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Public Spaces and Their Key Role in Building Climate Resilience in the US.

Social infrastructure encompasses the resources and services that allow the creation of communal bonds and social connections. Within the built environment, it manifests through public spaces like parks, libraries, and community centers alongside threshold spaces such as public transportation stops.

These public social spaces play a crucial role in strengthening communities and, in turn, their ability to respond to catastrophic climate-related events. They can provide physical shelter to the populations most vulnerable to these events and foster resilient networks of people who can more quickly recover. Given the escalating frequency of extreme weather events in the United States due to climate change and its social infrastructure inadequacies, examining public spaces as a critical tool for climate resilience becomes vital.

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Zaha Hadid Architects Reveals Climate-Resilient Design for Al Khuwair Waterfront in Oman

Zaha Hadid Architects have unveiled a large-scale project for the redevelopment of the Al Khuwair waterfront in downtown Muscat, the capital of Oman. The $1.3bn project covers an area of 3.3 million square meters. It aims to revitalize the area through sustainability-led design principles to accommodate the expected population growth, which is expected to almost double by 2040. The plans are developed in collaboration with Buro Happold to incorporate and transform the existing buildings on site, introduce coastal and climate resilience measures, and create an efficient transit-oriented infrastructure.

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How Landscape Architects are Taking on Embodied Carbon

Landscape architects have started conversations about embodied carbon. There is a realization that we can no longer ignore the grey parts,” said Stephanie Carlisle, Senior Researcher, Carbon Leadership Forum and the University of Washington, during the first in a series of webinars organized by the ASLA Biodiversity and Climate Action Committee.

The grey parts are concrete, steel, and other manufactured products in projects. And the conversations happening are laying the foundation for a shift away from using these materials. The landscape architect climate leaders driving these conversations are offering practical ways to decarbonize projects and specify low-carbon materials.

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Bringing the Outside In: Life-Size Terrariums and Other Ways to Exhibit Nature in European Apartment Buildings

As the temperature drops in the Northern Hemisphere, cold outdoor spaces are overcome with frost, ice, and snow, and we find ourselves rushing from one heated indoor environment to the next, less willing or less able to stop and appreciate the natural world around us.

Apart from dragging a spruce or fir tree inside and dressing it up in yuletide costume, we tend to leave the real natural world to its own seasonal devices until it reemerges in Spring. However, by inviting the positive effects of plant life into our homes, we can improve both our mental health and the air we breathe by filling them with peace and joy all year round, not just at Christmas.

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Henning Larsen Explores Climate-Friendly Architecture with New Exhibition at DAC in Copenhagen

In a bid to explore new materials and methods for more sustainable construction, Henning Larsen opens the “Changing our Footprint” exhibition at the Danish Architecture Center in Copenhagen. The initiative, open from November 17, 2023, until March 3, 2024, aims to showcase ideas for more climate-friendly architecture and to start conversations on architecture and construction’s role in mitigating the effects of climate change. This represents the second iteration of the exhibition, as the first version opened at the Aedes Architecture Forum in Berlin earlier this year.

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Arctic Architecture: 17 Projects that Explore Different Heating Techniques in Interior Spaces

Some of the most picturesque projects are those built in the mountains; the rustic cabin wrapped with a floor-to-ceiling glass panel that overlooks the snow-covered trees. Visually, the architecture exudes an enchanting feeling, but is it truly a habitable space? When houses are built on an elevation of 3,000 meters, installing a fire element alone is not efficient or sustainable. Spaces on such altitudes or particular geographic locations require to be treated thoroughly, beginning with the architecture itself. Whether it's through hydronic in-floor heating systems or wall-mounted chimneys, this interior focus explores how even the most extreme winter conditions did not get in the way of ensuring optimum thermal comfort.

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CRAB Studio Reveals Design for the BRIJ Cultural Centre Project in New Delhi, India

Sir Peter Cook and Gavin Robotham’s CRAB Studio has unveiled the design for a new cultural center to be constructed in New Delhi, India. Located on the site of a former quartzite quarry, the BRIJ offers facilities for the visual, performing, literary, and culinary arts as well as a new arts academy. The scheme, aiming to promote interactions between artists and audiences via an immersive environment, is designed by CRAB Studio, now led by Gavin Robotham, and CP Kukreja Architects (CPKA) as Executive Architect.

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Architecture Philanthropy re:arc institute Announces the 2023–24 Grants, Practice Lab Collaborators, and Initiatives

Copenhagen-based philanthropic association re:arc institute has announced the cohort of nonprofit organizations, people, and practices they will support throughout 2024. The organization founded in 2022 works at the intersection of climate action and architectural philanthropy, aiming to support the development of solutions that address the root causes and consequences of climate change.

The architectural field often adheres to conventional industry models, either client-based or competition-based, which can perpetuate problematic or extractive motivations. The re:arc institute hopes to rethink the architecture discipline’s potential for addressing social and environmental concerns by providing a blueprint for pioneering philanthropic projects. To do so, they provide funding to nonprofits, individuals, and community-led projects exploring innovative approaches that prioritize planetary well-being. Their focus is on hyper-local, grassroots initiatives that address climate crises with a strong emphasis on the unique needs of specific places and communities.

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Embodied Carbon in Real Estate: The Hidden Contributor to Climate Change

The window for solving climate change is narrowing; any solution must include embodied carbon. The Sixth Assessment Report published by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) concludes that the world can emit just 500 gigatonnes more of carbon dioxide, starting in January 2020, if we want a 50 percent chance of staying below 1.5 degrees. In 2021 alone, the world emitted about 36.3 gigatonnes of carbon, the highest amount ever recorded. We’re on track to blow through our carbon budget in the next several years. To quote the IPCC directly: “The choices and actions implemented in this decade will have impacts now and for thousands of years (high confidence).”

Next Generation of Landscape Architecture Leaders Focus on Climate, Equity, and Technology

“Our fellows have shown courage, written books, founded mission-driven non-profits, created new coalitions, and disseminated new tools,” said Cindy Sanders, FASLA, CEO of OLIN, in her introduction of the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) Fellowship for Innovation and Leadership program at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.

Sanders highlighted the results of a five-year assessment of the LAF fellowship program and its efforts to grow the next generation of diverse landscape architecture leaders. The assessment shows that past fellows are shaping the future of the built environment in key public, non-profit, and private sector roles.

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Cities Embrace Climate Action Planning to Mitigate the Adverse Effects of Climate Change

Cities across the globe are developing comprehensive action plans in order to create a coordinated response to the challenges of climate change. Targets and goals for consumption-based emissions are important for guiding strategic planning and decision-making, improving accountability, and communicating the direction of travel to businesses and the public. National and regional government officials are working with the private sector, international organizations, and civil society to create change at every level, from structural interventions in supply chains and industries to individual choices.  This demonstrates a rising understanding of the role of cities in mitigating the adverse effects of rising temperatures.

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On the Hottest Month on Record and How Cities Are Mitigating the Effects of Rising Temperatures

The NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York has just announced that the month of July 2023 was hotter than any other month ever recorded in terms of global temperature. Spiking to 1.12 degrees Celsius above the 20th-century July average, this month was warmer than any month since 1850 when the NOAA database began. The climate crisis at large has made heat waves more prevalent, putting millions of people in danger. These growing effects of the climate crisis also severely affect cities worldwide, posing a threat to urban inhabitants globally.

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