Support the Arctic Sea Ice Forum and Blog

Author Topic: Town & country planning for climate mitigation  (Read 5846 times)

GeoffBeacon

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 394
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 18
  • Likes Given: 21
Town & country planning for climate mitigation
« on: January 29, 2016, 07:41:43 PM »
We need very different lifestyles to combat climate change. 

However, if some become low carbon and their neighbours do not, life is harder so I am interested in town and country planning which makes low carbon living easy and pleasant.

One example living in car free neighbourhoods. Some proposals to bring this about are in A market in prototype neighbourhoods

Any other ideas?
Il faut cultiver notre cité-jardin
The Sustainable Plotlands Association

Laurent

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 2538
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 6
  • Likes Given: 35
Re: Town & country planning for climate mitigation
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2016, 08:03:19 PM »
There won't be any stable situation as long as we do not set an ecological foot print per person and on a given perimeter (5km radius?). The ecological foot print of the people around should not exceed the available space of the town. (Wild parts untouched should be there also (20%?))
Organizing the competition between users of fossil fuels and others who try not to is very difficult or impossible (the politic should be either to ban direct fossil fuel and tax whose indirectly used (like china import) or fix a minimum limit per persons directly and indirectly (Solar and wind systems).

johnm33

  • Guest
Re: Town & country planning for climate mitigation
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2016, 03:00:01 PM »
If the political situation would allow it we could establish a series of small cities on some of the more arid coastlines of the world. The atlantic coast of africa from southern Morroco to the senegal river would be an ideal candidate, as would large stretches of the southern Australian coast. The arid coast of Spain somewhere southwest of Murcia would be an ideal place to develop the concept.
 High density housing redolent of the architecture of old Spanish/Morrocan cities, but water cooled, with either evaporative cooling or having seawater pumped through some part of the fabric. Amenities such as theatres cinemas etc. concentrated in the centers around squares like many mediteranean cities. Nowhere too far to walk from home. Narrow roads glazed over, rooftops covered with solar pv panels/ community gardens. Connected to the outside world by bus or rail, no need for personal transport.
  Given purpose by producing food http://www.seawatergreenhouse.com/aboutus.html / https://gardenaquaponics.wordpress.com/2009/05/14/large-polytunnel-aquaponics-system/  providing holidays, education, or even taking care of the growing army of ancient europeans.
 

GeoffBeacon

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 394
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 18
  • Likes Given: 21
Re: Town & country planning for climate mitigation
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2016, 08:58:28 PM »
John33

WOULD PLANTING TREES ON THE EDGE ARID COASTS ENCOURAGE MOISTURE TO MOVE INLAND?

Unfortunately, I think your suggestions sound a bit odd to normal people (Do you know any?) but thank you because these are just the sort of ideas that should be tried.

But to risk destroying credibility on this thread I go one step further and report a presentation I attended at a UK Parliamentary group a few years ago. It was suggesting this:

Quote
The massive waste water problem that currently pollutes our bathing waters costing £billions to process throughout the world can be used to irrigate and reforest desert coastlines to induce rainfall. Our aim is to use the return ballast capacity of super crude carriers which currently transport sea water half way around the world at great financial and environmental cost. This ballast is discharged into the sea, often introducing invasive marine species which affects the stability of indigenous species of flora and fauna. The E.U. is legislating against this practice and tanker operators will be forced to seek an alternative. Operation OASIS offers an exciting opportunity for ballast water. Transporting treated waste water to irrigate and reforest arid coastlines to induce rainfall has to be the way forward. One tanker loaded with 300000 cubic meters of treated waste water would support 57 hectares of forest for a whole year. Reclaiming deserts to enable people to feed themselves...
Operation OASIS = Overseas Arid Soil Irrigation Solution

The one effect the presenters mentioned that really interested me was

Quote
Currently Thermal currents rise from dry sands along the coast of the Sahara and other arid deserts creating an effective thermal barrier that prevents the moisture that rises from the ocean during the day, from crossing onto the land to provide vegetation with sufficient water.

