Designing Sustainable Communities

21 03 2010

Exploring the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture website for UBC, I discovered a range of faculty and student work incorporating sustainable landscapes and development.  A few noteworthy projects that I explored include: seasonal optimization of multi-use trails and green spaces; food-oriented development; and an investigation into the moments of intersection between food, community and culture in the city.

I believe that the sustainability of communities is strongly rooted in the culture and natural characteristics.  If “place” is a statement about attitude to geography, history and resources, then the particular regional characteristics of a built environment are as much a reflection of local environmental conditions as a reflection of cultural context. Applicable to developed and developing countries is the use of locally available technology.  It is central to regionally specific building, material applications, and building methods. Associating technology with ideas of region and place may also contribute to the preservation of local characteristics and identity. Technology and design will be specific to regional economies and building traditions, digital design, and fabrication technologies which can be understood in each unique region.  I find it fascinating the incredible range of design ideas that are generated across different eco-regions, cultures, and socio-economic boundaries. 

 “. . .each path moves along a single season of blooming trees to the south creating dynamic travel patterns in the green space at spanish banks” (Seasonal Optimization by Mark Ross).

 As a short continuation of my blog on the Olympics, I thought I would supplement the entry with a couple of pictures that I took from the Sustainable Living pavilion in Yaletown at the Olympic Games in Vancouver, 2010.  An example of green promotional advertising in action →

Sustainable transportation can be sexy.  A sweet red cruiser bike finds its place in a community bicycle share program.  Bicycle culture is affluent in many European cities, why not Vancouver and Victoria?




One response

12 04 2010
Richard Kool

‘Bicycle culture is affluent in many European cities, why not Vancouver and Victoria?” I don’t think that ‘affluent’ is the right word here.. but I agree with the sentiment? Why not?

The Serpent in George Bernard Shaw’s play Back To Methuselah says: “You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?’”

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