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July-August 2011

Unearthing Vancouver’s forgotten utopian UN conference, Habitat ’76

Peter Tupper

Walk around Vancouver’s Jericho Beach in 2011 and you’ll see some odd architecture: an empty concrete wharf, a welded steel railing that overlooks English Bay, a strange rail embedded beneath the sailing club. These are all that is left of a complex of five gigantic aircraft hangars that was home to an international conference 35 […] More »

A look at the inner workings of one of Canada's greenest buildings

peter goffin

In 2001, when Earth Rangers was planning for its new facility, the mandate its members gave to the engineers and architects was that they wanted a building with the lowest environmental impact possible, a building on the cutting edge of eco-friendliness. Ten years later, the Earth Rangers Centre is one of the most energy efficient […] More »
July-August 2010

As green-collar jobs boom, Canada is mired in the tar sands

Jessica Leigh JohnstonWebsite

Canada and Abu Dhabi share one big trait: an economy addicted to oil. But while Canada doubles down on the tar sands, the emirate quietly plans a renewable energy hub in a gleaming zero-emissions city in the desert. Can either of these bets pay off? Looking out over the site of Masdar City in Abu […] More »
July-August 2008

College students learn sustainable design—by building it themselves

Jesse McLean

“No one would think it’s possible to have students with no construction experience making an entire selfsustainable building from scratch,” says David Elfstrom, a graduate of Fleming College in Peterborough, Ontario. But that’s what he and 25 of his classmates in the sustainable building design and construction program did in 2006, erecting an eco-friendly outdoor-living […] More »
March-April 2010

Are there health risks of radiation from cellphone towers?

Herb Mathisen

Q: Dear Progressive Detective: I’m worried about radiation from the cellphone tower that was just installed on my building’s roof. What can I do about it? A: Everyone and their grandma is on a cellphone these days, and because we believe nothing should impede us from updating everybody on everything, cellular service companies are rushing […] More »
March-April 2010

Six visionary designers who are planning for our post-oil future

Alison Garwood-JonesWebsite

A new generation of designers propose products and buildings that are energy efficient and elegant Rick Mercer’s quip during the Copenhagen climate conference last December summed it up best: “So [Stephen] Harper flew to Copenhagen to have a club sandwich and hide in his room?” The post-Copenhagen doldrums were still bringing us down when Thomas […] More »
July-August 2009

Is a 60-storey skyscraper the farm of the future?

Paul McLaughlinWebsite

Canadian architecture student Gordon Graff attracted worldwide interest when he designed SkyFarm, a 59-storey farm for downtown Toronto. What inspired you to design a vertical farm? Sometime in 2006, when I was first working on my masters at the University of Waterloo, I knew I wanted to focus on how to turn a city like […] More »
May-June 2009

Think fast: Pecha Kucha spreads ideas in 400 seconds or less

Lia Grainger

On an outdoor patio in Kampala, observers lounge in the near-darkness, watching as an image is projected on a bare white sheet slung between two trees. In Reykjavik, a spellbound audience fills a basement bar and waits for the first slide to illuminate the wall. And in Toronto, a crowded pavilion is abuzz as the […] More »