Operation OASIS Will prime the naturally occuring coastal atmospheric moisture with additional transpiration and evaporation from the coast, affording the cloud cover to cross onto the land more frequently by moving the thermal barrier inland.
Operation OASIS

Should they be contestants in a new TV show, "Just because I'm looney, it doesn't mean I'm wrong"?

Starting with the easy question, would planting trees on the edge arid coasts encourage  moisture to move inland?


Il faut cultiver notre cité-jardin
The Sustainable Plotlands Association

GeoffBeacon

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 394
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 18
  • Likes Given: 21
Re: Town & country planning for climate mitigation
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2016, 05:36:59 PM »
A post on RealClimate pointed me to . I watched it last night - it took over an hour.

He points out that the rich are creating most of the carbon emissions and dumping the problems on the poor. He said we (the cognoscenti? Or was it academics?) know this but don’t care much.  We pretend there are easy technological fixes but these probably don't work (e.g. BECCS).

An Oxfam briefing, Extreme carbon inequality  put some numbers on this at COP21:  The richest 10% of the world create 50% of carbon emissions. The poorest 10%create 60 times less than the rich.

Kevin Anderson said that if we are to cut our emissions to address the climate issue, the rich should be cutting  them at 10% a year. For me, this means “green growth” is a fantasy – at least on world wide basis. We don't need electric cars: we need "no-cars" because we haven't got time to get the clean electricity to make and run them. But this will mean living life differently and making life more local and planning our neighbourhoods to suit.

But in the UK we have had the fantasy of eco-towns – aimed at sustainability but ending up with residents even more polluting than average and their carbon emissions many times their share of the carbon budget necessary to keep below 2°C. See “Three failed eco-towns”.

I know this topic has not caught the imagination here but I hope for some feedback (positive or otherwise) as to whether T&P planning can do much for this enormous issue.
Il faut cultiver notre cité-jardin
The Sustainable Plotlands Association

wili

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3342
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 612
  • Likes Given: 409
Re: Town & country planning for climate mitigation
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2016, 06:57:59 PM »
Geoff, thanks for bringing up these important issues here and at RC. I think you are right, of course.

For now, I just want to point out that what Anderson emphasizes is using what we already have more efficiently, and spreading the tech we already have.

JimD has been hammering the futility of Green or Brown BAU around here for a while.

I certainly don't think we have time to build whole new eco-communities. We need to make the communities we have much more efficient, mostly be multiple use: More people per house, more people per car, and of course more people on mass transit or biking/walking.

And of course, a huge slash in flying--a major reason that people in places like Findhorn fail to have anything close to a sustainable footprint is because of their flying habits, iirc.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

bosbas

  • New ice
  • Posts: 52
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 9
  • Likes Given: 7
Re: Town & country planning for climate mitigation
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2016, 07:27:13 PM »
Wili, how bad is flying actually? Sometimes I get the impression that transport (air, boat) is only a small portion of the overall emissions, but I am not sure. I think that these 2 were excluded from the December Paris agreement IIRC.

GeoffBeacon

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 394
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 18
  • Likes Given: 21
Re: Town & country planning for climate mitigation
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2016, 07:29:58 PM »
Wili

Quote
I certainly don't think we have time to build whole new eco-communities. We need to make the communities we have much more efficient, mostly be multiple use: More people per house, more people per car, and of course more people on mass transit or biking/walking.

Yes. That's true.

However, I think new eco-communities could show the way and ease the way for existing settlements to change. I have been interested in local financial & legal mechanisms that would encourage the things you mention and also enriching local facilities like local shops (and even food production) to shorten distribution paths and reduce travelling.

Working examples are needed to change opinions. That's what I've tried to put forward in "A market in prototype neighbourhoods"
Il faut cultiver notre cité-jardin
The Sustainable Plotlands Association

GeoffBeacon

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 394
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 18
  • Likes Given: 21
Re: Town & country planning for climate mitigation
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2016, 07:34:03 PM »
Bobas

This is a bit off-the-cuff but the lifestyles of the wealthy entail lots of air travel. The poor of the world keep the average carbon emissions much smaller but aspire to wealthier life-styles.

