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It turns out you can get pretty darn dense even without building mile-high skyscrapers, according to Lloyd Alter at Treehugger. He points out that Montreal has areas packed with three-story walkups and 11,000 people per square kilometer—and argues that the density-by-skyscraper philosophy just doesn’t work in most places, in part due to “losses for circulation, fire stairs, elevators and separating distances between buildings.”
But does the way we measure urban density even make sense? Richard Florida at The Atlantic Cities shares a new U.S. Census Bureau report that employs a newer metric called “population-weighted density” and includes 2000 and 2010 datasets for all U.S. Metro areas. “These new data on various types of density from the Census will enable us to take a deeper look at the role of different types of density on the innovativeness, productivity and economic growth of cities,” he writes.
Target’s urban “concept stores” are opening in more metros, and Lamar Anderson at The Atlantic Cities takes a witty look at the positives (smaller footprint and integration with existing architecture) and the negatives (“So far, the CityTarget concept is more Target Lite than a truly fresh direction for the brand”).
Perhaps we finally understand why people do dumb things at office parties and make poor decisions on their SATs: blame the carbon dioxide!
New research summed up in ScienceDaily suggests that high CO2 levels are more than an indicator of poor ventilation: CO2 actually seems to make it harder for us to make decisions.
So next time it’s stuffy and you have a sudden urge to photocopy your nether regions…you might consider getting some fresh air instead.
In seriousness, the researchers are worried about classrooms because they suspect poor ventilation may have implications for learning, and classrooms often have high occupant density and CO2 concentrations. They are planning to do more testing.
The demand for green homes is growing, and the need to properly appraise those homes is growing too. But there are a lot of obstacles. Some of these the Appraisal Institute has started to address, but there’s only so much you can do about it when not enough comparable homes are being sold and when lenders refuse to recognize the green features as valuable, points out Mary Ellen Podmolik in the Chicago Tribune.
She takes a look at how far the Appraisal Institute’s efforts have come since 2008, and the report is pretty disappointing. A couple things that do seem to help: documentation of green features and third-party certification of energy efficiency.
Matt Hickman reviews Unity Homes over at Mother Nature Network and finds a lot to like, from the size, style, and price tag to the low-VOC finishes (pretty much everything except the “esoteric” names, like Xyla and Zūm). Watch this space for our take on this new line in the near future!
Ben, I'm still very happy with the Geospring. It definitely cools off the basement some, and because the floor between the basement and our...
Thanks, Alex, for this incredibly helpful article. I'm a fellow Vermonter (up in Barnard) looking to replace my old propane-fueled water heater....
Some cultures use it to grow tomatoes that are the best you can find.
Let's face it......everything is recycled in some way.
Ben Jervey says, "Thanks, Alex, for this incredibly helpful article. I'm a fellow Vermonter (up in Barnard) looking to replace my old propane-fueled water heater. Have..." More...
Jim Peabody says, "It is very important that during the heating season to not set the remote or thermostat to "auto" setting. Use the "heat" setting only. By using the..." More...
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