Developed in partnership between the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance, Bionova and Architecture 2030, the recently published City Policy Framework described as a new frontier for city climate action, to dramatically reduce embodied Carbon, provides guidance for cities considering policies that can deliver the highest impact within their geopolitical contexts and regulatory systems. Over 50 existing policies from leading cities have been evaluated, categorised, and scored according to their potential, cost efficiency, ease of implementation, and enforceability.
Embodied Carbon—the emissions released from materials during the construction of buildings and infrastructure—will be responsible for half of the carbon footprint of new structures between now and 2050. It is a substantial source of carbon emissions in cities that can be dramatically reduced through the legal and regulatory powers of zoning and land use policies. Some leading cities around the world have already begun to adopt and apply these policies, but for climate goals to be met, global implementation needs to be accelerated.
Design can no longer be only concerned with reducing environmental impacts within the threshold of greenhouse gas emissions. Buildings today must be developed to reverse the effects of climate change, enhance natural systems, the built environment and habitants health.
“Regenerative Design in the Digital Practice” explores how the regenerative concept is now being applied to the regenerative design of cities and buildings. A series of digital design approaches are exemplified via a series of examples drawn from leading international practitioners and researchers.
“Regenerative Design in the Digital Practice” fills a gap in the existing literature by introducing fundamental design principles of regenerative design practice whilst acknowledging the potential and imperative of integrating science, big data and multi-discipline digital tools in the design process.
This book offers those involved within the built environment a wide range of insights into regenerative design from international design practitioners and researchers in the field. As well as theoretical insights into the historical, cultural and philosophical development of regenerative design, practical insights are framed in a set of key regenerative design principles, methods and performance simulation tools. Finally, the ability to create regenerative designs and the positive impacts they bring are demonstrated through a series of built examples.
REGENERATIVE DEFINITIONS FOR DESIGNERS The Pillars of Regenerative Design Edited Martin Brown, Emanuele Naboni, Lisanne Havinga TOOLS AND DATA FOR HOLISTIC MODELLING Simulating Regenerative Futures Edited Emanuele Naboni, Clarice Bleil de Souza, Terri Peters, Lisanne Havinga CLIMATE AND ENERGY FOR REGENERATIVE URBAN DESIGN Local Context, Adaptation, Resilience Edited Emanuele Naboni, Ata Chokhachian, Luca Finnochiaro, Lisanne Havinga CARBON AND ECOLOGY WITHIN THE DESIGN PROCESS Environmental Impact Assessment Edited Lisanne Havinga, Catherine De Wolf, Antonino Marvuglia, Emanuele Naboni HUMAN WELL-BEING VIA CERTIFICATION AND TOOLS Comfort, Health, Satisfaction, Well-being Edited Angela Loder, Sergio Altomonte, Emanuele Naboni, Lisanne Havinga CASE STUDIES SHOWCASING REGENERATIVE DESIGN 346 From Theory to Realisation Edited by Emanuele Naboni, Lisanne Having
Green roofs, living walls, urban green landscape could prove to provide more benefits than first thought. In addition to the obvious nature, biodiversity benefits and the biophilic wellbeing and air benefits, connection to nature can also rewild the microbiome ecosystems within our bodies leading to better health. (Microbiomes are the billions of microbes that live on and within our bodies and regulate our health)
With the first law of ecology, (and that oft quoted John Muir sound bite) that everything is connected, it is not so surprising that the microbiome in our bodies is connected to the wider natural eco-system. A topic I touched on with Specifi building engineers in Leeds recently!
In FutuREstorative I talk of rewilding nature, buildings and people. Rewilding is not just about reintroducing big predators such as the wolf, or reintroducing missing parts of any natural ecosystem chain, but about ‘creating conditions that allow the emergence of natural responsiveness and development’. This is regenerative, not restricting what we allow nature to do, but seeing the the way we design, construct and maintain the built environment as a part of nature, not apart from nature
Yet, the next frontier in rewilding and indeed, in the evolving sustainability nexus of buildings and wellbeing could well be within the human body itself. Researchers are exploring ways to ‘rewild’ the microbiome of urban dwellers whose microbiome state maybe below par (due to urban environments and lack of nature) back a more natural and healthier state.
A paper published in the journal Challenges, explores the human body as a holobiont—that is a ‘host along with billions of microbial organisms working symbiotically to form a functioning ecological unit’— that has the potential to enhance both human and planetary health. And the way we design cities can be a vital contribution. In the paper, Jake Robinson of University of Sheffield UK and Jacob Mills and Martin Breed of the University of Adelaide in Australia propose that urban planners focus on creating microbiome-inspired green infrastructure to “innovative living urban features that could potentially enhance public health via health-inducing microbial interactions.”
The paper notes that ‘connecting with nature, both physically and psychologically, has been shown to enhance our health and wellbeing, and adds to other recent calls for the inclusion of the environment-microbiome-health axis in nature–human health research’
A call for microbiome inspired green infrastructure – “innovative living urban features that could potentially enhance public health via health-inducing microbial interactions.” – would certainly widen the project design team to include biologists and microbiome professionals.
Over the last five years the Sustainia100 publication from Sustainia has always been a welcomed and inspiring read. Over this period It has tracked more than 4,500 solutions to date from all over the world. This year’s edition features solutions deployed in 188 countries, and more than half come from small and mid-sized enterprises. Showcasing everything from health solutions that tackle climate change, to renewable energy products that alleviate gender inequality, this year’s publication presents 100 solutions that respond to interconnected global challenges and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Four key trends:
Cities as Health Promoters
Making Profit from Unlikely Materials
Disrupting the Electrical Grid
People Powered Data for Better Infrastructure
Many Building related innovations and solutions are included, of particular note are:
Making Carpet Tiles from Old Fishing Nets (Interface / Aquafil)
Legislated Green Roofs and Solar Panels (France)
Growing Bricks with Bacteria (bioMason)
Green Bonds for Low Impact Building projects (Vasakronan)
Cement Free Mortar (KALK)
Solar Powered Water Purification (Desolenator)
Cities and Health: Using Communities to Bolster Health