Squatting on the roof of a row house with a panoramic view of the sewage plants and warehouses that surround the South Bronx, James Wells sounds like a tree-hugger.
He photographs the progress of seedlings he planted on the roof, one of his first “green roof” installations, and explains how roofs covered by soil and plants, more trees on the ground and cleaner parks are key to fighting the pollution that overwhelms the neighborhood. As he speaks, a pungent rotting smell emanates from a sewage plant.
“Imagine living under these types of conditions,” says Wells, 29. “It’s one of the reasons asthma rates are so high in the Bronx.”
Two years ago, Wells made an improbable conversion from convict to environmentalist. He was just out of prison after serving 10 years for armed robbery and couldn’t find a job that would pay enough to make the rent.
Then he found Sustainable South Bronx, and he found a calling.
Cities cultivate 2 types of green – USATODAY.com. Marisol Bello
If you don’t like Gap founder Donald Fisher’s proposal to erect a modern-looking modern art museum in San Francisco’s Presidio, Lawrence Halprin is on your side.
Colorful and commanding, the 91-year-old landscape architect is no stranger to the Presidio: He designed the romantic terrain that enfolds the Letterman Digital Arts Center at Lombard Gate. And when he saw the conceptual design for Fisher’s Contemporary Arts Museum of the Presidio – a glassy stack of white cubes by New York’s Gluckman Mayner Architects – he didn’t mince words.
“The proposed design … is absurdly inappropriate,” Halprin wrote to the Presidio Trust
PLACE / Force of nature weighs in on Presidio plan.
GREENWICH VILLAGE. Last week’s dispute over the cost of relocating Washington Square’s fountain is just the latest wrinkle in a longer debate that’s sure to continue.
A request to interview Parks Dept. designer George Vellonakis was denied, but the National Park Service’s former head of preservation called Metro to scold Vellonakis for the “Disneyfication” of historic parks.
“You don’t create revisionist history,” complained landscape architect Charles Birnbaum, president of the Cultural Landscape Foundation.
metro new york – paul arden
Calgary is the best Canadian city in which to live and the third best in North America, a Conference Board study released this week suggests.
The report rates urban centres’ attractiveness along seven main categories, such as economy, housing and health, and 46 sub-categories, such as commuting time and crime.
The top six cities were, in order, Calgary, Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, Victoria and Ottawa-Gatineau.
The Calgary Sun – City tops list says report.