I’m the guy that grew up listening to punk rock and metal music. Yeah I was that kid, going on about how screwed up the “system” was and how I would never sell out to corporate America. I think that “screw you” attitude comes through in my views of alternative energy. If I can buy my energy from someone else and from a cleaner source than why not right? Isn’t that what this country’s all about, choices? Capitalism. Letting the consumer move the market. I don’t know about you, but I would love to generate my own electricity all the while giving the finger to Big Oil and Coal. So let’s find the triple bottom line already!
This article likens the spread of alternative energy to that of the internet’s diversification to the masses. The internet has come a long way and the cleantech industry stands to be next. On top of that is the notion that our democratized internet is helping to spread alternative energy ideas to the people. One only has to Google these topis to get a sense of how cleantech systems work, where to purchase them or even how to build one yourself (if one were so tech inclined). The boom is coming, either get on board or get out of the way.
This is soooo cool. I guess it’s only natural to want to fuse these two elements of construction together as a means to generate more usable surface area. As the solar industry continues to grow I can see them eventually offering window replacement options so that one could have solar panels installed on their roofs AND in their widows. Funny, years ago I remember reading this article about the emergence of solar power and the interviewee likened the industry to a “frozen tidal wave” in that when it thawed it would hit hard and fast. I totally believed in that and it couldn’t be more true. Nowadays I can’t walk 4 blocks without seeing some solar company’s installation van driving by.
Although I’m a huge advocate for solar energy (and other renewables) I still have several hopes for the industry such as bringing the cost down more so that ALL can afford it and producing more panels/ equipment here in the States. I’m sure much of these will get ironed out here in the future as the industry continues to grow and evolve.
What is sustainable development? Is there a checklist that you can abide by in order to be deemed a sustainable structure or city? I stumbled upon this article that showcases Washington’s bold new initiative to become a more sustainable, equitable and livable city. The list of specifics that DC has put forth, I thought, makes for a great “Sustainability 101″ template.
Easier said than done for sure. These processes require time, money and perhaps most of all cooperation between various entities. Hope things get a little greener over there in DC, the outskirts, from what I hear, are pretty God awful.
I absolutely love sustainable design! I think its both fascinating and urgently needed in order to drastically reduce energy consumption patterns. In order to achieve this architects and designers must utilize every technology we have to date such as solar, wind, space age materials, and natural climate regulation controls.
I would love to one day have a Passive House, like the one pictured on the left, in the Tahoe area. I get that living in rural areas isn’t the most sustainable existence but dammit if I don’t love the mountains, snowboarding, and hiking! Plus I would be able to piss off the utility companies by generating my own power.
I’m confident that these technologies will eventually become cheaper and more mainstream so that one day this type of development is commonplace or even required. With the cost of energy going up and our natural resources becoming scarcer by the day it won’t be a question of “should we” but “we must”.
I’m happy to see people in the place where I came from doing great things with renewable energy! Farmers leasing land for wind turbine operations makes sense since the turbines don’t interfere with agricultural operations. Cambell’s soup company, the major employer in Napoleon Ohio, is working with local solar company BNB Napoleon Solar LLC in order to help them with their sustainability goals. I thought this is a great example of local companies working together to have the sustainability needs served while creating jobs and economic stability in the region. I hope this trend continues in the Buckeye State since the manufacturing sector in the region has been getting hammered for decades. The last time I was home I remember hearing that Owens Community College in Perrysburg was offering training in alternative energy careers such as Wind Turbine and Solar Panel repair and maintenance. As this industry continues to evolve it will need a skilled labor force ready to build, operate, and service this technology. Northwest Ohio is home to the hardest working people I know, many of whom would love to work in this new and exciting field. Source: hivelocitymedia.com
The times they are a changing. Bob Dylan said that and it couldn’t be more true for a progressive city like San Francisco. The city has some big changes in store for the Caltrain rail yard at Fourth Street, ones that would hopefully connect Mission Bay and Soma more efficiently. The biggest change would be to demolish the I-280 overpass starting at16th St in an effort to make way for a more livable boulevard (think Octavia or the even grander Embarcadero). The city also wants to shrink down the bloated and decrepit rail yard which would be moved to another location in order to make way for high speed rail.
I’m on board with all of this but I do feel for Caltrain who has been planning to electrify its rail system for decades and had its own vision for the Fourth St rail yard. However, the rail yard could be planned and implemented in a way that both sides could be happy. I for one hate the traffic that backs up from people meandering there way around the rail yard to hit I-280 South. If the rail yard was shrunken down, moved, or eliminated I feel that the whole area would benefit from neighborhood cohesiveness, better traffic flow, calmer traffic speeds, and better environmental aesthetics. Don’t get me wrong I love rail. I love Caltrain. I WANT high speed rail. I just think this area needs a lot of attention in order to make the area a more livable, equitable, and sustainable place.
This is great news for cleantech R&D in the Bay Area. With consistent and rigorous testing there should be new advances in alternative energy and green building materials. I’m astonished that more full-scale testing sites are not being built, what with the cost of energy only going up. Hopefully they make some huge breakthroughs over there in Berkeley (and they accept me into their Urban Planning Graduate program, cough cough).
Although Spain is facing serious economic and political issues the city-building taking place in Barcelona is amongst the best in the world For this reason Brent Toderian thought it was a quite fitting location for the second Global Smart City Expo/Congress. Toderian also used this as an opportunity to look for city planning and building idea’s that growing cities around the world can use as inspiration. After touring the city of Barcelona Toderian concluded with six idea’s that he thinks are “transferable, scalable and universal” for use in developing other cities.
Do you think Brent Toderian’s six points are something that could work in the United States? Are there any of his idea’s from this article that you can see in use in American cities today?
Over the last several months Pittsburgh Pennsylvania has had numerous deaths and injuries related to cyclist which caused an uproar throughout the state on editorial sections of news papers and social media. Both cyclist and drivers blamed each other for negligent activities on the road however as Annie Seibert points out in her article most of these cyclist are drivers as well. Scott Bricker, the executive director of Bike Pittsburgh insists that its not a “cyclist versus drivers” argument because “we’re multi-modal people.” Additionally Pittsburgh’s bike-pedestrian coordinator believes that cycling is still a relatively new idea for the city and once it has become more mainstream there will be less tension between the different modes of transport.
Is the tension between cyclist, drivers and pedestrians something you witness in your city? Additionally do you agree that with cycling becoming more main stream in cities that it could in the future help it to become a safer mode of transport?