ecosystems

[vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left"][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="16705" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="24195" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] By Kiley Jacques [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] Motor City is poised to become the epicenter of urban agriculture. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_column_text] It’s no secret Detroit has suffered. The postindustrial city’s economic and demographic downturn has left it in a compromised state for decades. But in a two-square-block area of its North End, change is afoot. In 2011, the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative (MUFI), an all-volunteer nonprofit organization, purchased a defunct apartment complex at auction. And ever since, MUFI president and co-founder, Tyson Gersh, has been building something altogether new—the nation’s first urban “agrihood.” [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="24200" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text]7432 Brush Street is a distressed property in Detroit that was purchased by MUFI in October 2011. It was built in 1915 and used continuously until circa 2009. The goal is to restore the structure to a community resource center that will help foster sustainability and urban renewal.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_bottom="25"][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text] There are about 200 agrihood models currently operating in rural and suburban areas around the country, but this is the first infill-style model. “To take it a degree further,” says Gersh,...

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="16705" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="23879" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] By Kiley Jacques [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] Biologist and author Janine Benyus shares sustainable, nature-inspired solutions to some of the challenges facing today’s green building professionals. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_column_text] Were it not for biologist Janine Benyus’s keen interest in nature’s systems, the term “biomimicry” may not have been coined. Defined as “an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies,” biomimicry can be applied to any number of situations in the fields of science, architecture, and engineering. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="23880" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text]Janine Benyus, biologist, author, and founder of consulting firm, Biomimicry 3.8.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_bottom="25"][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]A natural history writer, Benyus has published multiple books about the ways in which plants and animals adapt to their habitats. These “ecosystem-first” field guides are intended to help people find nature-inspired solutions to challenges facing the green building industry and beyond. “That adaptation to place always has to do with these amazing technologies,” explains Benyus, citing examples that include UV-resistant animals living in high altitudes and thriving with thin air; and those living at the bottom...

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="16705" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="23509" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] By Kiley Jacques [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] Diverse organizations come together to make Yellowstone the nation’s greenest park. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_column_text] Something savvy is happening on the Lamar Buffalo Ranch in Yellowstone National Park—something solar savvy. The coming together of Toyota, Indy Power Systems, Sharp USA, SolarWorld, Patriot Solar, the National Park Service, and Yellowstone Park Foundation has resulted in a first-of-its-kind energy system that repurposes used hybrid car battery packs to store solar power. The stand-alone microgrid provides reliable, sustainable, zero-emission power to the park’s ranger station and education center. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="23524" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text]Yellowstone’s Strategic Plan for Sustainability sets forth goals for operational and infrastructure improvements that reduce impacts on the environment while enhancing visitor experiences and employee living and working conditions.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_bottom="25" padding_top="20"][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]Toyota, a U.S. Green Building Council Platinum level member, was a driving force for the project. The company has enjoyed a long-standing working relationship with the National Park Service and the Yellowstone Park Foundation. For many years, Toyota has supplied hybrid vehicles to support park operations, and has shared green building expertise and...

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="16705" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="23187" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] By Kiley Jacques [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] By elevating the value of landscapes to include ecological and social benefits, the SITES Rating System promotes sustainable design and resiliency on the University of Texas at El Paso campus. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][/vc_column][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="23193" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text]The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower center wetland pond is home to native Texas aquatic plants and animals, featuring plants that can only grow in water or soil that is permanently saturated with water. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_bottom="25"][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text] Uniquely situated at the U.S.–Mexico border, the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) serves over 23,000 students per year. It also figures prominently in the greater Paso del Norte community. So when the decision was made to transform the asphalt-laden, car-centric core of the campus into an inviting living landscape, both communities benefitted. As prime consultant on UTEP’s Campus Transformation Project (CTP), Ten Eyck Landscape Architects Inc. set out to strengthen the connection between the city, the campus, and the land. Project principal Christine Ten Eyck explains the design concept in terms of the school’s location: “The campus sits...

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="16705" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="22861" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] By Calvin Hennick [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] The memorial park at the United Airlines Flight 93 crash site incorporates sustainable building elements in a natural setting. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="22863" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text]The Flight 93 National Memorial’s concrete walls follow the path the plane took on 9/11. Photo: Eric Staudenmaier Photography and Paul Murdoch Architects.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_bottom="25"][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text] The grief and the memories hit people in different ways when they visit the Flight 93 National Memorial. For many, the focal point is the 17-ton sandstone boulder that marks the site where the wreckage of United Airlines Flight 93 smoldered 15 years ago. Others get chills as they walk along the Wall of Names—composed of 40 individual slabs of white marble, each inscribed with the name of a crew member or passenger who died in the attack—and realize that they are traversing the jet’s final flight path. For some, a gentle breeze and a ray of sunshine are enough to transport them back to that early fall day in 2001, when planes across the country were grounded and the calm...

[vc_row css=".vc_custom_1469033175715{margin-bottom: 20px !important;}" row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left"][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="16705" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="22429" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] By Kiley Jacques [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] The Surfrider Foundation broadens its efforts to protect ocean waters by including residential landscape management. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_column_text] "Some of the best times to go surfing are when it’s raining, and we are told by the government to stay out of the water for 72 hours after a rain event—so you have to strike a balance between getting sick and taking advantage of great waves,” says Paul Herzog, an avid surfer and Ocean Friendly Gardens (OFG) program coordinator for the Surfrider Foundation. The foundation’s Clean Water Initiative is devoted to protecting 100 percent of U.S. coastlines over the next five years. Through these programs, of which OFG is one, they keep hundreds of millions of gallons of polluted water from entering oceans and waterways daily. The Surfrider Foundation introduced OFG seven years ago with the idea of giving its members a way to make a difference while waiting for government policies to change. “We had seen water quality problems persist, and while we worked at multiple levels—advocacy, programming, projects—we wanted to give our members a kind...

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="16705" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="22120" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text]  By Katharine Logan [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] Brownfield remediation’s third generation comes of age. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_column_text] Brownfield cleanup, long a quagmire of cost and uncertainty, is undergoing a paradigm shift. As regulatory agencies put away their big sticks and facilitate collaborative, market-driven solutions instead, brownfield redevelopment is emerging as cleanup’s main driver. “What we’re seeing is the maturing of a third generation in brownfield remediation,” says James Maul, president of Maul Foster & Alongi, a consulting firm integrating environmental engineering with planning and community development. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="22121" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text]Brownfield development is providing opportunities for the city of Portland, Oregon.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_bottom="25" padding_top="15"][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text] In brownfields’ first generation, regulatory agencies drove cleanup for cleanup’s sake, with no consideration for economic or community context. In the second generation, elements of proposed redevelopments crept in for cost savings: pathways or building foundations, for example, might form part of the cap on a contaminated site. In the third generation, the most polluted sites have been dealt with, and most of the thousands of brownfields that remain will never rise to the top of the environmental...