That is one reason for showing a pleasant low crbon life-style.
Il faut cultiver notre cité-jardin
The Sustainable Plotlands Association

Laurent

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 2538
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 6
  • Likes Given: 35
Re: Town & country planning for climate mitigation
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2016, 09:07:52 PM »
There was a movie last year about the problematic. They do not really take into account the situation we are in, as such they are a little be downward... but it is a step to move the society.
http://www.demain-lefilm.com/en

Personally, I think that the ecological foot print should serve to allocate the space for cities, it has to be defined and implemented as fast as possible.

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 19202
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 860
  • Likes Given: 324
Re: Town & country planning for climate mitigation
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2016, 07:31:07 PM »
Remember "McMansions"?  Here's a step in the other direction: smaller and cheaper.

This House Costs Just $20,000—But It’s Nicer Than Yours
"Rural Studio's $20K House has such innovative design that it's changing the entire housing system—from mortgages to zoning laws."
http://www.fastcoexist.com/3056129/this-house-costs-just-20000-but-its-nicer-than-yours/1
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Archimid

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3398
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 861
  • Likes Given: 204
Re: Town & country planning for climate mitigation
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2017, 09:13:00 PM »
Google Robot factory raises sterile mosquitos, automated device will release a million per week

https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2017/07/google-robot-factory-raises-sterile-mosquitos-automated-device-will-release-a-million-per-week.html

Quote
Verily, the life sciences arm of Google’s parent company Alphabet, will release about 20 million lab-made, bacteria-infected sterile mosquitoes upon Fresno, California.

Verily’s male mosquitoes were infected with the Wolbachia bacteria, which is harmless to humans, but when they mate with and infect their female counterparts, it makes their eggs unable to produce offspring.

Bonus, male mosquitoes don’t bite, so Fresno residents won’t have to worry about itching more than they usually would.

Note: I revived this thread to share this link. Couldn't find a better fit for it, but it certainly fits in this thread. I noticed most of the solutions  threads are energy related. That's understandable since energy is the main cause of the climate change problem and an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Regrettably  prevention is already too late for some.
I am an energy reservoir seemingly intent on lowering entropy for self preservation.

Bob Wallace

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3855
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 41
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: Town & country planning for climate mitigation
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2017, 10:53:23 PM »
Quote
We need very different lifestyles to combat climate change. 

However, if some become low carbon and their neighbours do not, life is harder so I am interested in town and country planning which makes low carbon living easy and pleasant.

We need a grid powered by renewable, low carbon sources (mainly wind, solar, and hydro).

We need electricity powered transportation - EVs, battery buses, electrified rail.  Charged from a clean grid.

We need better insulated houses/buildings heated and cooled by efficient heat pumps.  Powered by a clean grid.

None of this requires we change our lifestyles in any appreciable, certainly negative way.  In fact, our lives should greatly improve.  We'll have cleaner air and water.  Our roads will be quieter.  We'll spend less for electricity and on transportation.

oren

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 6925
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 2560
  • Likes Given: 2318
Re: Town & country planning for climate mitigation
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2017, 01:14:00 AM »
For now, I just want to point out that what Anderson emphasizes is using what we already have more efficiently, and spreading the tech we already have.

JimD has been hammering the futility of Green or Brown BAU around here for a while.

We need a grid powered by renewable, low carbon sources (mainly wind, solar, and hydro).

We need electricity powered transportation - EVs, battery buses, electrified rail.  Charged from a clean grid.

We need better insulated houses/buildings heated and cooled by efficient heat pumps.  Powered by a clean grid.

None of this requires we change our lifestyles in any appreciable, certainly negative way.  In fact, our lives should greatly improve.  We'll have cleaner air and water.  Our roads will be quieter.  We'll spend less for electricity and on transportation.

