Deep Green in Blacksburg

Yesterday I blogged about the need to take a “deep green” approach to energy conservation. It’s one thing to snap up low-hanging fruit, but Virginia needs to enact fundamental institutional changes — to transportation and land use especially — if we are to achieve meaningful reductions in energy consumption. As it happened, at least three speakers at the Governor’s Commission on Climate Change meeting in Blacksburg yesterday brushed up against those topics.

I wasn’t there, so I don’t know what exactly what they said. But the Commission has posted PDFs of their presentations online, and you can get a flavor of what they had to say.

Providing Transportation Choices to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Petra Mollet, American Public Transportation Association

Urban Development and Climate Change, John V. Thomas, Ph.D., Development Community and Environment Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Climate Change and Development Patterns, Eric J. Walberg, Principal Planner, Hampton Roads Planning District Commission

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  1. E M Risse Avatar
    E M Risse

    We only had time to look at one to the presentations and it was a pre-Copernicus discussion of human settlement pattern — no quantification, no functional Vocabulary, no,… you get the idea… but even then it should be a wake up call.


    FYI, Atlantic Station in Atlanta is the project noted in “All Aboard.”


  2. Anonymous Avatar

    “it was a pre-Copernicus discussion of human settlement pattern”

    I thought that was a pretty good description. When I looked I saw a lot of pretty words and ideas, with no idea of what was behind them. I came away distinctly underwhelmed.


  3. Anonymous Avatar

    Your geographic illiteracy is showing.

    The miles traveled per Household and tons of co2 per household maps — if coupled with Dr. Risse’s insights into settlement patterns are compelling.

    Anon Zeus

  4. Anonymous Avatar

    Not to worry, Ray Hyde has a GPS system on his tractor.

    He needs it.

  5. Anonymous Avatar

    What is your problem?

    All I was doing was agreeing with EMR that it was a pre-copernican discussion?

    Try dialing back the hypersensitivity.


    The GPS system is not there to keep me from getting lost. It is there to make sure fertilizer is not over used or wasted.

    It’s a green thing, that also pays well, but you wouldn’t understand.


  6. Anonymous Avatar

    “The miles traveled per Household and tons of co2 per household maps — if coupled with Dr. Risse’s insights into settlement patterns are compelling.”

    They would be compelling if they had any connection to the overall welfare of the people in question. If they just use less because they are broke, it doesn’t mean much.

    Also, the CO2 map came up with different values than the CO2 maps put out by Perdue University. ???


  7. Anonymous Avatar

    I must be geographically illiterate. One of those slides on urban transportation shows Landmark Mall adjacent to the Franconia Springfield Metro station.

    When did they move that station?

    No wonder our planning is so screwed up.


  8. Anonymous Avatar

    The slides made me chuckle. Smart development and TOD is a farce, as applied, in Fairfax County.

    Last year, after considerable painful study and effort, Fairfax County adopted TOD standards in its Comprehensive Plan. Essentially, they would concentrate density at rail stops within the county. But when this policy comes into play with Tysons Corner, the Task Force quickly discovers that not every Tysons Corner landowners’ parcels can be found within the high density areas near rail stops. So, not to disappoint, the Task Force has been looking at ways to ignore the TOD policy to provide high FARs to every landowner in Tysons Corner. Hence, we may be looking at seeing Tysons Corner grow from today’s 45 million square feet to as high as 170 million square feet.

    These policies are a farce. Save Fairfax; pave the Piedmont!


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