Thursday, October 29, 2009

Another park I want to see

I've just discovered the Parque de la Ereta/ La Ereta Park in Alicante, Spain. Another place on my list to visit. See here. Great photos here.

The contours are very different, but the "feel" of what I can see of La Ereta reminds me very much of one of favorite parks in Europe, in the city of Bordeaux, the Jardin Botanique de Bordeaux Bastide.

More on biophilia

Looking at nature makes people nicer. See here.

End of an era

Lawrence Halprin dies. Here from ASLA. Here from The New York Times.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The greening of apartment buildings

The other night I went to a panel discussion on the Upper East Side of Manhattan sponsored by CIVITAS, a neighborhood organization representing the Upper East Side and East Harlem. The topic was "The Greening of Apartment Buildings," and the panelists were Jamie Gibbs, interior designer and landscape architect, of Jamie Gibbs and Associates; Laurie Kerr, senior policy advisor for the NYC Mayor's Office of Long-term Planning and Sustainability; Ryan Merkin, senior project manager with Steven Winter Associates (green architecture); Elizabeth Stein, an attorney with the Environmental Defense Fund, and Joshua Wiener, founder of SilverLining Interiors, which does high-end residential renovations.

While some of the context was a little daunting (like the comments about routine kitchen renovations at $300,000), the discussion and questions from the (packed) audience were quite realistic and down-to-earth. Authentic concerns about issues relating to demolition, recycling of demolition and construction refuse, health and safety issues for demolition and construction crews, sustainability choices even among the highest-end projects (materials, varnishes, etc.).

It was a great example of the kind of discussion that urban neighborhood associations should have -- and, I presume, a great encouragement to the more sustainability-oriented designers, contractors, and engineers.