The new urban infrastructure equation

What makes a city? Places we live. Places we work. Places we shop and enjoy ourselves. Shared public spaces. The systems that move us from point to point. The systems that deliver water and energy to us. All of this is physical infrastructure of one kind or another. There are also the capital and funding […]

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The water-energy nexus for sustainable cities

We live at an incredible juncture in the history of water management. We are facing new water supply challenges, a growing population that is more globally connected than ever, and dramatic variations in climate and precipitation patterns that have disrupted our definition of “predictable” rainfall. Because of this, our traditional thinking about water management is […]

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LA 2106: realizing the ecological metropolis

Today we revisit a concept we submitted to the History Channel’s City of the Future competition in 2006. Looking back, the thinking we did on this has deeply influenced how we approached projects and developed our practice over the following decade. With a hundred-year timescale, this remains just as potent a suggestion for the future of Los Angeles as it was […]

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The nanotechnology energy revolution

Nighttime energy usage in global cities (NASA Earth Observatory/NOAA NGDC – 2012) Nanotechnology is the ability to engineer and create useful materials at the nanoscale (100,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair) to take advantage of enhanced properties not present in their bulk counterparts. It is a disruptive technology, a new technology that […]

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Unlocking energy upgrades with EPCs

Energy performance contracting (EPC) is a delivery model in its infancy in Australia. Its introduction was catalysed by the Victorian Government’s formation of the (now closed) Greener Government Buildings Programme. EPCs have been around in the U.S. for over 30 years but Australia is still trying to work out how to get maximum gain with […]

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What should Earth Day mean?

Image: Copyright Robb Williamson / AECOM The questions of how we can find a sustainable balance between society and nature and how we design and manage our cities are of course very closely linked. As we at AECOM thought about Earth Day for 2014, we decided that to achieve the most productive results, the former […]

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Toward resilient energy systems

Copyright AECOM photo by David Lloyd. For cities to meet their citizens’ needs and allow for economic output, their basic infrastructure must be resilient and sustainable. Following major storms in the U.S., the resilience of energy systems has come under increased scrutiny. My article published in Energy News – the official journal of the Australian Institute […]

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Meeting the urban challenge

Building height vizualization for Christchurch, New Zealand. I recently had the opportunity to present at the “Meeting the Urban Challenge – Smart Cities” conference. In attendance were H.E. Hans Peter Manz (Austrian Ambassador to the United States), Matt Peterson (Chief Sustainability Officer of the City of Los Angeles), Michael LoGrande (Director of Planning Department for […]

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For future cities, think small, as in nano

The “Energy-Efficient House of the Future,” designed by AECOM for the Government of the Chuvash Republic and RUSNANO Corporation. “Based on recent Department of Energy Annual Energy Outlook reports, residential and commercial buildings account for 36% of the total primary energy use in the United States and 30% of the total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.”[i]  Consequently, there is […]

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Can we afford to improve infrastructure?

According to a new study, three existing funding pools could cover the infrastructure gap – 12 times over. Public buildings often define the impression of a city. But many are being neglected and overlooked. In the U.S., millions of children are attending deteriorating schools. Hospitals are postponing badly needed repairs. According to Business Insider, public […]

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