Favorite Design and Urbanism Blog Posts for Week of December 8, 2012

121612  Garff harvests rain. Reuse in Pittsburgh. Could cities save the world? Art opening in San Diego. Holiday pop-ups in Sydney.

Harvesting rain. Ginger Garff at Johnston Architects blogs about harvesting rainwater from her home for irrigation purposes.

After filling the cisterns in only two weeks in October and discovering that they would remain full until June with ‘free’ water spilling off for months, the family expanded the scope of work and they use rainwater to flush two toilets, supply the cold water to the washing machine, and supply two hose spigots outside.

Via Johnston Architects blog


Adaptive reuse. Julia Rocchi, managing editor for the National Trust, blogs about a public-private partnership that brought the historic buildings of Pittsburgh’s Market Square Place together into a single mixed-use complex that now boasts residences, retail storefronts, and a YMCA, all with facades that have been restored to their original 1930s appearance.

Rocchi talks to John Martine, founding principal/lead design partner at Strada about the complexities behind Market Square Place and what it took to make this adaptive reuse successful.

Via National Trust for Historic Preservation blog


Cities can save the planet. Landscape Urbanism recently met up with Alex Steffen to talk about his latest book Imagining Cities That Can Save the Planet: Carbon Zero, which looks at the current condition of our growing – and urbanizing, and warming–planet. The book calls for a radical re-imagination of what our city futures could look like.

“This urban boom won’t be wonderful for everyone; for many, it may be tragic. Unless we change our priorities quickly, as many as a billion people—climate refugees, the rural and destitute, victims of conflict and deep structural poverty—will live on the very edge of existence.” – Excerpt from Carbon Zero

Via Landscape Urbanism blog

The Book:  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AEWHU8E/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00AEWHU8E&linkCode=as2&tag=alexstef-20


Open house for art opening. BNIM Architecture has introduced +1@BNIM, an inhouse art gallery, to continue its commitment to San Diego’s local arts community.

On December 14, BNIM hosted an open house featuring an exhibit of the photographic work of Paul Potash. “The selection of images for this show was inspired by the firm’s strong involvement with sustainable architecture, and the theme of water seemed to be a good fit,” says Paul Potash.

Via BNIM blog


Holiday pop-ups in Sydney. John O’Callaghan blogs how online stores are launching pop-ups for the Christmas season, examining the idea that consumers of experience and culture are happy to risk the craziness of festive shopping and buy on the street.

While more people are spending money online, localization comes into play when it comes to pop-ups. O’Callaghan visits a local popup called Real Food that promotes local and fresh produce.

Via John O’Callaghan blog