Archive for the ‘sustainability’ Category

Urban Acupuncture

“City is not a problem, city is a solution” – Jaime Lerner “For many city governments seeking visible improvements in their congested streets, the pace of change is measured in months and years. For Jaime Lerner, it’s measured in hours. As mayor of Curitiba, he transformed a gridlocked commercial artery into a spacious pedestrian mall over a long weekend, before skeptical merchants had time to finish reading their Monday papers.

Since then he’s become a hero not only to his fellow Brazilians, but also to the growing ranks of municipal planners seeking greener, more sustainable cities. His dictum that “creativity starts when you cut a zero from your budget” has inspired a number of his unique solutions to urban problems, including sheltered boarding tubes to improve speed of bus transit; a garbage-for-food program allowing Curitibans to exchange bags of trash for bags of groceries; and trimming parkland grasses with herds of sheep.

In addition to serving three terms as mayor of Curitiba, Lerner has twice been elected governor of Parana State in Brazil. His revolutionary career in urban planning and architecture has not only improved cities worldwide, but has also brought him international renown. Among his many awards are the United Nations Environmental Award (1990), the Child and Peace Award from UNICEF (1996), and the 2001 World Technology Award for Transportation.”

Watch here Lerner’s speech on (English)

Lerner’s homepage (Portuguese)

Article in the NY Times

Biography on Wikipedia


For Lot, Ciska, Sietze, Rachel and all others involved in sustainable design in developing countries. Cameron Sinclair created a network of open source architecture for instant sustainable development. Many interesting and inspirational initiatives.

Enjoy, Matthijs

like christmas trees.

or other things…. why don’t we use the water of our energy-guzzling aquariums for flushing the toilet, or the catty litter as fertilizer, or whatever! check out RIGHT HERE.

through anarchitecture


Here is an organisation who deal with slums and shacks. Looking around on their website learned that the at least provide a lot of info: documents, pictures, videos, links etc. What they actually do was not totally clear to me. I would say: check it out!

viel spass!


yes, it does. and it’s also inflatable.

looking at this image it doesn’t really seem appropriate for emergency housing, since it is quite high tech, but you never know if there is an NGO with some secret money stash or IT-millionaire-turned-philantrophist.

The architects, Lateral Architecture, have an interesting website, that also feature other projects with amazing names like spray pattern, soil horizon and between landscapes.

through bldgblog

enjoi. marten

Lecture about Open Source Architecture;

“I wish to develop a community that actively embraces innovative and sustainable design to improve living conditions for all.”

Thursday 4 October, Explore Lab

Since World War II North Americans have invested much of their newfound wealth in suburbia. It has promised a sense of space, affordability, family life and upward mobility. As the population of suburban sprawl has exploded in the past 50 years, so too has the suburban way of life become embedded in the American consciousness.

Suburbia, and all it promises, has become the American Dream.

But as we enter the 21st century, serious questions are beginning to emerge about the sustainability of this way of life. With brutal honesty and a touch of irony, The End of Suburbia explores the American Way of Life and its prospects as the planet approaches a critical era, as global demand for fossil fuels begins to outstrip supply. World Oil Peak and the inevitable decline of fossil fuels are upon us now, some scientists and policy makers argue in this documentary.

The consequences of inaction in the face of this global crisis are enormous. What does Oil Peak mean for North America? As energy prices skyrocket in the coming years, how will the populations of suburbia react to the collapse of their dream? Are today’s suburbs destined to become the slums of tomorrow? And what can be done NOW, individually and collectively, to avoid The End of Suburbia ?

Permaculture has everything to do with this: The only ethical decision is to take responsibility for our own existence and that of our children. meaning, we should design in such a way we leave minimal trace of our existence, live self-sufficient, and basically, act like a bunch of freaking hippies.

no just kidding. enjoi reading.

enjoi. marten

In case you did not know yet, since it’s old…(I didn’t…)

‘Built in conjunction with World Environment Day 2005, ScrapHouse illustrates the possibilities—as well as the challenges—of green building, recycling, and reuse.’ (…) ‘Originally conceived as a documentary film, Emmy award-winning filmmaker Anna Fitch filmed every step of the way for a documentary that was broadcast on the National Geographic Channel in September 2006.’ (from _

their website;

and, a video:


in case you have not seen this yet:

Cameron Sinclair [co-founder of Architecture for Humanity]demonstrates how passionate designers and architects can respond to world housing crises. The motto of his group, Architecture for Humanity, is “Design like you give a damn.” Using a litany of striking examples, he shows how AFH has helped find creative solutions to humanitarian crises all over the globe. Sinclair then outlines his TED Prize wish: to create a global open-source network that will let architects and communities share and build designs to house the world.”

the open-source network;