JimD and Bob provide two very different viewpoints, and I happen to agree with both (schizophrenic I know). I believe Green BAU, Bob's way, comes too late to save the world. It will be implemented globally too slowly, especially considering that population growth occurs only in the undeveloped countries, and that all aspire to live like the rich/America. However, I still believe green BAU is the only practical way to go. No one is going to implement a WWII-style global effort of decarbonising everything while sharply cutting away at unsustainable practices that cannot be decarbonised (flying). Given that, some progress is better than no progress, and green BAU is better than black BAU, even though it might lead to a similar collapse down the line.
Veering slightly into the thread's topic, I believe local planning should assume that the long-term civilization, if there is one, will be less complex, with partial collapse. So, a town should hopefully strive towards being more self-sustainable, getting its electricity/energy (rooftop solar, wind etc.) and its food (greenhouses, vertical farming) locally. Try to avoid relying on long-range interconnections and supply lines for basic necessities. Avoid floodplains and low-lying coastal areas, assume that maintenance and weather protection currently done by the government might be lacking. Avoid nuclear plants, as under collapse scenarios they become more of a danger than a benefit. And avoid high population density.

Bob Wallace

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3855
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 41
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: Town & country planning for climate mitigation
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2017, 02:38:22 AM »
Quote
I believe Green BAU, Bob's way, comes too late to save the world.

It's not about "saving" the world.  It's about minimizing the hurt we're going to experience. 

Many of us started, back in the 1960s, trying to get people to change their lifestyles in order to live lighter on the planet.  Success was, at best, very limited.  I have little hope that the world's population will become extremely worried about climate change early enough to drastically change their lifestyles. 

I operate under the assumption that if we stop CO2 emission growth soon and bring CO2 emissions down to about zero by 2050 (and figure out how to re-sequester carbon) we will be able to deal with the pain.  We'll lose some coastal cities and islands.  We'll have to move food production closer to the poles (or indoors/underground).  We'll have to do a lot of adaption and millions of us will die along the way due to extreme heat and famine.

What I see is an increase in RE installation over the next several years.  I would not be at all surprised if the planet was converting 4% to 5% of FF use to renewables per year ten years from now (2027).  That should put us FF free for grids ten years later (2037).  I expect transportation to morph to mostly electric in the same period, or sooner.  I think that there is a very good chance that the planet will be close to zero carbon for electricity and transportation by 2040.  (I don't know about ag and cement.)

I'm not worried about developing countries.  Why (aside from crooked officials being bribed) would a country with limited capital and a big need for electricity pay far more for a coal plant and wait most of a decade to get it running when they can install wind and solar for far less money and start having more electricity on their grids "later today".

Collapse?  Don't see that outside of some countries which will probably fail.  North Africa and the Middle East may see some bad times. 

I expect the world will continue to be more connected, not start isolating parts.  The RE grid works best if the harvest area is larger.  Wide spread grids can share deep storage and backup.

Will we grow food closer to cities or where it grows best (cheapest)?  With low cost, zero carbon transportation we may access our food far from where we live.  Will it be cheaper to grow some of our produce indoors/vertically with robots?  That's an unanswerable at the moment.  Same with factory grown meat.  Cheaper to grow further away and ship?  Or ship the raw materials and grow locally?

Over the next 20-30 years we're likely to see lots of changes in the way we collect and use energy.  As climate change ramps up the hurt that has already started we should see lots more push to get carbon fuels out of our lives.  A WWII effort?  I wouldn't be surprised if ten, fifteen years from now we were cranking out a Liberty Ship equivalent of turbines and panels each day.  We've got climate change and air quality pushing.  Cheaper electricity pulling.  That's a bunch of drivers coming together.


johnm33

  • Guest
Re: Town & country planning for climate mitigation
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2017, 11:12:34 AM »

Bob Wallace

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3855
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 41
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: Town & country planning for climate mitigation
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2017, 05:20:33 PM »
" (I don't know about ag and cement.)" cements possible
http://utah.academia.edu/MarieJackson
https://www.geopolymer.org/archaeology/roman-cement/high-performance-roman-cement-and-concrete-high-durable-buildings/
The geopolymer site is a little treasure trove.

What I meant (but didn't make clear) is what sort of progress may or may not be happening in those areas.  There are additional concrete solutions, including adding basalt or olivine to the mix which apparently causes the concrete to absorb CO2 as it cures.

