Wind Turbines and Landscape

These wind turbines are located in Western Australia, about 200 km north of Perth, along Bibby Road west of Badgingarra National Park. image: Philip Bouchard via Flickr

Wind turbines in Western Australia, about 200 km north of Perth, along Bibby Road west of Badgingarra National Park.
image: Philip Bouchard via Flickr

The proceedings of the 8th Round Table of the Canada Research Chair on Built Heritage, held in Montreal this past March, can now be viewed online. The Round Table focused on “Wind Turbines and Landscape: Towards Sustainable Development,” a topic of great interest, and sometimes great debate, for those in the fields of sustainable design and renewable energy. The discussion explores both the environmental and visual impacts of wind farms and the ambivalence of public opinion on the issue—-many people like the idea of wind farms, but pull back at the thought of wind turbines near their own communities.

The Round Table’s full proceedings are available for download here.

On a related note, the September 2013 issue of The Atlantic highlights a radically different kind of wind turbine: the Electrostatic Wind Energy Convertor. Developed by researchers at the Delft University of Technology and designed by the Dutch architecture firm Mecanoo, the Convertor consists of a rectangular frame crossed by horizontal tubes instead of the typical turbine’s long, swinging blades. Silent and easy to maintain, the Convertor eliminates many of the wind turbine’s drawbacks, while presenting a whole new set of design challenges to landscape architects attempting to integrate new, sustainable technologies into the landscape.

Read more and check out a photograph of the Electrostatic Wind Energy Convertor on The Atlantic‘s website.

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