Category: Innovation

From Biophilic Buildings to Cities Workshop – SF, Arup, CMU-BCA, BCN

Biophilic City Banner Image

Biophilia – The DNA for Resilient, Sustainable, and Human 21st Century Cities  

OR  

Should Cities be “Green” with Nature?

“We need nature in our lives more than ever today, and as more of us are living in cities it must be urban nature. Biophilic Cities are cities that contain abundant nature; they are cities that care about, seek to protect, restore and grow this nature, and that strive to foster deep connections and daily contact with the natural world. Nature is not something optional, but absolutely essential to living a happy, healthy and meaningful life.”(The Biophilic Cities Network (BCN): http://biophiliccities.org).

BioPTourSites

On Friday May 13, 2016, San Francisco Planning co-sponsored a half-day workshop with Arup on Biophilic SF for the week-long Executive Education Program of the,

  • The Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and
  • Singapore Building and Construction Authority (BCA) Academy
  • Leadership in Environmental Sustainability Executive Development Program
  • on Big Data & Biophilic Design (May 9-13, 2016)

The San Francisco / ARUP Session expanded the biophilic focus of the CMU/BCA Program from the building (biophilic design) to the city (planning), exploring both the planning challenge and SF’s current initiatives.  On a walking tour to our afternoon discussion, the group visited three buildings with biophilic features, had lunch together in one plaza, and gathered in Arup’s conference room for presentations and discussion.

CMU/BCA Building Executive Program Description (from the brochure): The program offers a global overview of the sustainability movement, advocating a holistic approach to address resource management, promoting increasing use of renewable energy sources while minimizing energy consumption and maximizing health and comfort through innovative design and application of advanced building technologies. Focuses for this year’s program are on biophilic design and big data analytics.

Biophilia describes the natural affiliation of human beings toward nature and living organisms and its emphasis on the innate connection between humans and other living systems such as plants, animals and the weather. Biophilic design refers to the process of creating good habitat for people as a biological organism in the built environment.

Big Data Analytics in the context of the built environment can be defined as sensing, collection, processing and conveyance of building performance information that is understandable and actionable for data-drive decision making for processes of design, construction and operation of buildings and groups of buildings from campus to urban scales.

Click here for the workshop brochure, with a list of tour stops, participants, and literature list.

Click here for the Program Brochure (CMU/BCA Executive Ed).

Click here for a more detailed description of the tour and presentations, and more links.

Click here for references to key references in biophilic design and planning.

Email scott.edmondson@sfgov.org or scott-e@sustainability2030.com for more information.

[Post prepared by Scott T. Edmondson, AICP, founder/past co-director and Research Program Lead of the Northern Section’s Sustainability Committee, one of the APA Sustainable Communities Division’s Sustainability Champions, and a strategic sustainability planner-economist at the SF Planning Department.]

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 living. From:  Cities Alive – Rethinking Green Infrastructure, Foresight, Arup, 2015.

See also:

http://www.thenatureofcities.com/2014/02/12/hammarby-sjostad-a-new-generation-of-sustainable-urban-eco-districts/

and Wiki:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hammarby_Sjöstad

[Post prepared by Scott T. Edmondson, AICP, founder/past co-director and Research Program Lead of the Northern Section’s Sustainability Committee, one of the APA Sustainable Communities Division’s Sustainability Champions, and a strategic sustainability planner-economist at the SF Planning Department.]

Biophilic City Planning & Design References

Some References of some of the leading pioneers:

