Open Space Seattle:2100

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Two Bike Related Posts

As many of you know, the Green Futures Charrette produced a lot of visions that prioritized non-motorized transportation, especially bicycle transport (likely looking to European cities like Copenhagen as examples). Very exciting and innovative use of the street right of way was key to those proposals.

Therefore, there are two events this week that we should highlight. First was today's Seattle Weekly article about how we still have a looooong way to go to make the city truly bike-friendly.

The second is the first Critical Mass ride since the arrest a month ago of two cyclists. Apparently, no felony charges will now be brought against the rider who was originally booked for assaulting an officer under, it sounds from eyewitness reports, dodgy circumstances. 5:30 at Westlake Plaza.

Liveability Conference in Seattle

Livable Communities: Walking, Working, Water-Connecting Urban And Environmental Issues

The American Institute of Architects presents a national livability conference.

Jul 25, 2006

Healthy, sustainable, livable, and economically sound communities are the goal of all Americans. Architects and urban designers, in collaboration with professionals in allied disciplines, must advocate for reform in our environmental and urban policies at all levels to ensure that our development patterns will provide for a more sustainable, livable future.

The Livable Communities conference will provide a unique opportunity for planners, politicians, architects, landscape architects, developers, and urban designers to discuss the rapid changes occurring within the American scene—burgeoning boomers, skyrocketing energy costs, changing demographics, environmental calamities, and economic disruptions—and how regional urbanism can contribute to a rebalancing of our consumptive practices and reconnect our urban fabric with each metropolitan area’s unique cultural, environmental, and economic character.

This conference offers welcoming events hosted by AIA Seattle on Thursday, September 14. Friday through Sunday activities feature:

•Citistates Chairman Neal Peirce providing a national perspective on sustainability of our urban regions
•Key political leaders discussing public policy and regional growth
•Participants examining region-to-city-to-neighborhood issues in a series of breakout sessions
•Four “Future Visions” panels (“City as Waterfront,” “City Reconstructed—A new vision for the Gulf,” “Density and Rapid Growth,” and “Resettling the Rust Belt”) outlining key strategies for guiding future growth
•Participants taking part in tours and mobile workshops of Seattle’s most notable, places
•Participants can earn up to 14.5 AIA/CES learning units, including HSW credits

Related Link:

For more information contact:

Bruce Bland
The American Institute of Architects
1735 New York Ave, NW
DC 2006

Phone: 202-626-7557
Fax: 202-626-7399

Saturday, July 15, 2006

A Degree in Organic Gardening?

Yes, and WSU will be the first. More proof we're breaking new ground out here.

Two from the NYT

from the New York Times

In this article from Friday's New York Times, there is an great discussion about how New York is using their parks (not just, as the Mayor and Council have proposed, the streets and downtown) as 24-hour spaces. From urban camping (Freeway Park, Seward, Schmitz) to astronomy (Discovery, Sand Point, Volunteer), New York is looking to instill 24 hour usage for all of the city's citizens. Pretty cool.

Second, today's NYT bring a garden art article with a strong Northwest connection, focusing on Dale Chihuly's exhibition at the New York Botanical Garden and another exhibition, called "Garden Improvements" at Wave Hill. While I find Chihuly "fine", the images look pretty spectacular, expecially on the grey, Seattle-type day that the photographer was there.

Climate Change = Very Vigorous Vines

The fact that climate change (and human impacts in general) are having an impact on the natrual world is well documented, but the fact that it is, literally, overgrowing our backyards increasingly becoming apparent. This article from the Washington Post is utterly fascinating.

"From backyard gardens to the Amazon rain forest, vines are growing faster, stronger and, in the case of poison ivy, more poisonous on the heavy doses of carbon dioxide that come from burning such fossil fuels as gasoline and coal."

"Fifteen years ago, kudzu" -- known as the vine that ate the South -- "would not survive in the D.C. area," Bergmann said, because the climate was too cold. "Now it survives even up in New York."

Yet, might those same juiced up plants also hold the key toward solving, at least in part, climate change?

But the vines also hint at a tantalizing solution to global warming: Perhaps scientists can engineer a plant that would absorb extraordinary amounts of carbon dioxide and clean the air without throwing forests wildly off kilter.

"It's quite imaginable that we could make an oak tree [that is] more efficient at trapping carbon dioxide for us," Drake said. "But until we know a lot more about how each species responds, we can't make solid predictions."

Friday, July 14, 2006

We need to do more, from the PI

Seattle, King County and Washington state have made progress in combating suburban sprawl. But there is a lot more to do. The struggle is more urgent than most of us tend to think. As a new report shows, containing sprawl, creating densely populated urban centers and ending our excessive reliance on cars are matters of life, death and good health for people as much as for the environment.

We're number 5! We're number 5!

The Sierra Club has posted it's list of the 5 greenest cities in America, and we're number 5. Good that we're on the list, but we can do better, right? Ahead of us, from #4 to #1, San Francisco, Portland, New York and . . . wait for it . . . Chicago. Of course.

Can revolutions start in tiny gardens, in depressed neighborhoods?

The Times of London thinks so.

Green Roof Round-up

via WorldChanging

Growing the Green

From the Portland Trib, a story about kids growing money and community in their garden.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Podcast--The Importance of Ecology in Planning

From Planetizen, a short speech regarding the importance of ecology in planning and design.