10 September 2008

Live Blog: Clint Andrews on Greenhouse Gases

Live-blogging Clint Andrews speaking on Green House Gas Emissions along the Rural to Urban Transect

Clint began with a summary of recent climate change issues including the most recent IPCC report. He began by describing the role of greenhouse gases in contributing to global climate change. (Natural sinks are an important solution that helps make work for landscape architects.) He quickly moved on to looking at "the next level of detail" to talk about different categories of solutions and the different levels of uncertainty associated with each.

The heart of the talk focused on linking land use and GHG emissions. Settlement patterns can contribute by creating more (or less) efficient landscapes, infrastructure and buildings. The implication is that informed design and planning can impact these outcomes. To compare places in NJ, he used the categories of density gradients from Duany and Talen's Transect Planning. For each of the study areas, he estimated the per capita carbon output by source and sequestration.

Do we rely on behavioural change or technological fixes? Walking is one element. Cogeneration is a potential source of CO2 reductions, too. Electic cars are interesting. But neighborhood design could make a big impact, too. Some of these he called "no-regrets" solutions. Some were still futuristic techno innovations. But our students clearly are going to be dealing with this throughout their careers.

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