  1. Biophilic Cities Network (BCN) Home Page: http://biophiliccities.org
  2. Stephen Kellert Yale Bio: https://environment.yale.edu/profile/kellert/
    1. 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
  3. Recording of Kellert’s Keynote to the Biophilic Cities network Launch Event: http://biophiliccities.org/launch/ (includes link to Jennifer Wolch’s also)
  4. BCN Singapore Profile, including link to the film on BioP Singapore: http://biophiliccities.org/what-are-biophilic-cities/singapore/
  5. Film links: http://biophiliccities.org/films/
    1. Biophilic Design – Architecture for Life (also their site: http://www.biophilicdesign.net/
    2. Others . . . see list at the URL
  6. Terrapin About Green is one pioneer (see “About Terrapin” below):
    1. All reports: http://www.terrapinbrightgreen.com/publications/
    2. 14 Patterns of Biophilic Design: http://www.terrapinbrightgreen.com/report/14-patterns/
    3. The Economics of Biophilia http://www.terrapinbrightgreen.com/report/economics-of-biophilia/

About Terrapin. Focusing on transformative action for society, Terrapin utilizes whole-systems thinking to develop integrated design strategies, Terrapin challenges design and ownership teams to create restorative, regenerative environments. Terrapin believes in finding solutions that reconnect people with nature and mimic natural systems as this focus offers boundless opportunities to improve the quality of life for all. They also believe that high performance design means fundamentally improving health and productivity, while improving overall economic and environmental performance.

[Post prepared by Scott T. Edmondson, AICP, founder/past co-director and Research Program Lead of the Northern Section’s Sustainability Committee, one of the APA Sustainable Communities Division’s Sustainability Champions, and a strategic sustainability planner-economist at the SF Planning Department.]

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.  Regeneration is the theme that is bubbling up across our plan, design, and build professions and the key to the pivot/shift.  The upcoming APA webcast planning series WEBINAR on Regenerative Urbanism Rising – Platform for Next Generation Practice, explores this challenge, theme, and potential as described below.  Click here to register.

 FULL DESCRIPTION

July 15,  WEBINAR:  Regenerative Urbanism Rising: Next-Generation Practice, APA Planning WebCast Series, FRI, July 15, 10-11:30 am (PST), (SCD description) (register).  This Webinar presents the case for the necessary sustainability pivot from net negative to net positive sustainability planning (Scott Edmondson, AICP, ISSP-SASF Planning Dept.; APA Sustainability Champion) and illustrates accelerating innovation across our plan-design-build professions of a net positive approach with two practice cases. The first is an integrated utility system based on “circular economy” principles and a new business model (Joshua Foss, President, The Ecala Group). It can be used as a primary vehicle for achieving net positive, restorative city development and goals. The second is a regenerative approach to planning and designing high-performance districts that creates better places at the same or lower costs than traditional development (Charles Kelley, AIA, Partner, ZGF Architects). The Webinar illustrates how a regenerative  built environment both becomes and creates a cornerstone of the needed ecological economy of a sustainable city and society. This Webinar re-presents the Sustainable Communities Division’s by-right session at the National APA Conference this past April 2016, and is offered as part of the Division’s Sustainability Champions Program. Go here to registerGo here for a LinkedIn pre-webinar discussion. Comments and questions to Scott.Edmondson@sfgov.org.

CM | 1.5.

[Post prepared by Scott T. Edmondson, AICP, founder/past co-director and Research Program Lead of the Northern Section’s Sustainability Committee, one of the APA Sustainable Communities Division’s Sustainability Champions, and a strategic sustainability planner-economist at the SF Planning Department.]

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 the hottest on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration September 2015 global analysis, the imperative of sustainable community planning continues to mount. More communities are adopting sustainability and climate action plans. More developers are incorporating green features into their projects. And those green features are becoming more innovative and expansive. All of which is increasing the need for planning practitioners with experience and credentials that organizations can rely on for effectively accomplishing sustainability initiatives.

Go to:  http://www.planetizen.com/node/82103/greening-planning-credentials

[Post prepared by Scott T. Edmondson, AICP, founder/past co-director and Research Program Lead of the Northern Section’s Sustainability Committee, one of the APA Sustainable Communities Division’s Sustainability Champions, and a strategic sustainability planner-economist at the SF Planning Department.]

