Posts tagged with "Climate Change":
“Above all, the project is a call to action,” wrote Dr. Toshiyuki Kono, president of ICOMOS and professor of private international law and heritage law at Kyushu University in Japan, in an introductory essay published by Google Arts & Culture. “The effects of climate change on our cultural heritage mirror wider impacts on our planet, and require a robust and meaningful response. While actions at individual sites can prevent loss locally, the only sustainable solution is systemic change and the global reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.” Launched in 2011 as the Google Art Project through the Google Cultural Institute Initiative, Google Arts & Culture has partnered with over 1,000 museums, cultural organizations, and heritage groups—the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, and Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum among them—to make a countless number of artworks and artifacts digitally accessible to the public using various existing and newly created technologies.
The historic Mosque City of Bagerhat, Bangladesh is at risk. But local communities are finding solutions. We are honored to assist them along with @googlearts and @CyArk by using technology to make plans to adapt to climate change. 💻https://t.co/nhFrvk1uHE#HeritageontheEdge pic.twitter.com/r3bSpJPTgE— ICOMOS (@ICOMOS) February 2, 2020
While Heathrow officials vowed to keep the battle going, the unified front of climate campaigners that brought the case to the court, with support from various local councils and London Mayor Sadiq Kahn, found the decision to be worthy of celebration. Kahn’s predecessor, current Prime Minister Boris Johnson, also opposed the construction of a third runway, and in a typically flamboyant manner. “This judgment has exciting wider implications for keeping climate change at the heart of all planning decisions,” Will Rundle, head of legal affairs at Friends of the Earth, told the BBC. “It's time for developers and public authorities to be held to account when it comes to the climate impact of their damaging developments.” “The third runway is already on its knees over costs, noise, air pollution, habitat loss and lack of access, and now Heathrow has yet another impossibly high hurdle to clear,” added John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace U.K., which was another plaintiff in the case. “Boris Johnson should now put Heathrow out of its misery and cancel the third runway once and for all. No ifs, no buts, no lies, no U-turns.” As mentioned, the ruling does not permanently block Heathrow from building a third runway. It simply puts an indefinite pause on the proceedings due to the fact that the Airports National Policy Statement (ANPS) does not abide by the Paris Agreement as required by law. Reads the ruling:
BREAKING: We won! Today we blocked the Tory government plans to build a third runway at Heathrow Airport.Today’s judgment is a major victory for all Londoners who are passionate about tackling the climate emergency and cleaning up our air. https://t.co/59MEn2X6Lw — Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) February 27, 2020
“We have not decided, and could not decide, that there will be no third runway at Heathrow. We have not found that a national policy statement supporting this project is necessarily incompatible with the United Kingdom’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions and mitigating climate change under the Paris Agreement, or with any other policy the government may adopt or international obligation it may undertake.”BD reached out to Grimshaw Architects for comment regarding the court’s decision but did not immediately hear back. BD did note, however, that other architects had taken to social media to express approval of the ruling. Grimshaw has been working on a “sustainable but affordable” expansion master plan since 2016, although the push for a third runway—and pushback against it—has been active for over a decade.
Just weeks later, a crucial study considering that plan, as well as the four less intensive and expensive proposals, have been abruptly and “indefinitely postponed” by the Corps. As the New York Times reports, the announcement took some of the Corps’ own officials by surprise, while “local politicians and advocates said the decision was stunning at a time when climate change is threatening New York’s future with intensifying storms.” The project was first initiated by the Corps in 2017. Per Gothamist, it was anticipated that they would release a feasibility report as soon as this summer detailing the proposals, costs and benefits, and other information. And, even if a specific long-term plan were to be hypothetically approved and green-lit for federal funding, it could take upwards of two decades to complete such a project. As the Times noted, Trump cannot personally nix ongoing projects within the Corps. Work plans for the agency are jointly decided by Corps officials, the Department of Defense, and the White House Office of Management and Budget, while funding for their projects is allocated by Congress. But considering the previous Tweet, the President’s apparent antagonism toward infrastructure projects that would benefit his hometown, and his apathy toward climate resiliency projects that require federal funding, it’s difficult not to speculate that the move was orchestrated by Trump himself. “We can only speculate, but I think the tweet gives a clue as to the reason,” Robert Freudenberg, vice president for energy and environment with the Regional Plan Association, explained to the Times. “This is a president who gets good headlines for his base out of acting against ‘blue’ states, and there’s a disturbing pattern of stalling or trying to end projects that are important to the Northeast.” “This doesn’t happen,” added Freudenberg. “This is an in-progress study.” Even the Corps official in charge of the project, which only focused on flooding from Sandy-like storm surge but not sea-level rise or stormwater runoff (to some criticism), expressed how abnormal it was for an ongoing project to be shelved and have its funding suddenly halted. “When you’re working on something, you never like to be caught in a position where you’re shut down in the middle before you even finish your mission,” said Clifford S. Jones III of the agency’s New York office. Speaking to the Times, a senior administration official dismissed any notions of a personal vendetta on Trump’s part, and claimed that the Corps’ flood defense study was, in their words, “too expensive and unfocused.” The official went on to claim that the White House “remains committed to helping communities address their flood risks.” Calling the halting of the project “reckless,” New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, who has been critical of the project’s limited scope, told the Times that “there is no other study underway at this scale that could give federal dollars to protect our people, our businesses and our ecosystems.” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York also expressed his dismay with the decision in a press statement: “The administration is being penny-wise and pound-foolish by not funding the studies that allow New Yorkers to prepare for the next superstorm. There was no reason given for these cuts—because there is no answer.”
