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.
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.
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?
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.
Charles Percier, often known through his work as part of the duo Percier and Fontaine, is an architect of immense importance to French architectural history and to the Napoleonic period in particular. An exhibition at the Château de Fontainebleau affords a look at his work.
There continue to be many new visitors to this site. I thought it was a good time to bring to attention a number of posts from the past year that don’t appear in the “most popular” list, but generated interest when they came out. There is more to be discovered, either through the “category” links in the sidebar or just by going back in time through the posts…