Vitaliy Krasovskiy / Shutterstock

 

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 role and story (5 min vid) securing the Sustainable Production/Consumption Goal. It’s an inspiring example of:

  • A small group that worked for a long time to add their ideas to the SDGs.
  • A message to communicate, inspire, and motivate (text + vid)
  • The big effect one small sustainability initiative can have, bioregionalism, an old concept, and the One Planet Living sustainability framework.

SD Goal 11 — Sustainable Cities & Communities

And then, of course, they include SDG 11, just for us! The objectives stake out quite an ambitious agenda, even if not entirely concrete. Accomplishing this goal and its objectives by 2030 will require inventing the spatial manifestation of a regenerative economy, as in regenerative city-regions, on the fly, as we build one new city of 1M per week and reweave the existing urban fabric to achieve sustainable cities and communities, all within a generation. As local community sustainability planners, we have a new context in which to do our work.

Interpretation

This commitment to a new set of global goals for sustainable development is a “huge” deal. The Goals become the international sustainability baseline, touchstone, and driver of all UN related resources, programs, etc. ushering in an institutional change.

As great as these new goals are on one level, the discourse about them is often framed in “old school” concepts such as efficiency, mitigation, and a win/lose relationship between the economy and environment.

Yet, maybe the audacious goals of “ending extreme poverty, fighting inequality and fixing climate change – in all countries, for all people” will push the creativity to the source challenges and transformational solutions, such as creating within one generation by 2030 the material basis for a sustainable society (and requirement for “fixing” climate change):

  • a regenerative ecological economy, including
    • 100% renewable energy
    • 100% materials cycling
    • 100% water reuse
    • with 10x the current economy’s productivity
  • and compliance with the 4 Sustainability Principles of the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (FSSD)

Regardless, the new goals are a huge sustainability accomplishment 23 years after Rio, and a big step forward. They are the new international conceptual foundation for creating a sustainable world.

[Post prepared by Scott T. Edmondson, AICP, founder/past co-director and Research Program Lead of the Northern Section’s Sustainability Committee, one of the APA Sustainable Communities Division’s Sustainability Champions, and a strategic sustainability planner-economist at the SF Planning Department.]

Integrating Nature Into the Built Environment – Impressive Practice and Resources

The Challenge of integrating nature into our buildings and cities has been forever changed by the biophilia hypothesis.  Such integration would nurture that elusive and shy direct connection to our essential human nature. We dearly need that connection on a daily basis for our development and on-going well being. A Biophilic approach also creates a package of lower-order but more tangible value, such as habitat and biodiversity enhancement, ecosystem functioning, lower cost ecosystem services, recreation, community development. Ultimately, this integrative approach creates the higher quality places (buildings, blocks, districts, cities, regions) now desired by residents, businesses, and municipalities.

The Practice.  The leading practitioners and communities have been wrestling with how to respond effectively for the past decade, or more (for example, ILFI, EcoDistrict.org, and Singapore).  It is a work in progress that is being informed by a creative cross-pollination of the planning and design professions. At the heart of this innovation is understanding and using the principles of nature–our regenerative, self-organizing, complex, living system. This innovation will forge a new body of knowledge and practice from a synthesis across the disciplines of restoration ecology, urban design, landscape architecture, architecture, urban planning, and ecological urbanism.

Singapore—A City in a Garden.  For more than 50 years, Singapore has been on a long slow path of creating a “City in a Garden.” As a result, they are a leading practitioner with many lessons and resources for the rest of us. Singapore has more than 2 million trees along roadsides, in parks and nature reserves. To achieve its “City in a Garden” vision, various greening policies have been pursued over the past five decades. These policies ensure trees are being planted along streets and within development sites. They also protect and conserve trees within development sites and in designated areas of the city with mature trees. Beyond tree planting and conservation, the City also recognizes the importance of green recreational spaces, which not only contribute to the expansion of the urban forest, but also serve as important community spaces and rich biodiversity sites. More recently, other exciting initiatives have also been developed to create habitat in less traditional “spaces” of the built environment. They promote roof gardens, vertical green walls and mid-level gardens. Together, these policies, schemes, and incentives help to create a city with close to 50% green cover. The various policies have helped Singapore grow into a “City in a Garden.”

