Snippets – Water


Image from the report appendix

The Union of Concerned Scientists just released a new report on the effect of power plants on freshwater systems.  “One plant had to curtail nighttime operations because the drought had reduced the amount of cool water available to bring down the temperature of water discharged from the plant,” the report says. It quotes Kent Saathoff, a vice president of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, who said last month, “If we don’t get any rain between now and next summer, there could be several thousand megawatts of generators that won’t have sufficient cooling water to operate next summer” (New York Times Green Blog).  You can read the entire report here Sewage overflow is the No. 1 source of pollution for New York’s waterways, says Leif Percifield, a graduate student at the School of Art, Media, and Technology at the Parsons New School of Design… Percifield’s dream is to place simple sensors at each of New York City’s 490 “combined sewer overflow” points. The sensors will be primed to send out text-message notifications every time the city’s drainage maxes out (Grist).  UC Berkeley has begun work in its quest to significantly taper its campuswide water use. The campus is aiming to cut its water usage by over 65 million gallons by 2020 (The Daily Californian).

Pecha Kucha Rundown: Denser, Part 2


Noelle and I had fun at Pecha Kucha in San Francisco at the SPUR Urban Center on June 21.  For those unfamiliar with the Pecha Kucha format, each speaker has 20 slides and 20 seconds per slide. The format makes for a fun but focused look at what a wide range of professionals is working on and thinking about. Presentations are loosely organized around a theme. The theme this time was “Denser.”

Using my notes, I am putting together a set of posts that lists the presenters in order, along with links to their website (if I could find them) and any major thoughts I jotted down. For some presentations, I took a number of notes. Other presentations have fewer notes (maybe I was looking at the images more carefully?). All of the presentations were more interesting and beautiful than revealed by my notes and these posts.

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Elizabeth Shreeve – Principal – SWA Group

looking at what vertical cities and high density mean for the ground plane

high tower in Dubai – a building becomes a city district by itself

65% of the firm’s work is in China right now

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Paul Jamtgaard – Architect, Urbanist – Group 4 Architecture

“Intensity in 10 Cities”

density x uniformity = monotony = DEATH

density x diversity = intensity = VITALITY

diagram of density in cities

density of people per square km in Portland, Mumbai, New York City, Tokyo, Singapore, Rio de Janeiro, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Copenhagen…

housing = human storage? or urban living

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Ben Grant – Public Realm + Urban Design Manager – SPUR

city skylines as a bar graph of property values

looking at historical increasing density of use of same lot in NYC – eventual mandating of air shafts

density / setbacks – effect above the ground plane

residential density vs auto ownership [looked at 2 maps]

green architecture in the 1970s was away from the city

aesthetic integration of greenery + verticality

Donald Appleyard – Livable Streets (1981)

SFPUC looking at how to manage stormwater

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Part 1 is posted here. Part 3 will be posted tomorrow.

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Assorted Links

Berkeley, San Francisco, and Oakland have a proportionally higher stock of older housing than many East Coast and Midwestern cities that were founded and developed much earlier — places such as Philadelphia, New York City, Baltimore, Chicago, Hartford, Conn., Savannah, Ga., and Washington, D.C.

Stormwater from areas around the nine-county Bay Area contribute more toxic pollution to San Francisco, San Pablo and Suisun bays than the rivers carrying agricultural runoff from the Valley.

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