Green City Plan: Concord ReUse
Luke Madera ☉
The former Naval Weapons Station, in Concord, CA, presents an extraordinary opportunity for innovative city planning, demonstrating that effective public transportation, walkability, thriving ecology, and equitable housing can all be achieved through a combination of insightful, inventive design and strong political will. Yet, not surprisingly, there is no small likelihood that business as usual will win out, squandering this opportunity and producing a conventional car-centric plan that is an ecological and social failure.
In this MicroLab, we will bring together a team to produce a vision for Concord NWS that is so compelling it will change the trajectory of the design. In essence, we want to show Concord City Council, as well as the public, what is possible, enabling them to see that business as usual is not an inevitability. As we create our ecologically and socially minded design, we will be working in a way that will produce tools for other communities to use in their own efforts to offer better alternatives to local city plans.
We are bringing together software developers, multiple kinds of designers, as well as community leaders, so that as we work on this particular case, we will also be creating software tools that support the more general process of creating socially and ecologically sensitive proposals that can figure powerfully in public conversations around city planning and development.
Our team is enlisting UI/UX designers, engineers, scientists, and activists interested in urban planning, architecture of landscape as well as urban environments, and human and urban ecology.
To learn more or to participate in this MicroLab, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coastal Wetland Forests
The goal of our lab is to create a high-spatial resolution map of coastal forested wetlands at global scale. If we know precisely where these ecologically critical but fragile forests are located, we can manage freshwater flows to counteract saltwater introgression due to rising sea levels, and we can assist in their migration inland, preserving their critical function in protecting coastlines and sequestering carbon.
Across the continent, a number of first nations are in the process of reintroducing bison to the grasslands in which they were once the primary grazer and an ecologically vital species. Initial experiences and evolutionary considerations suggest that this may be ecologically beneficial in terms of grassland biodiversity, carbon cycle, and resilience to climate change. However, these questions have not yet been studied at scale. In this lab, we will leverage remote sensing to scale up from ground measurements, establishing the large-scale patterns of bison impact.
Beaver dams are known to result in greener, more drought-resilient waterways in semi-arid environments. We are using computer vision to spot dams in satellite imagery, generating a large dataset that we can use to train models that will tell us what the ecological effects of a dam will be at any point on a waterway. The goal is to create a tool to guide efficient restoration through the introduction of small dams.
Bundled Ecological NFT
Markets in voluntary carbon credits are increasingly providing a flow of capital for regenerating ecosystems. The problem is, thriving and resilient ecosystems are not just carbon. We need to find ways to structure credits to incentivize the diverse and functional ecosystems we want, not merely high-concentrations of carbon. We will design the technological tools to support a market in bundled ecological credits.
We are building an accurate and global model for predicting potential rates of reforestation and resulting carbon sequestration. Such a model could have a transformational impact on global reforestation efforts by opening new streams of financing in the form of carbon credit futures.
Impact & Risk
Leveraging The Earthshot Institute’s broad scientific and technical expertise, the Impact and Risk Lab helps investors and governments who earnestly want to forecast, measure, and address the socio-ecological risks to and/or impacts from their work. For a given system, we build simple process-based models to identify key socio-ecological risks and outcomes. We then draw on big data to improve and train our models, generating quantitative predictions and developing measurement systems for verification.
Register for the
Earthshot Institute Launch Event
Fri April 22