The 15 Principles of Green Urbanism

Steffen Lehmann, author of The Principles of Green Urbanism, lists the 15 ideas that will transform the world’s cities for sustainability. NAC readers can get a 20% discount on the book.

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Green Urbanism is by definition interdisciplinary; it requires the collaboration of landscape architects, engineers, urban planners, ecologists, transport planners, physicists, psychologists, sociologists, economists and other specialists, in addition to architects and urban designers. Green Urbanism makes every effort to minimize the use of energy, water and materials at each stage of the city’s or district’s life-cycle, including the embodied energy in the extraction and transportation of materials, their fabrication, their assembly into the buildings and, ultimately, the ease and value of their recycling when an individual building’s life is over.

Cities can and must become the most environmentally-friendly model for inhabiting our earth. It is more important than ever to re-conceptualize existing cities and their systems of infrastructure, to be compact, mixed-use and polycentric cities. My book, The Principles of Green Urbanism: Transforming the City for Sustainability<(2010), offers a conceptual model and a framework for how we might be able to tackle the enormous challenge of transforming existing neighborhoods, districts and communities, and how we can re-think the way we design, build and operate in future our urban settlements. These principles are partly universal, but there is no one single formula that will always work. To achieve more sustainable cities, urban designers must understand and apply the core principles of Green Urbanism in a systematic and adapted way.

The following slideshow contains a short list of the principles; for full discussion and hundreds of specific ideas for application, see my book. It must be noted that in order to enable sustainable urban development and to ensure that eco-districts are successful on many levels, all urban design components need to work interactively and cannot be looked at separately. Understandably, it requires a holistic approach to put the principles in action, although they need to be adapted to the location, context and scale of the urban development.

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Tags: urban designbuilt environmenturbanismsmart growth

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