Neil Chambers

Old City: the New Paradigm

A look at how elderly-centered urbanism could help create sustainable developments with a soul

A look at how elderly-centered urbanism could help create sustainable developments with a soul

I am a Climate Refugee

A refugee from Hurricane Sandy shares his experience and discusses climate-related issues that will plague costal cities in the future.

A refugee from Hurricane Sandy discusses climate-related issues that will plague costal cities in the future.

Techno-Systems Are not Ecosystems

Since the 1990’s, the term ecosystem and/or ecology have been used to refer to the complexity of how people, businesses, and technologies interact.  I’ve always found this metaphor misplaced; it clouds the fact that systems of commerce and resources are not ecosystems at all.  They are something different all together.  According to biologists, an ecosystem is built from a community…

Ecomimicry: What Designers Can Learn From Evolutionary Science

As building green becomes more common, we must aspire to harmonize with nature and explore evolutionary science—ecomimicry is the end of that exploration.

We all know the story of Charles Darwin. He took a tour of the Galápagos Island, conceived his brilliant idea about evolution, spent the next few decades working out the details, nearly got swiped by a young startup, raced to finalize his book on the topic, and in 1859 published On the Origin of Species, forever changing our understanding of…

What If Half of America Moved Each Winter?

As the U.S. population becomes increasingly mobile and the need for dramatic energy policy intensifies, we must think beyond the limits of states.

When you compare those states that consume the most energy with those that consume the least, something jumps out at you. The states topping the list in terms of BTU per year are also the most populated states in the country: CA, TX, NY, FL, IL, PA and OH. This pattern holds true at the other end of the spectrum;…

A Tale of Two Maps: Putting Ecology (& Sustainability) First

To achieve a sustainable world, we must stop building along politically defined limits and start designing in line with ecologically determined borders.

If you want to peer into the future of architecture and infrastructure, try comparing the impact of two vastly different maps of the same place. For this post, I am using a map of the United States; but you could use just about any map of any country on the planet. Map of the United States Looking at this map,…

The Viability and Vision of Oyster-tecture

Oyster-tecture envisions a network of oyster reefs: a continental-scale storm water management system that would spur tourism, aid public health, and create a biologically-rich living laboratory.

Oyster-tecture envisions a network of oyster reefs: a continental-scale storm water management system that would spur tourism, aid public health, and create a biologically-rich living laboratory.

Can “Oyster-Tecture” Actually Save Our Cities?

Because bivalves are incredibly efficient water-filtrators, rehabilitating their populations could help protect coastal cities and communities.

Oyster-tecture is one of several emerging practices that are shifting the way we think about infrastructure. The old ideals behind public works projects were focused only on enhancing people’s lives. Oyster-tecture provides needed services to people while also fostering vibrant, healthy ecosystems. The result is a more affordable, resilient, longer-lasting underpinning that surpasses New Deal-style construction. The technique can be…