Students at RISD imagine how a climate change museum in New York City could reclaim a vulnerable site

(Courtesy Erin Graham, RISD)

(Courtesy Erin Graham, RISD)

James Hansen, one of the world’s preeminent climate scientists, has issued an alarming new paper about the impacts of climate change—and the findings are way worse than what anyone expected. According to Hansen and the team of 16 scientists he worked with, sea levels could rise up to 10 feet over the next 50 years. “Social disruption and economic consequences of such large sea level rise could be devastating,” conclude the scientists. “It is not difficult to imagine that conflicts arising from forced migrations and economic collapse might make the planet ungovernable, threatening the fabric of civilization.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Rising sea levels bring challenges, opportunities to South Florida

Miami's low altitude and high water table make it vulnerable to rising sea levels. (Ed Webster / Flickr)

Miami’s low altitude and high water table make it vulnerable to rising sea levels. (Ed Webster / Flickr)

When it comes to the urban impacts of climate change, said FIU College of Architecture’s Marilys Nepomechie, Miami is “the canary in the coal mine.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Detroit gets its feet wet with “blue infrastructure”

Downtown Detroit, as seen from the Detroit Riverwalk in 2012. (Kevin Chang via Flickr)

Downtown Detroit, as seen from the Detroit Riverwalk in 2012. (Kevin Chang via Flickr)

Detroit‘s Water & Sewerage Department hopes an experiment in so-called blue infrastructure will help the cash-strapped city stop flushing money down the drain.

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Eavesdrop> What Climate Change? Florida government allegedly bans the words “climate change” and “sustainability”

Florida Governor Rick Scott. (Nathan Edwards)

Florida Governor Rick Scott. (Nathan Edwards)

 

Florida officials have reportedly banned the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) from using “climate change,” “global warming,” and “sustainability” in all official correspondence.

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Designing Facades for a Changing Environment

NBBJ's Samsung America Headquarters in San Jose, California. (Courtesy NBBJ)

NBBJ’s Samsung America Headquarters in San Jose, California. (Courtesy NBBJ)

When it comes to responding to climate change, said Stacey Hooper, senior associate at NBBJ, architects have tended to be more reactive than proactive. “Our industry is so insular,” she explained. “As a profession, we’re really interested in the coolest, newest thing—not necessarily how we’re going to support these bigger global challenges.” Hooper had this in mind when she sat down with co-chair Luke Smith (Enclos) and the rest of the planning team to lay out the inaugural Facades+ LA conference, taking place in February in downtown Los Angeles. “We were talking about, ‘Who are the influencers?’—not just in the building industry,” recalled Hooper. “Where will real influence come from?”

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Councilman wants New York City offices to turn their lights off

Lighting, Sustainability, Urbanism
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
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New York City at night. (Flickr / Luke Redmond)

New York City at night. (Flickr / Luke Redmond)

As part of New York City‘s quest to cut carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050, Queens councilman Donovan Richards has introduced legislation that would force commercial buildings to switch their lights off after their occupants head home.

COntinue reading after the jump.

Rockefeller Foundation names 35 new cities in its 100 Resilient Cities Challenge

International, Sustainability
Thursday, December 4, 2014
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Chicago, one of the Rockefeller Foundation's 100 Resilient Cities. (Flickr / Conway Yao)

Chicago, one of the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities. (Flickr / Conway Yao)

The Rockefeller Foundation has announced a second batch of cities in its 100 Resilient Cities Challenge. The foundation launched the challenge last year as a way to support resiliency measures in cities around the world. This includes support to hire a Chief Resiliency Officer. One year after the first 32 cities were selected, another 35 have been added to the list, including six in the United States—Boston, Chicago, Dallas, PittsburghSt. Louis, and Tulsa. To see the full list, visit the 100 Resilient Cities Challenge website.

Minneapolis plans the country’s most climate resilient neighborhood

Minneapolis' 4th Street looking east from a location just east of 29th Ave., in a sketch of climate resilient neighborhood Prospect Park 2020. (Prospect Park 2020)

A collection of grain silos and railroad tracks next to the University of Minnesota‘s Minneapolis campus is set to become a “living laboratory” for climate resilience, according to its designers and allies in city and regional government.

COntinue reading after the jump.

New report predicts huge spike in tidal flooding for coastal communities

East, Sustainability
Monday, October 13, 2014
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Overflow at the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. (Flickr / thisisbossi)

Overflow at the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. (Flickr / thisisbossi)

It had been a few days—maybe even weeks—since we’d seen a new report about the devastating impacts of climate change, but, as expected, that short streak has ended. The latest end-of-the-world-type report comes from the Union of Concerned Scientists, and let’s just say there’s a reason these scientists are so concerned.

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EPA picks 5 cities to join green infrastructure program

Austin, Texas (Ed Schipul via Flickr)

Austin, Texas—one of five cities added this week to EPA’s program to provide technical assistance in developing green infrastructure. (Ed Schipul via Flickr)

Five state capitals will get help from the Environmental Protection Agency to develop green infrastructure that could help mitigate the cost of natural disasters and climate changeResiliency, whether it be in the context of global warming or natural and manmade catastrophes, has become a white-hot topic in the design world, especially since Superstorm Sandy battered New York City in 2012. Read More

International Union of Architects pledges to eliminate carbon emissions in the built environment

Aerial view of New York City. (Flickr / Katy Silberger)

Aerial view of New York City. (Flickr / Katy Silberger)

The International Union of Architects (UIA) has made a major commitment to do its part in the fight against climate change. At its recent World Congress in Durban, South Africa, the Union—which represents 1.3 million architects from 124 countries—universally pledged to eliminate carbon emissions from the built environment by 2050. The “2050 Imperative” was created by the non-profit Architecture 2030 and approved by the UIA on August 8th.

Learn more after the jump.

Rockefeller Foundation opens its “100 Resilient Cities Challenge”

100 Resilient Cities Challenge is now open to applicants. (Courtesy 100 Resilient Cities Challenge)

100 Resilient Cities Challenge is now open to applicants. (Courtesy 100 Resilient Cities Challenge)

The Rockefeller Foundation is now accepting applications for its “100 Resilient Cities Challenge,” which will fund $100 million worth of resiliency projects in cities around the world.

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