What I don't know is whether the concrete industry is beginning to utilize any low CO2 or CO2 absorbing mixes.



 

Bob Wallace

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3855
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 41
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: Town & country planning for climate mitigation
« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2017, 05:29:22 PM »
Quote
a team of MIT researchers, led by senior researcher Roland Pellenq, decided to take a closer look at the cement mix, going down to molecular level.  They questioned the standard calcium to silica ratio of 1.7, which is commonly accepted as the one resulting in the most stable and strong cement.

After conducting a series of experiments, however, the team established that the optimal calcium-to-silica clay ratio should in fact be 1.5. Not only that the final product has incredible mechanical resistance , which is double the one achieved with a ratio of 1,7, and it is much less prone to fracturing, but also the team estimated a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from the manufacturing process of up to 60%.

https://www.greenoptimistic.com/mit-researchers-cook-eco-friendly-cement-20140929/#.WW4lyYjyvIV

Stuff is happening at the idea level.  I've seen nothing on the actual implementation.

I started a new topic on cement.  Perhaps we can gather potential solutions and maybe someone can discover if any are being implemented.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2017, 05:55:12 PM by Bob Wallace »

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 19202
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 860
  • Likes Given: 324
Re: Town & country planning for climate mitigation
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2017, 08:17:08 PM »
The suburban "walkable community" of the (near) future may not come about the way you think.  As bricks and mortar stores close by the thousands, shopping malls are being redeveloped by adding non-retail uses such as apartments, offices, hotels, gyms and movie theaters.

Plans to Rethink America’s Malls Can’t Keep Up With Retail’s Collapse
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-03/retail-shakeout-forces-mall-owners-to-rework-development-plans
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 19202
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 860
  • Likes Given: 324
Re: Town & country planning for climate mitigation
« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2017, 02:05:15 PM »
Priced out of the city housing market, millenials are demanding more dense, more affordable housing.

Rise of the yimbys: the angry millennials with a radical housing solution
They see themselves as progressive housing activists. Critics call them stooges for luxury developers. Meet the new band of millennials who are priced out of cities and shouting: ‘Yes in my back yard’
Quote
Yimby groups want to reduce the need for cars by building dense, infill housing close to transportation. They want to do away with suburban sprawl. Most of all, they want somewhere to live.
Quote
Generational divide
The net wealth of millennials in the US today is only about half of what of their parents’ generation, the boomers, had when they were the same age in 1989, according to Young Invincibles, a research and advocacy group. The typical millennial has accumulated about $29,000 in assets compared to $61,000 amassed by those in the boomer generation by 1989.

“They earn less, carry more college debt and face greater challenges to home ownership,” says Tom Allison, Young Invincibles’ deputy director of policy and research. But he says they seem more willing than other generations to stand up and change the world. “This generation is resilient. They are changing things in the face of adversity. That is the silver lining,” Allison adds.
https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/oct/02/rise-of-the-yimbys-angry-millennials-radical-housing-solution
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

numerobis

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 837
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 16
  • Likes Given: 3
Re: Town & country planning for climate mitigation
« Reply #20 on: November 06, 2017, 03:01:39 PM »
Montreal just elected a new mayor.

The outgoing mayor said all the right things with respect to carbon and cycling. But his true priorities were elsewhere: repairing the huge infrastructure backlog plus some nice bread & circus.

The new mayor and her party has specific plans to expand the metro, improve cycling and walking infrastructure, and so on. Their ideology looks to Copenhagen and Amsterdam as models. They've been in power in various boroughs (the one where I lived as of 8 years ago, plus a few neighbouring ones they won last election) where they've actually implemented some of these plans, and in this election they've won more boroughs. It'll be interesting to see what they achieve in the next 4 years.

http://en.projetmontreal.org/2017_platform

TerryM

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 6002
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 895
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: Town & country planning for climate mitigation
« Reply #21 on: November 06, 2017, 05:17:06 PM »
Montreal just elected a new mayor.

