Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World

PARK(ING) DAY IS TODAY! | Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World.

As promised, just a little later, one of the subjects of my current research. I don’t think it is enough to just produce a poster campaign about something that is so interactive, sensory and visibly integral to our landscape. This pro-active initiative appears to be a legal, friendly and extremely photogenic way of grabbing attention and making ubiquitous urban landmarks such as car parking spaces, beautiful! I think the best thing about this movement is that it is exploits a loophole in the legal usage of these spaces. It really raises the issue of the need for green spaces to compete with the need for obviously utilitarian amenities, such as parking spaces- especially in central locations. If anyone fancies starting one in London (should the text-parking systems allow it!) then you know where to find me!

The PARK[ING] movement was started in 2004 by Rebar Studio,  whose self-described specialty is “design operating at the intersection of art, design and ecology. Sounds delicious to me. For an interview with one of the founding members here and more articles besides, has a fantastic array of documentation of the event as is has spread around the world.

Other links and ideas I have been following the last few days include:

Community garden greens constructed in an abandoned San Francisco Lot: here

Pothole gardening: here 

Guerilla gardening strategies, Moss/Green graffiti artists and its creation

Urban planning strategies

Large scale type installation as part of architecture and location brandingPark[ing] Day related type installation: here

Way finding systems and signage

The nature of modern communities in urban environments: here for interesting article from the magazine Green Places, an uncannily appropriate publication for my area of interest that unfortunately, requires a 10 issue subscription upfront but does have a searchable article database for my queries. A publication of the charity Green Space.

National and local campaigns to promote and fund the up-keep and creation of local green spaces: here for the Transform Your Patch orgnisation, here for Common Ground, here for Groundwork UK

Vertical farming/growing methodology


And last but not least, The High Line in New York City: here – It would be seriously remiss of me if I neglected to at least mention this juggernaut of a green public space programme, still happening across the pond. Having known of this ambitious but still strong project before the start of my own,  I can take great pleasure in learning more for more applied purposes. You’ll find plenty of stunning and surreal shots of New York city, fif you plug this into Google. A brief overview of the project, taken from the official website:

The High Line is a public park built on an historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. It is owned by the City of New York, and maintained and operated by Friends of the High Line. Founded in 1999 by community residents, Friends of the High Line fought for the High Line’s preservation and transformation at a time when the historic structure was under the threat of demolition. It is now the non-profit conservancy working with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation to make sure the High Line is maintained as an extraordinary public space for all visitors to enjoy. In addition to overseeing maintenance, operations, and public programming for the park, Friends of the High Line works to raise the essential private funds to support more than 90 percent of the park’s annual operating budget, and to advocate for the preservation and transformation of the High Line at the Rail Yards, the third and final section of the historic structure, which runs between West 30th and West 34th Streets.

Regrettably my pot of tea has now run out and the new wireless setup on my printer is making me excessively lazy at the moment. Its probably about time to get up and collate all this information into a mission statement with a clear direction. But before I leave, I’ll finish this blog update with some imagery of the GE Living Painting, created in London, October 2011. A massive 22 metres squared, this recreation of Van Gogh’s ‘Wheatfield with Cypresses’ used 8000 plants to wow the public for a limited time only.

More information on GE Living Painting here

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