As someone who lives in an urban setting (and, yeah, I know, my NYC friends are snickering at that), I’m as guilty as anyone of sneering at the suburbs. I always associate the term with cookie-cutter subdivisions in driving distance (but probably not walking distance) of big box stores and chain restaurants. In many cases, that’s fair, but, as The Wall Street Journal noted last week, developers around the US have started to experiment with something different – and potentially more sustainable – in suburban design: the agricultural community.
The founders of Knowhow Shop LA, a design studio and cooperative artist space, created and built this 400-pound bike rack for a public art initiative in Roanoke, Virginia. It reminds me of a functional utilitarian Claes Oldenburg piece.
Unemployment’s still high, jobs are scarce, and companies are holding on to their cash… that’s the narrative we’re hearing constantly. Don’t tell that to the folks at Shenandoah Growers in Harrisonburg, Virginia, though. A major supplier of organically-grown herbs to East Coast retailers, the company just opened a $3 million greenhouse for year-round production of “USDA-certified organic basil, thyme, sage, rosemary and other herbs.”
Colleges and universities are at the forefront of experimenting with transportation alternatives to drive and park: car sharing and bike sharing services are popping at campuses all over the US to provide greener transportation alternatives… as well as hold off on parking lot expansions.
Rickety carnival rides. Animal and agricultural exhibits. And fried… well, just about anything. State fair season is coming up, and future farmers, midway operators, and bands past their prime are ready to roll. At a few fairs around the country, you can add renewable energy vendors, green builders, and organic foodies to the mix: the greening of the state fair is slowly but surely underway.
Apparently, “floating environmentalism” isn’t limited to Huck Finn wannabees: on September 14, the Learning Barge, a joint project of the University of Virginia School of Architecture and the Elizabeth River Project, will be christened and opened to the public. Designed as an environmental education center for teaching elementary and middle school students about water and…