Building with traditional construction materials requires the major exploitation of natural resources. As builders and consumers become more aware of the environmental impacts we have on the world, demand for viable alternatives has increased. In response, durable fabrics like as polyethylene (PE) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) have emerged as a popular green building material. Not only are these materials made of at least 85% recycle material, they can also be used to achieve almost any design.
“Will parking spaces in cities become more, or less, valuable in the future?” Architect This City asked. On the surface, it sounds innocent enough, but under the fresh pavement, the quiet rumble of disruption can be heard. As we’ve written about before, urban mobility in the not-too-distant-future could look quite different. ATC’s article focuses on cost, but if the cost of parking drops, how will underused parking lots and structures – the low-hanging fruit of infill development – be used?
Green building awareness, construction and data collection efforts have led to impressive data-driven opportunities to reduce resource consumption in buildings. However the voluntary approach, focusing on (mainly new and high end) buildings, have had only limited impacts on overall efficiency. Jeff Ranson, executive director of the Toronto 2030 District, argues that urban systems modelling can help drive community-scale resource efficiency. He identifies several programs that are doing so in Europe and proposes Toronto 2030 District for a pilot effort in North America.
Traditionally involving people counting vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians, traffic counts have typically been time consuming and costly, with limited accuracy. However, new technology is reducing all three of these challenges. More detailed data enables smarter infrastructure investment and design, and besides, it’s important to measure what matters.
Indianapolis may not be the first city that comes to mind as a leader in car share systems, but last week, the city became just that. The BlueIndy system launched 25 charging stations and 50 cars, with plans scale up to 200 stations and 500 cars. But why Indianapolis? Home to many students and one the US’s worst public transit systems, BlueIndy sees strong market potential, with limited competition. An alternative to car ownership in similar cities? We look forward to the results.
Transit organizations in many sprawled cities struggle to provide quality service. To fill the gap, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (GA) partnered with Uber to provide first-last mile connections to improve service and attract new customers. MARTA will also test-run free WiFi on city buses to enhance their services. Read more about their initiatives.
In an era where the average person creates more data before breakfast than George Washington did in his entire life, citymakers are becoming more attuned to the power of data. Recording, measuring, and organizing city data falls into the rapidly developing field of urban science. Wondering what this field involves, how urban data is used and who’s leading its development? Planetizen has compiled a helpful list of resources for you!