A Case for Climate Neutrality

club and provision of limited parking spaces, and residents are assisted to recycle as much of their waste as possible.

can make ourselves happier and healthier also reduce our carbon footprint and ecological footprint.”

In a new BioRegional development in the south coast city of Brighton, a “green caretaker” has been employed to take deliveries of locally produced food from nearby farmers and distribute it to the residents. Desai says the type of mixed-use developments BioRegional is working on—new projects are under way as far afield as California and the South African city of Durban—help to move away from the old urban model of sprawling suburbs producing car-dependent residents commuting to a central business district. “The sorts of communities we are creating will be places where people are healthier and happier, and that is the great selling point we have got. Fortunately, many of the ways we

Niclas Svenningsen, of UNEP’s Division of Technology, Industry and Economics, agrees: “We see a clear trend that climate-lean design of buildings is moving from high-profile projects to mainstream projects. Low-cost social housing projects in São Paolo or Bangkok may not be as attractive as corporate headquarters in New York or Paris, but in terms of the accumulated impact from small improvements from thousands upon thousands of buildings, these are much more important.” “It is there—in the mundane day-to-day buildings—that we are looking for a change in the tide of building practices. The reason that this is happening, we believe, is that climate- smart buildings translate to energy-smart—and cheaper— buildings, which in the long run is a win-win situation for both the property developers and the tenants.”

Photo courtesy URBN hotels


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