Monday, September 28, 2009

Rethinking Urban Planning - Resilient City

Today’s cities are fully dependent on fossil fuels. Their economies, food supplies, public and private transportation, heating and cooling systems, and the production of materials to build them, are all energy intensive and fossil fuel dependent. Cities need to prepare for peak oil and the energy crisis. is a website focused on developing creative, practical, and implementable urban planning and building design strategies that address our century's most important challenge: namely, dealing with the significant problems that will be associated with global warming and peak oil in the context of continued and unsustainable global population growth. has three goals:
  • FIRST: To raise awareness about the combined challenges of Global Warming and Peak Oil in the context of continued and unsustainable global population growth - and the radical changes these will require to how we plan cities and design buildings.
  • SECOND: To stimulate a critical shift in planning and design thinking, leading to the development and implementation of appropriately “resilient” urban planning and building design strategies.
  • THIRD: In the service of the first two goals, to compile a freely available set of resilient planning and design resources — including web links, research references, and planning and design exemplars.

Resilient Urban Planning

Planning to effectively meet the conditions and realities of a Post Carbon, Climate Responsible world will require a shift in our current understanding of what constitutes good urban design and planning. Many of the practices that we now take for granted, such as planning cities around automobile transportation, or zoning for single uses, will no longer be appropriate or economically feasible. To address the changes in urban design and planning, we have assembled the following principles for urban design and planning in a post-carbon, climate responsive building environment.

The following Urban Design Principles are all predicated on the assumption that in the future fossil fuels will all be scarcer and more expensive, and that national and local governments will have begun to address global climate change with various types of carbon taxation or rationing strategies. As a result we will be living in a de-powering world were urban planning must reflect this reality.
  • Neighbourhood Structure
  • Neighbourhood Food Supply
  • Neighbourhood Water Supply and Management
  • Neighbourhood Electrical Power Supply and Management
  • Neighbourhood District Heating
  • Neighbourhood Waste Reprocessing welcomes contributions from architects, urban planners, engineers, landscape architects and environmental scientists. The site is moderated by Toronto architect and urban designer, Craig Applegath. The site makes the case for urgency, and suggests pathways and strategies for collective action.

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