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A review of the city by city commitments reveals an overwhelming concern with the energy efficiency of buildings; in a few cases, particularly where the local energy utility is municipally owned, there’s a major focus on green power; all cities are committed to “lead by example” by greening their own buildings and fleets; and only in a handful are there significant commitments to reducing transportation emissions area-wide.
The built environment accounts for approximately half the energy use and carbon footprint of the United States. Lean Buildings reduce energy flows by tapping basic natural heating and cooling techniques and renewable energy sources in ways that are region-specific and climate-sensitive. This paper offers strategies to reduce material and energy consumption, including the use of local and recycled materials, heavy insulation, building orientation, passive solar systems, and dense urban configurations. Issues of energy quantity and quality, energy codes and metrics, as well as building size and configuration, are also discussed.
Small residential and commercial rental properties owned by individual landlords are important to the diversity and adaptability of cities as a whole. The owners of small rental properties face challenges, many due to economies of scale, in areas like energy efficiency and building management. In the United States, more than two-thirds of unsubsidized rental housing units are owned by individual landlords, and small buildings make up most urban neighborhoods; further, neighborhoods with small lots and buildings are more dense, and contain more jobs and businesses per square foot compared to neighborhoods dominated by large properties. Owners of small properties can improve their economic performance and the quality of their properties by investing in professional management, by buying buildings that are close to each other, standardize appliances and fixtures across units, and investing in technology like internet-connected water meters, thermostats, and irrigation control.
The U.S. housing market has seen significant transformation in the last few years, calling for a return of smaller, more efficient dwellings. Design and construction principles from places like the Philippines where pragmatic building practices employing simple construction methods with local, readily available materials are more common may offer useful techniques for developing Lean Housing in the United States.
In 2009, the residential and commercial building sector was responsible for more than 50 percent of total annual U.S. energy consumption, 74 percent of total U.S. electricity consumption, and 39 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. There has been a growing movement to encourage \"green buildings\"- those that generally use water, energy and materials more efficiently than conventional buildings, and utilize design, construction and siting features to reduce their negative environmental impacts. In an effort to address these energy problems, Columbia Law School\'s Center for Climate Change Law has undertaken an effort to draft a model municipal ordinance on green buildings. This article explains their proposed model together with detailed commentaries on its features, the rationale behind the choices it embodies, the associated legal issues, and various optional add-ons that municipalities may wish to consider.
The Regional Green Building Case Study Project analyzes the post‐occupancy performance and costs and benefits of 25 LEED projects in Illinois related to: measured energy and greenhouse gas emissions, water, commute transportation, construction and operating costs, green premium, health and productivity impacts, and occupant comfort.
Incorporating location efficiency (measured here as the cost of transportation associated with places) into policy and affordability analysis exposes previously hidden financial burdens and time constraints for households, poor location decisions by developers, and missed and misplaced opportunities for municipalities. Furthermore, it challenges misinformed criticisms of the cost of building transit, since these critiques do not fully account for the benefits or take into account the hidden costs associated with sprawl and auto dependency. Not only are the high costs of transportation hidden, but so are the low costs, and therefore so is the inherent value of more convenient in-town urban, inner-suburban, and other urbanizing locations. Consequently, many of these convenient but undervalued areas suffer from disinvestment and lack the ability to attract new investment and redevelopment.
As San Antonio continues to grow, it has the opportunity to develop in such a way that residents can reduce the environmental impacts of travel, while also reducing household transportation costs. This report provides information on the combined housing and transportation (H+T) costs in the San Antonio metro area, demonstrating that these two household expenses are closely linked. In San Antonio, combined housing and transportation costs are higher away from the city center. While housing developments on the urban fringe take advantage of low land costs, transportation infrastructure makes car ownership a necessity. In contrast, both housing and transportation costs are lower in the compact neighborhoods closer to downtown, where residents can more easily get to jobs, shopping and amenities by transit and walking.
This new report analyzes the housing and transportation cost burdens of moderate-income households in the 25 largest metro areas at the end of the 2000s. Newly available data give us an opportunity to assess the impact on combined costs of the rapid rise and fall of home prices during the 2000s, the recent increases in rents, and the nation’s increased suburbanization over the past decade.
Transit defines the vibrancy of downtowns in the northern suburbs of Chicago. Metra and CTA stations, and the development they support, help commuters get to jobs and run errands on their way home, all with little or no driving. Residents come together in these downtown station areas to eat, drink, socialize, borrow library books, shop, and see their neighbors. These activity centers are the brand, lifeblood, and drivers of economic development in these communities. Rail transit anchors downtowns and neighborhoods in many communities throughout Chicago’s northern suburbs and across the region. Municipalities have used these transit-oriented developments, (TODs), to create a sense of place, add retail and housing, and enhance their tax bases. In doing so, TOD helps reduce driving, increase access to transit, and improve the local economy.