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Climate Emergency: The Latest Architecture and News

Ithaca, New York Will Decarbonize All 6,000 of the City’s Buildings

Last week, the Common Council of Ithaca, New York, voted to approve a first-in-the-nation decarbonization plan in which the roughly 6,000 homes and buildings located within the notably “enlightened” lakeside college town will be electrified to meet goals established by the city’s impressively aggressive Green New Deal (GND) plan. That carbon-neutral-by-2030 GND plan was adopted unanimously by the Common Council in June 2019 to “address climate change, economic inequality, and racial injustice,” per the city.

Climate Change is Teaching Designers to Expand Their Horizons—or at Least It Should

A lot can happen in the space between a book’s title and subtitle, as A Blueprint for Coastal Adaptation: Uniting Design, Economics, and Policy (Island Press, 2021) demonstrates. Here, in a reversal from the norm, the subtitle assumes the more evocative bent by elevating design to the same status as economics and policy. To some, this might seem a spurious move, but the volume lives its creed: Its editors include two design academics and a business school professor, to say nothing about the myriad backgrounds of its contributors.

Blueprint goes deep into the policy decisions that have shaped the brittle condition of coastal infrastructure. It coalesces into a convincing picture of the wider context in which design operates, with the aim of making the built environment more equitable for those caught on the front lines of certain climate change cataclysm.

World’s Cities Day 2021: Resilience, Climate Crisis and Sustainable Urbanization

As cities grow in scale, dimensions, and amplitude, taking in 60% of the world population, the United Nations has designated the 31st of October as “World Cities Day”, an opportunity to talk furthermore about global urbanization, addressing challenges, encouraging opportunities across borders and highlighting responses. Focusing this edition on the theme of “Adapting Cities for Climate Resilience”, this day, part of Urban October, seeks to raise awareness about the climate crisis and its repercussions on the built environment.

Cities, at the center of the global challenges, are hubs for institutions, society, economy, commerce, and transportation. Understanding the importance of “Thinking the City”, we have compiled in this roundup, articles published by ArchDaily’s editors that offer planning tools and guidelines, tackle the different components of the urban realm and highlight worldwide as well as contextual questions and responses.

Rethinking the Role of Experimental Cities in Combating Climate Change

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

In the evolving campaign to combat climate change, big and bold solutions are increasingly easy to find, from the conceptual “water smart city” and ecologist Allan Savory’s vision for greening the world’s deserts to NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to turn part of Governors Island into a “living laboratory” for climate research. Oyster reef restoration is occurring at nearly every critical junction along the eastern seaboard, from Florida to Maine. These are worthy efforts, and yet, when considered collectively, the onus for solving our climate crisis is being left largely to municipal governments and private actors, making most solutions piecemeal, at best. The success of one approach has little to no correlation with that of another. But what happens when all related solutions can be applied within a single, controlled ecosystem when environmentalism and urbanism are not at odds, but working in concert? Enter the experimental city.

CarbonPositive: If Architects Act Together Now, They Can Change the World

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

Architecture 2030 is calling on all architects, engineers, planners, and individuals involved in the building sector worldwide to design all new projects, renovations, landscapes, cityscapes, and infrastructure to be zero carbon starting now.

6 Steps for Designing Healthy Cities

By some estimates, cities consume over two-thirds of the world’s energy, and account for more than 70% of global CO2 emissions: a figure sure to increase as the global migration from rural to urban areas continues. In the pursuit of exploring new models for how healthy cities could more effectively sustain these demands, Dutch design and research studio FABRICations has investigated how cities of the Netherlands can reduce carbon emissions through new design-led approaches.

Why Should We Invest in Mitigation Instead of Reconstruction? Chile's Resiliency is a Good Example

Chile is a country used to natural disasters as much as to the reconstruction process. However, the frequency of these cycles has increased over the years. According to the Ministry of Interior (Homeland), 43% of all natural disasters recorded in Chile since 1960 happened between 2014 and 2017. In fact, the government is already involved in several reconstruction processes across the country.

