Wednesday, September 28, 2022

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SOLUTIONS

START WITH ASSESSING THE RISK TO YOUR OWN PROPERTY/COMMUNITY

“We came up with a series of hybrid solutions, nature based — that would add living shorelines, natural breakwaters, near-shore artificial reefs, and raised seawalls. It would add 39 acres of open park land for the citizens of Miami,” said Aida Curtis,

who also generated visuals of how bad the seawall would look — to further the argument for more equitable nature-based solutions.

Inland, Curtis’s landscape architecture and planning encourages development and other rules that truly create a sustainable network through all of Miami’s diverse communities.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SOLUTIONS

START WITH ASSESSING THE RISK TO YOUR OWN PROPERTY/COMMUNITY

In Miami, Landscape Architect Aida Curtis, principal of Curtis+Rogers Design Studio, has been immersed in resilient design, decades before the city became synonymous with ground zero for climate disaster — 

both the slow variety from sea level rise and the immediate knockout punch from the killer winds and storm surge of increasingly frequent hurricanes. 

She stresses that mitigation can be beautiful and practical.

After Hurricane Irma, a federally funded study proposed a 10- to 30-foot-high floodwall that would run along the Miami’s picturesque bayfront spanning from downtown Miami, south across the Miami River (with floodgates) and to the Manhattan-like Brickell Area.

 Curtis’ firm was hired to illustrate alternatives to what most saw as a hideous wall.

Monday, September 26, 2022

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SOLUTIONS

START WITH ASSESSING THE RISK TO YOUR OWN PROPERTY/COMMUNITY

USGBC's David Abell said to become LEED certified, cities must assess their green and gray infrastructure and their relationship to equity.

“We help them mine data to ensure decisions are centered around equity. 

We want to ensure that communities historically left behind are addressed in all aspects of quality of life — including infrastructure investment,” he said.

USGBC's Hilari Varnadore said the USBGC also wants to make sure cities are working with diverse groups — so neighborhood solutions are tailored to the needs of the residents, not a top-down approach that often fails. 

The steps to LEED certification also make sure cities are working collaboratively with regional nonprofits and foundations capable of leveraging dollars with grant funding.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SOLUTIONS

START WITH ASSESSING THE RISK TO YOUR OWN PROPERTY/COMMUNITY

“Houston and Billings, Mont., are very different places with different climates and population scales, but they are in the same group with each other,” 

the United States Green Building Council’s Hilari Varnadore said, noting that winning sustainable land-use, growth and building policies are exportable.

“In Hoboken, N.J., they came in on our pilot program and did major resilience work to mitigate flooding and storms.

They redid their waterfront. 

On the surface, it looks like parks and a beautiful urban space.

Beneath that is an amazing level of infrastructure to maintain their housing, commercial and viability against climate change.”

Saturday, September 24, 2022

CELEBRATING MORE THAN 350,000 READERS

 IN LESS THAN A DECADE, THERE HAVE BEEN MORE                                 THAN 350K UNIQUE VISITORS TO THIS BLOG 

We usually observe blog milestones by recounting the disability advocacy essays and town planning articles shared on the site.

The cumulative amount of text on this blog would fill nearly four average-length books.

But today, we want to celebrate the visual storytelling.

When we were required to take a photography course in journalism school, we were almost offended – because we always thought we would earn our daily bread via the printed word.

Fast forward to digital photography, then smart phones with amazing lenses.

And we are storytelling with images as much or more than words.


When we teach at the graduate school level and a major university, we show images of the good, bad and ugly of Universal Design – so students can understand how to create an inclusive built environment.

Sometimes, we simply write about a place we’ve been, a hotel or apartment that was great about hosting us.

These images are from Lisbon Portugal.

We always wanted to get there, but 40 years of adulthood slipped by with the great, hilly city rising from Rio Tejo escaped us till this month.

Now we dream of narrow alleys, azulejo-adorned facades, great seafood, excellent wine, kind people, 300 days of sunshine and Mediterranean climate less hostile than Miami’s global warming and sea level rise-imperiled climate.


Friday, September 23, 2022

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SOLUTIONS

START WITH ASSESSING THE RISK TO YOUR OWN PROPERTY/COMMUNITY

The United States Green Building Council’s David Abell said Louisville, Ky., has worked with the National Institutes of Health to study how greenspace improves public health. 

The Green Heart Louisville initiative, also supported by The Nature Conservancy, looks at trees as medicine.

USGBC's Hilari Varnadore said the LEED for Cities program allows diverse cities and counties to share best practices for mitigating heat, flooding, storms and related climate issues while also tackling issues of socioeconomic and other inequalities.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SOLUTIONS

START WITH ASSESSING THE RISK TO YOUR OWN PROPERTY/COMMUNITY

“The southwest is an area looking at heat,” said David Abell, senior manager, LEED for Cities at USGBC.

“One thing I’ve seen is a lot more urban tree master plans. 

In Phoenix [a LEED certified city,] they are planning a tree/ shade inventory. 

Cities are investing in sidewalks, shelters, connectivity — things people need to get to transit.”