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Low2No: Suburban ReDesign

Posted in Models by Kate Archdeacon on July 2nd, 2010

Via Worldchanging

Low2No: A Sustainable Development Design Competition:

The built environment is now the largest negative factor in the stability of ecosystems and the climate. As populations become increasingly urbanized, the evolution of cities will largely shape the outcome of our long dependence on natural resources. Two pathways of evolution are evident: an urban society that is in balance with the environment, or one that has depleted available natural capital. The decisions that will direct this evolution are being made now. It is clear that no single organization, profession or nation can achieve the goals of sustainable global development. It will require an architecture of solutions including low/no carbon buildings; sustainable economic systems; enhanced mobility; sustainable planning and energy policies; resilient social systems (access, equity and capacity), among countless others.

Recognizing the need and opportunity to improve sustainable building practices, Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund, in collaboration with the City of Helsinki, launched a sustainable development design competition. The goal was to attract and identify the best team to design a large building complex on a reclaimed harbour (Jätkäsaari) at the western edge of Helsinki’s central business district. The competition sought approaches for four central objectives applied at the scale of a city block:

1. low- and one day no- carbon emissions
2. energy efficiency
3. high architectural, spatial and social value
4. sustainable materials and methods

With the selection of a team comprised of Arup, Sauerbruch Hutton, Experientia and Galley Eco Capital, the competition is moving from ideas to implementation. This next phase includes not only design development of the architectural and strategic solution, but also many activities targeted at raising the level of awareness and sophistication of Finland’s national sustainability discussion. Work on the development has begun, with completion scheduled for the end of 2012.

Read more about Low2No.

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