Resources on Singapore include the following:

“Super” Green Buildings.  In addition, the leading edge of green buildings are often aptly characterized as super green high rises The following are three inspiring examples.

Two other examples of noteworthy buildings are the award-winning Bosco residential tower in Italy and the Commerzbank building in Frankfurt. The latter building has a series of nine 4-storey sky gardens spiraling up the building that are integrated with the natural ventilation scheme.  It’s been operating for almost 20 years now, so should also be a good source of lessons learned.

The Big Challenge of this emerging theory/practice area is going beyond the aesthetics of ornamental landscape on a big scale, often vertically. That will involve not replicating nature in all its complexity, but creating a simpler “constructed” nature in the built environment of the city-region. What part of that larger, necessarily simpler, constructed habitat will this new “nature” play in the class A office buildings?

This new practice area will not forsake ornamental landscape, but extend it and modify it in a variety of ways. Obviously, it will need to be rooted in “native” plants of the city and its historical ecology, but with an eye to what can work in a city, and a city of the future under climate change, increasingly scarce resources/high demand, equity, even to the point of what role does the nature-in-building play in a 21st century regenerative city. These questions will be addressed in practice over time. The young research area of biophilia hypothesis, the young practice area of biophilic design, and the budding area of biophilic city planning and design are systematically embracing the challenge and advancing practice. Some resources follow from Professor Timothy Beatley’s international research project on biophilic cities that lead to the launch of the Biophilic Cities Network.

 About Terrapin.  Focusing on transformative action for society, Terrapin utilizes whole-systems thinking to develop integrated design strategies, Terrapin challenges design and ownership teams to create restorative, regenerative environments. Terrapin believes in finding solutions that reconnect people with nature and mimic natural systems as this focus offers boundless opportunities to improve the quality of life for all. They also believe that high performance design means fundamentally improving health and productivity, while improving overall economic and environmental performance.

 

[Contributors to this post include (1) Kate Howe, AICP, Director, SF Office, VIA Architecture, (2) Kirsten Weeks, LEED AP, CEM, GRP Energy and Building Ecology Specialist, AURP, and (3) Stephanie Ng, Urban Planner (green public spaces, urban greenery and green infrastructure), Singapore National Parks Board and Masters Degree Candidate, Environmental Management at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Post prepared by Scott T. Edmondson, AICP, is founder/past co-director and Research Program Lead of the Sustainability Committee, one of the APA Sustainable Communities Division’s Sustainability Champions, and a strategic sustainability planner-economist at SF Planning, Information and Analysis Group and Sustainability Planning Group.]

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) at Swan’s Market, Old Oakland.  Meet colleagues and explore a redevelopment success over wine/ beer, a tour of Swan’s Market & Co-housing, and dinner afterwards at The Cook and Her Farmer in Swan’s Market.  Light drink and snack provided, additional food and drink available for purchase. Register at Eventbrite to make logistics easy. Email apasustcomm@gmail.com).

SAT OCT 3

Pre-Conference Session No. 2: What the FLUP? Future Land Use Planning for Safe, Smart and Sustainable Communities. 8:45am-2:45pm (additional fee $75).

Session Block #1, 3-4:30pm:

  • Paradigm Shift in Water Use – Reworked Local & Global Water Policies & Programs
  • Cap and Trade and Disadvantaged Communities: How to Engage Residents and Plan Projects that Get Dollars and Make Sense

SUN OCT 4

Mobile Workshop #3: 8-12pm. From Vision to aThriving Neighborhood: Cultural Vibrancy and Economic Vitality in Mission Bay, $35 additional fee applies

Session Block No. 2: 10am-11:30am

  • Regional Equity and Sustainability from the Ground Up: Tapping Community Wisdom in Land Use & Transportation Planning
  • Three Resilient Cities: Applying the Concept of Resiliency to Land Use Planning and Decision Making.

