Some interesting recent entries on the CoolTowns blog:
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
'Cool spots' - Identifying low carbon neighborhoods
A picture is worth a thousand words, which is why the folks at the
GIS savvy planning firm Criterion created a tool to not just analyze
where to best invest in low-carbon development, but to illustrate it.
The concept is referred to as Cool Spots, and is described as "places
where land use, transportation and energy data converge to create the
best places for low-carbon development."
The process, as described in more detail here:
1. Analyze the region's energy usage, from CO2 building emissions to
transportation, using existing GIS information.
2. Map the walkable areas around transit nodes and commercial
corridors, as well as major destinations, as displayed in the image
to the left. Notice that it also defines areas that should be conserved.
3. Utilize this data to suggest development sites that improve
transportation choice and energy infrastructure efficiencies (top
4. Attract new low-carbon (ie cool town) development to those sites.
Read a full review or download the program.
Posted by Neil Takemoto | Link | Comment (0)
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
This isn't your father's light rail
...which is why in Europe they call them trams, apart from 'light
rail' which is associated with those clunky, boxy trains you see in
the U.S. The tram in the video above debuted in November 2007 in
The Strasbourg, France line pioneered the sleek look in 2006 and has
been an overwhelming success ever since, not to mention a favorite
photo subject for tourists - now how often does that happen? Notice
in the video above how its futuristic silhouette contrasts with the
historic fabric around it, in effect enhancing the buildings around
it. Other countries, like Dublin, Ireland, have followed with modern
versions of their own.
Trams are expensive and justified at 10,000 people/hour, but for
higher densities subways are the newly hot trend and ultimate urban
status symbol, while for lower densities you'll start to see the rise
of BRT, which are essentially rubber-tired trams with electronically-
guided lines replacing steel tracks, the same quiet ride and the
freedom to go 'off the lines' at any time.
Posted by Neil Takemoto | Link | Comment (1)
Monday, December 17, 2007
London's car-free shopping day a huge hit
What does $200 million have to do with cars? Absolutely nothing if
you were in London's famous West End shopping district on Saturday,
December 1st, known as Shop West End VIP (Very Important Pedestrians).
That's because 600 retailers on Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent
Street were open only for pedestrians, billed as the world�s largest
area ever to be dedicated to shopping for the day. Not surprisingly,
many retailers reported the best sales day of the year.
That's just the beginning. City and business leaders are pushing for
more car-free days, and there's already a plan to make it permanent
by 2013, no doubt aided by its preparation for the 2012 Olympics.
Open from 10:30 am to 8 pm, the event featured 1 million attendees
and enjoyed $40 million more revenue than the previous year (this is
the event's third year).
If there's any doubt that the event has garnered a wide and deep cast
of support, read what the retailers themselves had to say here.
Image resource: Matteo C.
If you are interested in more, click on the links in the Categories
side bar on the right hand side of the CoolTowns homepage.
Montreal QC Canada
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