Sustainable Living: Ecobay Development

Posted by Samantha Rose

Los Angeles (CA) - The concept of developing an entire city built around the concepts of efficiency and design that is extremely future forward-thinking is exciting. That is why Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects were excited when they won first place in a competition to create a new sustainable city that would be located on the Paljassaare Peninsula in Estonia.

 

The city has been called Ecobay, and it is a mixed-use development project that will be a self-sustaining community that has everything it needs; housing, commercial shopping districts, daycare facilities, and schools.  The city is tranquil and serene overlooking the Baltic Sea. The new city will have multiple sources of clean energy and will be able to house up to 6,000 residents as it is completed during the next 15-20 years.

Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects’ Ecobay development is based upon a sustainable approach to city development. The mixed-use layout manages to integrate many different districts in effort to minimize the need for transportation because “most key destinations are just a walk or bike ride away”. The idea is for the structures to be carefully laid out in an attempt to maximize solar gain while minimizing overshadowing. The residences will all be held to high efficiency standards. The energy needs of the city will be met using different clean sources including wind farms, geo-thermal energy, and hydro-electricity.

 

Sustainable super cities are becoming a major trend, we must keep in mind that starting from scratch in undeveloped areas gives us a unique opportunity to design developments that are completely efficient and sustainable. You must also keep in mind that these modern developments aren’t new and will always be the center of controversy. They definitely present an efficient and organized modern living experience, but they also raise a lot of questions as to how a city will properly develop under these circumstances.

Since we don’t have anything to measure by, I guess we’ll have to watch as these cities grow, develop and change. Is sustainability possible for entire cities?