Plan-It Sustainably Journal

Advancing innovative, leading edge, and strategic sustainability planning with short descriptions and links to resources, and with longer posts and articles about key challenges and options. Read and comment, or share resources and ideas with this guest post link.

Future-ready City-Regions: The Next Competitive Edge?

A recent post by Alex Steffan poses some provocative challenges to urban planning and urban planners, and municipal executives around the world. In a sense, it illuminates the core challenge and intention of the world’s new Sustainable Development Goals and New Urban Agenda. The following paraphrases and excerpts the key points. In light of our […]

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EVENT: Habitat III And Bay Area Sustainability Planning

Dates/Times:  THUR Nov. 17th and TUES Nov. 22nd (come one or both days). Time:   2-3:30 pm (student presentations), 3:45-4:30pm (tentative Debrief/Q&A w Prof. Acey; must RSVP here/below) Please RSVP (1) for attending the student presentations (courtesy option) and (2) for the Debrief (required) in the google form below (or click). Location:  ROOM 106, Wurster Hall, University of California, Berkeley […]

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Webinar (111716): Creating Living Communities

APA Sustainable Communities Division Webinar Series Co-hosted by APA California and the Northern Section Sustainability Committee CM | 1.0 (live viewing only) Thurs. Nov. 17, 2016, Noon to 1pm (PST) REGISTER HERE In this webinar, we will explore The Living Community Challenge (LCC), a new design framework developed by the International Living Future Institute (the […]

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Event: UCB/APA Habitat III — Implications for Local Planning

Held September 27–Habitat 3 and the New Urban Agenda: Global Negotiations, Local Implications, UC Berkeley, 112 Wurster Hall, Berkeley, 6:00-7:30 pm. The UCB IURD and APA California Norther Sustainability Committee co-hosted a panel discussion on the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat 3) held from October 17-20 in Quito, Ecuador. /1/  The Conference […]

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Sustainable City Template–Hammarby

Sustainable new build: Hammarby Sjöstad is Stockholm’s largest urban construction project. The “Hammarby model” has become a tool for environmentally friendly city development around the world. When completed in 2017, 26,000 people will be living here in 11,500 apartments. The district has been planned using an eco-cycle approach and is intended to showcase ecological and environmentally sensitive construction and […]

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Biophilic City Planning & Design References

Some References of some of the leading pioneers: Biophilic Cities Network (BCN) Home Page: http://biophiliccities.org Stephen Kellert Yale Bio: https://environment.yale.edu/profile/kellert/ See also his recent book Birthright-People in Nature in the Modern World, which is exceptional (link to NPR interview here: http://www.npr.org/2013/01/20/169523283/connectingwithnature-to-reclaim-our-natural-birthright Recording of Kellert’s Keynote to the Biophilic Cities network Launch Event: http://biophiliccities.org/launch/ (includes link […]

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Sustainability Champions Launch

The APA’s Sustainable Communities Division (SCD) launched its sustainability leadership program, the Sustainability Champion (SC) program after nominations were made and champions were selected in August-September, 2014. Scott T. Edmondson, AICP, ISSP-SA, of the APA California Northern Section was selected as one of the champions and is looking forward to working with the California Chapter Board […]

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Regenerative Urbanism Rising – Webinar & Resources

More resources on the APA Sustainable Communities Division web site here. There is also a Sustainable Communities Division Group Linked In discussion here. A list or key references and links can be found here (forthcoming July 16th). SHORT Description.  Pivoting from a net negative to net positive trajectory soon is our current sustainability planning challenge.  […]

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Jane Jacobs 100 B-Day Google Doodle

Well, google did a pretty good job with his one! (May 4, 2016). Their lead point:  “Why have cities not, long since, been identified, understood and treated as problems of organized complexity?” Check it out. Think about it! [Post prepared by Scott T. Edmondson, AICP, founder/past co-director and Research Program Lead of the Northern Section’s Sustainability Committee, […]

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The Greening of Planning Credentials – Top Recommendations

This is a cross post from Planetizen written by Eliot Allen, LEED AP-ND, who is an instructor for TransformativeTools.org and a principal at Criterion Planners of Portland Oregon. Monday, November 9, 2015 – 2:00pm PST. As sustainability initiatives gain momentum, planners have a growing number of options for credentialing their green skills. Introduction:  “With this year on track to be […]

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UCB/APA Briefing: The UN’s New SDGs & Implications for Local Practice

SUMMARY.  December 8 & 10 (TUES & THURS), 2:00-5pm (the Briefing starts at 3pm; the optional pre-briefing review of city cases starts at 2pm), University of California, College of Environmental Design, Wurster Hall, Room 106, Berkeley. Please attend one or both days. The briefing will be the same each day but half the cases will be covered […]

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The “Wicked” Planning Problem of Bay Area Sustainability

One session at the APA California Conference in Oakland–Bay Area Sustainability:  Wicked Planning and Conflict Identification at Local and Regional Scales–addressed the value-laden challenges of sustainability planning and politics. This “class” of problem was christened “wicked” by Horst Rittel and Melvin Webber in their seminal 1973 article.  As UCB Professors Charisma Acey and Karen Trapenberg […]

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NEW Global Goal 11: Sustainable Cities & Communities

NEWS–The World Has New SD Goals Historic Event. The Global Goals For Sustainable Development. “This weekend (Sept. 26-27, 2015) 193 world leaders committed to 17 Global Goals to achieve three extraordinary things over the next 15 years: end extreme poverty, fight inequality and fix climate change – in all countries, for all people.” See Bioregional’s […]

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Sustainability at the APA California Conference 2015

