The Foundations of Climate Change Inquiry

Jason King of Landscape+ Urbanism has written a great review and references for understanding the climate change fundamentals and I will be diving into this myself, although written for North American audience, he does reference international resources as well, for an African audience, this local book by Anton Cartwright and team from UCT’s African Centre for Cities is worth looking at Climate Change at the City Scale: Impacts, Mitigation and Adaptation in Cape Town   

In an attempt to be intentional and informed in tying landscape architecture to climate change and asking some of the fundamental questions I posed in my introductory post, I starting to develop a plan and amass a wide range of resources. Even now, I’ve barely scratched the surface, although this initial study has been illuminating, perhaps just in posing more questions. 

First, I wanted to focus on climate change mechanisms and impacts, of which there is not shortage of resources, covered in a combination of technical reports, books and articles. Second, I wanted to tap into many of the strategies from design and planning world, of which there is a steadily growing collection of articles and books, to address this in the context of solutions based in landscape architecture, architecture, and urban planning. Lastly, is the rich resource of academic journals and papers that connect the issues and approaches with a layer of evidence to further inform potential solutions. In this initial post I will focus on the first, and relate some of the initial experiences.

Climate Change Reports

One impetus for my recent obsession was the release (to much fanfare) over the Thanksgiving weekend of Volume II of the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4). This report gives a detailed account of the “Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States.” Authored by an army of experts, and published by the U.S. Global Change Research Program this is the de facto standard for US Climate Science and has helped transform and amplify discussions.

Climate impact lingo

Because the IPCC’s work is so central to global scientific understand, it is helpful to get acquainted with the particular communications style of the IPCC… [it] forms a common language across fields and thus encourages interdisciplinary understanding.”Hamin-Infield, Abunnaser, & Ryan (eds), 2019 p.10

Read more…

Australia publishes cities report & launches Liveable Cities program

From LandReader by Damian Holmes information on a new very accessible manual on Livable Cities:

The Australian Government has recently published the “State of Australian Cities 2011″ report (PDF Link) that gives “a better understanding of how our cities work, the report also identifies the specific initiatives of local councils and state planning authorities which are proving effective at promoting more productive, sustainable and liveable urban communities.”

At the same time the government also launched the Liveable Cities program allocates $AUD20.0 million over two years for “improved alignment of urban planning and design with the National Urban Policy and COAG principles, resulting in lasting partnerships between and within levels of government, and between governments, not-for-profit organisations and private interests. Projects will provide lessons in achieving good planning outcomes that can be transferred and applied across Australia’s cities”. The funding is limited to 50% of the total project cost making sure that the organisations involved also contribute to projects.

Why cities are on the ‘cutting edge of environmentalism’ : Smart Planet

via LAND Reader

Peter Calthorpe, an architect, urban planner, and one of the founders of the Congress for the New Urbanism was interviewed by Smart Planet on Earth Day about his book – Urbanism in the Age of Climate Change (Amazon Link). Peter talks about climate change, smart urban planning, sustainable cities, urban lifestyle and many others in relation to urbanism and his book.

A good interview that talks more about the subject at large rather than Calthorpe’s book

If we’re going to curb climate change, urbanism — developing sustainable cities and metro regions — will have to lead the way.

So says Peter Calthorpe, an architect, urban planner, and one of the founders of the Congress for the New Urbanism. Continue reading

Spatial layout, urban movement & human transaction (via The power of the network)

Tim Stonor of Space Syntax gives a detailed account of the role of design in achieving sustainable mobility and all that goes with it in cities

Spatial layout, urban movement & human transaction Download my presentation "Designing mobility for democracy: the role of cities" #demobility Thursday, 14th April 2011 from 1pm to 5pm NYU, Kimmel Center, Eisner & Lubin Auditorium 60 Washington Square South, New York Summary Given the title of this event: "Designing mobility", I want to turn to the subject of design and the role of architects. The key message of this presentation is that cities need architects, not only to design the building … Read More

via The power of the network

BIG Wins the Stockholmsporten Master Plan

From bustler: BIG continues their winning  spree this time entering and (in my opinion) mastering the controversial territory of ‘Landscape Urbanism’ in a way that is fresh and intersects with both infrastructural and cultural  aspects of the sites environment as well as being a true interdisciplinary project with collaboration from all parties in the final product: I particularly like the way technical daring and technological innovation ( the sphere) combine with dramatic sculptural land-art and are shown off by digital representation, physical models and diagrams explain the intentions – no doubt contributing to their being selected as the winner:

Competition-winning design for the Stockholmsporten master plan by BIG in collaboration with Grontmij and Spacescape

Competition-winning design for the Stockholmsporten master plan by BIG in collaboration with Grontmij and Spacescape

“The Energy Valley is a cross-over between urbanism, landscape, architecture, art and infrastructure into a new neighborhood of Stockholm. Harnessing the momentum of the massive investment in tunnels and highways and putting the excess excavation to use as a man-made valley, we create an interdisciplinary hybrid of logistic, economic, environmental and social infrastructure.” Bjarke Ingels, Founder & Partner, BIG.The planned Hjulsta Intersection 15 km north of Stockholm where two European highways, the E18 and E4 Bypasses, converge into a three level intersection, amounts to the largest infrastructure project in Sweden, required due to the growth and development of the capital.

Visualization

“CITYSUMERS” -The future consumption arena is urban

According to trendwatching.com , (“one of the world’s leading consumer trends firms”)  the city is the main arena for the unfolding of the new century – was it ever any different, at least in recent times the city is the focus of action with more than 50% of the worlds population being urbanized.

"Urbanomics" & "Citysumers"

“CITYSUMERS | The hundreds of millions (and growing!) of experienced and sophisticated urbanites*, from San  to Shanghai to São Paulo, who are ever more demanding and more open-minded, but also more proud, more connected, more spontaneous and more try-out-prone, eagerly snapping up a whole host of new urban goods, services, experiences, campaigns and conversations.”

Although this might be very consumerist for many people – there are a number of very interesting urban and digital urban ideas and examples in this trend review that tie in closely with where a lot of urban research and thinking is heading – trust retailers to get there first – but we can learn and turn these ideas into a more available model.

Read more here: CITYSUMERS