Green Offices More Ecological Ways of Working

How offices and commercial spaces are organized, the ways in which people work and function within them, and their ecological design features constitute equally important ways in which commerce can be more restorative. European cities offer examples of a number of creative design and work arrangements, and several of the more innovative ones are profiled here. The central government building at Haarlem, the Netherlands, for example, has incorporated a number of interesting environmental...

Other Important Strategies

Understanding of the actual long-term results or accomplishments of ecological developments or urban ecological renewal remains limited, and is a potentially important area for future research. Substantial savings in energy and other environmental results are well documented. The broader social implications of settlement patterns are interesting, although less documented. Enhancing the environmental qualities of a neighborhood does appear to reinforce its social stability and create feelings of...

Supporting Sustainable Local Businesses

There are a number of impressive local efforts in Europe to promote pollution prevention and resource efficiency within private companies. One of the European cities that has done the most in this regard is Graz, Austria. Since 1991, it has operated an innovative program called ECOPROFIT Graz that is intended to educate local businesses and to help them to identify changes in production processes that could reduce waste and resource consumption, and in turn increase profitability. This is a...

Industrial Symbiosis and Ecoindustrial Parks

There are a number of emerging and promising examples in European cities of industrial symbiosis arrangements in which the wastes of one manufacturer or industry serve as productive inputs to one or more other companies. There exist many partial examples of symbioses in the world, but few full-fledged models. Kalundborg Denmark , discussed at length in Chapter 9, is the most widely studied and widely cited example of an industrial symbiosis in the world, and it represents a powerful and...

Connections between City and Hinterland

An important role played by the concepts of environmental space and ecological footprints is that they help to highlight the inherent interconnections between a city and its hinterland a hinterland that is both regional and global. Many cities are beginning to calculate and be committed to understanding their regional and global impacts. The Sustainable London Trust, for example, in their recent report Creating a Sustainable London, begins with the premise that London exerts tremendous resource...

Public Bikes Programs

The idea of public bicycles bicycles that might be picked up and used by anyone who needs one then deposited back where it was found when the user is done was born in Amsterdam in the 1960s. It was the brainchild of Luud Schimmelpennink, who had written a provocative magazine art i c l e p roposing that 25,000 free bikes be made available as part of a strategy for making Amsterdam car free. He dubbed them white bikes or witfietsen. Schimmelpennink and others simply painted some bikes white and...

Greenroofs Creating Meadows in the

Gwl Roofing

Gre e n roofs, or eco-roofs as they are sometimes called, have become i n c reasingly common in Europe, especially in Germany and the Netherlands, and provide many benefits over conventional roofs. Among their key advantages are the protection they provide from UV rays and the ability to extend the life of a roof, the ability to cool the urban enviro n-ment addressing the urban heat island effect , carbon dioxide sequestration, the control of stormwater ru n o ff, and the provision of...

Strategies for Compact Urban Development

Although compact urban form has been a priority for centuries, few countries have embraced the virtues of urban compactness in current planning as much as the Dutch. The Netherlands has implemented an explicit national compact cities policy since the mid-1980s. The vast majority of new development in the country occurs in designated development areas so-called VINEX sites, an abbreviation for Vierde Nota over de Ruimtelijke Ordening Extra, or the Fourth Memorandum on Town Planning Extra , which...

Carbon Dioxide Reduction Strategies

A distinctive environmental theme in the cities studied is the attention paid to global climate change and the development of local strategies to reduce carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases. Indeed, as mentioned in Chapter 1, there are several European initiatives that have encouraged cities to develop carbon dioxide reduction strategies. These include the ICLEI-sponsored Cities for Climate Protection and the German-based Climate Alliance see ICLEI, 1997 . Participation has been impressive, with...

Confronting the Consumer Eco Teams and Green Codes

One of the most impressive and creative approaches to promoting consumer lifestyle changes is the idea of eco-teams, an idea advanced by the Global Action Plan GAP , which has had a strong presence in the Nether lands and other European countries. In many of the case study cities, there are large and active eco-team programs under way. The idea is basically a simple one, involving the formation of teams of households who together strive to understand and modify their environmental consumption...

