How Can Using Form Factor Reduce Energy Consumption of Buildings?

  • January 31, 2019

Energy efficiency of a building is important for several reasons. It determines the building’s value on the market. People prefer energy efficient buildings because they have lower running costs. Last, but not least, building energy efficient buildings contributes to better and more sustainable environment - for example, buildings account for 39% of CO2 emissions in the United States! Why shape affects building’s energy efficiency Heat will gradually make its way…

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Estimate A City’s Carbon Footprint With Google Maps

Estimate a city’s carbon footprint with Google maps

  • September 29, 2018

On September 10th, Google launched an online tool that can estimate the carbon footprint of a city. The tool estimates carbon emissions from all the buildings and transportation in the city. In addition, the tool evaluates the rooftop solar potential of the city buildings. The tool is called the Environmental Insights Explorer and was created in partnership with the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy.   The purpose of Environmental Insights Explorer is to help cities estimate their carbon…

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Data Sharing: What’s The Worst That Could Happen?

Data Sharing: What’s the Worst that Could Happen?

  • September 13, 2018

Private transportation companies gather a lot of data about transit patterns of citizens. This data could help local authorities shape good transportation policies. But once the data is in possession of the local government authorities, the data becomes public property. Anyone can request access to this data and that could create some security and privacy issues. Therefore, a policy is needed that will regulate transit data sharing. New challenges “We have a responsibility to understand what…

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Using Behavioral Sciences To Create Playable Cities

Using Behavioral Sciences to Create Playable Cities

  • September 3, 2018

The term 'playable cities' describes an urban design approach that seeks to put playfulness and entertainment in outdoor daily life activities. Playing is especially important for children. Physical activity and brain stimulation help children to stay healthy and develop skills like creativity and critical thinking. Nowadays, parents work long hours, children have school, homework and other activities. All this leaves less time for parents to take their children to playgrounds. But a proper urban design can create opportunities to play…

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Chart Your City’s Street Network To Understand Its Logic

Chart Your City’s Street Network to Understand its Logic

  • August 29, 2018

Geoff Boeing, Urban planning professor at Northeastern University, has developed a tool to visualize the consistency of a city's street network. Boeing's tool calculates what percentage of a city's roads run along each section of a compass, and plots it on a circular bar chart. A similar concept was created recently by data scientist Seth Kadish. Let us look at how the tool works on two examples - the Manhattan island and Boston. Streets on…

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5 Inventive Urban Design Concepts Proposed By Sidewalk Toronto

5 Inventive Urban Design Concepts Proposed by Sidewalk Toronto

  • August 26, 2018

City of Toronto and Sidewalk Labs joined forces in October 2017 on a project called Sidewalk Toronto. The goal of the project is to create a modern, sustainable and dynamic neighborhood on Toronto’s Eastern Waterfront. The new neighborhood will be called Quayside. At a roundtable meeting on 14th and 15th of August, the leaders of the project presented some of the proposed design features to the public. Let's look at the five of the most…

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Complete Streets Design Policy In Vancouver

Complete Streets Design Policy in Vancouver

  • August 20, 2018

Over the last two decades, Vancouver has put a complete streets design principles into action and the city is already seeing the benefits. Complete streets design policy Complete streets is a transportation policy and design approach. It requires streets to be planned and operated in a way that enables safe and comfortable travel and access for all users - for those who are walking, cycling, driving automobiles, riding public transportation, or delivering goods. Complete streets design approach includes adding…

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Design Garages So They Can Easily Become Housing!

Design Garages so They Can Easily Become Housing!

  • August 14, 2018

Increased use of autonomous ride-sharing cars is expected to reduce the need for parking spaces in the future. Therefore, it is wise to design today's parking garages in a way that they can be easily transformed into offices, shops or even housing. “Future-proof” parking garages “Within a decade, certainly within two decades, the demand of parking is going to radically change. These buildings that we’re putting up are going to last more than two decades,” said Thomas Fisher, director of…

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Inventive Urban Greening: Sydney Rises To The Green Infrastructure Challenge

Inventive urban greening: Sydney rises to the green infrastructure challenge

  • August 9, 2018

Two previously industrial areas in Sydney are undergoing enormous urban development. One area - Coal Loader Platform - became a public space for meeting, resting and recreating. The other area became a multi-residential development called Eve Apartments. These projects demonstrate how to create a new and improved environment with inventive urban greening. The Coal Loader Platform The Coal Loader Platform is located on the western side of Sydney’s Waverton peninsula. This area was dedicated as…

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5 Of The World’s Most Sustainable Building Materials

5 of the world’s most sustainable building materials

  • July 19, 2018

New eco-friendly, sustainable building materials have emerged to reduce the environmental impact of building construction and operations. To determine how eco-friendly a certain building material is, we must consider several factors. For example, materials that are locally sourced don't use a lot of energy for transportation. The durability of material is another factor. Materials that have to be replaced frequently, are obviously not eco-friendly. Another criteria is the embodied energy of…

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