Mobile Workshop #4: 10am-2:30pm: Green Infrastructure Bay Area: Green Infrastructure Takes in the East Bay – $50 additional fee applies, includes lunch

Session Block No. 3: 1:15pm-2:45 pm

  • Food Cities: Planning for the Regional Economy
  • Bay Area Sustainability: Wicked Planning and Conflict Identification at Local and Regional Scales
  • Creating a Cultural EcoDistrict for Generations to Come
  • The Ecological City: A Design Workshop

Session Block #4, 3:15 pm – 4:45 pm

  • Climate Action Planning: Silver Bullets, Buckshot or Blanks?
  • The Los Angeles River: Recalibrating the Role of Water, Infrastructure and Place

MON OCT 5th

Session Block #5, 8:00 am – 9:30 am

  • Sustainable Groundwater Management Comes to California: Time for Planners to Get Their Feet Wet
  • Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities: What Does it Take to Integrate Housing and Transportation?
  • Advancing Equity in Innovation Economies
  • Vision Zero: Roots for Policy Change, Improved Public Health, and Safe Streets
  • Rethinking Local in Global Context: Experiments and Lessons in Cross-Cultural Collaboration and Participatory Design

Session Block #6, 9:45 am – 11:15 am

  • Oakland Makers: Planning for New and Creative Innovative Industries
  • To Infinity … and Beyond: Exploring Post-2020 GHG Reductions

Session Block #7, 1:15 pm – 2:45 pm

  • Utilizing Integrated Utility Systems to Deliver Restorative City Goals
  • Resilience is the New Black – What Do We Mean by Resilience Planning, and Aren’t We Doing it Already?
  • Trends, Opportunities, and Challenges for Integrating Green Infrastructure with Urban Design in the SF Bay Area

Session Block #8, 3:15 pm – 4:45 pm

  • It’s a Gas – Producing BioEnergy from Organic Waste in California
  • Sustainability Jeopardy!
  • Manifest Density: A Reality Check for The Sustainable Communities Strategy

TUES OCT 6th

Session Block #9, 8:00 am – 9:30 am

  • Building Consensus for Sustainable Streets
  • Climate Action Planning and Urban Greening: Weaving Together Health, Resilience and Equity

Session Block #10, 9:45 am – 11:15 am

  • San Francisco’s Sustainability Districts: Translating Policy Into Action

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 interpreted as laying the foundation for the next step in sustainability planning–a ‘pivot‘ from a net-negative, “doing-less-harm” mitigation approach to a net-positive, “doing-good,” regenerative city approach (see summary http://bit.ly/1efG7QD).

And what more appropriate place to hold this conference than the City of Oakland? The San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose Bay Area has been innovating for sustainability since the Brundtland Report (http://bit.ly/1CFWgVA ) first issued the challenge in 1987 and the UN Earth Summit (http://bit.ly/1LEU3Sn) put it on the world development agenda in 1992.

Key Bay Area innovations include:

  1. Joint Venture Silicon Valley Indicators (annual, since 1995; http://bit.ly/1dtII8M)
  2. Blue Print for a Sustainable Bay Area, Urban Ecology (1996; http://bit.ly/1HvtLRW)
  3. Sustainable Oakland Program, City Council (1997; http://bit.ly/1Lz45DK)
  4. Sustainability Plan for the City and County of San Francisco and a new Commission on the Environment (1997; http://bit.ly/1LESV1b and http://bit.ly/1Ip6ZtN)
  5. Bay Area Alliance for Sustainable Communities Regional Initiative and the Compact for a Sustainable Bay Area (1998-9; http://bit.ly/1efFuXt and the Compact http://bit.ly/1LET6cM)
  6. Marin Countywide Plan: Sustainable Marin – Nature, Built Environment & People (2007; General Plan (http://bit.ly/1GWjwT4)
  7. San Jose’s Envision 2040 General Plan (http://bit.ly/1IIjZq5 ) & Green Vision (http://bit.ly/1R0M6dW; 2007)
  8. Plan Bay Area 2040 (2013; http://bit.ly/1IIgQXf)
  9. Palo Alto Forward: Sustainability + Mobility As A Service (2015; http://bit.ly/1Lz4q9p)

