1. Housing
  2. Master Plan
  3. Sustainability
  4. Zoning

Reinhardt on Sustainable Housing Ideas

Prof. Christophe Reinhardt runs the MIT Sustainable Design Lab.  On Nov. 25, 2019 he gave a very interesting presentation, including talk and slides, that shows a pathway to make more housing, all kinds of housing, and greater housing density both more palatable in Arlington, and actually desirable.  He also stressed the importance of paying attention to housing now in order to meet the climate change challenge. Charts (starting about 10 min in) show how drastically we need to reduce our carbon footprint to reach net zero by 2050. Buildings today account for about 40% of our carbon emissions world wide. What we build today will likely be around through 2050.

Paying attention to housing design is important to create a sustainable environment.

Here is the link for the Reinhardts talk and slide show:

or see it on youtube: https://youtu.be/YAeCvUZmUrI

He uses research, drawn from around the world and locally, to show what measurable attributes make local communities desirable to live in and what attributes of housing make residents happy. 

Key attributes for success (slide is at about 18:15 min. in presentation):

1.  Economic opportunities (proximity to work opportunities)

2.  High quality living (daylight access for buildings, streets, walkable, mixed use, micro-units, vibrant public spaces, organic food, fitness opportunities)

3.  Sustainability (comfortable work and play and living spaces, resource efficiency)

The presentation was arranged by the Robbins Library. It was developed and recorded by Science for the Public as part of it’s lecture series.

For more information on sustainability and cities, cities and local municipalities are beginning to recognize the important linkages between urban resiliency, human well-being, and climate change mitigation and adaptation activities. https://news.mongabay.com/2019/11/how-cities-can-lead-the-fight-against-climate-change-using-urban-forestry-and-trees-commentary/ Courtesy of Science for the Public Interest Weekly News Roundup.

(For more opportunities to learn about sustainability, buildings and cities, sign up for the FREE MITx “Sustainable Building Design” online course which starts January.)

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