Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2015 - 5


THE EXPERTS

Elizabeth Freeman Calabrese
(EFC) is a licensed architect,
educator and biophilic design
consultant.

Haven Kiers (HK) is a landscape
architect from Northern
California.

Peter Lowitt (PL), FAICP,
Director/Land Use Administrator
of the Devens Enterprise
Commission.

Reuben Freed (RF) is a
specialist in green walls, and
advocates for their knowledge,
research and use in the
practice of restorative green
infrastructure.

in, while simultaneously (and,
frankly, secondarily) giving back
to the environment in ways that
are subtle and unobtrusive. No
one wants to feel like they are
being preached to.
PL - In a metric heavy world,
that's a great question. We often
try to relate happiness to things
we measure in planning, like the
amount of time spent commuting. Less time spent commuting
generally means you will be happier. Planners focus on creating
the live-work-play environment,
one that balances work time,
recreational time and family
time. This is one way planners
typically define happiness. Happiness in the context of planning
is an evolving concept and there
is work underway to look at
new metrics, such as levels of
civic participation, degree of
walkability, and the level of both
community physical and mental
health.
LAM - How do you think
happiness can be incorporated, in
a practical sense into community
planning and/or green building?
EFC - Our fondest moments
in life usually consist of experiences with special people in
special places. Designing more
opportunities for people to
interact under positive situations
fosters more happiness. Humans
are fond of striking vistas,
sunrises, sunsets, celebrating the
changing of the seasons, soothing
sounds of water, beaches, lakes,
mountains, gatherings with family and friends, a sense of community; feeling protected, safe,

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and healthy. We have the ability
to design spaces and settings that
celebrate our connection to the
world and to the people around
us, and which offer us a sense of
peace, harmony and balance.
RF - Issues energized, opportunities identified, the common good spoken for and stake
holders assembled: a prospect
of happiness is implicit in a
community planning process. In
our socially-conscious societies,
developers respond to building
codes, return-on-investment,
image-consciousness, public
pressure and financial /planning incentives. By proposing
data-driven technology solutions
that include realistic, politically
feasible cost projections with
achievable strategies to get there,
the path to happiness is made
accessible. In this way, when an
under-achieving part of a city can
be revitalized by a new park at its
center, engaging the local community and drawing visitors from
further afield, Green Dreams can
come true.
HK - The best way to
incorporate happiness into green
building and community planning is to allow a certain amount
of whimsy into the creative
process. We take ourselves so
seriously most of the time. I
firmly believe that incorporating
"kooky" or unexpected elements
into projects can relieve tension
and create unexpected moments
of pure joy and, ultimately,
sustained happiness.
PL - We need to try to create
communities that enhance the

ability of residents to achieve
happiness. For example, there
are studies that show access to
greenery, open space and vegetation produces better mental
and physical health outcomes.
Ensuring access to open space
and greenery is one way planners
can help people become happier.
Planners need to use their regulatory authority to ensure that
new development incorporates
green building to help address
human happiness.
LAM - Would you briefly
describe one or two projects that
stand out to you as exemplifying
the incorporation of happiness as
a successful goal which has been
achieved and why?
EFC - Employees spend a
majority of their waking hours
in office buildings, yet the lighting and wall finishes are often
uncomfortable. Windows are
tinted and do not let in much of
the sun's color spectrum, roofs
go unused and there is often
no sense of community offered.
My designs propose the use of
increased color spectrum glazing, views to the outdoors, high
quality artificial lighting, natural
interior finishes and details,
vegetative ecosystems where
employees can pause and destress, and accessible roofs that
are park-like, promoting a sense
of community while connecting
employees to the outdoors...
creating healthier and happier
habits for people.
RF - The High Line by James
Corner in NYC embodies the
idea of bringing derelict public

LIVING ARCHITECTURE MONITOR / SPRING 2015 / 5


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2015

Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2015 - IP
Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2015 - Cover1
Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2015 - Cover2
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Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Winter 2015 - I-1
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