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.
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.
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.
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