Buildings and Sustainable Cities: 5 of the Best Blog Posts of 2012


Buildings are one of the biggest consumers of energy in a city, and therefore represent a massive opportunity to make our cities more sustainable. Here’s 5 of our favourite posts from 2012 about buildings:

Four Pioneering Examples of Sustainable Refurbishment from Around the World

Historic buildings are a valuable addition to a city’s built environment. Anna Simpson looks at how they can be made more sustainable:

The City of Melbourne has set a goal to refurbish 1,200 commercial buildings to reduce emissions, use less water and create healthier work environments. It’s being touted as the largest transformation in the city for 160 years.

You can read the full post here.

Discovering the History of Toronto Below Ground Level

There’s more to buildings than what’s above the ground. Kayla Jonas investigates:

Like a glacier, most of the history of our cities is underground. Buildings only tell part of the story. Evidence of foundations below the surface can tell us what buildings used to be on the site and artifacts could reveal what life was like for the building’s occupants.

You can read the full post here.

Ecosystems and Economics: How Green Roofs can Improve our Cities

Charlotte Sankey looks at the environmental and economic benefit of green roofs:

A recent study in New York City found its trees to be worth $122 million thanks to their part in reducing pollution, improving aesthetics, and keeping inner city temperatures comfortable. But these ‘services’ are rarely factored in when planning teams get to grips with a retrofit project.

You can read the full post here.

Architectural Reclamation: Creating a More Sustainable Built Environment

Adam Nowek explores how the built environment can contribute to today’s environmental challenges:

When architects utilise material reclamation in their buildings, it is a sign that there is an awareness that the built environment must respond adequately to the challenges of environmental degradation.

You can read the full post here.

Saving Historic Buildings by Creating Opportunities for New Memories

Some historic are protected, others are unwanted. Kayla Jonas looks at a project attempting to inject new life into an unwanted historic building:

The event invited people into grain elevators for a night of art, music, eating and partying. There are numerous grain elevators in Buffalo (an area that was once the hub of the grain industry), but most are abandoned, acting as reminders of how far Buffalo is perceived to have fallen.

You can read the full post here.

The Best of 2012 on This Big City: People | Planning | Digital | Transport | Buildings

  • Justin Gomes

    So Funny. That picture is of the Hespeler Public Library (foreground) in Cambridge, Ontario. In the background is the local Fire Station where my father works. #SmallWorld.