Birkeland, Janis (2008) Positive development. Solar Progress, 27(4), pp. 25-27.
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net sustainability. At best they reduce relative resource consumption. They still consume vast quantities of materials, energy, water and ecosystems during construction. Moreover, green buildings replace land and ecosystems with structures that, at the very best, only 'mimic' ecosystems<'). Mimicking nature is little compensation when we have lost a third of species that are integral parts of our life support system. Already, development has exceeded the Earth's ecological carrying capacity, so even 'restorative' design is not enough. Urban areas must be retrofitted to increase net bioregional carrying capacity - just to support existing or reduced population levels in cities. The eco-retrofitting of our built environment is therefore an essential precondition of achieving a sustainable society. But we need to eco-retrofit cities in ways that increase net sustainability, not just relative efficiency.
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