Pringle Creek in ULI’s magazine

This article, Oregon Green, in the beautiful Urban Land magazine, is very exciting for us. Urban Land Institute is the world's leading organization of development professionals. These folks get it--they're all about developing great urban environments, smart growth, compact and sustainable development.

Note that the author of the article, Portland native Michael Mehaffy, was, until recently, Director of Education for the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment.
That is Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, who is working hard to lead the UK toward new levels of environmental stewardship.

Oregon Green: A new community in Salem, Oregon, is raising the bar for sustainable development.

Oregon is well known for its innovations in urban development and environmental stewardship, but a new, 32-acre (13-ha) community being built in the capital city of Salem may set a benchmark for the trend in sustainable community development. The Pringle Creek Community has high aspirations: its development team aims to provide a showcase for integrated, market-driven sustainable development. More than that, the community is an early pioneer in the trend to combine green building standards with the environmental and social achievements of new urbanist community design.


You should have been here

An estimated 4,000 people visited Pringle Creek during the 2007 Tour of Homes. It was fun and exciting to see so much interest in our LEED-Platinum cottage home. One observation I heard from a number of the visitors was that the home didn't flaunt its "greenness". Another was how stylish it is, with lots of windows and natural light, beautiful wood floors, and quartz countertops.

I already miss the steady stream of vehicles (many of them hybrids, always nice to see) coming into the Community on our new porous streets. People seemed to have a great time visiting us (a few of them liked it so much they purchased lots). Many went off on our “walking tour” that we set up. You can take it either by following the map on our booklet or just wandering around and finding the various placards that tell you what everything is. Kids were out playing frisbee on the Village Green lawn. Folks were sitting in our little Fir Grove Park enjoying a beverage—and enjoying the rest of our lovely natural environment, orchards, landscaping.

If you missed seeing the home during the Tour of Homes, for the next few weeks you can see it during our Sunday open houses. So come on out—there’s more than just our “greenest” home.

Don Myers


We can do this

The bad news about climate change is worse than I thought but a solution is possible. George Monbiot is a British journalist and professor who knows a lot about climate change. He wrote a book, Heat: How to Stop the Planet Burning. He writes a weekly column for the Guardian; they are collected here. This week, Monbiot has written “Stop doing the CBI's bidding, and we could be fossil fuel free in 20 years.” The article says, in short:

  • The IPCC report suggests oceans rising by 59 centimeters this century; a report by James Hansen and NASA says it could be 25 meters. Whoops.
  • The governments of the industrial countries, pressured by corporations, don’t want to do all that much about carbon. They’ll agree to a goal of cutting emissions in half in 40 years--but won’t get started.
  • The problem could be solved with renewables (and without nukes). We should create larger electric power grids, because the wind is usually blowing somewhere--if it isn't, we need to be able to tap hydro or geothermal. We should sometimes store electricity by pumping water up into resevoirs. We should have electric cars that are connected to the grid when parked, and enable the grid to tap into the car batteries to meet fluctuations.
  • . . . The new paper suggests that the temperature could therefore be twice as sensitive to rising greenhouse gases than the IPCC assumes. "Civilisation developed," Hansen writes, "during a period of unusual climate stability, the Holocene, now almost 12,000 years in duration. That period is about to end."

    I looked up from the paper, almost expecting to see crowds stampeding through the streets. I saw people chatting outside a riverside pub. The other passengers on the train snoozed over their newspapers or played on their mobile phones. Unaware of the causes of our good fortune, blissfully detached from their likely termination, we drift into catastrophe.