Tag Archives: natural environment

BIG Green Expo & Conference 2011

Speaker: Lori Singleton ~ BIG Green Expo & Conference 2011

Lori Singleton, Salt River Project (SRP)

Lori Singleton, SRP

Lori Singleton is the manager of sustainability initiatives and technologies at Salt River Project. She is a 29-year employee of SRP and 40-year resident of Arizona. She is responsible for design and implementation of SRP’s environmental outreach programs with special focus on renewable energy.

Lori’s responsibilities at SRP include development and implementation of renewable energy projects to meet SRP’s sustainable resource goals. Singleton oversees research and development projects to support company-wide initiatives for SRP including gasoline lawn mower recycling, tree planting, clean school bus initiative, travel reduction and other internal environmental programs.

She works on development and implementation of the “green” energy pricing program, solar incentive program for residential and commercial customers and renewable energy education programs for implementation in middle school and high school curricula.

In addition, she does promotion and public relations for all new renewable energy projects and purchases (solar, wind, geothermal, landfill gas, low head hydro, fuel cells) while serving as the environmental issues media spokesperson for SRP and being a constant representative of SRP on numerous environmental committees, boards and commissions.

She was appointed by Governor Janet Napolitano to serve on the Solar Energy Advisory Council and also has several other current affiliations including: Valley Forward Association, Board of Directors; Audubon Society, chair, Board of Directors; Maricopa County Regional Travel Reduction Task Force, chair; Association for Commuter Transportation, Valley of the Sun, President & National Board Director; Southwest Center for Education; and the Natural Environment (ASU), Board of Directors.

Current Affiliations

Solar Energy Advisory Council, appointment by Governor Janet Napolitano
Valley Forward Association, Board of Directors
Audubon Society, Chair, Board of Directors
Maricopa County Regional Travel Reduction Task Force, Chair
Association for Commuter Transportation, Valley of the Sun, President &
National Board Director
Southwest Center for Education and the Natural Environment (ASU), Board of
Directors

Affiliations (Past)

Valley Forward Association, Chair, Board of Directors
Maricopa County Regional Travel Reduction Task Force
City of Phoenix, Environmental Quality Commission
Valley Metro, Clean Air Advisory Committee
Tempe Chamber of Commerce, Environmental Committee
Valley of the Sun United Way Loaned Executive


Topic: How people & organizations can get involved in the green movement from an energy perspective.

Conference Speaker
Friday, April 15, 2011
1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Room 157

BIG Green Conference 2011


 

BIG Green Expo
Friday & Saturday
April 15th & 16th 2011
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

 



 

Urban Land Institute

Earth Day 2010: A Pivot Point for Land Use and Community Building

By Patrick L. Phillips
Chief Executive Officer, Urban Land Institute

The fortieth annual recognition of Earth Day finds the world of land use in the midst of change, much as it was in 1970. However, in terms of community building, where we’ve been over the past four decades is not where we are headed for the next 40 years. What we’ve learned is that we can build in a way that both accommodates growth and protects — even enhances — the environment.

When the recognition of Earth Day began, people were moving to suburbia by the hundreds of thousands, returning to downtowns primarily to work or shop in department stores. Suburban malls were still innovative; the average home cost about $23,400 and covered 1,400 square feet; the average car cost $3,900 (plus $39 for an eight-track stereo); and a gallon of gas cost about 36 cents.

Triggered by relatively cheap housing, cars and gas, our urban regions were continuing the postwar form: growing outward in two general patterns – rings, based primarily around major highway construction that circled around cities; or linear growth tracking a spine of major highways. The result was the familiar “hub and spoke” metropolitan pattern. Our cities were growing in spite of the environment, not in harmony with it.

Even as urban sprawl was advancing, the Urban Land Institute warned of the potential for dire consequences. A 1970 article in Urban Land magazine cautioned, “We have carried the concept of conquest and dominion over nature to a point where large areas of our living environment have become not only unsightly but downright unhealthy.” It implored the land use community to be aware of development’s toll on air and water quality, and to appreciate “the interplay between the natural earth forces and land development activities.”