Greenwalls and Green Streets

There are many other positive and creative examples in European cities of efforts to green existing and new buildings, including balcony gardens, greenwalls, nestboxes, and other habitat enhancements, as well as green-roofs. For a discussion of many of these examples and a review of the benefits and technical aspects, see Johnston and Newton, 1997 . European cities and towns offer many other examples of creative urban greening. Greenwalls are especially common in German cities, and increasing...

Lessons for American Cities Prospects for More Compact Urban Form

There is little question that future development patterns that are much more compact, contiguous to existing developed areas, and considerably denser than existing development would do much to make American communities more sustainable on a number of ecological and social criteria. But how applicable is the notion of a compact city to American communities, and to what extent are Americans interested or willing to live in more compact communities Demographic and economic trends toward...

Figure Canmore carfree housing estate design Edinburgh

A car-free housing estate being built in Edinburgh, Scotland. In addition to access to an on-site car-sharing company, the project incorporates a number of other ecological design features, including solar panels, greywater recycling, and rainwater collection. Front doors are oriented to the pedestrian street, which is described as a social meeting place without cars Rabobank, 1995 . The experiences of residents living there have been very positive the pedestrian street has provided a safe play...

Envisioning a Sustainable Factory

Another notable European example of sustainable business is the company Ecover, located in Oostmalle near Antwerpen, Belgium. The company produces a range of washing and cleaning products designed to minimize environmental impacts. Indeed, the company's philosophy is explicitly based on principles of sustainability. The company dates back to 1987 and has been steadily growing in size and market coverage. It is currently the market leader in the United States for ecological washing products, and...

Lessons for American Cities

One of the key lessons of these European cities is the proactive role that local authorities can play in helping promote more environmentally restorative forms of commerce and business. As this chapter illustrates, there are a variety of opportunities for playing such a role, and American communities can and should consider a similar charge. While few American cities have been as engaged collaboratively with local companies as cities such as Graz, there are in fact American examples that...

Urban Village Living

Nieuw Sloten Plan

Many examples can be cited of fantastically attractive and desirable neighborhoods where the density is quite high. European cities show convincingly that density by itself is not the undesirable quality believed by many in the United States. It is actually how this density is configured and designed, along with the package of urban design, green features, access to transit and other amenities, that will be more important. The notion of urban villages has become a mantra of sorts among American...

Zero Energy Building and Energy Balanced Homes

Europe has been a leader in the development of low-energy housing and in the integration of energy conservation and renewable energy sources into large-scale housing developments. There have been a number of interesting and innovative attempts in various study cities to develop the notion of an energy autonomous or energy self-sufficient house. These attempts have included, for example, the Jenni house in Switzerland and, more recently, the self-sufficient solar house in Freiburg, Germany,...

Compact Growth Districts with a Green Emphasis

Green Plan Utrecht

There are many examples of local efforts to design and build new housing areas that continue these patterns. Indeed, the major new growth areas in almost every city studied are situated in locations adjacent to existing developed areas and are generally designed at relatively high densities. Good examples of this can be seen in the new growth areas planned in Utrecht Leidsche Rijn , Freiburg Rieselfeld , Amsterdam Ijburg , Copenhagen 0restad , Helsinki Viikki , and Stockholm Hammarby Sjostad ....

Encouraging Ecocycle Balancing The Role of Green Taxes

There is little question that many of the ecocycle balancing initiatives described here, and a greater emphasis on biomass and renewable energy sources are encouraged and fostered in part because of the existence of green taxes or environmental taxes, in European counties. A wide range of green taxes are used in Europe, and expansion of green taxes has been especially apparent in the northern European counties. A variety of such taxes exist, including those that impose charges on sulphur,...

Many Examples of Ecological Building Projects The Dutch Leading the

New Housing Area Site Plan Network

Many specific examples can be cited that show the potential gain environmental and social from these building strategies. In the Netherlands, significant experimentation with sustainable development projects began in the early 1990s, partially funded by the Dutch government. Three projects are frequently cited as the important examples of the first wave of experimentation Ecolonia Alphen a d Rijn , Morra Park Drachten , and Eco-dus Delft . The author has visited and studied each of these early...