The outgoing mayor said all the right things with respect to carbon and cycling. But his true priorities were elsewhere: repairing the huge infrastructure backlog plus some nice bread & circus.

The new mayor and her party has specific plans to expand the metro, improve cycling and walking infrastructure, and so on. Their ideology looks to Copenhagen and Amsterdam as models. They've been in power in various boroughs (the one where I lived as of 8 years ago, plus a few neighbouring ones they won last election) where they've actually implemented some of these plans, and in this election they've won more boroughs. It'll be interesting to see what they achieve in the next 4 years.

http://en.projetmontreal.org/2017_platform
Wonderful News!


With Montreal won, any chance that the revolution could expand toward the west?
We need something like Projet here in Cambridge, and if Toronto should catch fire !!!


As of the last election cycle I'm ABC all the way (Anybody But Conservatives), with a new city counselor who I've been donating to since moving to Canada. If something like Projet were to come to town, there are many other seats that seriously need new blood, and new ideas.


Terry

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 19202
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 860
  • Likes Given: 324
Re: Town & country planning for climate mitigation
« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2018, 07:16:35 PM »
California Bill Would Allow Unrestricted Housing by Transit, Solve State Housing Crisis
Quote
San Francisco’s state senator, Scott Wiener, has introduced a bill that would all but abolish the city’s famously strict land use controls—and virtually every other residential zoning restriction in California’s urban neighborhoods. It’s just about the most radical attack on California’s affordability crisis you could imagine.

Wiener’s bill, SB-827, flies in the face of every assumption Americans have held about neighborhood politics and design for a century. It also makes intuitive sense. The bill would ensure that all new housing construction within a half-mile of a train station or a quarter-mile of a frequent bus route would not be subject to local regulations concerning size, height, number of apartments, restrictive design standards, or the provision of parking spaces. Because San Francisco is a relatively transit-rich area, this would up-zone virtually the entire city. But it would also apply to corridors in Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego, and low-rise, transit-oriented suburbs across the state. It would produce larger residential buildings around transit hubs, but just as importantly it would enable developers to build those buildings faster. ...
http://slate.com/business/2018/01/california-bill-sb827-residential-zoning-transit-awesome.html
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Archimid

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3398
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 861
  • Likes Given: 204
Re: Town & country planning for climate mitigation
« Reply #23 on: March 21, 2018, 06:14:32 PM »
Turning cities into sponges: how Chinese ancient wisdom is taking on climate change

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2018/mar/21/turning-cities-into-sponges-how-chinese-ancient-wisdom-is-taking-on-climate-change

Quote
How does a city cope with extreme weather? These days, urban planning that doesn’t factor in some sort of catastrophic weather event is like trying to build something in a fictional utopia. For Kongjian Yu, one of the world’s leading landscape architects, the answer to coping with extreme weather events actually lies in the past.
...
Yu’s designs aim to build resilience in cities faced with rising sea levels, droughts, floods and so-called “once in a lifetime” storms. At 53, he is best known for his “sponge cities”, which use soft material and terraces to capture water which can then be extracted for use, rather than the usual concrete and steel materials which do not absorb water.
I am an energy reservoir seemingly intent on lowering entropy for self preservation.

TerryM

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 6002
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 895
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: Town & country planning for climate mitigation
« Reply #24 on: March 21, 2018, 08:01:59 PM »
Turning cities into sponges: how Chinese ancient wisdom is taking on climate change

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2018/mar/21/turning-cities-into-sponges-how-chinese-ancient-wisdom-is-taking-on-climate-change

Quote
How does a city cope with extreme weather? These days, urban planning that doesn’t factor in some sort of catastrophic weather event is like trying to build something in a fictional utopia. For Kongjian Yu, one of the world’s leading landscape architects, the answer to coping with extreme weather events actually lies in the past.
...
Yu’s designs aim to build resilience in cities faced with rising sea levels, droughts, floods and so-called “once in a lifetime” storms. At 53, he is best known for his “sponge cities”, which use soft material and terraces to capture water which can then be extracted for use, rather than the usual concrete and steel materials which do not absorb water.


