As part of its annual SummerFest, the Council on the Arts & Humanities for Staten Island (COAHSI) joins artist Tattfoo Tan in hosting a mobile garden expo and parade this Saturday, June 5th in the Tompkinsville neighborhood of Staten Island. Attendees are encouraged to bring mobile gardens—gardens on wheels, in the form of skateboards, rolling office chairs, shopping carts or anything portable—to Tan’s garden on Monroe Street for the expo, followed by a parade to the St. George Ferry Terminal, where the gardens will take up residence for a month in the taxi plaza as part of the NYC Department of Transporation‘s urban art program, Arteventions.
Saturday’s event will also include a workshop by artist Jay Weichun on making ‘flower bombs’—clumps of flower seeds mixed with clay and potting soil to be tossed into abandoned urban spaces to help nature regain footing and beautify blight.
Sat, June 5, 2010 | 2-6 pm
Tattfoo Tan’s Garden
67 Monroe Avenue, Staten Island
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently released a draft of its plan for a new direction in waste management, “Beyond Waste: A Sustainable Materials Management Strategy for New York.” The plan aims to shift the state’s waste management focus from the end of the waste chain closer to the beginning, more emphatically supporting waste reduction, reuse and recycling. It proposes stricter regulation for solid waste management, educational programs for businesses and individuals and a shift to manufacturer responsibility in the creation of products and packaging. If implemented, the DEC projects the plan could reduce the State’s waste production from 14 million tons annually to 2 million tons.
The DEC will be holding a series of public meetings about the plan throughout the month—New York City’s meeting will be June 8th at the Department of Public Health. DEC will be accepting public comments on the draft through July 6th.
Public hearing about the draft NYS Solid Waste Management Plan
June 8th, 5 pm
New York City Department of Health
125 Worth Street, 2nd Floor Auditorium, Manhattan
The University of Buffalo has commissioned landscape architect Walter Hood to design a 5,000-panel solar array to be sited on 6.5 acres of its campus and to function as a signature piece of land art. The Oakland, CA-based Hood won out over proposals by Vito Acconci and Diana Balmori with his proposal for a fragmented grid, meant to recall DNA, supported on posts and suspended over low-maintenance grasses, crab-apple shrubs, ornamental lindens, trees and an existing creek, all of which will be publicly accessible. University officials were keen on commissioning a design for the array that would transcend the banality of most large-scale solar installations.
The project will be funded by a grant from the New York State Power Authority and will feed into the university’s grid, supplying on-campus housing with enough electricity for approximately 700 students.
The fifth annual Staten Island Film Festival starts tomorrow and features a slate of dozens of intriguing short and feature-length films, many of them about or featuring New York City’s outer boroughs. Participating filmmakers include 15 from Staten Island (including Wu-Tang Clan leader the RZA) as well as many more from throughout New York City and as far afield as Las Vegas and Australia. Some of these films sound amazing, and especially in the case of the Staten Island-based ones, this could be the best opportunity to catch them. The festival kicks off at the St. George Theatre with Michael J. Weithorn’s A Little Help tomorrow at 7pm.
The Center for Urban Pedagogy‘s (CUP) playful and informative 2006 video The Water Underground is now available in full online at Places. The 24-minute piece examines and explores New York City’s water supply, treatment and waste infrastructure, its history and prevailing controversies—the students interviewed engineers, plant superintendents, construction workers, marine biologists, urban divers, educators, and environmental justice advocates. Working in partnership with the Lower East Side Ecology Center, CUP worked with students at City-as-School and through the Parks Department’s RECYouth program to research and produce the video.
(via Urban Omnibus)
Working with public art commissioning organization Creative Time, artist Paul Ramírez Jonas has assembled a project called Key to the City that will be taking place throughout New York City this summer. 35,000 specially crafted keys will be given away at daily ‘bestowal ceremonies’ at a kiosk in Times Square from June 3rd to 27th. The keys unlock 25 unique sites across the city for any keyholder. Locks will be operable through the end of the summer.