In recent years, APA National has strongly embraced sustainability with powerful initiatives:

  1. Policy Guide on Planning for Sustainability (2000; http://bit.ly/1Km6SPK)
  2. Sustaining Places Initiative (2010; http://bit.ly/1Lz4tC3)
  3. Sustaining Places: The Role of the Comprehensive Plan (PAS 567, 2012; http://bit.ly/1NuDTbW)
  4. Comprehensive Plan Standards for Sustaining Places (2013+; http://bit.ly/1CFVAzw)
  5. Sustainable Communities Division (SCD; 2013; http://bit.ly/1GW8j5b)

The APA California Chapter supports sustainability through its annual conference and its Sections’ local initiatives. The Northern Section Board under Hansom Hom’s leadership launched its Sustainability Committee in January 2011 to provide a resource to advance sustainability planning best practices by establishing a learning/practice network (Committee http://bit.ly/1gQx2ge). As of 2013, it was one of only five sustainability committees of APA State Chapters nationally (Summary, http://bit.ly/1Lz4E0b). Recently, the California Chapter under Hing Wong began working with the Sustainable Communities Division’s (SCD’s) local Sustainability Champion to accelerate and deepen sustainability planning in California (summary post, http://bit.ly/APASCDSustChampProg; and SCD Newsletter Article, p 4, http://bit.ly/1Km7chf). The Chapter’s upcoming Oakland conference continues this tradition of innovation with a rich set of sustainability sessions and workshops that illuminate the leading edge.

Three sessions submissions prompted by the Northern Sustainability Committee were made the competitive proposal process. They illustrate key threads of the emerging, next-generation approach to sustainability planning—an ecosystems approach to regenerative city planning that delivers higher value and multiple benefits compared to traditional “silo” approaches. Explore this approach in these two sessions.

  • The Ecological City: A Design Workshop, SUN, Oct 3rd, 1:15 pm – 2:45 pm (Session Block #3). Explore the challenges, opportunities, and a framework to apply ecological ideas to city planning around three goals: (1) connecting humans to nature; (2) connecting sites to ecosystems; and (3) integrating systemic impacts into decision-making.
  • Bay Area Sustainability: Wicked Planning and Conflict Identification at Local and Regional Scales, SUN, Oct 3rd, 1:15 pm – 2:45 pm (Session Block # 3). Climate change and sustainability are “wicked” problems representing conflicts over the greater good. Using Plan Bay Area and sustainability plans of 11 cities across the region, this session will provide tools for conflict identification and methods for planners to help adversarial stakeholders find common ground while retaining their core values.
  • Utilizing Integrated Utility Systems to Deliver Restorative City Goals, MON, Oct 5th, 1:15-2:45pm (Session Block #7). This interactive session will present a pioneering restorative city framework and an Integrated Utility System (IUS) model that planners can use to unlock new levels of environmental, social, and economic sustainability performance. It will also outline a “turnkey” approach to assessing, designing, financing, and delivering an IUS at no cost to cities.

In addition, the Northern Section’s Sustainability Committee will host a pre-conference meet-up social (complimentary wine/appetizers) and then tour of Swan’s Market and Co-housing, followed by dinner at Swan’s Market (5:30-8:30pm FRI Oct 2nd; details here (http://bit.ly/1UzCfs6).

Conference Sustainability Sessions

Please see the following post in this Plan-it sustainably blog for a list of the more than 30 conference sessions anticipated on the topic of sustainability. You may also find this summary of regenerative urbanism useful.

(Scott T. Edmondson, AICP, is the founder/past co-director/current Research Lead of the California APA Northern Sustainability Committee, a Sustainable Communities Division Sustainability Champion, and a strategic sustainability planner-economist with the San Francisco Planning Department.)

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, two residents, and the lead planner, and afterwards enjoyed dinner at The Cock & Her Farmer in Swan’s market. a Summary and the event invitation follow below.

