Creating 'Eco-Districts'

Green buildings are great, but don't do too much if they're located in grossly un-green places. The city of Portland is trying to address the issue by creating "eco-districts".

The idea is to create area- and neighborhood-specific plans that focus on pulling green buildings, green jobs and implementing other sustainability measures.

"'Green buildings are pretty far along, but if you really want green cities, you have to look at whole systems,' says Eric Ridenour, an associate with SERA Architects. Ridenour is under contract with the city of Portland to develop an eco-district plan for Portland State University, one of two pilot projects targeted for development next year. The second is the Lloyd Crossing neighborhood, a residential and business corridor across the Willamette River from downtown."

Full Story: Green at City Scale



"Green Building" - Oxymoron?

In the age of technology, there's little done in mega-office buildings that could not be done at home. Everyone drives long distances from suburban to urban settings, to basically use laptops, phones and other office equipment that could be done at home, or in mini-offices in the suburbs! Am I suggesting the death of big cities? Yep! There is no such thing as a "green building"; green is actually green: It's the utter absence of concrete, metal, glass and asphalt; it is the presence of big trees and tall grass, animals and so on. And so, this article makes sense, but it stops short; its analogous to any other kind of justification. It is to acquiesce to "the system"; to not have any original thought, and as such, becoming drone to every socio-cultural normalization paradigm, indicative of ones micro-experiences. It is anti-creativity, and I do hope the next generation can transcend these simpleton models of developmental deprivation! Look at how humans lived upon Earth for most of our existence, and then compared to - from the world war 2 - forward. Think!

suburbs = no green

You think the suburbs are "green" just because there is grass in front of everyone's house? Palease. Work accounts for a small portion of trips. So in your utopia, everyone would work in their single-fam house in the ever spreading suburbs (eating up natural and agricultural lands mind you). Then, they need food: drive to the store 30 minutes of cul-de-sac-y roads and arterial traffic away. Then, they actually need some human interaction outside their spouse and children: drive to friend's house 45 minutes of cul-de-sac-y and arterial traffic away.
Here, for more eloquent and less insulting version:


...WAS probably the most egalitarian, nature-friendly, sustainable culture humans have ever practiced. 'Problem is, the planet's carrying capacity for that kind of life might be 6 million humans at most. So if we can just ask the other 6,773,000,000 folks to kindly leave....

...Or possibly, since cities are more energy- and resource-efficient than suburbs, perhaps one answer is less emphasis on home-offices and more on office-homes, e.g., mixed urban residential-commercial development, green roofs, easy rail transport to the countryside for nature-breaks, etc....

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