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Air Conditioning, Cars, Highways & Architecture: Atlanta's Barriers to Green

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Our friends over at ATL Urbanist caught this Atlanta-focused piece on The Atlantic Cities blog just as we did, and had a similar reaction. The author takes an anthropological approach in illustrating the structural challenges the city faces in the pursuit of sustainability, identifying air conditioning as a factor as significant as the automobile, though the auto-centric nature of the ATL is still the star. Even the fiercest eco-warrior would probably acknowledge the necessity of air conditioning on those July and August nights when low temps don't get out of the 80's (with humidity levels to match). But the city's architecture could be using energy far more efficiently, and the article highlights, among other things, efforts by Midtown and Downtown organizations to make the city's buildings more sustainable. Perkins + Will's over-achieving office building (one of our favorites) also gets a shout-out as a template by which the city could begin to retrofit its built environment.

· How to Green Southern Cities Built in the Age of Cars and Air Conditioning [The Atlantic Cities]
· The challenge of greening Atlanta [ATL Urbanist]
· Greenprint Midtown [Midtown Alliance]
· Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge [official site]