EVENT SUMMARY

Hors D’oeuvres and dinner were hosted in Swan’s Market courtesy of  Romney Steele, Owner, The Cook and Her Farmer (THANK YOU Romney!). Romney is a chef, small business owner, cookbook author, food writer, and community builder. She opened her latest Project, the Cook and Her Farmer in Swan’s Market with Steven Day a year ago last summer and provided insights about the business side of this successful urban regeneration project.

For the Co-housing tour, we were fortunate to hear insights about this 15-year old urban regeneration and innovative land use project from some of the key players.

  1. Josh Simon, Executive Director EBALDC (East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation)
  2. Neil Planchon and Michael Coleman, Swan’s Market Cohousing Residents
  3. Patrick Lane, Redevelopment Manager with the City of Oakland’s Economic & Workforce Development Department, Project Implementation Division

Josh has worked with East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation for 14 of the last 21 years as both Executive Director, and Director of Real Estate. His career has been dedicated to working with coalitions of organizations to develop and maintain healthy vibrant neighborhoods and the creation of “Community Hubs” such as Swan’s Market. Josh brings both the technical expertise to develop affordable housing and mixed use community facilities, as well as the clear sighted leadership necessary for the best neighborhood driven outcomes.  Neil has been working actively involved with the Old Oakland Neighborhood Association for 13 years, and with the Cohousing Association of the US for the past 8 years, a non profit whose mission is to promote the awareness and development of cohousing and to provide sustenance to existing cohousing communities in the United States. For the past 11 years, Patrick has worked collaboratively on any number of the City of Oakland redevelopment projects including Swan’s Market. He was also formerly a Manager in the City of Oakland Redevelopment Agency.

The insights into this project provided by the core team were eye-opening in terms of what it takes to make the initial idea work and then keep it working, not the least of which is stakeholder commitment and the occasional serendipitous happenings. Neil provided an invaluable book as a resource, Cohousing–A contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves (just published 2nd edition).

A big thanks to Kate Howe, a planner with VIA Architecture, and Director of the San Francisco Office, who took the concept, found the event location, lined up the tour guides, organized the hosting at The Cock & Her Farmer, signed in attendees, and generally made this event a success. Also, a big thanks to Katja Irvin and Rae Smith, who worked with Kate to make this event happen.

Swan’s Market

EVENT DESCRIPTION

What–Social/Tour/Dinner:  Meet colleagues and explore a redevelopment success over wine/ beer, a tour of Swan’s Market & Co-housing, Old Oakland and dinner afterwards at The Cook and Her Farmer in Swan’s Market.  Light drink and snack provided, additional food and drink available for purchase.

Explore this historic 1916 produce market adapted for small restaurant kiosks as well as a co-housing project. Tour guides will discuss history, redevelopment and co-housing (1 CM Credit Pending).

When: Friday, October 2nd, 5:30 – 8:30 pm:

  • 5:30-6:15:  meet-up, soft start, complimentary wine/snack (in Swan’s Market)
  • 6:15-6:30:  talk (in Swan’s Market)
  • 6:30-7:30: tour (market & co-housing: Guides from EBALDC & Oakland Planning)
  • 7:30-8:30: dinner at The Cook and Her Farmer or other venues at Swan’s Market.

Where: Swan’s Market, 907 Washington St (enter from 9th Street between Clay & Washington), Old Oakland (4 blocks from 12th St. BART). Map (click).   Enter off 9th Street (between Clay & Washington) through glass doors to a few “APA”-marked tables in the center of the room.

Please REGISTER at Eventbrite to make logistics easier.

Questions:  SustCommAPA@gmail.com; also scott.edmondson@sfgov.org

[Post prepared by Scott T. Edmondson, AICP, founder/past co-director and Research Program Lead of the Northern Section’s Sustainability Committee, one of the APA Sustainable Communities Division’s Sustainability Champions, and a strategic sustainability planner-economist at the SF Planning Department.]