Green Round-Up: Density and Industry Edition

Posted on: May 21st, 2012 by Rachel Bowdon

St. John's Hospital in Belgium
The eight-hundred-year-old St. John's Hospital in Bruges, Belgium. (Photo: lhonchou)

Remaking an Eight Hundred Year Old Hospital -- True Green Cities Blog

"The oldest part of St. John’s Hospital in Bruges, Belgium dates from 1270. Subsequent buildings date from the 14th through 17th centuries. Today the complex of at least 10 buildings houses a hospital museum, a historic dispensary museum, an art and community center, a Picasso gallery and a restaurant. It was actually a hospital until 1976. It occupies a large piece of land overlooking one of the main canals and opposite the Church of Our Lady, which contains one of the only Michelangelo sculptures outside of Italy. It could be location, location, location but add to that the European ethic of reuse, and this hospital has found new uses that keeps it even more active than it’s ever been."

The Limits of Density -- The Atlantic Cities

"There can be no doubt that density has its advantages. In general, denser cities are more productive, more innovative, and more energy efficient. But only up to a point. The key function of a city is to enable exchange, interaction, and the combination and recombination of people and ideas. When buildings become so massive that street life disappears, they can damp down and limit just this sort of interaction, creating the same isolation that is more commonly associated with sprawl."

Could Battersea Power Station Be a Trailblazer for Green Renovation? -- businessGreen

"... Battersea could be a perfect case study for how governments and businesses should deal with the raft of aging coal-fired power stations that are due to start going offline over the next decade, raising a host of questions about sustainable building strategies and whether it is greener to retrofit an old building, or demolish it, recycle the materials, and create a greener development on site."

Building for the Needs of an Information-Based Economy -- UrbanLand

"Google’s decision to locate its Pittsburgh operations in the inner city is but one way America’s ever-expanding knowledge economy is changing the real estate sector—something it is expected to continue doing. Not only are high-tech companies looking for unusual spaces that are reflective of their corporate culture, but firms in the knowledge sector are also reviving inner-city neighborhoods, spearheading the drive for sustainability, and even changing the way some new buildings are designed."

Calculating The True Economic Benefit Of Green Buildings -- Fast Company Co.Exist

"Standard real estate practices have a hard time modelling for the system-wide and long-term benefits that building more sustainably provides. A new system, called Economics of Change, finds the real cost."

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Rachel Bowdon

Rachel Bowdon

Rachel Bowdon is the program assistant for the Sustainability Program at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

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