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Worldchanging 101: SHELTER


What does it mean to build bright green structures for the 21st Century?

Here are some of the most popular and enduring stories we've published in our first six years, stories we think offer a window into the Worldchanging archives. In these pages you'll find a treasury: more than 10,000 articles on cutting-edge solutions dating back as far as October 2003. This work pushes the boundaries of the global conversation on sustainability, social innovation and planetary thinking. Many of these writers are leaders in their respective industries.

To help get you started, we've compiled a primer in each of our seven meta-categories. We hope you'll use these guides as an entryway. Find the ideas you're most passionate about here, then explore our site for much, much more. Stay as long as you like, and please spread the word.

Understanding Shelter: Definitive Principles

Clean and Renewable Energy
There is no simple answer to the question "How do we fuel our society sustainably?" We've got to be willing to explore a whole variety of technologies, approaches and business models, and to acknowledge that the answers change with the context. The best approach will be one which emphasizes diversity.

Green Building
A confluence of new technologies and approaches now allows us to create buildings that are better tools for living. These buildings are light, airy, comfortable and stylish; they sip water and make all their own energy; they are better for us and over time, better for our pocketbooks.

District Solutions
The more we learn about the complexity of systems, the better we understand that one size will never fit all. Regional and local solutions, custom-tailored to meet the needs of a specific bioregion and population, are often the most resilient systems we can build.

We should see all the water coursing through and around our homes and businesses not as a waste product to be dealt with, but rather as a valuable resource worth conserving. With the right tools, all this water can be reclaimed, cleaned and used again in a variety of ways.

Smart Systems
Efficient, sustainable systems are systems that work smarter, not harder. Now that we have the capability to monitor energy needs and use digitally in real time, for example, we can use smart grids to connect energy from diverse sources to the places that need it, without writing waste off as a cost of doing business.

10 Landmark Posts on Shelter:

1. Cities of the Future, Today
By Alex Steffen
Published 2 May 2008

2. Worldchanging Interview: Amory Lovins
By Julia Levitt
Published 23 March 2009

3. Grow Your Own Treehouse and other thoughts on Ecological Architecture
By Sarah Rich
Published 12 June 2006

4. Open Architecture Network and the Future of Design
By Alex Steffen
Published 1 February 2007

5. Smart Garage: An Integration Revolution
By Julia Levitt
Published 30 October 2008

6. Architecture 2030: An Interview with Ed Mazria
By Geoff Manaugh
Published 28 January 2007

7. Green Building for All
By Sarah Kuck
Published 21 May 2009

8. Green Building Simulation
By Jeremy Faludi
Published 11 October 2007

9. A Suburban Future of Concrete and Gardens: Nice, Right?
By Julia Levitt
Published 24 April 2009

10. Needed: Leadership From Architects and Designers
By Julia Levitt
Published 5 May 2009

Image credit: Sean Conroe

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