During the past two decades European cities in general have made the best efforts to lower their carbon footprint through improved transportation services, alternative energy programs, recycling systems, and attempts to enforce overall sustainable standards for offices, businesses, and housing. In a democratic situation it is quite difficult to induce individuals to change their lifestyles in order to reach an ideal goal of carbon neutrality. The neighborhood plan, which can range in size from 5000 to 25,000 citizens, can be the key to what Serge Latouche calls “happy degrowth,” offering optimizations of transportation, energy production and consumption, land use, and socialization, without obvious sacrifices in quality of life. The European advantage stems partly from the pre-industrial origins of its cities, with frequent histories of municipal democracy, and partly from a conscientious effort by current politicians and administrators to encourage life style and energy alternatives that reduce greenhouse gases. With the recent international agreement at COP 21 in Paris (2015) to maintain temperature rise to 1.5 degrees, there has been an increased effort to curtail energy abuse. While laws, techniques, and design have a lot to do with the difference, lifestyle is perhaps the strongest factor: We will take into account habits of transportation, dining, and work tend to think about reprogramming them to weigh less heavily in the balance of entropy (the dissipation of energy and matter). The course lectures will cover the major issues in achieving sustainable neighborhoods from political organization, technological solutions, and propaganda.
Students will be obliged to work on three levels.
The first will be a test given at mid-semester to insure that everyone is comfortable with the general knowledge and terminology of sustainability, historical issues, and key works of architecture and urbanism.
The second will be a case study prepared in groups of three students devoted to a specific neighborhood such as Vauban in Freiburg or Ginko in Bordeaux that are known for good practices, focusing in depth on one of five key issues.
The third is a design problem considering the transformation of neighborhoods into more sustainable environments in the Milanese metropolitan region.
During the Spring semester we will offer two optional 4-day study trips for a limited number of students to visit five examples of eco-quartiers.
1) Introduction: A One-way ticket to Planet Earth. A review of the general issues in the course.
Naomi Klein (2014); Peter Calthorpe (2010); Ingersoll (2012); Kolbert (2014)
2) Was Urbanism Ever Sustainable? A survey of historical examples of success and failure in urban cultures previous to the industrial revolution. We investigate whether the contingent factors of modernity negate a return to any previous ideal.
Benevolo (1980); Kostof (1992); Diamond (2005); Bramwell (1989); Fishman (1977)
3) Urbanism is the key, the five factors that make the difference in the Age of Global Warming
Beatley (2000), Beatley (2012); Calthorpe (2010)
4) Cool Architecture, a response to Global Warming: Learning from the Vernacular, Learning from High Tech, and the move toward Appropriate Technology and Materials; Biomimicry
Buchanan (2003); Butti (1980); Ingersoll (2018); McDonough (2002).
5) Green Economy? Green Capitalism? Critical positions in the move toward social ecology the linear versus the circular economy.
Texts:Harvey (2014); Hawkin (1999); Latouche
6) Legal parameters for Greening the city: roofs, voids, walls, parking, zoning, life styles
Whitford (2009); Falk (2006)
7) How to measure the success of Solar and alternative technologies
Rotor (2014); Wacknagel (1996)
8) Top down or bottoms up. Design and mobilization.
Klein (2014); Steel (2008); Shiva (2012); Pollan (2006)
Adams, David (1992) “Rudolf Steiner’s First Goetheanum as Illustration of Organic Functionalism,” JSAH,
Benevolo, Leonardo (1980) History of the City.
Beatley, Timothy (2000), Learning fromm European Cities
Beatley, Timothy, ed. (2012), Green Cities of Europe,
Bramwell, Anna (1989) Ecology in the 20th Century. A History, New Haven: Yale Univeristy Press,.
Butti, Ken & John Perlin (1980) A Golden Thread: 2500 Years of Solar Architecture and Technology, Palo Alto: Cheshire Books.
Baker-Brown, Duncan (2017) The Reuse Atlas.
Buchanan, Peter (2003) Ten Shades of Green, Architecture and the Natural World, Architectural League of New York.
Calthorpe, Peter (2010), Urbanism in the age of climate change
Diamond, Jared (2005), Collapse, How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, London: Penguin,.
Hawkin, P, A. Lovins (1999), L. H. Lovins, Natural Capitalism. Creating the Next Industrial Revolution, Boston: Little Brown and Company,.
Falk, Nicholas (2006), “Smarter Growth and Sustainable Suburbs,” Built Environment.
Fishman, Robert (1977) Urban Utopias in the 20th Century.
Ingersoll, Richard (2012 ) “The Ecology Question and Architecture,” in Handbook of Architectural Theory, G. Crysler, S. Cairns, eds., Berkeley: Sage,.
Harvey David (2014) Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism.
Ingersoll, Richard (2012) “Urban Agriculture,” Lotus, no. 149, May 2012, pp105-117.
Ingersoll, Richard (2013) “Eat the City,” Places, June 2013.
Ingersoll, Richard (2017),”When the Cathedrals were Green”
Ingersoll, Richard (2018) “Cool Architecture” (2018)
Klein, Naomi (2014), This changes Everything, Capitalismversus the Climate
Kolbert, Elizabeth (2014), The Sixth Extinction, An Unnatural History.
Kostof, Spiro (1992) The City Shaped.
Latouche, Serge (2004), “Degrowth Economics”
McDonough, W. and M. Baungart (2002) Cradle to Cradle, Remaking the Way we Make Things, NY: North Point Press.
Pollan, Michael (2006) Omnivore’s Dilemma.
Rotor, (2014) Behind the Green Door. A Critical Look at Sustainable Architecture through 600 Objects.
Shiva, Vandana (2012),Making Peace with the Earth
Steel, Carolyn (2008), Hungry City. How Food Shapes Our Lives.
Wackernagle, M. & W. Rees (1996) Our Ecological Footprint. Reducing Human Impact on the Earth, New Society Publishers.
Whitford, A. B. & Wong, Karen (2009), “Political and Social Foundations for Environmental Sustainability,” Political Research Quarterly.