Earlier this month, a series of cities worldwide have revealed various initiatives that would help them better understand the effects of climate change and shape a more environmentally conscious environment. From several American cities creating digital twins to help curb carbon emissions to the city of Brighton mandating bee bricks to foster biodiversity and Central Park becoming a laboratory for studying climate change adaptation in urban parks, cities take on a multidisciplinary and multi-scalar approach to environmental issues.
The council in Brighton, UK, passed a planning condition that mandates the inclusion of bee bricks or swift boxes for all new buildings taller than five metres as a means to support pollinators and increase biodiversity. First proposed in 2019, the decision sparked controversy, as some scientists consider the measure might harm the bee population, encouraging the spread of disease if the holes are not cleaned properly or attracting mites. However, more research into the effectiveness of bee bricks is needed, and their implementation at city scale will provide the framework for assessing their impact on biodiversity.
In the US, The Central Park Conservancy, the Yale School of the Environment, and the Natural Areas Conservancy have teamed up to turn New York’s iconic park into a laboratory for studying climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies. The newly created Central Park Climate Lab will provide insights into how to protect urban parks and use them to combat the effects of the climate crisis, developing tools that will eventually be implemented across the country.
While some cities are concerned with ecology, others are turning towards technology to improve the built environment. Las Vegas is working on creating a digital twin, joining Los Angeles and Phoenix in the effort to help the transition to net-zero carbon emissions. A collaboration between the city, Chicago-based digital twin platform Cityzenith and Las Vegas-based data firm Turbine, the project features 7 square kilometres of downtown Las Vegas, built using local city data. The digital twin will also help the city assess the impact of new developments in terms of emissions, as well as water management, or impact on mobility.
Randers Tegl aims to take responsibility and think sustainable as a part of reaching the goal of Net Zero. Both in terms of how building materials impact the climate and how the materials age, but also with a focus on architecture. That is why Randers Tegl created their sustainable series GREENER, which comes with full documentation in the form of EPD, so it is possible to use the product in technical calculation programs.
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