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
Shards of glass arranged randomly on a wooden utility pole. A jaunty human body carved out of a dead tree, wearing a tire as a hat. Ceramic benches in a vacant lot. The face of an elf painted on the base of a streetlight. Elaborate graffiti in countless places across the city.
Art is one of the last things outsiders associate with Detroit. But drive the streets and you quickly realize the city possesses an energetic, grassroots creative class that not only spreads color, whimsy and provocation across the landscape, but also serves as an engine of redevelopment.
True, not everyone considers all of it art, especially when it comes to graffiti.
DRIVING DETROIT | PART 3 OF 5: Surprise from the streets: Art!.
Greening master plans for Sheung Wan, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, Mong Kok and Yau Ma Tei will be implemented in September, the Development Bureau says. It has proposed creating a directorate post to boost professional landscape architectural expertise within Government.
In a paper tabled to lawmakers, the bureau said at present, the New Territories’ green coverage ratio is 74% and that for urban areas, 46%. Another study for developing greening master plans for the remaining urban areas is in progress for completion in early 2009. In view of the public aspiration for more greening in the New Territories, the development of the region’s greening master plan will start in mid-2009.
5 greening master plans to launch in Sept – Hong Kong Government
For decades, the cool, clear water from springs in the city-owned Madrona Woods flowed through stormwater pipes into Lake Washington.
But no more. Madrona residents are taking back their creeks.
Seattle landscape architect Peggy Gaynor, who has worked on rerouting creeks from pipes at Thornton Creek, Meadowbrook and Ravenna, said the Madrona project “is the most ambitious and complex project I’ve been involved with.”
Madrona Woods creek again flows free.Seattle PI – Debera Carlton Harrell
couple of weeks ago, the Congress Centre team met with NCC design advisers, including an architect and landscape architect who raised concerns about the design of the project. But the centre has received generally positive reviews from community leaders and has won commitments of $50 million each from the federal and Ontario governments, and $40 million from the city.
NCC approval is essential because the commission has authority over development changes in the core of the capital. As well, the building plan includes reducing the NCC’s scenic Colonel By Drive from four lanes to two at this location, to accommodate a bigger development footprint.
Congress Centre to get NCC scrutiny – Ottawa Citizen – Patrick Dare
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.
When it comes to environmental issues like global warming, America and China behave like a couple in a bad marriage, playing the blame game. But to tackle the problem of global warming, neither country can go it alone.
The University of California at Berkeley held a recent “marriage counseling” conference titled: “China’s Environment: What Do We Know and How Do We Know It?” It brought scientists, environmentalists, journalists and venture capitalists from both sides together, to come up with solutions.
China’s air, water, energy, urban and rural spaces were discussed, as well as how its population is affected by environment-related diseases. Although it’s a cliché that “the color of water in Chinese rivers is somewhere between dark grey and black,” the fact that China adds two coal-based power plants per week is astonishing. Kirk Smith, professor of global environmental health at UC Berkeley, concludes that “the cleanest cities in China are about the same as the dirtiest American city.”
China Must Go Green, and Soon – New America Media – Jun Wang