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Monday News Roundup

Feb 07, 2011

Do the words route or line better describe transit? (Human Transit)
The word for the path followed by a transit vehicle is sometimes route, and sometimes line. Whenever you have two words for the same thing, you should ask why.

Duany predicts decline of strict green building standards (Partnerships for sustainable communities)
Charlotte, N.C.–Decrying the high cost of “optimization” of development in a lean time, Andres Duany called for a return to common sense development principals that harken back to the 19th Century and predicted declining use of the LEED standards for building efficiency.

An Ideal City Doesn’t Exist: An Interview with David Gouverneur (Next American City)
A native of Venezuela, Gouverneur has made a career out of injecting environmental and social values into the process of placemaking. He was kind enough to take some time out of his sunshine and paper-filled morning to share his recipes for healthy cities.

The people of the texture world: adding people into renderings (The New York Times)
I happened to spend a lot of time looking at renderings, and found myself drawn to a recurring feature that, strictly speaking, had nothing to do with the suggested structures: the little human figures who inhabit the rendered world.

Building permits bounce back (video) (The Globe and Mail)
BNN gets analysis and insight into Canadas building permit numbers for December with Victor Fiume, general manager, Durham Custom Homes, and president, CHBA.

The Life and Death of a College Bikeshare System in Maine (The City Fix)
n 2007, a few students and staff at Bowdoin College started the Yellow Bike Club, an informal system of bikes left on campus and re-purposed for the shared bike program. Spray-painted yellow, secured with U-locks and repaired in an old shed on campus, the system of just a few bikes was born. Initially, there were seven bikes and about 50 members, now the program is in disarray.

Secretary of Energy Announces “SunShot”, Gives $27Million to Cut the Cost of Solar (inhabitat)
US Secretary of Energy Steven Chu just pledged $27 million in funding for nine solar energy projects that will help with his “sunshot” effort — a plan to cut the costs of solar energy by 3/4 in the next decade.

Landscape and Architecture Converging (Planetizen)
The Architect’s Newspaper explores the “fertile new approaches to building” springing from the growing use of landscaping in contemporary architecture.

Car-Dependent Suburbs May Be Slums of The Future, Says Urban Planning Report (Treehugger)
A study released by the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) in late 2010 found that “Australia will be forced to rely on huge quantities of imported oil unless it radically overhauls its transport and urban policies” according to The Age newspaper who reported on the findings.

Bikes for Boomers? Panasonic’s Electric Bike for “Elderlies” (Treehugger)
If you take it for granted that bicycles are a safe and green part of the transportation system for all ages, then this makes perfect sense. Panasonic has just introduced an electric bike with 20″ wheels and a “low floor design” that makes it really easy to get on, start with a boost and stand with your feet flat.

Princeton Plans Largest Solar Field for Any U.S. University (inhabitat)
Long a leader in top-notch academics, Princeton University is now a leader in green technology and clean energy. The Ivy League school announced last week its plans for a 27-acre solar field to partially power its New Jersey campus.