The October 2015 Northern News, Plan-it sustainably Column summarizes the conferences sessions in terms of an emerging sustainability “pivot” from mitigation to regeneration. (see page 10) One of our blog posts expands on the Emerging Sustainability “Pivot” Column. Another blog post lists the Conference’s sustainability offerings: In addition, these two PDFs of the two blog […]

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Too Late for 2 Degrees? The latest from the IPCC

. . . There is a lot of pressure to reduce greenhouse gases now, or else in 20 years we may have reached a point where scientists are not sure whether the conditions for life on Earth would be feasible. “Dr. Thomas Stocker, Co- Chair of IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)  Working Group 1 and […]

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News from Rio — The New UN Agenda for Sustainable Development

What are the implications for Planning, and for your community’s sustainability planning initiatives, now that the world’s nations have reached a “Historic UN Agreement on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development?” “This is the first time in human history that the entirety of humanity . . . has come together in agreement on a set of […]

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The Biophilic Value “Thickens”

Urban metabolism is one new emerging arena of urban planning and design. It complements two other more traditional arenas: the growth dynamic or the urban built environment, real estate development, land economics, and demographics, and (2) health and quality of life (QoL). <<cite forthcoming>> In this tripartite scheme, biodiversity, biophilia, and integrating nature, or “habitat” […]

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Getting to High Performance Districts, Cities, Regions & Sustainability

Charles Kelley, of ZGF Architects, presented his leading-edge approach and tools for designing high-performance districts to a core group of sustainability planners at SF Planning in late July. The idea arose from a conversation at a reception hosted by ZGF for the EcoDistrict Incubator program held in Portland this past spring. Charles and ZGF, along with […]

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APA California Conference 2015 Sustainability Sessions

The following is a selection of the main sustainability sessions at the Oakland Conference, including an informal pre-conference Sustainability Planning Meet-Up hosted by the Northern Section Sustainability Committee (Friday, Oct 2nd; see details below). FRI OCT 2 Sustainable Neighborhoods Pre-conference Meet-Up (5:30-8:30pm) hosted by the Northern Section Sustainability Committee and the Sustainable Communities Division Champion (http://bit.ly/1dtKarQ) […]

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Regenerative Urbanism – A Summary

This idea for a literature review of the emerging theoretical and practice arena of what usefully can be called “regenerative urbanism,” is worth the larger effort involved. Until then, this short summary and list of key resources will have to suffice. As 21st century planning and design accelerate out of the first decade, a variety […]

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Nature in the City — Recent Biophilic Planning Waves and the Deeper River

A recent post in the APA Sustainable Communities Division Newsletter (http://us1.campaign-archive2.com/?u=0a196b8525f96edf44a4b3f53&id=50187e3c1b, e-Bulletin for 05/21/2015) included the following snippets of recent nature-in-the-city resources and events.   The larger movement these snippets represent is that of biophilic city planning and design being pioneered by, among others, the Biophilic Cities Network (launched October 2013, as the culmination of an […]

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APA California 2015 Conference Sustainability Sessions — The Upcoming Sustainability “Pivot” From “Less Damage” to “Regenerative Urbanism”

The sustainability sessions in APA California’s Conference 2015 reflect emerging best practices in sustainability planning across the planning-design-build professions.  Topics covered include water reuse, urban food, GHG cap & trade, green infrastructure, spaces for makers, health, affordability, district-scale initiatives, equity, innovation economics, and resilience (the new sustainability).   These innovative techniques and policy trends can be […]

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Sustainable Neighborhood Pre-Conference Tour and Social

The APA California Northern Section Sustainability Committee and the APA Sustainable Community Division’s Champion Program hosted Sustainable Neighborhood Sustainability Committee Pre-conference MeetUp at Swans Market in Old Oakland on Friday, October 2, 2015. About 30 members enjoyed complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres, toured the adjacent C0-housing project (one of the oldest in the Nation) with the project sponsor, […]

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Measuring Urban Sustainability: Evaluating the APA’s New Sustainability Accreditation Criteria

Cross-post from UCB IURD Blog, by Professor Charisma Acey. See also, the APA/UCB Class events: Evaluations–UCB/APA CompPlan Sustainability Criteria Testing APA’s Sustainability Accreditation Criteria on 11 Bay Area Cities Regional-Local Sustainability Planning in 11 Bay Area Cities [Post prepared by Scott T. Edmondson, AICP, founder/past co-director and Research Program Lead of the Northern Section’s Sustainability […]

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Sustainable Water Policy Challenges

[cross-post from California Planning, March 2015, Vol. 15, Issue 02, p. 8 (here)] Imagine waking up one morning, turning on the tap, and water does not flow . . . , for the next 1,000 years, or it’s saltwater, or toxic! Extreme paranoia or our new normal? Hopefully the former! Yet each day we read stories […]

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Passive House Brussels Tour – Benchmark for NYC Plan

Interested in a seeing-is believing tour of Passive House HQ Brussells?  Why . . . , not!  In September 2014 NYC Mayor De Blasio released an energy efficiency Plan for NYC called ‘One City: Built to Last‘. The Passive House standard is celebrated in the plan as the target benchmark for future energy performance of both new […]

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Planning for low-carbon communities

Making meaningful progress towards California’s climate mitigation goal — reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 — is one of the front-line sustainability challenges facing planners. This reduction is the minimum required globally to stay within a safe trajectory of global warming and, hopefully, climate re-stabilization. Meeting this challenge requires […]

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Low-Carbon Communities Event

6:00 – 7:30 PM, SPUR, 654 Mission Street, SAN FRANCISCO. Beverages and light snacks available. A new, neighborhood-scale greenhouse gas inventory of the Bay Area suggests that responding effectively to climate change requires a more nuanced, place-based approach. The authors of the study – Chris Jones of UC Berkeley’s Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory, and […]

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