Glenwood Park Atlanta Georgia

Due to be completed in 2006, Glenwood Park (Figure 20.3) aims to be 'a model of environmentally conscious urbanism' according to its developer Charles Brewer. The site is two miles east of downtown Atlanta and the developers have managed to 'civilise' a state highway, converting it to the development's main street with traffic calming

Figure 20.3

Glenwood Park neighbourhood as proposed

Www Progetto

measures and lined with trees and shops. The object is to be pedestrian friendly; 'to create a sociable, walkable community where there's less need for driving' (Brewer). Dedicated cycle lanes will further reduce the need for car travel. There will be direct access to the local rail services which adds up to an estimated reduction in car travel of 1.6 million miles compared with average regional driving patterns which is the equivalent of removing 100 cars from the roads.

The township will feature up to 70 000 ft2 of shops and offices serving residents and nearby communities. An existing brick building will be upgraded to supply 22 000 ft2 of office condominiums over covered parking. It will have a mix of individual houses, 'townhouses', apartments, stores and parks interspersed with 1000 trees to moderate the heat island effect. Housebuilders will be required to meet the high energy efficient design standards of the EarthCraft House programme which includes not only levels of energy conservation but also water conservation and methods to reduce soil erosion.

The residential component of the township will comprise 60 single family houses, up to 130 townhouses and 200 apartments.

The site is a typical brownfield location which involved demolishing and recycling 40 000 yd3 of site concrete as well as recycling 700 000 lb of granite blocks for use in the parks. An innovative stormwater system will reduce runoff by nearly 70 per cent. The landscaping will be irrigated by ground water rather than the mains supply. The street layout will echo traditional European towns with narrower widths and tighter corners than is the norm in US neighbourhoods.

An important aspect of the project is that it will be totally funded by Brewer's development company Green Street Properties, formed for this project. This means that there will not have to be compromises on standards to satisfy lending institutions. Over the past 3 years the company has invested $8 million in buying the 28 acre site, remediation and creating the infrastructure of roads and sewers.

In the context of the norms of American urbanism Glenwood Park is a considerable step in the right direction (www.glenwoodpark.com).

A signpost to the future is being offered by the state of California. Its Environmental Protection Agency is proposing that one million homes will be equipped with PVs over the next 10 years in line with a pledge by the state governor. State subsidies would ensure that householders would make a net gain from exporting to the grid. The EPA considers that the incentives will be sufficient to get PVs on 40 per cent of new homes by 2010 and 50 per cent by 2013. It is estimated that the solar installations would be equivalent to the output from 36 gas fired 75 MW power plants, avoiding 50 m tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. The ultimate aim is that 1.2 million new and existing homes will be producing solar electricity by 2017.

It is a paradox that, whilst the Federal government seems to be dragging its feet on climate change issues, individual states are leading players on a world stage in converting to renewable energy.

Chapter Twenty One

Getting Started With Solar

Getting Started With Solar

Do we really want the one thing that gives us its resources unconditionally to suffer even more than it is suffering now? Nature, is a part of our being from the earliest human days. We respect Nature and it gives us its bounty, but in the recent past greedy money hungry corporations have made us all so destructive, so wasteful.

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