flats Offer Flexible Alternative to High Housing Costs

ADU photo: Granny Flats Offer Flexible Alternative to High Housing Costs

Granny flats, or accessory dwelling units, offer an affordable option in expensive cities like Vancouver, B.C.

Granny Flats Offer Flexible Alternative to High Housing Costs

With high home prices and increasing urbanization, Australian cities are now accepting a dwelling type that could provide affordable housing in established neighbourhoods in dense cities.

Granny flats, also known as laneway homes or Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), are finding increased acceptance from governments in many competitive real estate markets. As home prices rise in cities such as Melbourne, granny flats can provide an affordable, adaptable alternative.

Read more here.

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Metal Box Used as a Comfortable, Inexpensive Home

container home photo; Metal Box Used as a Comfortable, Inexpensive Home

Shipping containers can be used a number of times before they’re “retired” from carrying cargo, after which they can be made available for a variety of creative and utilitarian uses, such as housing.

Metal Box Used as a Comfortable, Inexpensive Home

Though usually cheap to buy used, they’re strong, durable, and adaptable. People modify them for all types of housing, from basic to high end.

Inspired by a friend in San Francisco who moved frequently due to her rent rising, Salt Lake City real estate broker Jeff White spent two years working in his driveway on a prototype home that could help low-income people like his friend Sarah. He then moved on to building this more refined version, called the Sarah House, on a vacant city lot.

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Wikihouse Concept Could Provide Housing Solutions for All

house photo; Wikihouse Concept Could Provide Housing Solutions for All

Wikihouses could provide affordable, sustainable housing to people in cities around the world.

Wikihouse Concept Could Provide Housing Solutions for All

 http://sourceable.net/wikihouse-for-everyone/

“Wikihouse is one answer to a very big question,” said Alastair Parvin during his 2013 TED Talk.

The question was centred around how best to house the world’s growing and urbanising population.

According to Parvin, one of the founders of the Wikihouse project, the world’s fastest growing cities are not skyscraper cities, they’re self-built cities such as Rio’s favelas.

The Wikihouse project is an open source, collaborative venture that aims to help people to build their own homes. Making use of open source software and designs, Wikihouses are designed to be built by people anywhere who don’t possess high-level building skills.

See more here.

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Paolo Soleri’s Vision of Sustainable Cities

Arcosanti photo: Paolo Soleri’s Vision of Sustainable Cities

Paolo’s Soleri’s vision of a sustainable city, Arcosanti.

Paolo Soleri’s Vision of Sustainable Cities

In the view of the late Paolo Soleri, “the city is the necessary instrument for the evolution of humankind.”

The visionary architect anticipated the ecological/environmental revolution as well as the need for its application to the urban environment. His vision included many of factors society has had to rediscover over the past few decades, such as local food production, increased walkability in the built environment, and passive heating and cooling systems.

More here.

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Green Roofs Gaining Ground

green roof photo: Green Roofs Gaining Ground

The surface area of green roofs installed in 2013 grew by 10 per cent over 2012, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC) reports.

Green Roofs Gaining Ground

GRHC, a member-based nonprofit industry association for green roof and wall professionals in North America, conducts an annual survey of its members.

According to its survey, GRHC members installed 596,580 square metres in 2013 on 950 projects, up from 519,151 square metres installed in 2012 on 982 projects. The area installed on public projects grew compared to that on private projects, whereas in past years the public/private balance had been more equal. The number of private projects installed was far higher, indicating that the public projects were much larger than the private projects.

More here.

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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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