William Braham on renewable energy production within cities

The Five Thousand Pound Life: The Energy Issue, The Energy Issues Panel (Part 1)

May 10, 2014

In the first part of The Energy Issues Panel, William Braham highlights the need for cities to reach new levels of renewable energy production within their own municipal borders. Contemporary cities, which Braham calls “concentrators of energy,” currently use up to 500 times more resources than the renewable energies available within their land area. While agreeing with the need for an increased focus on renewables, the panel debates whether the spatial boundary of a city is the proper lens for this issue, or whether using a systems approach to renewable energy production may be more appropriate in today’s globalized world.

Braham is an Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is Director of the Master of Environmental Building Design and Director of the Center for Environmental Building & Design.

The Five Thousand Pound Life: The Energy Issue was a symposium on energy and architecture organized by The Architectural League and the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP) in May 2014.

The Energy Issues panel brought together a diverse group of architects and academics along with a filmmaker and a journalist to each present an idea on energy through his or her particular lens.