Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Vision: A Relocalized City

My thoughts on a relocalized city.

The city will run off the grid on solar and wind power. The businesses and homes will use geothermal power to heat them in the winter and to cool them in the summer. The buildings will be built according to Sthapatya Vedic architecture to maximize support of nature and energy from the sun. Many areas of the town will be converted to pedestrian malls. There will be no vehicles allowed in these areas. Other changes will include retrofitting the square with more trees and flowers, solar panels on some of the rooftops and others will have garden rooftops. Many rooftops will be painted a light color to minimize heat absorption.

Transportation will consist of a public bike transit system like Vélib' in France. People will be able to buy a subscription for bike rentals or use their own for daily commutes. The cars will be energy efficient, getting 200-300 miles per gallon, running on biodiesel or people will be able to buy electric cars or air cars from the local dealership, keeping the money in the community.

Video on Vélib'

Street lighting will be LED and other types according to the recommendation of the International Dark Sky Association. The lighting will be the lowest wattage available for safety and will consist of downward or shielded lights.

The food will be all organic and locally produced and sold at the local farmers market and will also sell products other than food to thousands of people a week. Wal-Mart and Hy-Vee will buy most of their food products locally. Most of the citizens will have their own gardens, providing them food from their own back yard.

Wal-Mart will buy their cosmetic products, medicines from the local MAPI store. They will get products from local craftsman and other local shops.

The city will have its own local credit union or bank, which will produce its local currency. This will keep money in the community.

If cities could look at adopting just one of these ideas to creating a better future, everyone will benefit.

Monday, March 3, 2008

UPS leases 42 all-electric Zap Xebras for deliveries in Petaluma, California

In May 2007, Zap announced that Domino's would use a three-wheeled, all-electric Xebra to deliver pizzas in Las Vegas. In November, 2007, Zero Air Pollution vehicles announced a much bigger delivery deal: UPS is leasing 42 Xebra cars and trucks to deliver packages in the city of Petaluma in Northern California. This is but one of UPS' attempts to get off the gas. You can read the details in the links listed below, but the most unusual of UPS' varied strategies is to save $600 million by favoring right hand turns.

More info here.

For more photos, see the Brown Goes Green page on Flickr.