Thursday, January 15, 2015

Green Communities Intro

Green community
The posts over the next several weeks will be blog entries from the subjects we discuss in my Green Communities class at the University of Utah. During our first class, we discussed what Green communities are and looked at how "best practices" have all but ruined the economy, environment, and social fabric of our towns and cities. 

This post specifically will discuss my view of what a Green city is and cite text from "EcoCities." 

To start off we were asked to define what we believe a Green Community was, and in the moments we had in class, this is what I was able to pen:
A green community is a sustainable community, one that is not only sustainable but enhances and enriches the environment around it. A green community doesn’t emit toxic or unbalanced levels of anything. A green community if evaluated similar to any other ecosystem in “nature” would look no different or rather would have every part carrying out its ecological function to build or contribute to the whole. In other words zero pollution.

I wanted to build upon the idea, to help others better understand what I believe a Green Community really is. To do this I wanted to share 2 quotes from EcoCities:
  • "The quality of life depends largely on how we build our cities. The higher density and diversity of a city, the less dependent it is on motorized transport; and the fewer resources it requires, the less impact it has on nature." - Richard Register, EcoCities
  • "Cities need to be rebuilt from their roots in the soil, from their concrete and steel foundations on up. They need to be reorganized and rebuilt upon ecological principles." - Ecocities
I believe it should be impossible to differentiate a Green Community from any other ecosystem on paper, their definitions should be the same. There should be no waste which leads to everything in the community being reused exactly how any ecosystem would function. Organisms should build and contribute to the whole, all having their important role in the ecosystem to to play.

"We have overshot the optimum in cars, suburbs, and sprawl and their attendant patterns of energy waste, pollution and environmental destruction. We have overshot the mark in losing community and identity among thousands of acres of huge tract homes in former family farms - with even more demand for more roads, concrete, parking." This, our current model of city needs to be rethought and rebuilt as if from scratch. We need to rethink energy. We need to rethink transportation, social settings, and economy. If we are ever to eliminate our footprint on the planet we need to function fundamentally like the rest of the planet. No waste, no borders, no class or differential treatment.

"Building the ecocity [or green community] will create a new cultural and economic life"

Sustainability News

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I just wanted to take a moment to send a personal message out to all those in the fields of Landscape Architecture, Gardening, Horticulture, and Urban Planning/Urban Ecology. I created Landscape Connections for the purpose to share my love and passion for Landscape Architecture and Design, and Urban Ecology. I was a Landscape Architecture Major at Utah State University and currently study Urban Ecology at the University of Utah. I am working to compile as much information in the four previously mentioned fields as possible. If you have any further information, or would like to either add information or see information posted to landscape connections please let me know.