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Bonnie Rodd

Originally from the North-Central area of California, Bonnie Rodd found herself at home amongst the creative, participatory, and sometimes off beat Austinites. She holds a B.A. in Urban Studies with a minor in Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin. Her primary interest is sustainable urban development, focusing on alternative transportation and pedestrianism. Believing that the human element in design is invaluable, she dabbled in some social studies as well. This past spring she explored the three legs of sustainability in her thesis titled “Making a Case for Affordable Housing in Transit-Oriented Developments: Austin,TX” and developed a model for single-family affordable housing delivery in such neighborhoods. Bonnie currently resides in Austin, Texas, and will be exposing readers to environmental design issues present in both Austin and Central Texas.

Farewell From Bonnie Rodd: Blogging from Austin, TX

by Bonnie Rodd

In the summer of 2012 I was a fresh graduate from the University of Texas at Austin, trying to make my way into the working world. Having been an Urban Studies student minoring in Architecture, I was hopeful I would be a... Read article

Transit-Oriented Developments are One Answer to Austin’s Growth Need

by Bonnie Rodd

As Austin, Texas strives to grow as a more environmentally and socially sustainable city, it has turned to Smart Growth principles to obtain its growth goals. One way in which the city has met this challenge is... Read article

The Alley Flat Initiative: Affordable and Sustainable Design

by Bonnie Rodd

The Alley Flat Initiative is a collaborative project between the Gaudalupe Neighborhood Cooperation, the Austin Community Design and Development Center, and the University of Texas Center for Sustainable Development.... Read article

A Comparative Look at Austin’s Most Creatively Sustainable Homes

by Bonnie Rodd

KRDB, the architects of the Sol community in East Austin, utilized creative solutions to design homes that address multiple facets of sustainability. Affordability is innate in the Zero-Net Energy homes; the carefully ... Read article

Five Surprising Facts about Wind Energy Production in Texas

by Bonnie Rodd

“Texas leads the country for installed wind power, and is one of the largest wind energy producers in the world.” - Terrence Henry, As Tax Credit Hangs in the Balance, Texas Sets Another Wind Record As the environment... Read article

Zoning: Both the Villain and the Hero of Cities

by Bonnie Rodd

“The more successfully a city mingles everyday diversity of uses and users in its everyday streets, the more successfully, casually (and economically) its people thereby enliven and support well-located parks that can th... Read article

Making the Connection between Downtown Family Housing and a Sustainable City

by Bonnie Rodd

The central areas of Austin, TX continue to transform with the addition of shopping districts, new office space, condominiums, and apartments. The city’s aim is to create more compact and walkable neighborhoods/areas... Read article

Establishing Connectivity, Sustainability, and Energy with Landscape Architecture: The Revitalization of Waller Creek in Austin, TX

by Bonnie Rodd

“There is the opportunity to imagine a different Waller Creek, one that is a vital component of urban infrastructure, an open stage for social interaction, and a restored source of natural beauty.” Waller Creek is... Read article

Music, Sound, and Noise: BldgBlog's Fanciful Survey of Acoustically Inspired Designs

by Bonnie Rodd

“In the elevators of the Empire State Building, you’d hear the elevators of the Eiffel Tower. The sounds of the Paris Metró are replaced with the sounds of the Bejing subway…If you don’t like Rome, you can make it sound ... Read article

Imagining a More Sustainable City: Completing our Streets to Create Environmentally Conscious Infrastructure

by Bonnie Rodd

Planners, citizens, and the governing body alike, look to the guidance of the newly adopted Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan to ensure that Austin, Texas grows in an economic, social, and environmentally sustainable man... Read article

Three Considerations in Creating a Drought Resistant Landscape

by Bonnie Rodd

Having faced one of the worst droughts in Texas history, in 2011, Austinites know that water is an issue of the future, but also today. Yet Texas remains to be one of the largest consumers of water. What are Texans doing... Read article

Three Good Reasons for the Rising Cost of Parking in Austin, Texas

by Bonnie Rodd

“Free parking is at the root of many urban ills: congestion, sprawl, wasteful energy use and air pollution.” – Donald Shoup, Parking may not be an obvious urban design issue, but it affects the traffic patterns, e... Read article

Capital MetroRail Prioritizes People to Create an Accessible, Connected, and Sustainable City

by Bonnie Rodd

“Rather than being guided, as it should be, by natural systems or human needs, the quality and placement of growth in our regions is largely dependent on the car.“-Peter Calthorpe The newly adopted Austin, Texas city ... Read article

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