Pushing the Urbanism/City Agenda in the Building Science World at NESEA BE13

I wrote this blog post last week for the NESEA site. NESEA is allowing me to co chair a “Cities” track that talks about urbanism, cities and energy efficiency! Its really the next step from my keynote, which you can read here. I am really excited. This is a big deal for the building science world. Send your proposals in!

Retrofitting for Resilience: Cities
Resilience of Cities: Be Urban. Be Environmental. Be Smart. Be Resilient. Be Sustainable.

This year in preparation for BE 13 at NESEA we are opening the dialogue to discuss the ultimate form of sustainability. Sustaining ourselves through good planning, smart building and ultimately being resilient to whatever our climate throws our way.

At NESEA BE12, the keynote speakers discussed the occupy movement, insulation, solar parking lots and city planning initiatives. All of these things discussed happen in cities, therefore we bring you the newest NESEA track for Building Energy 13 – Retrofitting for Resilience: The City Edition. ultimate form of sustainability. Sustaining ourselves through good planning, smart building and ultimately being resilient to whatever our climate throws our way.

This new track can go anywhere because there is an enormous amount of material to cover and only 6 sessions. We wanted to take a moment to give your ideas as to where we would like to see this track go which is open but not limited to our ideas. We want YOUR ideas on retrofitting for resilience in our cities.

First thing, lets define resilience: the power or ability to return to the original form, position,etc., after being bent, compressed, or stretched; elasticity.

Now here are our ideas for sessions organized by themes — presented to spark thinking. Go beyond these ideas and tell us what you want to do! The proposals are due June 15, 2012.  You will find the complete RFP, describing the conference, and the response form at the NESEA website.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

Bernice Radle: Bernice@buffalo-energy.com

Robert Leaver: rleaver@newcommons.com

Ideas for sessions/discussions: 
Urban Planning

Promoting energy efficient housing, smart growth and urbanism is the ultimate sustainable/resilient environment which can only happen in cities!

  • Resilient community based planning initiatives?
  • Historic preservation
  • Urban planning initiatives – cities – form based codes, historic preservation, smart growth
  • Getting away from the car
  • European initiatives on resilience in cities?
  • Regionalism/urban planning
  • Landbanking ideas
  • Urban agriculture
  • Policy ideas on promoting resilience? What are cities doing? Federal government? Regional initiatives?
  • Urban metabolism (new work at Harvard)
  • Multiple urbanisms: new, landscape, ecological and sustainable with Margarita Iglesia at BSA this spring

Energy Efficiency

  • How can we retrofit our existing buildings and design new builds with greater efficiency? What is being done to our building codes? Mass Stretch Codes? IECC?

Weather/Climate Change/Technologies

  • In one session with a structural engineer, civil engineer and public health official…what ha
  • ppens to Boston in 3 scenarios: a category III hurricane hits; 20 inches of rain in one week; 25 day heat wave…How ready is it now?  What has to change to be ready?
  • Surging seas and cities
  • “Transportable technologies”  – what can we do in the NESEA region that will help other global regions with resilience and adaptation?
  • NYC is investing 1.5 billion to upgrade its infrastructure to be a green infrastructure — the basic idea is to rely more on nature as NYC did when the original grid was laid out
  • Case Studies/Results/General Initiatives
  • Individual habits, case studies, initiatives that promote resilience?
  • What are cost effective solutions that can help promote resilience?

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