Sustainable Land Use Trends

The relatively high density and compact urban structure of European cities are critical features in determining their sustainability on other measures. These features make possible, or at least much easier, many of the other qualities that have been discussed above, including the high use of public transit, high walkability, vital and vibrant civic spaces, the use of extremely efficient district heating systems, and the protection of large systems of extremely accessible greenspaces. Despite...

Ecological Buildings and Institutional Structures

Examples of a number of larger institutional structures designed and built according to sustainability principles also exist in the case study communities. These include the Queens Building in Leicester , the ING-headquar-ters building in Amsterdam , and the SAS-headquarters building in Stockholm , among others. Examples of mixed residential office buildings designed around green principles can also be cited, including the green building in Temple Bar Dublin . Even major new city-center...

Land Use and Urban Form Planning Compact Cities

To even the most casual observers visiting Europe from the United States, there are clear and immediate differences between the basic land use patterns and spatial form of American and European cities. Historically, European cities have been fundamentally more compact, with a distinct separation between urban and rural. The cities are walkable, have good public transit, and are generally much less reliant on the automobile. For these reasons these cities are important sources of both practical...

Preservation and Adaptive Reuse

Much of the charm and attractiveness of the European cities studied is the palpable antiquity of the buildings, streets, and neighborhoods. A significant challenge for most of the cities examined is both how to protect and enhance these historic qualities, and how to balance preservation with the needs of a modern and sustainable city. A number of the case study cities offer compelling examples of preservation planning. For example, M nster, Germany, made a conscious choice to rebuild its...

Closed Loop Economies Industrial Symbiosis in the City

Kalundborg Symbiosis

Local economies can also contribute significantly to helping a city achieve a circular metabolism through industrial symbiosis, or the connecting of the wastes and inputs of different businesses and industries. Under such schemes, wastes of one industry become the productive inputs to another. The most notable example in the world of industrial symbosis is the industrial complex at Kalundborg, Denmark. Here, truly symbiotic relationships have been developed between a power plant the Asn s Power...

Housing over Shops

As discussed in Chapter 2, European cities, particularly those on the continent, are characterized by a substantial amount of city-center housing and a relatively high population of residents living there. In the central districts of cities such as Amsterdam, Bologna, and Copenhagen, relatively larg e amounts of urban housing can be found. This housing takes many forms, but one style that remains common is flats, or apartments, over shops. In some cities, especially in the United Kingdom and...

The Value of Rural Agricultural and Undeveloped Lands

To be sure, one of the reasons compact urban form is considered necessary in many European countries is the value attached to rural and undeveloped lands. In contrast to attitudes and resulting regulatory systems about land use in the United States, which historically view farmland and undeveloped land as a temporary use, in Europe rural and agricultural lands are not seen as transient or residual activities but as important primary societal uses. To be sure, generous European Union...

New Towns and Growth Centers

Satellite Town Centers Stockholm

One possible strategy for accommodating population growth in a compact form is the creation of new towns and growth centers. Europe offers many positive examples of successfully designed and implemented new towns, many of which approximate the ideal characteristic of sustainable communities. Sweden and the Netherlands offer the most successful guides. The Dutch growth centers policy began in the mid-1960s and lasted until the mid-1980s. It was a realistic recognition of the trend of people...

Strategies for Promoting Green Buildings

The European enthusiasm for ecological building is reflected in a number of programs, incentives, and investments. The Netherlands has perhaps done the most to promote green or sustainable building. To its credit, the national government of the Netherlands has given a high priority to promoting and facilitating sustainable buildings. It has now prepared its second National Action Plan for Sustainable Building. These action plans establish national goals and targets and identify a number of key...

Traffic Calming and Car Limiting City Strategies

Short of complete pedestrianization, there are many creative examples of actions taken to restrict, discourage, or otherwise calm automobile traffic. Here again, European cities offer the best examples. A variety of specific traffic-calming strategies and technologies exist, virtually all of them extensively used in the case study cities. These strategies include the concept of the woonerf or living street or yard , pioneered in the Netherlands, speed humps or drempels, as the Dutch call them ,...

Urban Ecocycles and the Metabolism of Cities

City Metabolism

Sir Richard Rogers argues in his book Cities for a Small Planet for the need to replace our linear approach to pollution and re s o u rce use in cities with ones that emphasizes circular systems. What is needed, he argues, is a new form of comprehensive holistic urban planning Rogers, 1997 p. 30 . An extension of our view of cities like forests is to appreciate that they are ultimately composed of a complex flow of inputs and outputs of energy and resources flowing in, and waste and pollution...

