Climate Positive Design is a research initiative that launched in 2019 to improve the carbon impact of the built environment through collective action. Its mission is to help projects become Climate Positive solutions that sequester more carbon than they emit.
The benefits of landscape architecture to air quality have long been touted, but ways of quantifying how a design can be carbon-positive have eluded the profession. Through analysis of 20 case studies, a team of landscape architects has developed a design toolkit illustrating more than 80 carbon positive landscape intervention strategies. A companion application allows instant calculation of carbon impact based on quantity and variety of plants input in users’ designs, to enable better understanding of efforts toward reducing emissions and increasing sequestration across a project. These kinds of real-time feedback will be crucial for the profession, and for the world, to avoid the irreversible climate damage we will encounter without meaningful reductions in emissions.
– 2020 Awards Jury
CMG’s mission to improve social and ecological wellbeing holds increasing significance due to the threat of climate change. Those less fortunate will be impacted the most, but resilient design interventions can help stop, slow, and reverse these effects. To protect people and ecosystems impacted by increasing flood, drought, and diminished resources, initiatives from large-scale planning to equitable community engagement can shift tragedy to transformation.
Climate Positive Design
The Climate Positive Design Challenge provides guidance for improving the impact of site design projects on the environment. The goal is for all site design projects going forward to collectively sequester more CO2 than they emit by 2030, with a target of removing one gigaton of CO2 from the atmosphere by 2050. To meet the goals of the challenge, an online app called the Pathfinder guides designers towards a path of being Climate Positive – sequestering more carbon than their projects emit, ultimately making a positive contribution to reversing global warming.