Sustainability

Dover, Kohl & Partners Participates in Environmental Leadership Summit

The Environmental Leadership Summit is being hosted on the Miami-Dade College Wolfson campus, from October 1 through Saturday October 3. Developed by Tropical Audubon and Earth Ethics Institute, the series of lectures and workshops aim to educate, inspire and empower individuals toward a more sustainable way of life.

Jason King—Vice President and Principal of Dover, Kohl & Partners—was one of the invited panelists for “Live Like You Live Here,” a presentation  within the series that discussed topics such as living between two national parks, green urban design, and smart growth.

Tropical Audubon Society  has been one of South Florida's voice of conservation for over 100 years.  Their mission is to conserve and restore South Florida ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife and their habitats.

Earth Ethics Institute provides resources, workshops, and programs for the Miami-Dade College community that encourage the integration of the knowledge, values and skills needed for a sustainable way of life into all practices and disciplines. The institute fosters an awareness of global interdependence, ecological integrity through biological diversity, and the natural processes that sustain life.

To find out more about the summit, visit the Earth Ethics Institute website.

Victor Dover's Essay "Seven Dials" in New Book by Jared Green

 

The following is an excerpt of "Designed for the Future: 80 Practical Ideas for a Sustainable World" by Jared Green, published by Princeton Architectural Press, 2015. Save 30% (plus free shipping in the U.S.) when you purchase Designed for the Future from papress.com. Enter promo code GREEN at checkout.

Seven Dials

VICTOR DOVER

Show how cool it can be to live in the city.

Revitalized historical places are emblematic of a sustainable future. It’s been said that “the greenest building is the one that has already been built,” when considering the embodied energy in the materials that we’d otherwise have to ship, throw away, or reuse in the structure.

The preservation movement began around the idea of protecting places because they are rich in character. We develop attachments to places because of their architecture and feeling, not from their machinery. Historical buildings tend to be low-tech but often feature a smart useof resources. For example, those old thick walls have thermal mass, which helps the building stay cooler on summer days and warmer on winter nights.

Old buildings often have a great building-to-street relationship, too. Their fronts—doors, windows, storefronts, balconies—face the street and the public.

Seven Dials in London is a curious intersection not far from Covent Garden. In the 1600s the developer built it with diagonal streets, which, in plan, vaguely resemble the Union Jack. At the center, the diagonal roads converge, intersecting in a square with a column in the middle.

There are no signature works of architecture around it, and the column is very simple, but there’s a bench at its base, where people gather. There’s something about the size, proportion, and pace of the space; people love being there. The scale feels comfortable, and the intersection slows everyone down. You can watch the human parade go by, on foot, on bikes, in cars.

Seven Dials is preserved as a national heritage site, and as is often the case, historic preservation points the way. If we had more places like it, people wouldn’t need to feel like they’re stuck in their cars. If people felt that good in every city, we’d have a stronger, smarter planet. Once you see the place, you know ideas fly back and forth there.

Seven Dials makes the city a place where you want to be. One no longer needs to retreat from the city to hide in backyards in the exurbs or little houses on the prairie. With this kind of urban living, there are fewer burdens on the planet because there’s no impulse to flee. With more places like Seven Dials, more forests and farmland would be saved.

As Parris Glendening, former governor of Maryland, once said, “People hate sprawl, but they hate density more.” But that’s exactly what we need if we are going to create a sustainable future. We need more places that show how cool it can be to live in the city.

Victor Dover is a planner and principal at Dover, Kohl & Partners.

 

Photo caption: Seven Dials, London; Photo credit: Aurellen Guichard, Creative Commons, Cropped,https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

A copy of the book can be purchased through the following: