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Urban Design

It’s interesting to me how misconceived green infrastructure and stormwater management are by both the general public and educated community planners. Implementation of Low Impact Development has lagged in communities because of a lack of understanding of what it actually is, how to accomplish the design, a lack of support and promotion by a number of...

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Last October I visited New Orleans for the USGBC’s Greenbuild Conference. I had signed up to attend the Third Annual Women in Green Power Breakfast on that Thursday morning, eager to connect with fellow women in sustainability. Those two hours were by far the most influential and important part of my trip. Organized by Kimberly Lewis, the USGBC’s Vice...

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Urban agriculture can apply a wide number of credit points when certifying a building with the USGBC (United States Green Building Council). The major categories that relate to urban gardening are Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, and Innovation & Design. The following information comes from the New Construction Guidelines from the LEED handbook. Sustainable Sites This category of...

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New solutions to water management are becoming ever more prevalent in towns and cities around the world. One such example is rain gardens. A rain garden is defined as a shallow depression that is planted with deep-rooted native plants and grasses. The purpose of such a depression is to act as green infrastructure and to serve as a...

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When it comes to eating fat, less is better. Except when that fat is Omega 3 fatty acids like the stuff found in salmon. Research shows eating salmon two times per week offers health benefits, like reducing triglycerides, helps slow dementia and lowers levels of depression. Aside from all that, salmon simply tastes great! First, you have...

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Urban design trends are changing – and not just among specialized planners, but among the public.  The traditional urban design of the suburbs, the type of design that has a big emphasis on exacerbating various factors that have known to contribute to unsustainable cities, is losing its luster. Sprawl has put an emphasis on the...

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Since sustainability is intertwined between numerous entities. There’s no way that a sustainable solution can be optimized without understanding how the solution will affect a city’s inhabitants.  Public participation, in response to this assertion, is a field within urban planning that aims to incorporate public input into private and government decisions. With the incorporation of...

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Ecology, as most people understand, is described as the interactions of species in environmental systems. Aside from its textbook definition, it could also be looked at as the “Economy of Nature.” The types of ecology that are most focused on are physiological ecology, organismal ecology, population ecology, community ecology, and ecosystem ecology. On this planet, ecology encompasses organisms,...

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Peter Rumsey, one of the first green building engineers to design net zero buildings in the US, has a long history of championing energy efficiency combined with technologies such as radiant  heating and cooling systems and chilled beams.  He has led many of the world’s notable firsts in green design, including the first net zero...

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In 1998, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) developed Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), which is a system for rating the sustainability of new buildings. These ratings are based on aspects such as the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of new structures. The certification program is intended to guide developers, and recognize exceptional...

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