Nov 24, 15

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Park(ing) Day and Climate Branding

Looking back one and five years ago today on Worldchanging: 2009 New Yorkers to Create PreFab Parks for Park(ing) Day Sean Conroe shares a video about Park(ing) Day 2009 and encourages everyone to share images and more videos on Worldchanging's Flickr photo pool... 2005 Brand Sensitivity to Climate Jamais Cascio reports on the UK's Carbon Trust, a government-sponsored initiative to study the social and economic factors related to a need to reduce greenhouse gases... Other recent "look...


Zero Series: Michelle Kaufmann's New Zero-Energy Prefab Homes

Architect Michelle Kaufmann has launched a new set of prefab, zero-energy home designs called the "Zero Series." Worldchanging considers Kaufmann a friend -- we've also covered her work before (see stories on her Glidehouse here and here; a story on ultra-green prefab design and her Sunset Breezehouse design here; and here for information on her mkLotus design) -- so we were happy to see this story on her new designs in Inhabitat today: Called the Zero Series, the elegant line is made to be...


Creative Spaces for Schools: Teton Valley Community School Case Study

Schools have long been designed based on the myth that children need to be protected from “distractions,” including daylight. But just as offices full of monochromatic, poorly lit cubicles make worker productivity suffer, dreary environments sap our kids of energy. School feels like prisons largely because they look like them. Section Eight Design, a small firm in Victor, Idaho, applied green building techniques, rugged functionality in design, and an eye for creative spaces to its...


The Case for Accessory Dwelling Units

You don't always need an entire city block or vacant lot to create impact with urban infill. In residential urban neighborhoods, the collective potential of a hundred backyards adds up…to prime retrofit real estate. The solution: ADUs, also called "granny flats" or "mother-in-law apartments," are small dwellings built within or next to an existing home. Garage conversions, basement apartments and coach houses have been fairly common models for decades. But prefab housing options are...


CNU Designed Cabins Offer Shelter, Jobs for Haitians

Celebrated architect and co-founder of Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) Andres Duany has designed a structure that could soon bring relief to thousands of homeless disaster victims in Haiti. A Miami-based company, InnoVida, recently agreed to construct 1,000 of the rectangular, prefabricated structures for Haiti. Each shelter can sleep up to eight individuals and can withstand fire, hurricane-force winds and earthquakes. Duany's "cabin" is unique in that its panels can be put together...

Worldchanging Timeline: 2003-2009

We here at Worldchanging just celebrated our sixth anniversary! In addition to publishing a series of "101" posts, highlighting some of the iconic pieces we've published over the years, and a primer on blogs and other resources we lean heavily upon, we though that it might also be useful to share a timeline of the project so far, noting some representative events, to give the interested reader a sense of where we came from and how we got here; perhaps knowing something of the evolution of...


San Francisco’s Foggy Sunday Streets 2009

By John Hamilton Despite a blanket of fog, the last San Francisco Sunday Streets of 2009 was, from all accounts, a smashing success, one of the most popular so far, with thousands of people enjoying four activity-filled hours of pristine car-free space through Golden Gate Park and the Great Highway. Kids, families, bicyclists, skaters, dancers, and even the MTA Chief Nat Ford came out to enjoy the carfree zone. Related posts in the Worldchanging archive: Event notes: Streets for People...

New Yorkers to Create PreFab Parks for Park(ing) Day

What comes to mind when you picture “livable streets?" For me, the phrase conjures up consciously-designed, pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods, where people -- not cars -- are priority. But what if we were to take the phrase "livable streets" literally? Park(ing) Day 2009 allows us to do just that. What began in 2005 as an attempt by a San Francisco art collective to highlight the lack of public space in urban areas has now turned into an international event. Once a year, artists and...

The Ruins of the Unsustainable: Searching For Answers to the Suburbs

"The ruins of the unsustainable are the 21st century's frontier." We've been pondering that statement by Worldchanging ally Bruce Sterling for nearly two years now. In North America, several decades of bad development (and the government policies that enabled and encouraged it) have resulted in unchecked sprawl and played no small part in our global financial meltdown. Far-flung exurban areas have swallowed up miles of greenfield, replacing farmland and woods with pavement and lawns, and...


Straw Really Does Keep The Wolf From The Door

by Paul Rainger I'll huff and I'll puff, but we'll build that house up. Let's face it, until Kevin McCloud and Grand Designs came along, the reputation of straw houses was not good. Largely thanks to the tale of the Three Pigs, a story that, with hindsight, looks suspiciously like a piece of inspired viral marketing by the Brick Manufacturers Association. But that situation looks set to change this week, with work getting underway on Bath University’s pioneering project to build a...

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