Environmental Law & Land Use Society News
The new Journal of Animal and Environmental Law is seeking papers from students in the animal and environmental law areas. The student notes selected for publication will appear in the Journal's inaugural issue. There are two ways for students to submit their papers:
1) Email them directly to Molly Mattingly at email@example.com
2) Submit through TWEN by logging into TWEN, adding the course "Journal of Animal and Environmental Law", and submitting to the assignment drop box.
Those notes selected for publication will be notified shortly after the deadline and must be available to edit their papers as needed.
To be ensured of full consideration, papers MUST be submitted no later than May 15, 2009.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s Conference on Sustainable Redevelopment in the Ohio Valley was both educational and enjoyable. The conference, which was held here in Louisville, presented an array of information on a variety of topics. These included ideas about planning for sustainable redevelopment, the benefits of this type of development on public health and the environment, and tools that can be used by communities to aid with these kinds of projects. Additionally, many case studies of successful sustainable redevelopment projects were presented, showing how these ideas can be used in real-life settings.
There were several sessions of the conference that I found particularly interesting. First is Professor Tony Arnold’s discussion of the barriers that must be overcome to make sustainable development successful. Professor Arnold spoke of how the issues of politics, psychology, and justice can impact communities’ endeavors in sustainable development. He also highlighted strategies that could overcome these barriers.
Another interesting session involved case studies of successful sustainable redevelopment projects in urban areas. One of the projects discussed was a building being renovated here in Louisville by the owners of Gallery NuLu. The building, on East Market Street, is one of the first in Louisville to be certified “green” by the U.S. Green Building Council. It was interesting to see many sustainable building ideas actually being implemented, including the use of recycled construction materials, energy efficient heating and cooling systems, and plumbing that conserves water.
Finally, the charrette that was completed on the final day of the conference was a fun experience. Attendees were broken into groups of around ten to discuss sustainable redevelopment ideas for real-world development projects. The groups included people from a wide variety of career fields, which enhanced the experience. It was interesting to be involved in a discussion with people that had such diverse backgrounds, from civil engineering to biology.
Attending the Sustainable Redevelopment Conference was a wonderful experience. I was impressed with both the content of the sessions, as well as the diverse crowd that was in attendance. The information I learned about sustainable development will be invaluable to me in the future, as I strive for a career in urban planning and development.
As an aside, included in the conference packet is a copy of a few of the presentations, journal articles, and fact sheets that were discussed. If anyone is interested in seeing a copy of one or several of these, please feel free to contact me and I will be happy to forward them to you.
At the EPA's recent Sustainable Redevelopment conference, I saw three presentations, each dealing with very different issues.
Perhaps the most surprising and memorable was by a water flow engineer on the topic of "fluvial morphology." Despite the erudite name, the concept is actually pretty straightforward: water shapes the earth. This is an issue that has gotten greater recognition and importance as we have seen how fluvial morphology can impact areas like the Mississippi River Delta and Hurricane Katrina (the Army Corps of Engineers has essentially turned the river into a fire hose and obliterated the natural sediment land/wetlands formation that may have weakened the storm).
Now that "fluvial morphology" is in my vocabulary, I see it everywhere in Louisville. When it rains, where does our water go? It runs off of buildings, into streets, down trenches, and into storm drains. Most storm drains funnel water into a few select repositories--the Ohio River and Beargrass Creek, for example. The result is that when it rains, these water channels quickly swell way beyond their average capacity, while most of the time they're left low. Bad water flow planning causes predictable flooding, erosion, and a host of other problems.
Solutions include green roofs (roof gardens that absorb the water) and water channeled into smaller places (such as vegetation beds) scattered throughout an area.
The presenter pointed out that even if a developer is not interested in water quality, they may very well be interested in water flow. Without the right awareness, it's an easy area to overlook. But it may be as important to building a sustainable world as many of the more well-known environmental issues.
It was a presentation worth seeing.
On October 3rd, I attended the U.S. E.P.A. Conference on Sustainable Redevelopment in the Ohio Valley. The conference was held at the Brown Hotel from October 1-3 and featured various speakers, many from Louisville, who discussed the benefits and challenges of using sustainable redevelopment to promote public health, environmental protection, and successful communities.The part of the conference I attended addressed the barriers to promoting sustainable development in communities. Professor Tony Arnold identified several barriers to sustainable redevelopment in his presentation, including politics, psychology, and injustice, and addressed strategies to overcome these. Additionally, Professor Peter Meyer of the University of Louisville discussed economic barriers to implementing sustainable development practices. He noted several indirect economic benefits of sustainable development practices such as better public health from an improvement in air quality and decreased energy costs associated with energy efficiency. He also noted that governments spend money on infrastructure to build sprawling communities, while this expense is not necessary when redeveloping areas that already contain infrastructure. Overall, the conference provided knowledge and tools that people and communities can employ to encourage sustainable development and protect the environment and the health of communities.