Weekly Blog Favorites for July 30

Disney embraces green. The 4,500-square-foot VISION House seeks to promote green home awareness that will imprint children with green design and products both prosaic and visionary, much as an earlier generation embraced recycling

VISION House’s purpose is to engender sustainable thinking, says Green Builder Media CEO Sara Gutterman. Green Builder Media collaborated with Walt Disney’s Imagineers to “innovent” VISION House, combining the media company’s expertise in green living with Disney’s expertise in entertainment.Disney expects 15 million people will see the home during the next three years.

Via Metropolis Magazine POV Blog

Makeover for Washington DC’s Union Station. Amtrak has revealed an ambitious conceptual master plan that would increase the number of tracks, trains, and travelers that can be handled at what is now the East Coast’s second-busiest station.

The National Trust, as part of the Union Station Preservation Coalition, has helped prepare a report that recommends ways to best preserve Union Station’s historic integrity. The full report can be downloaded at www.PreservationNation.org/UnionStationReport.

Via Preservation Nation Blog

The Future of Olympic Architecture. Hosting the Olympics creates a unique opportunity for a city to show off its character and style. There’s no better way to empower a forward-thinking, progressive population than by constructing bold, progressively designed event spaces and stadiums. But at what cost has constructing these venues become?

London has taken a revolutionary approach to host “the world’s first truly sustainable Olympic and Paralympic Games, leaving a legacy far beyond the departure of the Olympic Flame,” according to London2012.com. The city has purposefully designed some of its buildings to be easily disassembled and recycled once the Games have concluded.

Via Mashable

How Far Has Bike and Pedestrian Advocacy Come? In 1980, the very first Pro Bike conference with 100 people convened in Asheville, North Carolina. Thirty-two years later, the Pro Walk/Pro Bike: Pro Place has expanded to 1,000 advocates, reflecting the dramatic transformation of bicycling advocacy into today’s active transportation movement.

Project for Public Spaces interviews three advocates who have played very active roles in this transformation, looking back over the past three decades and reflecting on lessons learned thus far.

Via Project for Public Spaces Blog

Parks are part of our healthcare system. Green spaces are crucial to solving hypertension, anxiety, depression, diabetes – “the diseases of outdoor living,” Dr. Daphne Miller, a professor of family and community medicine, University of California, San Francisco, told conference attendees at the Greater & Greener: Reimagining Parks for 21st Century Cities in New York City.

The more someone spends outdoors, the less likely they are to suffer from mental or physical disorders. In a separate panel on healthcare and parks, Dr. Deborah Cohen, senior natural scientist at RAND, and Sarah Messiah, a research professor at the University of Miami presented study results that measured “play in communities,” examining activity levels of residents using parks in Los Angeles.

Via The Dirt