A move toward wooden buildings would lead to a host of positive environmental, economic, and livability outcomes.
"Forest ecosystems and wood buildings can be our most important climate allies," argue Frank Lowenstein, Brian Donahue, and David Foster in a New York Times opinion piece. While concrete and steel are ubiquitous construction materials, they are not sustainable.
Using sustainably harvested wood for buildings, however, offers a range of benefits, they say. "This will allow us to pump carbon from the atmosphere and store it both in forests and in cities. It will also support rural economies, improve wildlife habitat and create more affordable housing."
Engineered wood available as cross-laminated timber is what is allowing for taller, fire-safe wooden buildings. "We should minimize the conversion of forests, enable more wood construction and incentivize private landowners to improve their stewardship," urge Lowenstein, Donahue, and Foster.
Downtown Los Angeles Park Wins National Award
Vista Hermosa Natural Park, designed by the landscape architecture firm Studio-MLA, has won the ASLA 2023 Landmark Award. Completed in 2008, Vista Hermosa was the first public park built in downtown L.A. in over 100 years.
Norman, Oklahoma Eliminates Parking Mandates
The city made a subtle, one-word change that frees up developers to build parking based on actual need and eliminates costly unnecessary parking.
Boston Transit Riders Report Safety Concerns
Almost three-quarters of current and former riders report feeling unsafe while using MBTA services.
When it Comes to Transportation, It’s All About Options
Debunking the notion of the personal automobile as liberator.
Prioritizing Equity in Federal Transit Funding
TransitCenter recommends several transit capital projects deserving of federal transportation dollars.
California Housing Bills Streamline Affordable Housing
A series of current and proposed bills are paving the way for more affordable housing production in the state, where environmental laws are often deployed to delay or block new development.
HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research
Mpact: Mobility, Community, Possibility
This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.