I happened across Original Green’s website and spotted an article “The Green Top 10 for 2010″ relative to issues about sustainability. The trends described come from Steve Mouzon, a new urbanist architect that see his predictions coming to fruition over the next decade. They are in New Year’s countdown mode starting with:
# 10 Offshoring Reversal
There will be more interest in not only buying American but buying local as fuel costs make shipping products thousands of miles less cost effective as producing it ourselves.
# 9 The Sustainability of Preservation
Saving a building is in essence saving the environment as one headline of this article
stated: “The greenest brick is the one that’s already in the wall.” There is a trend to develop a viable method to “factor in the true value of preservation, both within the U.S. Building Council and elsewhere, because how can we say that we’re being green if we keep throwing buildings away?”
Another headline here is that GE targets net zero energy homes by 2015. These homes will sport photovoltaic sources, and windto produce energy. There will be efficient lighting, and on demand appliances, a place for energy storage, water filtration systems, a heat pump water heater utilizing the geothermal heat pumps that also contribute energy to the home. All is controlled through a master energy manager control panel and monitored with a smart meter for the home’s input/output to a smart grid.
#8 Gizmo Green Gets Exposed
This trend stems from the realization that going green is expensive and what with the economy the way it is, greening up homes to lower utility costs probably won’t happen as quickly as returning to passive heating and cooling methods.
If you’ve kept up with my blogs, I’ve blogged more than once that even on the coldest days in the winter if the sun is out in full, I shut off my main heat, open my blinds to 12 ft. of southern exposed windows, as well as, my front door. The sun warms the entire front of my house! That’s passive heating. In the summer we utilize 2 overhead fans, awnings, and shades to keep cool without a/c. Block the sun, and you will usually block the heat. True passive cooling would only use natural breezes, but my overhead fans use far less power than a/c.
#7 The Meltdown Vacuum
Because the construction industry and all related industries took a hit during this economy, overdevelopment of strip malls and subdivisions has stopped. What the arrested economy and construction business really did was bolster the courage of do it yourself homeowners. The advent of more and more do it yourself cable shows for home improvement wannabes unleashed a grassroots construction industry that is expected to keep growing.
#6 A Return to Gardening
Gardening is a real no brainer for anyone who cooks every night and wants to be economical and healthy. Usually people who would have a garden are also people who eat crops du jour “of the day.” Whatever is ripe is what is eaten that evening. By eating seasonal crops and buying locally when weather doesn’t permit a garden, we get a greater variety of natural vitamins and minerals, and many times without the pesticide problem. It’s cheaper, healthier, and easier to have a garden no matter how small. Believe me, I hate paying $3 for a bunch of fresh basil for a recipe when in the summer… Home gardening looks to increase everywhere even in urban landscapes.
#5 The ReCoding of a City
This trend reverses urban sprawl where going just about anywhere, to a convenience store, or the doctor’s office requires riding in a vehicle. The zoning code that works to reverse urban sprawl and concentrate people in cityscapes again is called the “Smart Code.” As the article states: “2010 looks like it might be the year that’s the tipping point with cities choosing this very smart way to reverse the tide of sprawl and make green cities possible.”
#4 The Return of Durability
Another no-brainer for me. In this post-melt-down economy people will return to buying better and more durable products to avoid tossing and buying new again because they simply can’t afford it. The article says: “High consumption is unsustainable.” Could our bulging trash dumps be an indicator?
#3 The Emergence of the Live-Work
We will either be working from home via the Internet or walking to work because the office is in the neighborhood once again, at least close enough to get there without the use of a car.
#2 The Big Convergence
There are three major components that mark this era happening right now, “the Meltdown, Peak Oil, and Climate Change.” This economic downturn ruined people. It was truly an economic meltdown. We know that oil has indeed peaked in production and is a finite source that will not last forever. And finally, climate change reality may be taking a back seat to economic suffering now but the “convergence” of all three of these things has created quite a movement, and an opportunity to return to what Mouzon calls “a Golden Age… something that would have been impossible in our previous sprawling, over-consuming, debt-ridden condition.”
#1 The New City
This is the top trend. It’s really a return to the old urban neighborhood where you walked to work, shops, school, clinics, and church. Entertainment and restaurants are within easy reach too. The only twist is that the rooftops of urban buildings will more than likely sport solar panels and wind turbines while grass and trees replace tarry surfaces. And anywhere there is available space to contain earth material a garden will grow.
Read the whole article: http://www.originalgreen.org/OG/Blog/Entries/2009/12/29_the_Green_Top_10_for_2010.html.