Retrofitted & reused building


Photograph: National Geographic creative.

With the development of technology and science, people’s life is getting more and more better and convenient. People have a better life but also with some serious problems. Because of satisfying people’s demand, we take as much as we want from the nature and the earth. When we start to care about the environment on the earth, it has become a very significant problem for everyone live on the earth. Therefore, Earth Day is the most sacred of international holidays. It is a time for reflection to the task of healing human societies and the nature world (Wheeler 492). However, we still need technology and science to find a way to keep the sustainability. There is emerging agreement that sustainability challenges require new ways of knowledge production and decision-making. One key aspect of sustainability science, therefore, is the involvement of actors from outside academia into the research process in order to integrate the best avail- able knowledge, reconcile values and preferences, as well as create ownership for problems and solution options (Lang, Wiek, Bergmann, Stauffacher, & Martens).

Every city has an area that is full of old and junk buildings and all the junk buildings have been wasted for a long time without using for anything. Knocking down the heritage of a city and building anew is rarely a popular choice. So retrofitting and finding new uses for old buildings is a firmly held smart city principle. New York has made one of the most visible moves in this direction with the High Line park, showing that an old municipal railway line can reintroduce green space into the city centre. London’s Tate Modern, too, transformed an old power station into an art gallery with spectacular success. Retrofitting buildings still in use, however, may be more important. To help hit its ambitious energy and water consumption reduction targets of 70% and 30% by 2030, Sydney is retrofitting 44 major buildings. Old on the outside, new on the inside – and ideally incorporating an element of micro-power generation on-top – they could become the defining symbol of a smart city (Cities get smart: urban innovation-in pictures). This urban innovation project of reused buildings provides a new method for the city because it improves water availability and efficiency of use. This urban innovation projects is conducted of community-based projects for resource sufficient residential architecture, resource recovery from municipal solid waste, wastewater treatment, and energy generation. Using architecture and urbanism as a tool for social development can bring surprising results in physical, functional and behavioral changes. In particular, the creation of new connections to break down city barriers between rich and poor can work as an instrument to contain and gradually eliminate violence in cities (Top Ten Urban Innovations).

In conclusion, in order to keep urban sustainability, the urban innovation projects are very significant and are a new way for for the urban sustainability. Innovations have two sides. One side is good for the development of the urban city, and the other side is when it is overused, it will also hurt the urban sustainability. Therefore, how to use the innovation is good for the urban sustainability is the most important thing for people to think about.


Wheeler, Stephen M. The View from the Twenty-Third Century (2008). P492-494.

Lang, Daniel J. & Wiek, Arnim.  Transdisciplinary research in sustainability science: practice, principles, and challenges.

Cities get smart: urban innovation-in pictures. The Guardian.

Top Ten Urban Innovations. Global Agenda.


One thought on “Retrofitted & reused building

  1. Your introduction paragraph led very nicely into what you planned to discuss – retrofitting older buildings and spaces. The challenge will be to make these old, dirty buildings into ones that are environmentally sustainable, seeing as they were built in times when that wasn’t considered an issue. You gave some great worldwide examples of where retrofitting has been successful, especially in Sydney where I wasn’t aware of these projects. In Chicago we have used old railroad tracks just as New York has to create bike paths/park space with the 606, and the upcoming Paseo. Great work.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s