This conceptual proposal for Chicago's Monroe Harbor was designed in honor of the great American architect Daniel Burnham, but perhaps more importantly, to secure Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympic games. The proposal is a modern interpretation of Burnam's 1909 master plan for Chicago. In a land locked city, the Chicago Eco-Bridge offers an extension of the landscape that would dramatically change the face of the city, and perhaps the United States.
Following in the footsteps of Dongtan and Masdar, the Danish firm of Bjarke Ingels Group has just released details of their masterplan for a zero energy resort and entertainment city on Zira Island, which is located within the bay of Baku, Azerbaijan. The plan calls for roughly 10.8 million square feet of architectural landscape based on the natural landscape of Azerbaijan. Indeed, Zira Island will feature seven residential developments, each in the shape of one of seven peaks of Azerbaijan, and 300 private villas with views over the Caspian Sea.
This is Hidden Creek Eco-Village. It's a little bit different kind of suburban development that attempts to reconcile the demands of single-family home buyers with the problems of sprawling housing developments. First, Hidden Creek is full of communal features, such as neighborhood trails, car parks, front porches, central mailboxes, and shared streetscapes. Plus the homes are densely sited to maintain open, natural spaces. Second, Hidden Creek is surrounded by the natural environment: there's a nature preserve on the north, a creek on the south, and natural grasses and trees everywhere else. To maintain the integrity of the site, homes were placed around existing trees and landscaping. Third, all the homes have been custom-designed for each site to allow views of the surrounding landscape and nature.
Looks like Chicago city planners have big ideas for a 1140 acre swathe of land in South Chicago. The spot is former U.S. Steel land, and planners have been mulling development options for the spot since about 2000. Now, they'd like to submit a proposal for a green development with sustainable neighborhoods, green buildings, street cars, and bicycle paths, etc. Officially referred to as the "South Chicago LEED Neighborhood Development Initiative," the plan would be rated by the USGBC's LEED-ND pilot program and would unravel over roughly 20-30 years.
Some of you may be in Park City for the Sundance Film Festival this week, and while you're in town, you might want to go check out some green projects. Probably the greenest building in Utah is located near Kimball Junction — Swaner EcoCenter — it's a must tour facility and nature preserve. Another project worth checking out, and maybe worth buying, is a three townhouse community called Tahoma. With Tahoma, a local developer took a dive into green development waters and ended up achieving the first Built Green Utah certified residential development in Park City. Tahoma was developed by Baker Street Properties, and based upon my communications with the developer, they're ready to build even greener for future projects.
Talk about a serious transformation! VaST, a Colorado-based a+d firm, purchased an old porn shop earlier this year — the building was located close to Boulder — and completely gutted the place. Now, you wouldn’t even know it used to have super skeezy viewing booths. VaST took all that out and set a new standard in using green materials, particularly salvaged and unique materials. Located at 1720 15th Street in Boulder, Candy Shop is the right kind of place for a budding green professional or socially aware independent looking for some co-working space. Plus, they’ve just added solar panels to supply a portion of the building’s energy … check out the particulars of the renovation: