Blog Pick :: Sustainable Cities Collective

 

Re-blog by: Angeline Focht, BAC Alumna

Interested in sustainability and living green? Want to learn about strategies in design and new products that are paving the way to a healthier future? Check out Sustainable Cities Collective, a website that provides articles that run the gamut of sustainable design. Although it is not image heavy by any means, the articles are thoughtfully written and eye opening.

cardboard bicycle

An incredible featured article is about a new bicycle that is being developed out of an unconventional material. The project, created by Izhar Gafni, is made almost entirely out of cardboard! When folded on itself, it can become strong enough to support a car. There is a video of the process within the article, which I highly recommend checking out here. This innovative product could change the way people commute. For roughly twenty dollars, you can get a new bike that is waterproof and even fireproof. 

What is even more exciting about this exploration of cardboard is the undiscovered potentials of  the material. If it can be replaced in bikes, what other metals could cardboard possibly replace?


San Francisco (courtesy of Reconnecting America)


Another fascinating discussion is about how to create walkable cities in ten steps. Even if you aren't an urban planner, the points provide food for thought. The article provides an overview of the book "Walkable City," by Jeff Speck, as well as a commentary and several added points. Some of the steps are generally recognized (putting cars in their place), but there are some that step out of the realm of predictability. Mix program uses; neighborhoods with the most diversity of use are the ones that have the most walking. "The safest roads are those that feel the least safe." Drivers really do drive more slowly and are more careful and aware if they feel they might hit someone or something. Narrow streets and two way streets are best, with on street parking as a buffer between the pedestrian sidewalk and auto traffic. And the point I liked the most? "Make friendly and unique [building] faces. (“Pedestrians need to feel safe and comfortable, but they also need to be entertained.”)" There must be a level of 'walking appeal,' which can be created by fun or interesting facades to bolster the environment. How far we walk is about what we encounter on the way.