Architecture of Sustainability

Friday, May 05, 2006


Ed Mazaria’s talk clearly fired up the audience. He threw down the gauntlet and the assembled group of 200 or so architects – at least in spirit – have accepted the challenge. His talk was heavily focused on statistics, drawing a portrait of climate change historically and into the future.

Most impressively for me was the political work he has done broadcasting his proposed carbon use reduction goals (see the web site at Mazaria has secured commitments from big city mayors and several governors to incorporate these goals in their local and state regulations. I was glad to see Mazaria’s political focus as I do believe carbon use reductions can only happen if incorporated into a regulatory framework. The “market” alone has not moved in this direction and won’t unless forced to.

The one element that surprised me by its omission was any mention of the developer. Mazaria believes that we as architects are positioned to affect carbon use reduction more than any other group. But our dance partner is the developer (whether it be public or private) and without buy-in from that community the music will stop.


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