Author Archives: stephanekirkland

On the Hard Reality that the 1.5 Degree Scenario is Out of Reach

We now know that the likelihood of keeping the increase in global temperatures to 1.5 C is not materially different to zero. Yet we continue to talk of the 1.5 target in public discourse as if it were the reference scenario. I believe that as a specialist community, we allow this misleading public discourse and even ourselves contribute to its prevalence. I’d like to offer some thoughts on this and the consequences.

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Achieving environmental objectives through urban projects – A conversation with Brigitte Philippon

One of the most interesting new neighborhoods in Greater Paris is a river eco-neighborhood located on a small island on the Seine, in l’Île Saint-Denis, just north of Paris. The former Mayor of this small insular municipality, Michel Bourgain, had a vision to develop an environmentally ambitious new neighborhood in an area formerly occupied by warehouses. Brigitte Philippon, a partner at design firm Philippon-Kalt, was involved from the outset. As the neighborhood takes form, I spoke with her about her experience on this remarkable project and the challenges of bringing an environmentally ambitious new neighborhood to life in the real world.

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The Form of the Net Zero City

The race to achieve zero emissions by 2050 is the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced. We have finally started to realize this and have begun enacting laws, putting in place financing mechanisms, and developing technological and practical solutions.

Urban policy is without question highly mobilized toward the Net Zero objective. But for urban planning and design the question is more difficult to grasp. In this article we address the question of how Net Zero affects the physical configuration of the city. Or asked another way, what does a Net Zero city look like?

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Paolo Soleri or The Miniaturization Imperative in the 21st Century

The writings of Paolo Soleri were the first significant corpus of architectural thought to which I was exposed. For that reason I have perhaps had a tendency to discount its value. Decades after I first read his key works, I return to them in a world in which we widely accept that we are hurtling toward the likely catastrophic effects of many decades of disregard for balance in how we occupy the planet. I find Soleri’s thought as impactful as I did then and more prophetic than I imagined.

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Paris à l’ère des véhicules autonomes

Paris est au bord d’une révolution. Comme cela s’est déjà produit plusieurs fois dans l’histoire, une disruption de la mobilité va entrainer un changement fondamental dans nos modes de vie et nos espaces publics. Si nous anticipons les décisions et faisons les bons choix nous pouvons espérer une amélioration radicale de notre qualité de vie.  Mais cette issue heureuse est loin d’être assurée. Il est urgent que nous projetions notre vision de Paris dans le monde de la mobilité future désormais à notre porte.

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Reinventing Paris

Every city is confronted with the challenge of producing urban projects that contribute to a high quality, dynamic and sustainable urban future.

The City of Paris has taken the lead on an innovative approach to meeting that challenge. With this approach, the city hopes to usher in a new wave of innovation and to generate audacious urban projects commensurate with the ambition of a city known for its world leadership in the quality of its urban environment.

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