Cuba’s urban farming program a stunning success – International Herald Tribune

or Miladis Bouza, the global food crisis arrived two decades ago. Now, her efforts to climb out of it could serve as a model for people around the world struggling to feed their families.

Bouza was a research biologist, living a solidly middle-class existence, when the collapse of the Soviet Union — and the halt of its subsidized food shipments to Cuba — effectively cut her government salary to US$3 a month. Suddenly, a trip to the grocery store was out of reach.

So she quit her job, and under a program championed by then-Defense Minister Raul Castro, asked the government for the right to farm an overgrown, half-acre lot near her Havana home. Now, her husband tends rows of tomatoes, sweet potatoes and spinach, while Bouza, 48, sells the produce at a stall on a busy street.

Neighbors are happy with cheap vegetables fresh from the field. Bouza never lacks for fresh produce, and she pulls in between 2,000 to 5,000 pesos (US$100-250) a month — many times the average government salary of 408 pesos (US$19).

Read more @ the International Herald Tribune Cuba’s urban farming program a stunning success .

Urban gardener: Gravitational pull – Gardening, House & Home – The Independent

Well, it’s over for another year. The dust, and there was plenty of that at Chelsea this year, has settled and we can be pleased that not only did we win an RHS Gold Medal, but that our garden for Bupa will now be transferred to Meadbank care home in Battersea, a short distance across the river Thames from the Royal Hospital. As ever, it was a team effort. So many people play a vital part in the success of a show garden. They are too numerous to mention here, but they know who they are and how grateful I am for their help. I must, however, tell you about La Boule, the sculptural element of the garden that seemed to capture the imagination of everyone who saw it.

Read more @ the SOURCE: The Independent – Urban gardener: Gravitational pull

MVRDV – Crowded House – NYTimes.com

MRDV – the architects that hail from Rotterdam producing a wide variety of built and theorical work that pushes the boundaries of urban densities and how people relate and live in cities. The New York Times has produced a special Architecture edition of its Magazine and includes numerous articles that are a great read. The article title ‘Crowded House’ focuses on MVRDV and gives a great insight in the architectural studios founders and their work from the past.

For a great insight into MVRDV’s work read Crowded House by Darcy Frey @ NY Times

 

Urban Design Competition for Kings Cross

Camden Council and land owner Network Rail are seeking expressions of interest from architects, landscape architects and urban designers for the design of a brand new, urban square at Kings Cross, London.

The first stage of the competition invites a response from international participants before the end of July who are asked to submit credentials and relevant experience. From these responses a shortlist of six will be chosen to work up concept propositions, for which an honorarium of £6000 will be paid. These will be reviewed by a technical panel and a final decision made by a jury that will meet in early December.

The deadline for Stage One submissions is 1 August 2008.

SOURCE: Landscape Institute: Urban Design Competition for Kings Cross.

Green revolution: Air is what’s bothering Indians

Most Indians ranked environment pollution as their second worst problem in a list of six and believe that air, water and noise pollution will get worse, says a first-of-its-kind survey conducted by CNN-IBN and Outlook magazine.

The survey, in partnership with the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) and Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), found that most Indians regard air pollution to be the worst environment problem. Planting more trees is the environment challenge people want the Government to tackle first.

SOURCE: IBNLive – Green revolution: Air is what’s bothering Indians.

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