Are any of these concepts applicable in Puerto Rico? Is anyone in power showing any interest in rebuilding on any basis other than the obviously flawed infrastructure that possibly exacerbated the problems that Maria exposed?


Puerto Rico will experience another hurricane. Will the island's government have learned enough from Maria to better survive the next? I've seen that you personally have made adjustments, but is the island as a whole following your lead, or simply bumbling through, hoping the next big storm simply passes them by?


Terry

Archimid

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3398
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 861
  • Likes Given: 204
Re: Town & country planning for climate mitigation
« Reply #25 on: March 21, 2018, 08:49:59 PM »
I haven't seen anything resembling preparations for the next hurricane from the state. The other day a legislator proposed a project to evaluate the state and vulnerability of the coasts but it got immediately silenced by meaningless politics. I have to assume they have people working on this, but I also have to assume that they are the same bureaucrats as always.

However, I have seen many local governments set up citizens brigades to help rebuild the grid and homes.  There are also brigades for cleaning and rescue made out of volunteers that didn't exist before. World Central Kitchen worked with 19,000 volunteers to cook and deliver 3 million food plates in the island. They set a brilliant example that's most getting enough credit. Next time around there will be a lot more experience, with better equipment and better organization of the citizenship.

That reminds me of a story. The day the cleaning brigades were on my street I talked to one of the crew members.

 He lived in a very rural zone of my municipality. Think of small 1 lane roads with years of tropical growth surrounding them. He tells me that for miles 100% of the road was covered in trees. He tells me that they were incomunicated for a week, the time it took them to dig a path out to the main road using only machetes. Once they finally hit the main, their group went to the town hall but it was deserted as the whole area flooded.

They decided to head back to their neighborhoods and keep clearing roads. Somehow the volunteer work they were doing became a business contracted by FEMA to clean all the roads.

That group is now ready to hit the ground running the next time a hurricane hits. I have to assume that story repeats throughout the island. It saddens me that the government do not take advantage of this.
I am an energy reservoir seemingly intent on lowering entropy for self preservation.

TerryM

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 6002
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 895
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: Town & country planning for climate mitigation
« Reply #26 on: March 21, 2018, 09:26:14 PM »
Thanks Archimid. Canada has in the past sent volunteers out to assist in hurricane cleanup & rebuilding. No idea if any signed up for Maria.


Self sufficiency seems the order of the day.


Best always
Terry

Bob Wallace

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3855
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 41
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: Town & country planning for climate mitigation
« Reply #27 on: April 18, 2018, 06:50:18 AM »
Quote
A back-to-nature rural community created 15 years ago by a couple who dreamed of living off-grid is thriving.

Serenbe, in the idyllic pastoral setting of Chattahoochee Hill country, south of Atlanta, is the brainchild of Steve and Marie Nygren, who decided that escaping the rat-race for a simpler life needn't be the stuff of fancy.

Residents living in the revolutionary green utopia, which was designed by architect Dr Phil Tabb, now recycle their water, live off fruit and vegetables grown on a 25-acre organic farm and walk as much as possible via a network of inter-connecting trails.

Some 600 people are currently living happily in the experimental community, with the four hamlets boasting a school, shops and cafes - all with well-being and green living at their core. 

The community was designed by Steve and Marie Nygren and is hidden amid 1,000 acres of natural forest landscape just south of Atlanta in the United States.

Homes - which are heated and cooled with ground-sourced heat pumps - were built into the landscape to minimize the impact on the land.

Manicured lawns are not allowed and fresh food is a natural asset with a 25-acre organic farm.

There is also a seasonal Saturday farmers market and edible landscaping along paths and sidewalk.

The water system is eco friendly and vegetated wetland treats all the wastewater.

There are currently three restaurants, eight retailers, a gym, a day spa and a school on site. They are all connected by walking trails.

Serenbe features some homes that were borne out of the 20k Home Project, a venture by students at Auburn University's Rural Studio in Alabama, to create well-designed homes at affordable prices.

The initial aim for the project was to make a market-rate model home that could be built by contract for $20,000.

