“Harmony Floralscape” along the Pasadena Freeway (SR-110) (Credit: Toyota)
Toyota has unveiled “Harmony Floralscape” along the Pasadena Freeway (SR-110), this is one of the nine oversized floral designs that will appear alongside California freeways in support of the ongoing launch of the 2010 Toyota Prius hybrid vehicle. Seven of the Floralscapes will be in the Los Angeles area and two in the San Francisco area. Developed by Greenroad Media, Inc., using the company’s patent-pending “Living Pixel” technology, design images are replicated using flowers of differing varieties and colors.
The 30’x60’ Toyota Prius “Harmony Floralscapes” are comprised entirely of living seasonal flowers. The flowers used in each Floralscape – about 20,000 blooms in total – are grown by local businesses in special modular “Eco-crates” made from recycled plastic. Several different designs have been developed, and the displays will be changed and updated several times during the next four months.
Video -The Making of a Toyota Prius “Harmony Floralscape” (Credit: Toyota)
The most idealistic of advocates envision cities and towns that burst with food, be it from skyscraper roofs, apartment balconies, back alleys or repurposed plastic tubs. In this world, people plan their meals around what’s in season, relegating supermarket trips to coffee, wheat and other staples they can’t get within the region.
Just read Chris Grygiel of Seattlepi.com blog post about the new tree measure in Seattle that could grant developers exemption for retaining trees if the trees preclude or prohibit the development of the site. This new tree protection measure seems a ham-fisted attempt at protecting trees which are in current developments (houses, offices, etc) not future developments. I can understand the need for exemption, as cities like Seattle try to encourage development in the city to create denser (in-fill) developments on existing sites instead of allowing urban sprawl to continue unabated. However, exemptions should be given only where the tree is inspected and assessed by a qualified arborist that the tree is at the end of its life or of very poor form for it species. Developers should be encouraged wherever possible to retain all existing mature trees (including tree offsets/buffers) to maintain the green canopy of the city. The benefits of trees within a city are indisputable and the length of time it takes for new trees to mature on a development is decades.
Developers may find this stance very anti-development – however new development should occur within cities to provide denser housing, offices, and retail. This is where more flexibility in tree protection measures are needed. Flexibility would come in the form of clauses that grant exemptions if the developer can show that they are going to plant new trees or install a green roof that contributes the equivalent benefit as the tree to be removed. For a developer to provide the information for this type of exemption may increase the cost of developments as the developer will have to engage consultants to assess the green value of the new trees and green roof. However, the increased environmental cost of trees being removed may be far greater in the long term.
By Damian Holmes 3 August 2009
Hinkley, 55, has spent two decades retracing the steps of such legendary plant explorers as Robert Fortune (1812-80), Jean Marie Delavay (1834-95), Armand David (1826-1900), Ernest “Chinese” Wilson (1876-1930) and George Forrest (1873-1932).
Theirs may have been the golden age of Asian plant collection, but the spirit of the period is very much alive among a handful of 21st-century collectors such as Hinkley. His work may take decades more to flower in western gardens, but the tradition, the impulse to brighten our lives with fantastic Asian plants, persists.