Blog

Graphic showing neighbors working together
Community

2021: A Year in Review

The EcoBlock Team looks back on the past year, reflecting on key milestones and challenges, and the importance of building community. We’re grateful to be working with the EcoBlock community—together, we’re building something amazing.

A Diagram Highlighting The Neighborhood Block As The Ideal Scale To Drive Zero-Carbon Energy, Deep Water Conseravtion, And Resilient Urban Systems
EcoBlock

Event Recap: ‘Resilience at Scale: Granularity, Aggregation and the EcoBlock Model’

On Thursday, October 28, EcoBlock Principal Investigator and co-Energy team lead Dr. Alexandra “Sascha” von Meier gave a presentation at the C3DTI Symposium on the Digital Transformation of the Built Environment. In her talk, Sascha described the Oakland EcoBlock’s progress to date and explained the working hypothesis guiding the project.

a residential neighborhood viewed from the sky
Business & Finance

Event Recap: ‘The Future is Local: Exploring the Future of Energy Through Grassroots Advanced Energy Communities’

On Monday, November 8, the Oakland EcoBlock team participated in a panel discussion at the 2021 Virtual Behavior, Energy, and Climate Change (BECC) Conference. The event centered on the development of two Advanced Energy Communities (AECs)—the Oakland EcoBlock and Bassett Avocado Heights Advanced Energy Community (BAAEC)—and highlighted each project’s approach to accelerating the transition to community-scale clean energy.

clear-cutting of a forest in progress, tall trees being cleared
Events

Climate Action, Agriculture and Behavior Change: The Urgency of Now

COP26 calls attention to the need for coordinated global action on the climate crisis to promote sustainable farming, redefine water and land use, end deforestation, and more. Read on to learn more about author Michael Pollan’s view on why sustainable agriculture is so critical, and the important role of individuals in combatting climate change.

COP26 Conference Logo
Energy

COP26: A Critical Opportunity for Climate

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) is a key opportunity to catalyze global efforts and address climate change. Learn more about why this year is so critical, and the importance of California climate leadership.

a rain garden with flowering plants
Water

Rain Gardens: An Infographic

Rain gardens collect precious rain water and also help to beautify a yard. By providing a simple form of rainwater harvesting, rain gardens enable cities and homeowners alike to save valuable rain water. Check out this infographic to learn more about stormwater runoff and how to make your own rain garden! 

Photo depicting Indigenous Peoples' Day celebration in Berkeley
Events

EcoBlock Celebrates Indigenous Peoples’ Day

The first declaration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day took place in 1992 in Berkeley, California. This year marks the first time a U.S. president has officially recognized Indigenous Peoples’ Day as a national holiday. The EcoBlock team recognizes and honors Indigenous People’s Day and the importance of recognizing the land we are on and our responsibility to become better stewards of the environment.

Installation of solar panel on roof
Energy

Power Distribution for the Oakland EcoBlock: A Conversation with Sascha von Meier

EcoBlock team member Eunice Chung interviews Dr. Alexandra “Sascha” von Meier, Principal Investigator and Energy team co-lead of the Oakland EcoBlock project. In her interview, Sascha discusses the technical and regulatory complexities of designing the EcoBlock microgrid and shares insights about opportunities for a more climate-resilient future.  

A large scale solar PV array and microgrid
Energy

The War of the Currents: DC vs. AC

The increasing frequency of power outages, as well as the growing rate and severity of natural disasters including wildfires and extreme weather patterns, poses significant threats to our current electric grid system. These risks, along with others such as cybersecurity threats, are a good reason to revisit the the 1880’s debate over whether DC or AC electrical currents would power the future. Read on to learn more about why this famous debate is being revisited and the potential for microgrids to provide backup generation during grid failure.

Karl the Fog drifting through the Golden Gate Bridge
Oakland

Bay Area Microclimates

San Francisco is famous for its microclimates, or local atmospheric conditions that differ from those in surrounding areas. In this blog, EcoBlock postdoctoral scholar Miriam Aczel discusses how the area’s landscape and topography lead to these microclimates—
and the Bay’s iconic feature, Karl the Fog.