Author Archive

April 19 2013

Farewell From Bonnie Rodd: Blogging from Austin, TX

April 19th, 2013Posted by 

In the summer of 2012 I was a fresh graduate from the University of Texas at Austin, trying to make my way into the working world. Having been an Urban Studies student minoring in Architecture, I was hopeful I would be able to find work in which I could apply my passion for urban development, […]

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April 05 2013

Transit-Oriented Developments are One Answer to Austin’s Growth Need

April 5th, 2013Posted by 

As Austin, Texas strives to grow as a more environmentally and socially sustainable city, it has turned to Smart Growth principles to obtain its growth goals. One way in which the city has met this challenge is through the implementation of Transit-Oriented Developments, or TODs. The principles are transit-centric and consist of the following: ●     […]

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March 22 2013

The Alley Flat Initiative: Affordable and Sustainable Design

March 22nd, 2013Posted by 

The Alley Flat Initiative is a collaborative project between the Gaudalupe Neighborhood Cooperation, the Austin Community Design and Development Center, and the University of Texas Center for Sustainable Development. The initiative’s goal is to demonstrate affordable and adaptable housing types with efficient design and sustainable technologies. The alley flats are “small, detached residential units, accessed […]

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March 08 2013

A Comparative Look at Austin’s Most Creatively Sustainable Homes

March 8th, 2013Posted by 

KRDB, the architects of the Sol community in East Austin, utilized creative solutions to design homes that address multiple facets of sustainability. Affordability is innate in the Zero-Net Energy homes; the carefully considered designs reduced initial costs, and utility costs are lessened due to their energy efficiency achieved through some unexpected methods listed below. Highly energy efficient […]

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February 22 2013

Five Surprising Facts about Wind Energy Production in Texas

February 22nd, 2013Posted by 

“Texas leads the country for installed wind power, and is one of the largest wind energy producers in the world.” – Terrence Henry, As Tax Credit Hangs in the Balance, Texas Sets Another Wind Record As the environmental harm caused by the use of coal as the main source of electricity production becomes more and […]

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February 08 2013

Zoning: Both the Villain and the Hero of Cities

February 8th, 2013Posted by 

“The more successfully a city mingles everyday diversity of uses and users in its everyday streets, the more successfully, casually (and economically) its people thereby enliven and support well-located parks that can thus give back grace and delight to their neighborhoods instead of vacuity.” ― Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities […]

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January 25 2013

Making the Connection between Downtown Family Housing and a Sustainable City

January 25th, 2013Posted by 

The central areas of Austin, TX continue to transform with the addition of shopping districts, new office space, condominiums, and apartments. The city’s aim is to create more compact and walkable neighborhoods/areas in order to encourage healthier and more sustainable lifestyles among its residents through reduced car and land-use. It appears that there has been […]

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January 11 2013

Establishing Connectivity, Sustainability, and Energy with Landscape Architecture: The Revitalization of Waller Creek in Austin, TX

January 11th, 2013Posted by 

“There is the opportunity to imagine a different Waller Creek, one that is a vital component of urban infrastructure, an open stage for social interaction, and a restored source of natural beauty.” Waller Creek is an urban riparian ecosystem that meanders for seven miles from the northern part of Austin, TX, southward through The University […]

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December 28 2012

Music, Sound, and Noise: BldgBlog’s Fanciful Survey of Acoustically Inspired Designs

December 28th, 2012Posted by 

“In the elevators of the Empire State Building, you’d hear the elevators of the Eiffel Tower. The sounds of the Paris Metró are replaced with the sounds of the Bejing subway…If you don’t like Rome, you can make it sound like Dubai.” –Geoff Manaugh, The BldgBlog Book In this passage, author Geoff Manaugh introduces his […]

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December 14 2012

Imagining a More Sustainable City: Completing our Streets to Create Environmentally Conscious Infrastructure

December 14th, 2012Posted by 

Planners, citizens, and the governing body alike, look to the guidance of the newly adopted Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan to ensure that Austin, Texas grows in an economic, social, and environmentally sustainable manner. The consequences from decisions made, ranging from where to build housing or which business industries to support, must be taken into consideration for […]

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November 30 2012

Three Considerations in Creating a Drought Resistant Landscape

November 30th, 2012Posted by 

Having faced one of the worst droughts in Texas history, in 2011, Austinites know that water is an issue of the future, but also today. Yet Texas remains to be one of the largest consumers of water. What are Texans doing with all that water? Well, watering, … watering climatically inappropriate landscapes. Homeowners, institutions, and […]

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November 16 2012

Three Good Reasons for the Rising Cost of Parking in Austin, Texas

November 16th, 2012Posted by 

“Free parking is at the root of many urban ills: congestion, sprawl, wasteful energy use and air pollution.” – Donald Shoup, Parking may not be an obvious urban design issue, but it affects the traffic patterns, environmental health, and landscapes of our cities. As the population in Austin, Texas continues to skyrocket, the city certainly […]

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November 02 2012

Capital MetroRail Prioritizes People to Create an Accessible, Connected, and Sustainable City

November 2nd, 2012Posted by 

“Rather than being guided, as it should be, by natural systems or human needs, the quality and placement of growth in our regions is largely dependent on the car.“-Peter Calthorpe The newly adopted Austin, Texas city plan, appropriately titled the “Imagine Austin” plan, envisions a less congested and more sustainable city. It turns the conversation […]

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