The Key to the City reinvents the civic honor of bestowing keys on luminaries as a master key able to unlock more than 20 sites across New York City’s five boroughs—such as locks within the Brooklyn Museum, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Tortilleria Nixtamal, Conference House Park, Rincon Crillo Cultural Center, and many more. Members of the public will award thousands of these custom-made keys to each other in one-to-one ceremonies.
Yes, Freshkills Park is among the sites with a lock that can be opened with the Key to the City. Recipients of the key (all 35,000) will also receive a map and guide to wielding it which will indicate how to make use of the key on the Freshkills Park site tour.
Times Square Key to the City Kiosk
open Mon–Fri 2–8pm, Sat–Sun 12–8pm
from June 3rd to 27th
The excellent “Fast Trash” exhibit—featuring Roosevelt Island‘s signature pneumatic vacuum tube garbage disposal system—closed this past weekend. A series of public programs including screenings, walking tours and even musical theater helped to make the exhibit, curated by architect Juliette Spertus, into a real must-see. The video above, which featured at Gallery RIVAA, doesn’t provide the larger international and infrastructural context of the full exhibit, but does provide a look at the history and operation of the pneumatic tube system. It also offers the reminder that no matter how elegantly designed the disposal system, garbage is not pretty.
Quick on the heels of our terrific if rainy lecture this past Tuesday, we’re thrilled to host another lecture in our Freshkills Park Talks series this upcoming Wednesday evening, May 26th—this time at the Arsenal, on Central Park. We’ll be joined by Tatiana Choulika, Senior Associate at landscape architecture and urban design firm James Corner Field Operations, who will be presenting and discussing the design for the first phase of the Southern quadrant of Freshkills Park. This area of the site hosts some of the most beautiful overlooks and variations of landscape of anywhere onsite, and the design that FO has developed for it is really dynamic and exciting, meeting a host of community-expressed priorities as well as accommodating some of the particular challenges of developing on a former landfill site.
This first phase comprises 20 acres of the full 425 acre-buildout of this quadrant of the park, and it has been designed as a connected series of overlooks, meadows and recreational facilities including walking and biking paths, softball fields, play areas and event spaces. It will also be the first project allowing public access to the top of one of the site’s mounds, with expansive views of Staten Island and beyond. We’re excited about this project and hope you’ll join us to learn more about it and FO’s process in designing it.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010 | 6:30-8pm
The Arsenal, Central Park, 3rd floor gallery
830 Fifth Ave, Manhattan
An illustrative lecture by William Reed AIA, an architect at the Integrative Design Collaborative as well as Regenesis, Inc. and Delving Deeper who is a nati0nally recognized expert on the practice of sustainable design, delivered in March as part of the Boston Society of Architects lecture series. Reed speaks about the need for “whole-systems design,” the design of built projects that aims for both integration and co-evolution of built structures and natural systems in given development site, community or region.
Yes, its official name is Mount Trashmore Park. Virginia Beach is home to one of the earliest conversions of a contemporary sanitary landfill to parkland in the US. The 165-acre site operated for many years as a landfill for waste originating from all over the east coast. High costs of filling and limited capacity led to the landfill’s closure by 1971. Guided by the vision of the director of Virginia’s Department of Health, conversion to parkland proceeded until 1973, when the site was opened to the public. The park now boasts 1.5 miles of trails, picnic grounds, playgrounds, basketball and volleyball courts, two man-made lakes for fishing and a 24,000-square-foot skate park. It is one of Virginia’s most popular parks, attracting approximately 1 million visitors annually.
Groundwater testing at the site has shown no impact from landfill operations. Landfill gas is collected by underground infrastructure–but unlike the Freshkills Park site, the gas at Mount Trashmore is not harvested for energy; it is released at synchronized intervals.