A Borrowed Place on Borrowed Time

In Hong Kong, where land for construction is scarce and commerce has long ruled, preservation has usually given way to a tide of urban development. Few of the British expatriates and Chinese immigrants who came to the city with the moniker “borrowed place, borrowed time” saw it as a permanent home. But since the territory was returned to Chinese rule from Britain in 1997, its local identity has come to the forefront and heritage conservation has taken on the overtones of a populist struggle.
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Rendering of the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s proposal for the Central Police Station (inset) and Victoria Prison

Recently battles have been waged over buildings that in most cities would have little historical appeal. In the past year, the demolition of two 1950s ferry terminals to make way for a highway and commercial property developments spurred demonstrations, hunger strikes and arrests.

“These recent heritage battles represent a desperate search for a cultural anchor,” says Lee Ho Yin, director of the architectural conservation program at the University of Hong Kong. “It’s part of Hong Kong people seeking their own identity and roots.”

A Borrowed Place on Borrowed Time – WallStreetJournal.com.

Making material connections with ‘New West Coast Design’

Curator Ted Cohen will start laying out a show called “New West Coast Design: Contemporary Objects,” which will start Jan. 18 in San Francisco, only after he returns from a two-week vacation lounging by the beach in Cabo San Lucas.

Among the larger objects are a surfboard by Thomas Meyerhoffer, a bicycle by Bruce Gordon and a tricycle by Portland artist Sacha White.

Some of the other objects come from San Francisco landscape architect Marcel Wilson; furniture designers Derek Chen, Mike and Maaike and One & Co;

Making material connections with ‘New West Coast Design’.

Public Sculpture by Conceptual Artist Dennis Oppenheim

Philadelphia has a new sound. Home to the Declaration of Independence and the famous Liberty Bell, the city now hosts an installation of bell-like public sculpture by conceptual artist Dennis Oppenheim. Wave Forms is spectacular, featuring six, 20 foot, bell shapes made of aluminum tube and perforated aluminum, in open-air courtyards adjacent to a new apartment complex at the University of Pennsylvania.

Oppenheim refined his proposal in consultation with the landscape architect Sara Peschel. The work was engineered, transported and installed by La Paloma Fine Art of Sun Valley, California.

Artdaily.org – The First Art Newspaper on the Net.

Gray water recycling gains momentum: Is it safe?

That’s why, especially in the midst of a drought, some Atlantans cringe at the thought of flushing it down the commode.

“Putting drinking water down our toilets doesn’t make sense,” said Danny Feig-Sandoval.

The Atlanta contractor is among a handful of Atlantans who have installed gray-water systems in their homes, using recycled water to flush rather than wasting the clean stuff.

Gray water is water that has been captured from the shower, the tub, the bathroom sink or the laundry — not the toilet.

Gray water recycling gains momentum: Is it safe? | ajc.com.

Cities cultivate 2 types of green

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

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