I just got done reading Carbon Zero: Imagining Cities that Can Save the Planet, the new book by futurist Alex Steffen. He says that climate change is here, and we have a choice to radically rethink the way we live in the built environment, or face catastrophic impacts. He proposes that we need to bring our global climate emissions to zero, asap, and the key to doing so is to reinvent our cities.
He discusses our challenges and opportunities through the lenses of clean energy, urbanism, shelter, consumption, and sustenance. While he did cover many ideas about green infrastructure, district systems, networked technologies, and restoration, I enjoyed looking at the models for future cities through the lens of cultural innovation and lifestyle design. Below are some of the principles and concepts I found particularly inspiring, supplemented by some additional links for further exploring.
The Kindle edition of Steffen’s book can be purchased here.
book: Jan Gehl – Cities for People
organization: Project for Public Spaces
research: The Young and Restless in a Knowledge Economy (2011)
article: Five Ways to Redesign a City
article: Low-Rise, High-Density Housing: A Contemporary View of Marcus Garvey Park Village
for more on imagining cities that can save the planet, check out Carbon Zero