This would include $12,000 for materials and $8,000 for labor - making it less than the average price of a new car but does not include the price of the land.

 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-5624537/Unique-Eco-community-homes-cost-just-20-000-inhabitants-live-land.html#ixzz5CzpwC300


Some nice pictures of the community and homes on the linked page.

vox_mundi

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 5314
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 2658
  • Likes Given: 418
Re: Town & country planning for climate mitigation
« Reply #28 on: November 14, 2019, 07:12:03 PM »
Software Helps Planners Design Walkable Cities
https://techxplore.com/news/2019-11-software-planners-walkable-cities.html
https://www.urbano.io/

Walkable cities reduce traffic congestion, which causes around 3.3 million deaths and $121 billion in economic losses every year. But when architects are developing pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods, they often rely on trial and error, intuition or specialized simulations that are hard to use and to incorporate into their designs.

Urbano, a free software package launched Oct. 26 by Cornell researchers, employs data, metrics and an easy-to-use interface to help planners and architects add and assess walkability features in their designs as effectively as possible.

The tool is the product of a collaboration between the College of Architecture, Art and Planning's Environmental Systems Lab, which Dogan directs, and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the College of Engineering.

The researchers sought to create a tool that works well with the design process, which can be fast, messy and circuitous. Simulations that are difficult to perform or take too long to produce aren't practical, Dogan said.

"We worked on new algorithms that are fast," he said. "We worked on user interfaces that are intuitive. And we made sure the software can be integrated smoothly into the design process, so from the very first ideas and sketches you can get some feedback and nudge the design in the right direction."

Urbano relies on three metrics to assess walkability: Streetscore, which calculates how streets are used for certain routes; Walkscore, a customizable measurement that rates whether popular amenities are within walking distance of homes and workplaces; and AmenityScore, which considers demographics to estimate the usefulness of various services.


Walkscore (Brewster et al. 2009) is a walkability rating on a scale of 0-100 based on the proximity to different amenities. Urbano allows customized weighting to compute a personalized Walkscore or to adapt the amenity demand to local and demographic preferences indicated by ADP.

Urbano- A New Tool to Promote Mobility-Aware Urban Design, Active Transportation Modeling and Access Analysis for Amenities and Public Transport. Conference: SimAUD 2018, At Delft, Netherlands

https://www.urbano.io/

----------------------------------------

Energy Modeling Every Building in America
https://techxplore.com/news/2019-11-america-chattanooga.html

The US Department of Energy's (DOE)'s Building Technologies Office (BTO), one of eight technology offices within DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, aims to reduce the energy consumption per square foot of American buildings by 30 percent from 2010 to 2030—a massive challenge considering that America is home to 124 million building structures.

Building energy modeling—computer simulation of building energy use given a description of the building, its systems, use patterns, and prevailing weather conditions—is an analytical tool that can be used to identify cost-effective energy efficiency opportunities in existing and new buildings. Today, collecting and organizing the data required to put together an energy model are largely manual processes. As a result, modeling is used in only a fraction of new construction and retrofit projects.

The ORNL approach relies on automated extraction of high-level building parameters such as floor area and orientation from publicly available data sources like satellite images and automated calibration—the use of multiple simulations to find the combination of unknown building parameters that most closely matches measured energy use. To demonstrate their approach, the team recently used the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility's (OLCF's) Cray XK7 Titan supercomputer to model every building serviced by the Electric Power Board (EPB) of Chattanooga—all 178,368 of them—and discovered through more than 2 million simulations that EPB could potentially save $11-$35 million per year by adjusting electricity usage during peak critical times.

"This kind of modeling is really the next level of intelligence in energy-saving policies and technologies"

In the EPB project, funded by both BTO and OE, the models can be used to suggest retrofits or other solutions to save energy, thereby helping lower electricity demand during peak critical hours and better balance power grid operations. The simulations could also indicate where EPB might consider adding distributed energy resources known as microgrids—locally sited power generation such as solar, along with energy storage—to further improve grid resilience.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2019, 07:34:08 PM by vox_mundi »
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late