Discussion Board: Scaling Up Green Building for Cities

FOX_3292-CROPIn conjunction with our Sept/Oct 2013 issue, which focused on landscape architecture, green infrastructure, and sustainable master-planning, guest editor Lucia Athens posed the following question to various industry leaders:

“How do we scale up green lessons learned to apply to cities?”

A selection of the responses appears below.

KentAnderson_cropKent Anderson, principal, Hamilton Anderson Associates: “Whether designing individual objects or an entire city, principles of sustainability apply. Processes of design integration and investigation remain virtually the same in defining appropriate strategies. Applying sustainable solutions citywide requires transferring strategies to communal scale, making effective public outreach policies critical to implementation.”

Michael Neuman Crop

Michael Neuman, Professor of Sustainable Urbanism: “Why can’t a building or a city be like a tree and recycle its own outflows? Trees are open systems connected to other open systems through multiple natural networks, nature’s infrastructures. Let’s reopen buildings and cities to their surroundings, so that they become open ecosystems once again, as they were before they became hermetically sealed and connected by closed-loop infrastructures.”

Jeremy Reed_CropJeremy Reed, Architect, Morris Adjmi Architects: “City agencies record useful physical information about buildings and neighborhoods, but a ‘Lessons Learned by the Architect’ section in the city building code, submitted after completing a project, would document a city’s history block by block, encouraging future designers to learn from their predecessors rather than repeating our follies.”

Steven Peck_cropSteven Peck, Founder and President, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities: “Green roofs and walls are flexible enough that they can be successfully scaled citywide. Celebrate successes, engage the user community, and ensure supportive policies and programs are in place to encourage widespread implementation. Scale produces less costs and greater public benefits like green jobs, urban heat island mitigation, improved storm-water management and air quality.”