What do vertical farms, green roofs, soft cars, breathing walls, and Dongtan, China, have in common? They were all subjects of discussion at Friday’s Future Cities event in New York City, part of the four-day 2008 World Science Festival.
To a packed house, Columbia University microbiologist Dickson Despommier described his vision for feeding the planet’s burgeoning, and increasingly urban, population. The vertical farm takes agriculture and stacks it into the tiers of a modern skyscraper. Instead of stopping at the corner pizzeria for dinner, Despommier suggested, you could pluck a nice head of lettuce, maybe some corn, and some tomatoes for a big salad, all in your own building, on the way to your apartment. You can’t get fresher or more local than that.
SOURCE: Gristmill – Vertical farms and future cities | Gristmill: The environmental news blog .
A new grant is helping a budding industry in Florida take root. The $50,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will pay for new equipment and marketing for wildflower growers, who are currently harvesting and cleaning tiny seeds as they build their young industry.
Now, with rising gas prices and shrinking water supplies, wildflowers provide a low-impact alternative for landscaping lawns. State transportation officials are gunning for the locally produced seeds to replace grass along highways — mowing is expensive.
For years the state has planted wildflowers along highways, but they usually don’t grow back so they’re replanted annually. Now the focus is on getting wildflowers to reseed themselves — something locally produced seeds help with — and preserving existing stands along the roadways. Areas with flowers require less mowing and can save money — it costs about $250 to mow a mile of highway.
State’s wildflowers rise to new role — OrlandoSentinel.com.
Brussels, Belgium, 2 June 2008 – Living Steel today divulged the 12 finalist architect teams who will submit concepts for sustainable steel housing in Cherepovets, Russia. Selected from 246 completed submissions from architects in 52 countries expressing interest to compete, the finalist teams are:
Ben Addy and Tim Murray Moxon Architects, Ltd United Kingdom
Rossana Atena and Fabio Cibinel ATENASTUDIO and modostudio Italy
Hugh Broughton and Philip Wells Hugh Broughton Architects United Kingdom
Chris Clarke and Joel Kelder Bligh Voller Nield Australia
Lourenço Gimenes and Rodrigo Silva FGMF Arquitetos Brazil
Sandeep Jagadeesh and Vimal Jain ARCHITECTURE PARADIGM India
Daniel Jenkins and David Turrent ECDA United Kingdom
Grigory Kuzhelev and Galina Budnikova LCA Russia
Lua Nitsche and Pedro Nitsche Nitsche Arquitetos Brazil
Pekka Pakkanen and Risto Huttunen H-L-P Architects Finland
Peter Stutchbury and Richard Smith Peter Stutchbury Architecture Australia
Kathy Velikov and Paul Raff RVTR Canada
The winning team will share a Jury Prize of €50,000 and the opportunity to see their design realised in Cherepovets.
SOURCE: Living Steel Press Release – Living Steel Announces Finalists for 3rd International Architecture Competition for Sustainable House .
Hudson River Park Design Walk
Pier 66, New York
14 June 2008
Join the tour of the sculptural and architectural installations along Pier 66, a part of the Hudson River Park’s latest developments. Artist Paul Ramirez Jonas and architects Allan and Ellen Wexler will discuss the plans and concepts behind their publicly installed works, and the challenges involved with designing for the great outdoors.
Paul Ramirez Jonas is the artist behind “Long Time”, a 30-foot, stainless steel waterwheel that uses the Hudson River’s changing tides to power a connected odometer. The work is a reminder of the Hudson River’s milling history and a marker of the passing of time, and turns unpredictably with the tide and currents. The Wexlers created “Two Too Large Tables” an installation comprising two 16-square-foot stainless steel planes, one of which serves as a community table and is 30 inches high, while the other functions as a shade pavilion and hangs 7 feet above the ground. Their work encourages social interaction while engaging with the views and landscape of this unique setting.
The Hudson River Park is the largest open-space development in Manhattan since the completion of Central Park. Extending for five miles along the Manhattan shoreline from Battery Place to West 59th Street, the park is a partnership between the city and New York State.
Organised by MAD Musuem
Meet at Pier 66, 26th Street and the Hudson River
Cost: $12, $10 for MAD Members, Seniors, and Students
Call 212. 956. 3535 ext 127 for reservations. Space is limited, sign up early!
The founders of property developer Urban Splash are to sell off almost a quarter of the company’s equity to its management team and have agreed a refinancing deal with three banks worth £125m.
Chairman Tom Bloxham and chief executive Jonathan Falkingham are selling 24 per cent of the shares to seven of its most senior staff, who will be given the option of buying between one and five per cent for an undisclosed price.
SOURCE: Crain’s Manchester Business – Urban Splash founders sell 24 per cent to managers –