When you think of "affordable housing," what's the image that comes to mind? For lots of people, including many of those most in need of it, the picture is not a pretty one: it's a scene of dreary, deteriorating high-rises or shabby, poorly constructed "garden" apartments with no garden in sight.
Past precedent would say that building basketball's newest technological epicenter would be costly to the environment, because buildings of this size require massive amounts of energy to build and run. But our fans had a different idea.
I wrote a note to myself recently to the effect that there are "few things more sustainable than a great idea." Think about it. A great idea can become a life force of its own. It can stimulate. It can inspire and motivate.
New York City scored a major coup when it successfully lured Cornell University to build a campus for Cornell Tech, its applied sciences program, on Roosevelt Island, smack in the middle of the East River.
How we plan and design our future cities can have major impacts. This is an important reason why the GEF recently launched a $1.5 billion sustainable cities project to support city planning, initially in 23 cities in 11 developing countries.
Don't mistake my rejection of art as a rejection of aesthetics. In fact, I wrote my book, The Shape of Green: Aesthetics, Ecology, and Design (2012), to illustrate how beauty, or sensory pleasure, is essential to the built environment.
In Washington, DC, this week at Greenbuild, the US Green Building Council's annual conference, Gail Vittori will receive the Hanley Award for Vision and Leadership in Sustainability, the most prestigious annual award for sustainability in the built environment. She is the first woman to win.