June 09 2011

Implementing Sustainability: 5 Tips for the Urban Planner

What do you consider when you think about humanity’s carbon footprint? Do you applaud those that drive an electric car? Or do you commend those who commute by bicycle or public transit? Maybe the fuel-efficient home is more desirable than keeping the thermostat low on cold days while wearing an extra layer of clothes?

When addressing issues pertaining to “greenness,” perhaps a step back from personal preconceptions, even as an environmental designer, can help gain needed perspective. What one person is able to do may not be what another is capable of doing, yet most would agree that protecting our environment is a noble cause. What do you consider when planning or designing for environmental sustainability?

Architects, Landscape Architects, and Urban Planners all have a multitude of options to contemplate when implementing ideas, plans, and designs.

Five tips for gathering and implementing sustainability options for the population you serve include the following:

  1. Understand the needs and desires of individual clients or people you serve;
  2. Understand the type of environmental sustainability required or desired;
  3. Search for alternative designs to satisfy the outcome;
  4. Offer alternatives for selection;
  5. Develop a knowledge base for public consumption via websites, brochures, or social media.

Awareness of the perceptions related to living a green life may also help when establishing designs and plans. We are often bombarded with messages such as buying a hybrid car or installing new windows as the best alternatives for doing our part for the environment. Yet it can be small things that lead to a better quality of life, and the right marketing can influence successful promotion.

What methods or resources have you used in developing planning or design options for your clients? Which would you or wouldn’t you recommend?

Shelley Rekte

Shelley Rekte is a native of Lincoln, Nebraska, a graduate of the University of Nebraska, and works within the environmental design sector. As a mother, she has seen many changes in the world around her, as well as the differences between her son’s life experiences and her own. Shelley understands the importance of the environment and strives to broaden her perspective, with the aspiration of expanding the perspectives of others for developing equitable communities. Shelley Rekte blogged for The Grid until October 2011.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, June 9th, 2011 at 8:56 pm and is filed under Architecture, Environmental Design, Internet Marketing, Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning and Design, Website Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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