“Commissioned by the Liuzhou Municipality Urban Planning department, the city will host some 30,000 residents and feature the hallmarks of a typical city, such as offices, houses, hotels, hospitals and schools. These buildings will draw on geothermal energy and rooftop solar panel for their power needs,” wrote Nick Lavars. “Construction is currently underway, with the Liuzhou Forest City expected to be completed by 2020.”
Architect Stefano Boeri is passionate about green infrastructure and demonstrates the art of the possible. “Cities are two per cent of the entire Earth’s land surface, but they are producing 70 per cent of CO2. If we seriously want to deal with climate change, we have to study where climate change is produced. Forests absorb approximately 40 per cent of [man-made] CO2, so increasing the number of trees and plants inside a city is a crucial issue,” comments Stefano Boeri.
100 RESILIENT CITIES: What Would an Entirely Flood-proof City Look Like? – Sophie Knight profiles leaders who are ‘designing with nature’ to lead the way to a water-resilient future (September 2017)
“Along with the explosion of the motorcar in the early 20th century came paved surfaces. Rainwater – instead of being sucked up by plants, evaporating, or filtering through the ground back to rivers and lakes – was suddenly forced to slide over pavements and roads into drains, pipes and sewers," wrote Sophie Knight. "As the recent floods from Bangladesh to Texas show, it’s not just the unprecedented magnitude of storms that can cause disaster: it’s urbanisation."
DESIGN WITH NATURE: Top Ten Cities in USA are Integrating Nature & Technology – a new report (2017) by Anil Ahuja, Smart Cities Guru
Smart Cities Guru founder Anil Ahuja has compiled a list of the top U.S. cities — from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles — that have found a way to combine technology and nature. “The challenge is to raise the bar for designing net zero living while enjoying and protecting the natural world. Water, Energy, Health, Equity and Beauty can all be protected and integrated through constructive implementation of technology,” wrote Anil Ahuja.
FLASHBACK TO 2006: “The urban environments that we can build using LID will be healthier, more sustainable and use less natural resources then the ones we grew up in,” stated Bert van Duin at the Cochrane Innovations in Urban Development Conference
“LID is a practical and cost-effective approach to reducing and/or better managing the impacts of urbanization on our landscape in order to leave a better place for our children and grandchildren,” stated Bert van Duin. This is an exciting turning point in how we can reduce the impacts of urban development on watersheds.”
GREEN SPACE & HUMAN HEALTH: “Studies show that there is a definite link between mental health and living proximity to parks,” wrote Brian Strahan, mental health activist
In his article, Brian Strahan poses these questions: “What has a crystalline, winding, stream, got to do, with gaining clarity of mind? And what have the sawtooth edges, and linear veins on the leaves of an Alder tree, got to do got to do with someone’s capacity to adhere to societal norms and mores? How much vision is there on the long-term effects of living with more concrete and less space? We need to invest more in urban nature. It will improve mental health.”
FLASHBACK TO 2007: Township of Langley Showcased Green Infrastructure Innovation in Three New Neighbourhoods
The goal in showcasing innovation and celebrating successes was to promote networking, build regional capacity, and move ‘from awareness to action’ – through sharing of green infrastructure approaches, tools, experiences and lessons learned. “After many years of what you would call research, we are now in the developmental phase,” stated Ramin Seifi in 2007 at the Langley event. “We will be monitoring and measuring what matters. This will enable residents and Council to maintain their focus over time.”
City as Platform is more than a tour, and more than just a conference session—it is a hands-on, collaborative learning experience in the field. First debuted at CNU 24 in Detroit, it made an encore appearance at CNU 25 in Seattle and featured the Belltown neighbourhood. It is an ideal laboratory, said Isabelle Giasson, for expanding GSI (Green Stormwater Infrastructure) to meet multiple community outcomes.
Bigger Pipes or Greener Communities: “Projected changes in land use and climate have nearly equivalent effects on flooding,” says Chris Jensen
“The effects that climate change may have on flood hazard is a concern for many local governments and citizens in British Columbia. Planning for future changes in precipitation is important, but it should not overshadow the significance that day-to-day development has on stream flows,” stated Chris Jensen. “Local governments may not be able to change future storm events, but they can affect how land is developed and redeveloped.”
FLASHBACK TO 2007: Seminar on how to implement ‘green solutions’ that actually protect stream health – “Beyond the Guidebook Initiative” formally launched by the British Columbia Green Infrastructure Partnership at event held in Vancouver; attracted an audience from regions across the province
“The Stormwater Guidebook set in motion a chain of outcomes that has resulted in BC being recognized internationally as a leader in implementing a natural systems approach to rainwater management in the urban environment,” stated Minister of Environment Barry Penner in 2007. “The Convening for Action initiative creates an opportunity to move beyond rainwater management to embrace all components of the water cycle through integrated water management.”