I came across three interesting bits of news this week that I think fit into the Eco Living category. At the very least I found them interesting.
Dutch City of Arnhem Redesigns Itself for Extreme Heat
The city of 150,000 people has seen big surges in heat waves over the past few years, increasing health risks to the vulnerable parts of their population and also contributing to significant droughts. As a means of combating some of the droughts they created a large floodable city park to better capture stormwater, but their leadership wanted to go further and be more proactive. They recognized the basic fact that asphalt results in greater heat in cities and are moving forward with a plan to replace about 10% of city roads with greenery. To accomplish this they are identifying lesser used streets that can then be narrowed by increasing planted areas. They are also planning to build “cooling down” locations in the city with shade and ponds to provide their citizens the means of combating the summer heat waves. To further increase the greening of the city, they are also incentivizing citizens to increase or add green spaces to their own properties. You can read the full fast company article here.
This is a great example of how to be proactive to combat both the causes of and symptoms of climate change. We definitely need to start harnessing our ingenuity to develop these types of innovative programs to make our cities more sustainable and livable in the future.
Developing a New Eco-Village in Harrisburg, PA
A new green development is in the initial phases for Harrisburg at the site of an old high school that will combine residential housing, commercial areas, co-work spaces and food grown on the site. This will be the first development by startup The Bridge, a startup targeting under-resourced neighborhoods in need of redevelopment. Harrisburg has a poverty rate of around 30% and faces many of the issues that brings, including the prevalence of food deserts. The development will include sustainable design features like solar panels, rain gardens, rainwater collection and adaptive reuse of existing buildings. You can read the full Fast Company article here.
Again, a great example of innovative thinking in tackling some of the urban problems faced by many of our cities. Hopefully the development receives the local support it needs to be successful and the model can be extended to other locations.
This week Chipotle launched a new endeavor with the tagline “Thoughtfully Made From the Inside Out”, and is based on taking their thinking of approaching food differently into new categories. They have partnered with people like the Textile Exchange, which is a non-profit that shares best practices to reduce the textile industry’s impact on the environment and people. All profits are to be donated to charitable causes dedicated to making apparel and food more sustainable. The types of products available include clothing, tote bags, water bottles, phone cases and footwear. You can check out the site here.
Anyone who is a hardcore Chipotle fan is going to want to flaunt some gear, and knowing that the proceeds are going to charity should only include the cache of the products. It will be interesting to see how far Chipotle will push into new segments like this.
The Free Range Viking