The presenters this week were Laura Porcher, Manager of Partnership Development and Todd Litman, from Sustainable Transportation Integrated Solutions, who discussed energy planning and sustainable transportation. The presenters both talked about ideas of planning and smart growth for communities. This idea has been discussed a lot throughout the sustainability class and it is basically just planning around the infrastructure that is already built and utilizing it more efficiently. The discussion of more mixed land use was also a main topic, with of course the main idea of sustainability being the end target. Laura talked about the energy side of sustainability and how it can make a community for efficient and productive with saving energy. A quote from Laura that I really like was “whatever we build will be here after fossil fuels” which is very true, so the proper planning of communities infrastructure and street layout is very crucial. When looking at the design of a community it is important a key idea would be to follow the considerations of the Quality Urban Energy Systems of Tomorrow (QUEST) program which points out many characteristics to utilize to achieve a well thought-out community. Under this program they point out the idea of encouraging mixed use higher density urban development, reduce energy input required for a given level of service, match the type of energy with its use, manage surplus heat across applications and sectors, convert waster into energy, integrate onsite renewable sources of energy, and optimize grid energy use to increase the overall system and to help ensure reliability. When trying to save energy it is important to encourage energy efficient land use planning, improve energy efficiency of buildings, increase transportation efficiency, diversity the energy supply, educate and engage residents and businesses, and demonstrate local government leadership. Todd discussed the ideas geared towards transportation and was really encouraging people to ride bikes more frequently and put a big emphasis on working with the infrastructure that is already in place and improving it to make it more efficient to people that are biking or walking to places. The idea of working from home was also one that intrigued me, with the wide use of computers and the internet in today’s world I believe it would be a great idea for people to work from home instead of driving half hour to downtown Victoria just to do work on their computer there. This would be a huge was to help decrease traffic congestion and carbon emissions being put in the air. As we are always making small changes to improve society and make a more sustainable world, the decision that you make on a daily basis to drive or bike is important. As this helps in decreasing emissions put in to our beloved atmosphere and in the end hurts our environment.