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The Regional and Urban Design Committee (RUDC) aims to improve the quality of the regional and urban environment by promoting excellence in design, planning, and public policy in the built environment. This will be achieved through its member and public education, in concert with allied community and professional groups. Join us!

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Climate Change and Cities: What We Need to Do

  • 1.  Climate Change and Cities: What We Need to Do

    Posted 10-15-2018 15:42
    Climate Change and Cities: What We Need to Do
    Forbes remove preview
    Climate Change and Cities: What We Need to Do
    The latest report from the International Panel on Climate Change says we must quickly and drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avoid a series of damaging events linked to global warming. Meeting those goals is ambitious but not impossible. We already know a lot about what we need to do.
    View this on Forbes >

    On October 6, 2018, the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a special report in support of a global response to keep global warming to less than 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels. Widely reported in popular media, the Summary for Policymakers (SMP) provided a clear warning ­­- we need to act fast and decisively.

    ------------------------------
    Bruce Race FAIA
    Professor of Architecture
    Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design, University of Houston
    Houston TX
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  • 2.  RE: Climate Change and Cities: What We Need to Do

    Posted 10-16-2018 19:51
    I have just finished a book on cities and climate change, after teaching the issue for a decade and writing for 2 years: THE URBAN EDGE: Resilient Cities in the War against Climate Change, Heat Islands and Overpopulation.
    Having focused on 780-footnotes-worth of research, I can firmly and sincerely (and sadly) say CC is the biggest issue facing humanity, probably the biggest since civilization emerged ten millennia ago. We are already into damage-control.
    Because the built environment plays a huge part in emissions and resource consumption, we can do a lot to decarbonize our society.

    It should be in bookstores in late winter. Keep an eye out.
    Doug



    Doug Kelbaugh FAIA
    Emil Lorch Collegiate Professor
    of Architecture and Urban Planning
    and Dean Emeritus
    Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning
    University of Michigan
    2000 Bonisteel Blvd., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2069
    Mobile: 734 358-9587 Home: 734 827-2259
    kelbaugh@umich.edu





  • 3.  RE: Climate Change and Cities: What We Need to Do

    Posted 10-17-2018 22:00
    Hello Doug,

    Very glad to hear that your book is coming out soon. I couldn’t agree more that carbon is the greatest challenge we face. In my mind, it’s no less of a threat to humanity that WMD’s. It’s taken total global cooperation to protect humanity from nukes. It will take even greater coordination to eliminate the causes of climate change.

    Our profession still considers climate change a “nice-to-have” design consideration when clients ask for it. This has to change to a “must have” imperative NOW. Time is of the essence. Carbon reductions NOW mean much more than a decade from now.

    More than a century ago, architects were confronted with fire codes that demanded we design fireproof buildings. Today, we are being asked to design carbon free buildings. It’s no different.

    My greatest cause for optimism is that zero carbon codes are going to come soon, and come quickly. That most architects are following, not leading, this transition is frankly discouraging.

    It pleases me no end to know you are helping to lead this imperative transformation of architecture.

    All the best, Carl

    Carl Elefante FAIA
    2018 AIA President
    carlelefante@aia.org
    202-836-2644




  • 4.  RE: Climate Change and Cities: What We Need to Do

    Posted 10-18-2018 18:41
    Thanks, Carl.
    I'm glad you're leveraging your AIA Presidency to highlight the issue of climate change. Keep pushing, because as you say, there's nothing more massive and urgent facing humanity. We're so hard-wired to postpone action on long-term, global problems. But CC adaptation is starting to be immediate and local.
    We can and must aggressively pursue both mitigation and adaptation simultaneously.
    Three cheers,
    Doug


    Doug Kelbaugh FAIA
    Emil Lorch Collegiate Professor
    of Architecture and Urban Planning
    and Dean Emeritus
    Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning
    University of Michigan
    2000 Bonisteel Blvd., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2069
    Mobile: 734 358-9587 Home: 734 827-2259
    kelbaugh@umich.edu





  • 5.  RE: Climate Change and Cities: What We Need to Do

    Posted 10-18-2018 21:20
    Doug:

    Thank you for you longstanding and ongoing leadership on this issue. Your early work on passive solar was extremely important to me as a student in 70's; but is now often overlooked. As was your pioneering work on Regional Planning and The Pedestrian Pocket Book (Smart Growth before there was Smart Growth). We all owe you a huge debt of gratitude.

    Edgar

    ------------------------------
    Edgar Adams AIA
    Roger Williams University
    Bristol RI
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Climate Change and Cities: What We Need to Do

    Posted 10-19-2018 18:12

    I'll second those Kudos Edgar; Mr. Kelbaugh continues to provide enlightenment and inspiration; and Carl Elefante is taking this critical issue to a new level of action and engagement on behalf of our institute. 

     

    While the challenge is certainly daunting, it seems to me that architects are well equipped to face these kinds of seemingly insurmountable odds.  After all, our design process often brings order, progress and some measure of beauty to chaotic and dire situations.

     

     

    Michael F. Malinowski FAIA






  • 7.  RE: Climate Change and Cities: What We Need to Do

    Posted 10-19-2018 18:43
    Thanks, Edgar.
    I'm happy to say the currency of TODs is widespread. It now seems that every planning and most elected officials in the world know what a TOD is.
    Interestingly, ride-hailing services are undermining development of new TODs.

    As for passive solar, it's pretty dormant, but not fully asleep.
    What we desperately need is more expensive fossil fuels, reflecting their true and total costs. That will revive passive solar and other renewable energy systems faster than any new policy. But we need good policy too.
    Doug


    Doug Kelbaugh FAIA
    Emil Lorch Collegiate Professor
    of Architecture and Urban Planning
    and Dean Emeritus
    Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning
    University of Michigan
    2000 Bonisteel Blvd., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2069
    Mobile: 734 358-9587 Home: 734 827-2259
    kelbaugh@umich.edu