ASLA Launches New Guide to Green Infrastructure

Posted Thursday, 4 September 2014 by Brian
Categories: uncategorized

Brian:

I was hoping to read this in more depth before sharing it, but there is just so many great resources here I can’t get through it all in a timely manner! So I’ll just put this here in order to help get these resources shared as widely as possible. Enjoy!

Originally posted on The Dirt:

green

ASLA 2012 General Design Award of Excellence. A Green Sponge for a Water-Resilient City: Qunli Stormwater Park. Haerbin City, Heilongjiang Province, China. Turenscape and Peking University, Beijing

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has launched a new guide to explain the many benefits of “green infrastructure” — designed systems that harness nature to create proven benefits for communities and the environment.

Green infrastructure includes park systems, urban forests, wildlife habitat and corridors, and green roofs and green walls. These infrastructure systems protect communities against flooding or excessive heat, or help to improve air and water quality, which underpin human and environmental health.

The idea that nature is also infrastructure isn’t new, but it’s now more widely understood to be true, according to Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA, executive vice president and CEO of ASLA. Researchers are amassing a body of evidence to prove that green infrastructure actually works: these systems…

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Keeping Your Cool in a World on Fire

Posted Wednesday, 3 September 2014 by Brian
Categories: uncategorized

Brian:

While I’m not entirely convinced that the human species is facing complete extinction due to the climate crisis, there is no doubt that our civilization as we know it is going to change. The only question in my mind is will we seize the opportunity to manage that change while we still can, or will we just turn a blind eye to what is coming and let the chips fall where they may. Either way, this appears to be some good advice for keeping our calm as our species seeks to find a path forward. Or, as the famous Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy put it: Don’t Panic!

Originally posted on The Economics of Happiness:

This is the first post in our series by the speakers of Voices of Hope in a Time of Crises, a one-day event, which will explore localized solutions to our global problems and launch the International Alliance for Localization. Join the discussion on November 8th at The Cooper Union in New York City.

By Catherine Ingram

Sarah Sherif Saleh AliIt is a sad awareness that is becoming the zeitgeist of our time. It is being spoken in scientific, environmental, spiritual, academic, and even governmental circles. We humans may not make it much longer. The possibility of our species’ demise (along with the demise of many of the higher life forms) now permeates the thinking of thinking people everywhere. Vandana Shiva, renowned eco-activist and physicist, told an audience in Boulder that if the human species continues on its present destructive trajectory, it has no more than 100 years of life on this…

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Do Elevated Cycletracks Solve Problems or Just Create More?

Posted Tuesday, 2 September 2014 by Brian
Categories: cycling, environment, infrastructure, planning, sustainable transportation, transportation

Tags: , , ,

Brian:

An interesting look at some of the issues around the idea of elevated cycle tracks in urban areas. On one hand, I can see how the vertical separation might enhance safety. On the other hand, riders would be disconnected from the experience and the amenities of the city. As the article notes, there are no easy answers here, and I have a feeling the debate on this topic is only getting started. If you have any thoughts on this, let me know in the comments.

Originally posted on The Dirt:

SkyCycle

London’s proposed SkyCycle, from starchitect Lord Norman Foster / Foster + Partners

This year, two designs – one proposed and one built – for elevated cycletracks, which create bicycle highways above street level, have gained considerable media attention. They highlight questions at the heart of urban design: Should cities blend or separate transportation options? How can cities best mitigate the hazards created when cars, bikes, mass transit, and pedestrians mix? How can cities create low-cost transportation networks in increasingly dense urban cores?

In January, Exterior Architects and Foster + Partners unveiled their design proposal for the London SkyCycle, a 220 km (136 mile) network of elevated cycletracks following existing rail services with over 200 entry points (see image above). The design team claims that each route will be able to “accommodate 12,000 cyclists per hour and will improve journey times by up to 29 minutes.”

This vision even extends…

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Playas and Wetlands of the Southern Ogallala Aquifer Data Released

Posted Monday, 1 September 2014 by Brian
Categories: environment

Tags: , , ,

Brian:

I haven’t had a chance to explore this myself, but it looks like it might be a good data resource for those working in this region. Check it out!

Originally posted on Spatial Reserves:

A new web resource from Texas Tech University of playas and wetlands for the southern High Plains region of Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico offers a wide variety of spatial data on this key resource and region.  The playa and wetlands GIS data are available for download here, including shapefile, geodatabase, and layer package formats.   The data include 64,726 wetland features, of which 21,893 are identified as playas and another 14,455 as unclassified wetlands; in other words, they appear to be a playa but have no evidence of a hydric soil.   The remaining features include impoundments, riparian features lakes, and other wetlands.

As we discuss in our book, (1) Many spatial data depositories seem to have been created without the GIS user in mind. Not this one.  Careful attention has been paid to the data analyst.  That’s good news!  (2)  Resources such as this don’t appear without…

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To Blog or Not to Blog…

Posted Monday, 1 September 2014 by Brian
Categories: uncategorized

Tags: , , ,

Wow, this thing is still here? I haven’t posted anything here in a long time; I’m a bit surprised that WordPress didn’t just delete it! Well, maybe that’s a good thing, as I’m thinking of giving this blogging thing a try again.

There is so much going on out there regarding climate change and the environment and urbanism, and there are moments when I think I might have something to say about it all. The challenge, as always, is finding time and energy to sit down and actually do it. My life has changed tremendously in the past few years, so the challenge is greater now than ever. But maybe if I start out small, just posting or reblogging interesting things once or twice per week, I can transition into it.

Anyway, thanks for reading. Hopefully there will be more here soon!

An Interview with DOT Secretary Ray LaHood

Posted Monday, 20 September 2010 by Brian
Categories: cars, infrastructure, public transit, sustainable transportation, transit, transportation, urban policy

This morning, The Infrastructurist posted a great interview with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. It is a good insight into the Obama Administration’s transportation priorities, as well as some background on the secretary himself and his bipartisan relationship with the President. I tried embedding the video here, but can’t seem to get it to cooperate, so head over to The Infrastructurist to check this out. Enjoy!

On a personal note…

Posted Thursday, 16 September 2010 by Brian
Categories: colorado, community development, gis, job hunting, planning

Starting Monday, I will be starting an internship as a Research Assistant at the Colorado Center for Community Development. I will be doing geographic information system (GIS) work, primarily consolidating geospatial data, conducting analysis, and producing maps in support of a variety of projects. The projects I will mainly be focusing on are for the center’s Learning Landscapes group.

I am looking forward to this work. I am currently taking a course on community development, so this will give me some hands on experience in this area. I am also looking forward to learning more about, and contributing too, other aspects of urban sustainability, particularly the public health aspects. Wish me luck!


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