...As a practical matter, limiting global warming to no more than 2C seemed like the most ambitious target that could possibly be achieved, since it would require virtually ending fossil fuel emissions within 30 to 40 years... Yet even as the 2C target has become a touchstone for the climate talks, scientific theory and real-world observations have begun to raise serious questions about whether the target is stringent enough." — NY Times
As is documented in the article, the recent climate talks in Lima ended with an agreement to try to limit the long-term warming of the planet to below 2 degree celsius above the global average temperature at the start of the Industrial Revolution. This limit has been central to talks aimed at...
You know how you’re supposed to turn out the lights when you leave a room to save energy? New York City Council member Donovan Richards wants the owners of many of the city’s office buildings to start doing the same—on a much bigger scale.
Richards [...] has introduced a bill that would prohibit owners of approximately 40,000 New York commercial buildings from illuminating the interiors or exteriors of their structures once workers have gone home for the night. — citylab.com
According to a press release issued last week by Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman & Associates, principal Gene Kaufman has submitted a proposal to buy the Orange County Government Center (Goshen, NY), which has been closed since 2011 due to storm damage. Designed in 1967 by Paul Rudolph, the building...
1. By current estimates, if the polar ice caps melt, sea levels around the world will rise by between 80 and 100m.
2. Many cities (and, by default, around 70 per cent of the world's population) border on a body of water of some kind. According to 2010 government figures, 39 per cent of US population live on a coast. Half live within 50 miles of the ocean. — citymetric.com
Based on worst-case scenarios for sea-level rise, cartographer Jeremy Linn imagined the future of three of America's major Western cities. He used topographic information to speculate on what an 80m – ≈262 ft – rise would look like as well as coming up with new names for this new...
Earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, wildfires — no part of the United States is immune to natural disasters. While no one can prevent these hazards, people can prepare for them. “Designing for Disaster” at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., showcases how scientists, engineers and government officials work together to guard the country’s infrastructure against Mother Nature’s fury. — ScienceNews
For Archinect coverage of related design work, check out these links:Shitting Architecture: the dirty practice of waste removalArchitectures of the DisasterStudent Works: Resilient Public Housing from ParsonsCutting Room: Talking architectural dissent and climate-proof buildings with Eugene Tssui...
The results of the five regional contests are in for the International Holcim Awards competition, and now all eyes are on the upcoming selection of the three final Global Awards winners. [...]
The jury tasked to judge the 15 finalists from the regional contests will be headed by Mohsen Mostafavi, Dean of Harvard University's Graduate School of Design. — bustler.net
These five Regional Gold Award winners automatically qualified for the Global Award competition round:Holcim Awards Gold - Europe: Anthropic Park: Freshwater ecological reserve and remediation, Saline Joniche, ItalyMain authors: Francisco Leiva, Grupo aranea, Alicante,Spain; Marco Scarpinato...
Only 10 percent of arts graduates make a living from their creative practice. Artist William Powhida maps the institutional structures that keep most artists broke, and shares strategies for spreading the wealth. — Creative Time Reports
It’s all too clear that artists are willing to sacrifice everything for their art, including self-interest, an unfortunate consequence of an economy that trades in exposure. In our perilously unequal society, most artists are poor, and few understand how we might begin to change the situation...
In fact, as many as 600 million birds die in window collisions in the U.S. and Canada every year, scientists estimate. [...]
A growing awareness of the threats to bird populations has prompted new laws and voluntary guidelines in cities from Toronto to San Francisco. Along with "green" building programs, these new rules are spurring demand for bird-friendly glass among architects, glass manufacturers, and their clients. — news.nationalgeographic.com
The architect today is no ‘fountainhead.’ It is rather sad to watch today’s ‘starchitects’, designing their weird-looking signature buildings. These seem now always to be either museums or condos for billionaires. The brand-name architect just build useless luxury housing for the 1% and their trinkets. The actual design of the world is now in the hands of other people. — Public Seminar Commons
McKenzie Wark pens a rather a wake up call of a book review on Easterling's new book Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space in which Easterling offers a set of subsidiary metaphors for contemporary infrastructure design: multipliers, switches, and topologies."The multipliers...
"We need to retreat, especially intellectually...from the idea that we can keep on building anywhere we want. New Yorkers are tough. They can take whatever nature throws their way. But you just can’t grow forever at the expense of the sea" - Professor Ted Steinberg — NYT
Going beyond the more well known and singular, such as U.S. HUD's Rebuild By Design competition, Alan Feuer, Greg Moyer and Melanie Burford highlight various more quotidian infrastructural and planning efforts underway. With an eye toward not just rebuilding but resilience, the Metropolitan...
The residents of Belle Harbor Manor spent four miserable months in emergency shelters after Superstorm Sandy's floodwaters surged through their assisted-living center on New York City's Rockaway peninsula.
Now, the home's disabled, elderly and mostly poor residents have a new headache: The Federal Emergency Management Agency has asked at least a dozen of them to pay back thousands of dollars in disaster aid. — AP
South America's biggest and wealthiest city may run out of water by mid-November if it doesn't rain soon. São Paulo, a Brazilian megacity of 20 million people, is suffering its worst drought in at least 80 years, with key reservoirs that supply the city dried up after an unusually dry year. — Thompson Reuters Foundation
One of the most important reservoirs in Brazil is the Cantareira watershed, which supplies around 45% of the city of São Paulo's water. Back in August, authorities warned that the city, which is the largest on the continent, could run out of water in 100 days if the waters dropped to 12%. Now...
The US state of Louisiana is slowly disappearing into the Gulf of Mexico as its fragile wetlands are eroded by rising sea levels. Approximately 75 square kilometres are lost each year and the US Geological Survey has warned that the entire habitat - which represents 40% of all wetlands in the US - could be destroyed within 200 years. The loss is partly down to natural evolutionary processes, but experts say human behaviour... has made the region more vulnerable to storm surges. — BBC
"So we wanted to turn that conversation on its head and say, well what if we let water in? How can we make life better in Boston by bringing water in?" - Dennis Carlberg — BBC News
Joanna Jolly talked to Boston city planners and architects, who are a proposing solutions to combat sea-level rise. One big idea, is canals which would criss-cross the streets of the Back Bay. Less radical ideas include; constructed wetlands and elevating critical equipment for new development.
Conceived as a kind of southern hemisphere Serpentine Pavilion, the MPavilion has just opened its first work, a 12×12 meter kinetic box by the local architect Sean Godsell. Using the typically restrained massing of his homes as a template Godsell has then animated the space with a fully louvered skin. The pavilion is placed in the 18th century Queen Victoria Garden with Melbourne’s high rises serving as a backdrop. — eVolo
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