How many people does Steffen estimate we will have living in or near cities by mid-century?
He predicts that over 8 million people or more will be populating cities in our near future.
Explain how you agree or disagree with Steffen’s point that our energy use is “predestined” rather than “behavioral”.
I definitely agree with Steffen about this predestined energy use because of certain things that affect our environment in cities. There are behaviors indeed that can make it predictable as to how our energy is being used. Transportation, he explains is a big factor and I think that his example of density in cities explains a thought process that points out why we have more energy usage in certain areas of a city. The only thing I think we have to remember is that if we change a cities landscape or the density of it, then as a result the energy may shift which is something you cannot necessarily predict until the change is actually made.
What correlation does Steffen make between a city’s density and its climate emissions?
He suggests that denser places in turn have lower emissions.
What are the “eco districts” that Steffen mentions? How you see these as feasible or unfeasible in a city
He explains that eco districts are districts that keep everything in one place for people. He says that mobility is used to get access to things but once the area is denser and everything is more available to the population then you won’t use cars as much. It would be feasible to use Eco Districts since Norfolk has a high commuter rate and a lot of traffic flows through the city due to the highway access nearby. We could reduce emissions by suggesting Eco Districts to create a community in Norfolk that doesn’t require a lot of driving. “The wave” of Norfolk is a new form of transportation that is helping our city in this respect.
What does Steffen mean by the idea that, “…even space itself is turning into a service…”? Can you provide any examples that you see here in Norfolk or elsewhere?
Space is what is being sold in a city, not always the building or the look of an area. Where we live, eat and buy our groceries is where people want to buy space. It can also be compared to the obvious affect of space in this video which is how it is used to make an area denser and inexpensive for people. He also talks about how we need changes such as urban retrofitting and tent poles which could result in a reduction of emissions and replacing cars with bicycles and by getting people to walk more due to the effects of such changes. A place in Norfolk that explains space being turned into service could be Granby Street. Because of the amount of businesses there and the popularity of the restaurants in this area it is a place many people seek to buy space or move their businesses to.
Describe your understanding of Steffen’s argument that, “…it’s not about the leaves above, but the systems below…”.
What I think he meant by this is that the effort that is put into something ultimately is going to show in the results. Just as much effort as you put into studying for a test will be reflected in your grade for example. In this case he is referring to the changes and planning that goes into creating cities and how you build them will show how well a city can function. Also the amount of energy that is consumed in certain places as well as the emissions that are created is going to be higher in areas that are less dense.
Finally, overall in what way(s) do you see Steffen’s ideas working / not working here in Norfolk? Spend time with this question!
I really think that what he points out about density in cities definitely reflects on the use of energy and high amounts of emissions in Norfolk as well. Since our group is looking at emissions and a better way of solving problems like this, Steffen is opening my eyes up to how things get started in the first place. This video raises our awareness about how much planning and effort goes into building cities and that every decision made has a potential outcome. Even a small project such as this one could be life changing for many people in Norfolk. No city is perfect but there are always improvements to be made and Steffen’s ideas are ones that could be used on a city such as Norfolk.