Designed by Teodoro Fernández Arquitectos, Kaukari Urban Park turned the channel of the Copiapó River into an accessible urban green space, capable of controling potential floods, just as it happened in 2015. Image © Rodrigo OpazoDesigned by Sebastian Irarrázaval, the Constitución Public Library was part of a public-private initiative taken to rebuild the city of Constitución after 2010 Chile earthquake. Image © Felipe Díaz ContardoDesigned by PLAN Arquitectos, Constitución's Consistorial Town Hall was part of the reconstruction of the city after 2010 Chile earthquake. Image © Pablo BlancoVilla Verde Housing / ELEMENTAL. Image © Suyin Chia+ 7

Net-Zero Buildings Are Critical to Staving off Further Climate Change

A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that global warming of 1.5°C (2.7 °F) is essentially inevitable in coming decades. The question now is whether the world can prevent further, more destructive warming of 2°C (3.6°F), or, even worse, 3°C (5.4°F), which is what current policies put us on a trajectory to experience. Our economies can only put another 420 gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere if we want a good chance of keeping a temperature increase to 1.5°C instead of 2°C. At our current pace, the world’s carbon budget will be used up before 2030. We need to phase out fossil-fuel use, build thousands of new clean power plants -- and swiftly move to power our homes, offices, schools, and transportation systems with clean energy.

Courtesy of SMA x ECO Town Harumidai, Sakai City, Japan, Daiwa House Industry Company, Ltd.Courtesy of SMA x ECO Town Harumidai, Sakai City, Japan, Daiwa House Industry Company, Ltd.Courtesy of Trent Basin, Nottingham, UK. Blueprint Regeneration, Martine Hamilton KnightCourtesy of Belfield Townhomes, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Onion Flats+ 12

IPCC’s Latest Report Reveals Widespread and Intensifying Climate Change

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the UN's body for assessing the science related to climate change, has recently published a comprehensive report documenting the extent of global warming. The paper provides new time estimates for crossing the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold, urging immediate and large-scale action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Following the publication of the report, UK Architects Declare has issued a statement inviting decision makers to a dialogue on how to collectively address the climate crisis while at the same time calling for the design professionals to re-evaluate their practice to support meaningful change.

Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@patrickperkins?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Patrick Perkins</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/s/photos/fires-climate-change?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a>   . ImageSan Francisco in 2020, after  record wildfires in CaliforniawildfiresPhoto by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@dylanleagh?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Dylan Leagh</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/s/photos/floods-in-germany?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a>   . ImageFloods in Germany 2021Wind turbines at Brazil’s Icarai de Amontada beach. Image © Ronaldo Lourenco© Maren Winter / Shutterstock. ImageFlood of the River Trave in the historic Old Town of Luebeck, Germany+ 5

Cities and Governments are Taking Action to Mitigate Climate Change

Recently, a series of cities and government entities worldwide have announced various plans to either fight climate change or combat its effects. From New York’s investment in carbon-capturing technologies to Miami’s Stormwater Masterplan, or EU’s target to reduce emissions by 55% by 2030, the issue begins to take centre stage in urban design and politics. The measures come at a time when the consequences of climate change are becoming more apparent in extreme weather events, and the scientific forecast is less than optimistic.

PCA-Stream's proposal for Champs-Élysées. Image Courtesy of PCA Stream© Raimund Koch. ImageNew York © Kristoffer Paulsen. ImageSolar pavilion by John Wardle Architects with artwork by Ash Keating presented in A New Normal during Melbourne Design Week 2021Tokyo, Japan. Image via Shutterstock. Image + 5

Miami Unveils its 40-Year Mitigation Plan to Combat Sea Level Rise

Earlier this month, the city of Miami released a draft version of its comprehensive plan to combat the effects of climate change. The so-called Stormwater Master Plan (SWMP) will be implemented to alleviate the threat of flooding throughout the city, improve the quality of water in Biscayne Bay, and fortify its coastline against stronger and more frequent storm surges over the next 40 years, at an overall cost estimate of $3.8 billion.

We Must Begin Planning Now for an Inevitable Sea Level Rise

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

In this week's reprint, Martin C. Pedersen talks with John Englander, author of Moving to Higher Ground: Rising Sea Level and the Path Forward, about the “unstoppable” sea-level rise. The article explores the importance of planning for this challenge right away. In fact, "we have some time, but not all the time in the world" states John Englander.

Architects Support Global Climate Strike

The Global Climate Strike is set to happen on the 20th of September 2019, just before the UN emergency climate summit, where people will disrupt their work to protest and advocate for actions against climate breakdown. Architects are joining on the march, through “Architects Advocate”, a movement encouraging the professionals of the industry to stand in solidarity with the rally.