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Dubai's Xeritown Has Eco-City Aspirations, Too

Promenade

The task of building an entire city from scratch isn’t novel in Dubai — it seems there’s a new city announcement every half year or so.  Xeritown is one of the latest that I’ve learned about and it’s planned for Dubailand.  The idea behind the 60-acre city is that it will be designed to accommodate the elements of the desert rather than overcome them.  The form of the city follows a north-south axis to take advantage of the cool breeze coming in from the sea.  The buildings, rather than artificial and water intense landscaping, provide shading and structure. 

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Tragic Lag, Green Fast Tracking, Voices of Sprawl, Green Retailers, + Confused Offsets [WIR]

Week in Review

*WIR = Week in Review; a Saturday showcase of excellent links.

First Off-Grid Building in San Francisco Coming Soon!

The Eco Center

Last month, Lorax Development broke ground on a building that’s being billed as the first off-grid building in San Francisco.  At 1400 sf, The Eco Center is certainly an example of the future of green buildings — buildings that are off-grid and sustainable.  The Eco Center is a $1.5 million environmental education center that will be located in McLaren Park.  Designed by Toby Long Design for the non-profit Literacy for Environmental Justice (LEJ), when it opens in the fall, it will be the first building in San Francisco, purportedly, to recycle its own wastewater.  Additionally, the off-grid center will have solar panels and an extensive green roof. 

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Combating Climate Change by Tackling Sprawl

Sprawl There’s a lot of talk here on Jetson Green about the (adverse) impact that architecture and materials choice can have on the environment.  So it’s nice to know that housing can actually be an essential factor in combating climate change according to a new study from Smart Growth America.

While attending the recent EcoCity World Summit in San Francisco, I heard panelist Reid Ewing, research professor at the National Center for Smart Growth, discuss urban development and its (negative and positive) effect on climate change.  The study, published by the Urban Land Institute, documents how key changes in land development patterns could help reduce vehicle greenhouse gas emissions. 

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WORKac Vertical Farm Concept for NYC [S2]

Locavore Fantasia

New York asked four architects to generate ideas for an oddly shaped parcel of land at Canal and Varick Street in New York.  New York only requested that the ideas include a residential component and generally comply with zoning.  Of the four designs submitted, one of them caught my eye because it’s of something that’s being talked about more and more.  Vertical farms.  The design by WORKac entitled "Locavore Fantasia" features crops on each floor and four large water tanks for rainwater irrigation.  The idea here is just a concept, but it gets me thinking, which city will be the first to take the plunge on a vertical farm …
 

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Escraper, Imbuing Green in Vertical Design [S2]

escraper

Imagine you are tasked with creating an innovative skyscraper that takes into consideration historical and social context, the existing urban fabric, human scale, and the environment.  Your skyscraper design can take any height or shape on any site in the world, but it must be technologically feasible and environmentally responsible.  Any ideas?  Evolo Architecture held a skyscraper competition with the above constraints and announced three winners and six mentions.  Of those nine, Daekwon Park has received some attention in the last week.  It’s a pretty interesting concept.  I also like the escraper by Sohta Mori and Yuichiro Minato. 

Escraper connects three twisted buildings in a modern, but natural way.  It has six major green spaces or parks, as well as a mini garden on each level. 

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