Kelly Watson is a Research Associate at the University of Manchester. She recently submitted her PhD thesis that investigated how to measure and disseminate the social value of buildings, using methodologies from the social impact sector. Her current post-doc research has developed a wellbeing valuation approach for the built environment, to promote understanding of the impact of design on the people that use it.
SSG and our partners are pleased to announce the launch of Plan4DE (Plan for district energy). Plan4DE is a cutting-edge tool that addresses one of urban planning’s most challenging and up and coming areas – energy planning. Designed for use by city planners, architects, and engineers, Plan4DE assesses the viability of district energy vs. individual building energy use, including full cost accounting comparisons.
Example uses include:
- Evaluating development plans, particularly at the neighbourhood scale
- Exploring alternative development scenarios (e.g. assessing different building density scenarios)
- Scanning for DE potential in existing neighbourhoods by assessing existing building density, arrangement, and energy loads
Three versions of the model are available(basic, intermediate and advanced) to accommodate a range of knowledge and technical user experience. The advanced version is fully unlocked, to allow customisation. Guidebooks and webinars have also been created to provide guidance on the use of Plan4DE.
Want to take a closer look? Check out the recording of our introductory webinar here.
Never miss a Plan4DE update by signing up for our mailing list here.
In conversations with new recruits, with potential clients, partners, press, we are often met with confused faces puzzled by our inability to limit SSG and our potential to one area of work, one sector, one job. In a description for UBC from a couple of years ago, Director Yuill Herbert charts our trajectory, why and how we do the work we do, why we compete on the threshold of constant change and innovation. All the while keeping our feet firmly on the ground in being held to account not only by our cooperative members but by the grassroots; the communities we work closely with and for. Meaningful change is nothing without their participation and education around the decisions that ultimately matter to them.
“Our task is to look at the world and see it whole”, EF Schumacher
“SSG was founded in 2001 on the basis that meaningful solutions to critical societal issues needed to overcome the silos and stovepipes that characterise scientific study, design professions and design practice- and we have applied the idea of whole systems to the areas in which we work- building, planning, strategy, research and policy. Our portfolio spans energy planning, water planning, green building, urban design, waste analysis, climate change mitigation and beyond to health planning, adaptation and transportation modelling. Our dedication to this approach is such that we have embedded collaboration in our organisational structure, incorporating as a workers co-operative. Read more
The Brownfields Strategy Guidebook has been selected by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities as one of their top five resources for municipalities in 2016.
SSG contributed to the Guidebook which provides guidance on how to design and implement an effective brownfield strategy. It is part of a series of guidebooks produced for the Green Municipal Fund’s Leadership program (LiBRe), which is structured around a best practices framework for becoming a municipal leader in brownfield renewal. The program supports participants’ progress through seven key steps to becoming a brownfield champion municipality. This guidebook provides an outline of different types of brownfield strategies and what they typically include, outlines best practices for successful brownfield strategy development, and offers guidance on selecting the right brownfield incentives for your municipality.
To read more and download the guide, visit the FCM website.
Thank for listening to Lindsay’s inspiring webinar and fruitful discussion after. Here is the recording for those who missed it and her presentation too.
On Wednesday 4th November at 13:00 EDT we have the next in our series of Associate webinars. This time we will be hearing from Lindsay Cole, co Founder of SSG and now Operations Manager with CityStudio Vancouver, with some brilliant work in between (see her bio below). The session will be informal with plenty of discussion about Lindsays approach and work.
Lindsay is a co-founder and former director with SSG, that left to take a position as the Greenest City Planner with the City of Vancouver. Upon completion of that planning and public engagement work, Lindsay moved to the Vancouver Park Board to lead the implementation of the Greenest City plan for that organisation. Her work included scoping and planning “Rewilding Vancouver: an Environmental Education and Stewardship Action Plan” for the Park Board, as well as the initial resourcing and implementation work. She is now the Operations Manager with CityStudio Vancouver, and is still connected to the Rewilding Plan (amongst other) City of Vancouver priorities. She’ll be briefly presenting the Rewilding Strategy, and looks forward to a lively discussion.
“We believe that the time is ripe for Canadian communities to become leaders in the implementation of climate change adaptation and mitigation, sustainable technologies, infrastructure and building design, but this leadership is highly dependent on local, provincial and federal governments facilitating further innovation.
We believe this can be achieved by advancing bold legislation, congruent and coherent policies, and incentives to share and expedite the uptake of leading-edge practices. There was also unanimous agreement on the capacity of communities to embrace this agenda if governments go boldly where none has gone before.
The action plan is organized around these six major themes essential for moving forward to a carbon neutral economy by 2050, desirable, doable and achievable if we start now.
There is one overarching critical imperative that must be addressed is to recognize the contributions of First Nations, Inuit, and Metis communities to the political future of this country and to resolve outstanding governance issues, fairly and as soon as possible.”
“We believe today more than ever we need bold leadership. Our guess is that the real leadership needs to come from Canadians from communities everywhere. Dig in, take responsibility, and demand action from your elected officials.”
(adapted from Synder)
For general release
Community Vitality: From Adaptation to Transformation explores key themes on what makes a community vital, why vitality is important and how vitality helps inspire and guide critical shifts towards thriving, resilient and sustainable communities. Read more