Pedestrianized Centers

Figure Study Downtown Copenhagen

Beginning in the 1960s, and continuing today, many European cities have been gradually pedestrianizing parts of their city-centers taking space away from cars and parking and returning it to the pedestrian. This has had the effect of not only helping to control the automobile, but also creating city-centers and downtown areas that are much more inviting places to visit and shop. Copenhagen is perhaps the best example of a successful and continual effort to pedestrianize a city-center. It began...

The Vision of Green Urbanism

There are, in fact, many different terms used today in discussing efforts to reduce environmental impacts and to live more lightly on the land. Sus -tainable development, sustainable communities, and sustainable cities are a few of these terms, and each captures much of the agenda of this book. Green urbanism effectively captures both the central urban and environmental dimensions of the agenda I will be discussing. It emphasizes the important role of cities and positive urbanism in shaping...

Solar Urban Development

Amersfoort Eco District

E u rope provides a number of very positive examples of new towns and l a rger urban developments conceived and designed with solar energy at their c o re.Indeed, these examples increasing in number demonstrate clearly that solar energy can be a central design element in new urban developments. Nieuwland, a new urban growth district in the Dutch city of Amersfoort , for example, has been designed and built to integrate solar energy in a number of ways. Most impressively, a large number of the...

Ecological Urban Renewal

Another important trend evident in several of the study cities is the incorporation of ecological or environmental design features when buildings and neighborhoods are re s t o red or renovated. Numerous examples of ecological renovations in Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, and elsewhere can be cited see Danish Town Planning Institute, 1996 . A number of such ecological renovations have taken place in Berlin, including pilot projects at Unionplatz see Mega, 1996 and the now well-known Block...

Contents

Introduction Green Urbanism and the Lessons of European Cities 3 The Important Role of Cities in Global Sustainability 3 Research Methods and the Cities Examined 9 Issues of Transferability Why Study European Cities 13 The Relevance and Role of Urban Sustainability in Europe 15 Chapter 2. Land Use and Urban Form Planning Compact Cities 29 Strategies for Compact Urban Development 32 Compact Growth Districts, with a Green Emphasis 41 Urban Villages and the Importance of City-Centers 43...

Hofjes Cohousing and Ecovillages

Apartment Courtyard Urban

Other ideas for organizing housing and living, include the extensive cohousing experience in the Scandinavian countries, the unique development of hofjes almshouses in the Netherlands, and ecovillages in a number of places. Hofjes are a distinctive form of Dutch housing dating back to the fifteenth century. Hof means garden and hofjes are buildings and housing units clustered around a courtyard or garden. From eight to ten units typically, hofjes can be as large as twenty-five units. Most...

Figure Den Haag environmental thermometer

The city of Den Haag in the Netherlands has for a number of years issued an annual environmental thermometer which tracks and gauges environmental trends and accomplishments there. The specific indicator shows progress made toward compensating for loss of nature areas in the city. Like all of the indicators, it presents both a goal and the actual achievement level by year, as well as a photograph or picture intended to represent the indicator being measured. Source Gemeente Den Haag. cator with...

Figure Copenhagen regional plan finger plan

Copenhagen Finger Plan

Much of the urban form of Copenhagen is owed to its famous 1947 regional fingers plan, which required major new growth areas to be sited along the transit lines, with large wedges of greenspace preserved between the growth fingers. Source Greater Copenhagen Council. government levels. Cities such as Copenhagen, for example, have a long tradition of regional planning dating back to its famous 1947 finger plan see Figure 2.4 . In Denmark, the regional plans are essentially prepared by counties...

Ecocycle Balanced Neighborhoods and Urban Development

Urban Reuse Wastewater

Closed-loop or circular metabolism can also be implemented at a neighborhood or development level, and increasingly there are many good examples of this in European cities. The new collaborative spirit in Stockholm in support of closed-loop solutions is also finding positive expression in the planning now under way for Stockholm s new urban growth district Ham-marby Sjostad. This district, eventually to house 15,000 residents, is being designed from the beginning with the principle of natural...