A massive 200 Billion Dollar Sea Wall, built around New York to protect it from rare storms, is a costly, foolish & environmentally unfriendly idea that, when needed, probably won’t work anyway. It will also look terrible. Sorry, you’ll just have to get your mops & buckets ready!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 18, 2020
With the aim of becoming carbon-neutral by 2035 and with coal banned from energy production in Finland from 2029, Helsinki is strongly dedicated to the decarbonization of cities. Several cities already have ambitious plans to reduce carbon emissions. The City of Helsinki takes things one step further in declaring that it will not rely on biomass-fired heating, making the city’s energy production, not just fossil-free, but truly sustainable.
In line with the strong commitment to decarbonization, Helsinki Mayor Mr. Jan Vapaavuori is taking radical action by launching a global one million euro challenge competition, urging innovators from around the world to propose game-changing solutions for the future of urban heating.
“Solving the urban heating challenge is crucial to reach global climate goals. Cities have a key role to play in the transition to a low carbon economy, and Helsinki is now taking an initiative to lead the way. We invite innovators from all around the world to use our city as a testbed to develop not just fossil-free, but truly sustainable, solutions. Together, we will create the future of heating to fight global warming,” says Mayor of Helsinki, Mr. Jan Vapaavuori.The goal of the challenge is to find solutions that can be implemented in Helsinki by 2029 and that potentially could contribute to decarbonizing city heating around the world. The City of Helsinki is committed to openly sharing the solutions and know-how gathered from the challenge. Cities such as Toronto, Amsterdam, Vancouver, and Leeds as well as organizations like the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council and C40 City Solutions Platform, are already supporting the initiative, to name a few. “Climate change is a global crisis that will not be solved by quick fixes. With over half of the city’s heat coming from coal, we hope that our shift to sustainable energy can help inspire other cities and act as a real-life case that a transition is possible. Taking this next step might lead to a revolutionary breakthrough in our pursuit for a more sustainable city life.” says Mr. Vapaavuori. The scope of Helsinki’s heating system allows for a range of solutions, from large to small scale, but the ideal combination of solutions is yet to be found. The winning proposal could just as well include technological and business model innovations, as it could be a solution requiring system-level transformation. Proposed solutions will be evaluated based on climate impact, impact on natural resources, cost, implementation schedule, implementation feasibility, reliability and security of supply, and capacity. About the Helsinki Energy Challenge: The Helsinki Energy Challenge is a challenge competition, open globally to anyone who can propose a sustainable heating solution for Helsinki – consortiums, start-ups, larger and more established companies, research institutions, universities, research groups, and individual experts. The only requirement is that participants should join the competition as a team. The challenge is open for submissions from February 27, 2020, until May 31, 2020. By early July, finalists will be invited to a co-creation phase, which includes a 3-day boot camp, where they are provided support to develop their proposals, before presenting them to an international jury of experts who will name the winner(s). The winning solution(s) will be presented in November and awarded one million euros.
The Greenport Passive House is an energy-efficient project in the harbor town of Greenport, New York, on the North Fork of Long Island. Architect Wayne Turett designed the residence as his own home. Drawing inspiration from the local barn vernacular, the carbon-neutral project was made to show how designers can address the climate crisis without sacrificing contemporary expectations of comfort and style.
Turett considered three key elements in the design of the Passive House: “First, the building envelope, which had to be completely sealed so that there was no leakage of air; then the insulation, to ensure that heat would not escape or cold air enter; and finally, the added elements like roof overhangs that protect the house from receiving too much sunlight in the summer,” he said. As a result of these decisions, the Greenport Passive House consumes nearly 90 percent less heating energy than existing homes and 75 percent less energy than average new construction. The home also benefits from triple-glazed windows and energy-recovery ventilation, which brings in and takes out air.
The home’s exterior is shiplap gray cedar and cement with an aluminum roof. The insulation works in combination with a proprietary sheathing taped to form the air barrier, allowing for an airtight building envelope. The all-electric home is heated and cooled with a duct mini-split system aided by an ERV. Inside, a neutral color scheme and light wood materials along with white walls and upholstery create a bright, airy aesthetic. A combined kitchen, dining, living room, and porch were intentionally programmed on the second level with views to the water. Below, bedrooms and bathrooms are accessed via an outdoor shower to smooth the transition from the site’s sandy shores. As an integrated project, the home fuses Turett’s modern aesthetic with a performative building envelope.
Architect: Turett Collaborative Location: Greenport, New York Contractor: The Turett Collaborative Plumbing: Duravit, Hansgrohe Axor Exterior siding: Fabricated by Vector East Flooring: Heart Pine with Woca White Pigment Oil Hardware: Kenwa, Ranpo, Kwikset HVAC: Mitsubishi Roofing: Atas Aluminum Standing Seam Windows: Bildau & Bussmann by Eco Supply