What Is Sustainability?

I wrote an article recently that will appear in an upcoming edition of the Ontario Association of Architects’ magazine Perspectives and highlights that by collaborating with other professions, architects can have a bigger impact on sustainability. One realization that came as I wrote the article is that the term itself is over used and that it is time for a closer look at what sustainability means.

Sustainability in its simplest sense refers to processes that do not completely use up natural resources. It also refers to a movement to once again take nature and natural systems into account in our activities.

Climate change in particular as it is now understood has drawn our attention to the reality that for too long humans and our industries and use of natural resources have had an impact on the natural world and on ecosystems.

The sustainability movement advocates that humans should work to minimize our impact on the natural world, or, ideally to have a positive impact on our ecosystem. Some scientists question whether sustainability is actually achievable at this point given how severe human impact on the planet now is, and critics on both sides worry whether prosperity and sustainability are mutually exclusive concepts.

In this blog we’re particularly concerned with sustainable development, urban design, architecture, and strategies for making better choices in the built environment, that will ideally lead to a balanced and prosperous future.

Some interesting sustainability case studies by the Guardian.

Image: Wind farm near Palm Springs, CA. Photo by the author.

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Last Chance To Vote – OAA People’s Choice

Update: Voting closes at 4:30 pm today.

The OAA has opened up voting for this year’s People’s Choice Awards and some quite remarkable projects are up for selection.

While the OAA voting site offers little information besides a few pictures of each project, the clear choice from the see-change.net perspective is the Centre for Green Cities Evergreen Brickworks project. Referenced in an article published in iPolitics by the editor of this blog, the Brickworks sets an appropriately high bar for both aesthetics and sustainability. The project provides a valuable public amenity as part of the transformation of a former industrial site in the Don Valley.

OAA People’s Choice

Centre for Green Cities: Architect

www.see-change.net article

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Vote Early Vote Often

The OAA has opened up voting for this year’s People’s Choice Awards and some quite remarkable projects are up for selection.

While the OAA voting site offers little information besides a few pictures of each project, the clear choice from the see-change.net perspective is the Centre for Green Cities Evergreen Brickworks project. Referenced in an article published in iPolitics by the editor of this blog, the Brickworks sets an appropriately high bar for both aesthetics and sustainability. The project provides a valuable public amenity as part of the transformation of a former industrial site in the Don Valley.

OAA People’s Choice

Centre for Green Cities: Architect

www.see-change.net article