It was a fortuitous message then, and one with even more relevance now: How we use land matters. Land use has an enormous impact, not just on the natural environment, but on the long term economic and social viability of our cities. Vast demographic, financial, and environmental shifts are necessitating a major overhaul in what and where we build, and will continue to do over the next 40 years leading to Earth Day 2050.
Among the forces of change now in place:

  • The U.S. population has grown by more than 100 million people since 1970, with an additional 150 million expected over the next 40 years;
  • The first wave of baby boomers are hitting 65 — most will shun retirement and stay in the workforce, and many, if healthy now, could still be alive in 40 years;
  • The children of baby boomers, Generation Y (the most technologically connected generation in history) has started to enter the housing market and workforce;
  • Household size is shrinking, due to more people living alone, delaying marriage and childbirth, and having fewer children;
  • The U.S. is now the largest importer of oil, rather than the largest exporter, leading to stepped up efforts to develop alternate sources of energy;
  • The U.S. transportation infrastructure system, once a world leader due to the new interstate highway system, is now falling far behind Asia and Europe in terms of transportation investments;
  • Concerns over climate change have resulted in an increasing number of government mandates aimed at limiting carbon emissions from vehicles and buildings; and
  • The worst economic downturn since the Great Depression has 1) thrown credit markets into prolonged turmoil; and 2) left many markets with unprecedented housing foreclosures, causing a decline in the homeownership rate and a long-term change in the perception of homeownership as the American Dream.

All these changes are taking place as the U.S. is becoming an increasingly urban nation, and as our urban regions are evolving into different nodes of employment, housing and recreation spanning 40 or 50 more miles. It is difficult to predict exactly what the city in 2050 will look like. However, what is clear is that piece-meal, haphazard and poorly connected development is a thing of the past. It’s also clear that the majority of the growth will occur not in downtowns, but in the suburbs. And in these areas, less land will have to be used to accommodate more people. This change in how suburban areas grow will have a major influence on the environmental and economic sustainability of entire metropolitan regions.

Going forward, this is what we can expect: building more densely to conserve energy, water and land, and to reduce the need to drive. Better coordination of land use planning and transportation planning, so that more development is oriented toward transit options. And, reusing and adapting obsolete space in a way that reflects the changing needs and desires of a much more mobile society – a society in which many are likely to rent longer and change jobs much more frequently.

At 40 years, Earth Day 2010 marks a pivot point for land use and community building. Looking forward to Earth Day 2050, it’s important to consider how the impact of urban design and development meets residents’ expectations for livability, amenities, flexibility and choice. Ultimately, cities are about what’s best for people, not buildings, and not cars. The places that get this right will be the winners in the decades ahead.

www.uli.org

Avatar Sends an Eco-Friendly Message

Avatar Sends An Eco-Friendly Message

You don’t need to be a sci-fi buff to love Avatar. James Cameron makes his much anticipated return to movie making with this alien biopic of epic proportions. Outfitted with a stunning visual landscape, strong cast and concept as well as a multimillion-dollar budget, the movie is sure to provide an out-of-this world cinematic experience.  (Especially if you see in 3D, like I did).

What you probably don’t know is that beneath the action-packed drama, Avatar sends an eco-friendly message. It makes a pretty strong statement against the wastefulness of our industrialized society. In the film a corporation will stop at nothing in order to obtain a rare, expensive mineral — including eliminating an entire indigenous species of people. The film promotes sustainability and preserving the gifts that our natural environment has bestowed upon us, instead of plundering our natural resources and placing a dollar value on something that is irreplaceable. We as a society need to respect and value the natural resources we do have. If we continue to exploit them, the plotline in the film doesn’t feel that farfetched — rather a very scary glimpse into what our future may one day look like if we don’t implement changes.

This message really resonated with me and it’s great to see such current themes in movies. Though Avatar isn’t the first film to include an eco-friendly storyline, his stunning visual effects highlighted this concept and helped drive such large crowds to see it. Marketing this film to young adults (it’s rated PG-13) was a great way to spread the message about sustainability and encourage individuals to become ecologically responsible. The entertainment industry is a perfect medium to send such a message and can really make an impact. Oh and if you couldn’t tell from this post, I loved the movie and would definitely highly recommend it.

Photo Source: www.avatarmovie.com