by Paul Walker, Global Green USA
Come share in a conversation about why we all need to connect with nature in our city and hear about an exciting new initiative you can be part of to create a more biodiverse, biophilic city for all.
The Biophilic Cities Project, DC Environmental Network, City Wildlife, Humane Society of the United States and others have started a new and exciting conversation about connecting our sustainability work in the District, the nation’s capital city, more closely with biophilic principles with the ultimate goal of making DC a true biophilic city.
On October 2nd, at Noon, join the DC Environmental Network for our monthly networking opportunity. We will be holding this event at the offices of DCEN/Global Green USA, 1100 15th Street NW, Washington, DC, 11th Floor.
– Timothy Beatley, Teresa Heinz Professor of Sustainable Communities, University of Virginia School of Architecture & Lead on Research & Policy work of the Biophilic Cities Project
– Stella Tarnay, Advisor, Sustainable Landscape Design Program, GWU Chair of Education, Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy
– Megan M. Draheim, PhD, Visiting Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability
– Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network
What is a biophilic city?
“A biophilic city is at its heart a biodiverse city, a city full of nature, a place where in the normal course of work and play and life residents feel, see, and experience rich nature–plants, trees, animals. The nature is both large and small–from treetop lichens, invertebrates, and even microorganisms to larger natural features and ecosystems that define a city and give it its character and feel. Biophilic cities cherish what already exists (and there is much, as we have already seen) but also work hard to restore and repair what has been lost or degraded and to integrate new forms of nature into the design of every new structure or built project. We need contact with nature, and that nature can also take the form of shapes and images integrated into building designs…” – Timothy Beatley, Biophilic Cities: Integrating Nature into Urban Design and Planning.
Cities all over the planet, including Birmingham, Milwaukee, Phoenix, Portland, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Oslo, San Francisco, Singapore, Wellington and others are all charting a course towards more systematically integrating nature into their urban design and planning.
Our panel will be anchored by Professor Timothy Beatley, Teresa Heinz Professor of Sustainable Communities at the University of Virginia School of Architecture and who leads the research and policy work of the Biophilic Cities Project.
Sign me up to participate in this new and exciting conversation.
All are welcome.
by Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network
DC Environmental Network:
We are almost there! With your valued assistance, the DC Environmental Network has been working hard the last 18 months, to try and help move the District into the 21st Century with creative carbon reduction policies.
These legislative initiatives, to clean up our renewable portfolio standard and divest city funds from fossil fuels are simple, straight forward, and meaningful changes:
– The “Fossil Fuel Divestment Act of 2013” will require the city government to sell off its direct investments in fossil fuel companies, sending a strong signal to industry that business as usual cannot continue while also protecting pensioners from the hazard of a “carbon bubble.” If we are to avoid catastrophic climate affects, more than 2/3 of fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground. DC divested from South Africa during Apartheid — it is time to do so again.
– The “Renewable Energy Portfolio (RPS) Standard Amendment Act of 2013” will help ensure DC’s RPS incentivizes truly renewable, innovative sources of power. While fellow Mid-Atlantic States like Delaware and New Jersey get over 70% of their renewable energy portfolios from the wind and sun, these resources have made up only 15% of D.C.’s “renewable” portfolio over the last seven years. The primary reason is a flaw in our renewable energy law that categorizes “black liquor” and “inefficient wood waste” facilities that have been in operation for 30 years on average as renewable fuel providers. Black liquor and inefficient wood waste generate climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions and health-hazardous air pollutants at levels greater than or equal to coal. The D.C. City Council should pass the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard Amendment Act of 2013 to remove dirty energy from D.C.’s Tier 1 renewable energy standard. This legislation will promote new, clean sources of renewable energy and reduce pollution at levels equivalent to taking 146,000 cars off the road every year for the benefit of D.C.’s environment, health, and economy.
Now it’s time to finish these important climate campaigns. On September 23rd at 9:00 AM, join the DC Environmental Network as we make our final push to move these two bills over the finish line. Hope to see you then!
DC Environmental Network