Monthly Archives: September 2016

REGENERATION17 – Your Invited …

“our responsibility must be to inspire the next generation to become better than us and to reach higher than we have” Martin Brown in #FutuREstorative

reach-higher

The Italy Collaborative through Macro Design Studio  is organising the third edition of REGENERATION, the European design competition entirely based on the Living Building Challenge sustainability certification standard .

IMG_2334Having supported the first two editions of REGENERATION as an LBC tutor and presenter, I can wholly recommend this event as truly enriching and inspiring,  not only in learning about the Living Building Challenge in applied detail, or being hosted in a wonderful region of the Italian Dolomites, but making a positive contribution through regenerating a local municipal facility.

The competition is open to professionals (architects, engineers, environmental sustainability and landscape experts) in Europe, under 35 years old. The deadline for the request of participation is next January 31st, 2017. We will select the best 15 on the basis of the documentation submitted.

The event (which will take place at CentIMG_2350rale Fies, Dro (Trento – Italy), on April, 26th to 29th, 2017.) is a 64 non-stop hours of integrative design in which each team, assisted by tutors expert of LBC, will compete in designing the best redevelopment project of an existing local public building. There will be side events i.e. a final conference open to the public on the issues of LBC as well as the final presentation of the projects, with the proclamation of the best project by an international jury.

One goal is to have the most various participation possible, in terms of European countries represented. 

More information about REGENERATION:

– REGENERATION web site: regenerationcompetition.eu
– The REGENERATION Facebook group

The deadline for the request of participation is next January 31st, 2017. 

Administered by The International Living Future Institute (ILFI) based in Seattle (WA), a hub for visionary programs that promotes a sustainability that is Socially Just, Culturally Rich and Ecologically Restorative SMILFI is partner and scientific advisor of Macro Design Studio and the Living Building Challenge Collaborative: Italy in organizing REGENERATION.

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Cities setting biophilic commitments.

Pittsburgh has become the latest city to be inducted into the Biophilic City network, setting ambitions and commitments to eliminate the use of all pesticides, fungicides and herbicides, to increase the city’s tree canopy from 42 percent to 60 percent by 2030, to pursue  the daylighting of streams in stormwater management efforts and to develop more greenways.

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To qualify as a Biophilic City, cities work within a number of guidelines and monitoring indicators:

Guidelines:

  • Biophilic cities are cities of abundant nature in close proximity to large numbers of urbanites; biophilic cities are biodiverse cities, that value, protect and actively restore this biodiversity; biophilic cities are green and growing cities, organic and natureful;
  • In biophilic cities, residents feel a deep affinity with the unique flora, fauna and fungi found there, and with the climate, topography, and other special qualities of place and environment that serve to define the urban home; in biophilic cities citizens can easily recognise common species of trees, flowers, insects and birds (and in turn care deeply about them);
  • Biophilic cities are cities that provide abundant opportunities to be outside and to enjoy nature through strolling, hiking, bicycling, exploring; biophilic cities nudge us to spend more time amongst the trees, birds and sunlight.
  • Biophilic cities are rich multi-sensory environments, where the sounds of nature (and other sensory experiences) are appreciated as much as the visual or ocular experience; biophilic cities celebrate natural forms, shapes, and materials;
  • Biophilic cities place importance on education about nature and biodiversity, and on providing many and varied opportunities to learn about and directly experience nature; in biophilic cities there are many opportunities to join with others in learning about, enjoying, deeply connecting with, and helping to steward nature, whether though a nature club, organised hikes, camping in city parks, or volunteering for nature restoration projects;
  • Biophilic cities invest in the social and physical infrastructure that helps to bring urbanites to closer connection and understanding of nature, whether through natural history museums, wildlife centres, school-based nature initiatives, or parks and recreation programs and projects, among many others;
  • Biophilic cities are globally responsible cities that recognise the importance of actions to limit the impact of resource use on nature and biodiversity beyond their urban borders; biophilic cities take steps to actively support the conservation of global nature.

Indicators

  • Natural Conditions (eg % of forest or tree canopy cover, % working/living within 300m of green space, area of green roofs, living walls)
  • Biophilic Engagement ( eg daily visits to green spaces, flora and fauna eco-literacy, outdoor activity membership)
  • Biophilic Institutions, planning and governance, (eg city budget allocated to nature conservation, restoration education)
  • Human Health and Wellbeing (% spending 30 mins + in urban nature, in outdoor activities, equitable and just access to nature)

Other aspects of a biophilic city include bird friendly, water friendly (blue urbanism) and dark sky preservation.

Other Biophilic Cities include Wellington, NZ; Birmingham, UK; Victoria Gasteiz ; Spain; Portland, USA and Singapore.

The Biophilic City website has a wealth of information, stories and resources.

The Connected Construction Generation

F U T U R E S T O R A T I V E  Extract Page 139

CHAPTER SEVEN: A DIGITALLY FUELLED RESTORATIVE FUTURE 

The rise of social media has led to a communications shift in the way construction industry professionals share information and participate in conversations. In many ways, this new social dimension – based on engagement, relationships and trust – is at odds with the historical construction industry approaches of competitiveness and fear of sharing.

bridge-bricks-steel-cables-suspension-bridgeWe are seeing the emergence of a new ‘connected construction generation’ sharing information in real time across organisations, sectors and countries, and forming digital communities of practice. Good examples are the influential #Be2Camp and #UKBIMCrew, cross-organisation communities sharing social media and BIM knowledge.

Groupings of conversations with a focus on sustainability, BIM and collaborative working are creating communities whose participants are both ‘Generous and Expert’. That is, they are …

FutuREstorative – Working Towards a New Sustainability

 

UK among the most nature-depleted countries in the world…

Agriculture, Urbanisation, Wetland and Forestry Management alongside Climate Change are the cause in a significant drop in the health and state of UK nature and wildlife. The State of Nature 2016 report published today describing the UK as “among the most nature-depleted countries in the world”

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The 2016 Report led by the RSPB and the collaborative effort of over 50 conservation organisations details the dramatic decline in nature as a result of climate change “overwhelming negative” agriculture, industrialisation and urbanisation, pointing out that it is not just historical but continues today.

The report highlights the positive efforts with examples of natural habitat and wildlife recovery but sadly points out there are too few to prevent a tipping point, citing how public funding for biodiversity has decreased by a third over the last 7 years.

Of particular interest, relating to the current surge of interest of nature within the health, wellbeing and biophilic agendas, and recognition of biophilia and rewilding as the secret sauce for sustainability, is the report’s Connection to Nature Index.

connection-to-nature-index

  • Nature can have positive impacts on young people’s education, physical health, emotional well-being, and personal and social skills,
  • Only 21% of eight to 12-year-olds in the UK currently have a level of connection to nature that is considered to be a realistic and achievable target for all children.
  • Children who were more connected to nature had significantly higher English attainment” and that there are “strong correlations between [connection to nature] and pro-nature behaviours and pro-environmental behaviours.”