Makoko Floating City, Lagos, Nigeria

Read more about the effort by 2 architects to improve living conditions, Lagos shows how a city can recover from a deep, deep pit:

In 1997 two architects set out to rethink Lagos, an African megacity that had been largely abandoned by the state. Amid the apparent chaos and crime, they discovered remarkable patterns of organisation. Two decades later, Rem Koolhaas and Kunlé Adeyemi discuss the past, present and future of the city – and reveal why their own project never saw the light of day

There work is a great example how appropriate technology and architecture can be used to provide for the needs to communities. Here is a longer video on Kunlé Adeyemi efforts:

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Plans for World’s Largest Green Roof in Silicon Valley

Creating livable green spaces in the middle of urban sprawl is a great goal. And good work in elevated green spaces has been done in the last 10 years. This image is a rendering of a proposed huge green roofing and park project spanning many buildings (double the size of the current largest green roof).

image rendering of proposed green roof spanning multiple buildings

Rendering of proposed green roof.

The whole development seems pretty spectacular and the huge green roofing concept is very cool. I wonder how likely it is to be developed? The location in the Silicon Valley makes it much more likely it seems to me as there is plenty of money there for extravagance. The entire project is estimated at $3 billion.

World’s largest green roof unveiled in the heart of Silicon Valley

The Hills at Vallco’s crown jewel is without a doubt its $3 million 30-acre green roof, an unprecedented engineering feat that’s “at least twice as big as anything attempted before it.” The elevated community park will include 3.8 miles of walking and jogging trails along rolling hills, orchards, vineyards, meadows, organic gardens, children’s play areas, and a sanctuary for native fauna and flora.

On street-level, the new mixed-use neighborhood will feature a highly walkable and bikeable downtown street-grid anchored by two town squares. Parking would be primarily tucked underground and a transit center may be built at the shopping center. The 15-block street grid will be filled with 625,000 square feet of retail, 2 million square feet of office space, and 800 residential units.

I am not sure what the $3 million price tag includes. It sure doesn’t seem like much money given the scope. My guess is it must exclude most of the costs – such as creating the infrastructure for laying the green roof; unless it is much cheaper than I would think.

The development site sits between Apple’s Infinite Loop headquarters and the spaceship-like Apple Campus 2 in Cupertino, California.

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Benefits of Green Roofs

I hope this idea gets adopted on a more widespread basis. Reducing storm water runnoff and reducing heat in the city are nice. But I really think it just provides a wonderful living space which is even more important.

Related: Wonderful Low Impact Woodland HouseBuilding with Tire Bales for environmental benefits
Phone Booth with Roof Lawn in Hoh Rain Forest

University of California, Berkeley: 2010 Livable Buildings Awards

Entryway at the UC San Francisco Mission Bay research campus

The top 2010 Livable Buildings Award from the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for the Built Environment was awarded to the transformation (entryway shown in the photo above) of the shell of a former manufacturing plant near UC San Francisco’s new Mission Bay research campus into environmentally and user friendly offices.

The renovation, which included a full seismic upgrade, incorporated high-performance glazing with operable windows, sustainable finish materials, water conserving strategies, and efficient mechanical and lighting systems. The open perimeter is dedicated to open workspaces to maximize views, daylight, and natural ventilation. Private offices and core zones are grouped to create a central “boulevard” open to reception and conference areas.

One of the review jury comments: “Reusing a building with a large floorplate is a challenge; this project uses transparency, color, and materials to make a place where people want to work, and works well in terms of both aesthetics and sustainability.”

full press release