Taking a step toward carbon neutrality, Google has purchased a large share of the 200,000 to 300,000 metric tons of carbon offsets that will be created through landfill waste-to-energy operations in Berkeley, South Carolina. The Berkeley Green Power Project, a joint venture with the Berkeley County Water & Sanitation, Blue Source and Santee Cooper, will capture and flare landfill gas to produce about 3 MW of electricity—enough to power 15,000 homes in the Southeast. The carbon offsets created by the project equal the emissions from electricity used by approximately 30,000 to 45,0000 US households annually.
This partnership is the most recent in a string of Google’s research and investment in renewable energy sources. In April, the company invested $38.8 million in two North Dakota wind farms developed by NextEra Energy Resources.
PBS Thirteen’s Sunday Arts program profiles Materials for the Arts (MFTA), the amazing and popular New York City materials reuse program. Founded in 1978 and still growing under the aegis of the City’s Department of Cultural Affairs, MFTA negotiates the transfer of hundreds of tons of materials annually from companies and individuals who no longer need them into the custody of artists and educators citywide who can make use of them. They are the largest provider of free art supplies to the City’s public school system and also serve as a treasure trove for non-profit and public entities engaged in cultural, health and social programs. We’ve been to their 25,000 sq. ft warehouse in Long Island City, and it’s truly incredible to consider their daily turnover in astonishingly valuable materials that would have otherwise entered the waste stream.
The Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) is a joint project of the American Society of Landscape Architects, the University of Texas at Austin and the United States Botanic Garden to generate and test a set of guidelines and benchmarks for sustainable land design, construction and maintenance, much as LEED ratings are given to buildings. Accreditation would be voluntary but would incentivize sustainable development practice for sites both with and without buildings.
After assembling a rating system through the partnership of dozens of sustainability experts and hundreds of organizations, the program selected 175 sites compiled through a call for submissions to serve as pilot projects to test the system. Cultural institutions, educational facilities, transportation corridors, industrial complexes and private residences are all among the list. The Dirt reviews how the ratings will operate:
The SITES rating system includes 15 prerequisites and 51 different credits covering areas such as the initial site selection, water, soil, vegetation, materials, human health and well-being, construction and maintenance – adding up to a 250 point scale. The rating system recognizes levels of achievement by obtaining 40, 50, 60 or 80 percent of available points with one through four stars, respectively.
The program will be vetting and receiving feedback from pilot projects until June 2012 and expects to release the final rating system in 2013.
The New York City Department of Transportation has announced the winner of its reNEWable Times Square design competition, aimed to temporarily “refresh and revive” the streetscape of newly pedestrianized Times Square while plans for permanent reconstruction proceed (construction is slated for 1012). Brooklyn artist Molly Dilworth‘s Cool Water, Hot Island was selected from 150 submitted designs for the pedestrian zones along Broadway from 47th to 42nd Streets. The piece is a large-scale painted installation abstractly interpreting—and mitigating!—Manhattan’s heat island effect. From NYCDOT’s release:
The proposed design’s color palette of striking blues and whites reflects more sunlight and absorb less heat – improving the look of these popular pedestrian plazas while making them more comfortable to sit in. The color and patterns evoke water, suggesting a river flowing through the center of Times Square, and they also provide a compelling visual counterpoint to the reds, oranges and yellows of the area’s signature marquees and billboards.
Tatiana Choulika—Project Design Manager at James Corner Field Operations for our upcoming project in the southern portion of the Freshkills Park site—gave a great presentation on that design two weeks back at the Arsenal. Our thanks go to her and to the large crowd that came out to learn about South Park. We’re very excited about this section of the park and FO’s design for it, which responds to a variety of expressed local and regional needs and desires while carrying through the principles set out by the 2006 Freshkills Park Draft Master Plan.
It seems like no New York City site has truly been inaugurated as a public space until it has hosted an avant-garde dance performance. Our time has come! A group of artists and performers organized by choreographer Kathy Westwater has developed a movement-based project responding to their research and on-site study of the Freshkills Park site over several visits this spring. PARK, as the project is called, isn’t a traditional dance performance—more a combination of movement, writing, and game playing. It is “concerned with our construction and consumption of nature.”
Kathy and her dancers have previously performed PARK in locations as varied as Yosemite Park and Dance Theater Workshop in Chelsea. This incarnation of the project, which will take place on June 26th, will follow an abridged tour of the Freshkills Park site and will involve audience participation for its duration (45 minutes to one hour), on the top of the scenic North Mound.
Parks Department buses will provide all attending guests transportation from the St. George Ferry Terminal at 9:30 am to the Freshkills Park site and return attendees to the terminal by 1 pm. This event is free, but space is limited, and registration is required. To RSVP please email email@example.com or call (212) 788-8277.
Saturday, June 26, 2010 | 9:30 am-1pm
Quick on the heels of the springtime public opening of Pier 1, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation opened the Pier 6 section of the new park this past weekend. The $55 million area features a 1.6-acre playground with a water play space, 21 swings, slides, a 6,000-square-foot sandbox, a marsh garden, a dog run and bikeway and pedestrian promenades. It’s a very spectacular play space. The pier also features a dock that offers free weekend ferry service to Governors Island, which is also now open to the public for the summer season.
Three sand volleyball courts and additional lawns will open up at Pier 6 later this year, and a restaurant with a roof deck will open next year.
The third annual ART by the Ferry Festival runs this weekend and next in Staten Island. Offerings will include visual arts, music, performance art, street performers, circus acts, crafts, literary readings, workshops and local food. Everything takes place within a few blocks of the St. George Ferry Terminal.
Saturday and Sunday, June 5th & 6th, 12th & 13th, Noon-8pm
Events and performances are free; workshops are $5 per person.
We received our beautiful, custom Key to the City yesterday from the folks at Creative Time. Feeling empowered and ready to open up that hidden door in the Brooklyn Museum. We also installed and verified the locked box inside the Freshkills Park tour bus. Tour attendees who hold the Key to the City: just let the tour guide know, and he/she will present the box and its exciting contents to you. We think this will be a really fun and enriching complement to the tours. (A note on this: we’ve reserved a limited number of seats on every public bus tour this summer for holders of the Key to the City. If you’re interested in joining a 10am or 1pm tour on 6/5, 6/19, 7/10, 7/24, 8/7 or 8/21 and you’ve got the Key, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Key to the City, to check availability.)
You can participate in Paul Ramirez Jonas’ summer-long project by being bestowed a key at the Times Square kiosk for the project, which opens today at 6pm and will start operating daily tomorrow through June 27th. You can also volunteer to be an official “key master,” distributing keys in the heart of Times Square.