DiCaprio, Discovery to Rebuild Devastated Greensburg into Eco-Town

Discovery Planet Green

On May 4, Greensburg, Kansas, population 1,500, was smashed by a tornado.  Celebrity Leonardo DiCaprio saw the destruction and decided to help Greensburg rebuild their into an "Eco-town."  DiCaprio pitched the idea to Discovery and the company decided to join with him to make the rebuilding into a 13-part series for Discovery’s new Planet Green channel.  The series will be called "Eco-town," and it will document Greensburg becoming a "sustainable model of eco-living and one that will save it from future environmental catastrophe." 

DiCaprio plans to executive produce the series through his company Appian Way, with the additional help of Craig Piligiann and Discovery Planet Green.  They anticipate working closely with the governor of Kansas and Greensburg to put resources into the rebuilding and make a genuine difference.  I think it’s an excellent idea and can’t wait to watch and learn from the effort.  Via NY Times.

To get an idea of the damage to this town, check the photos below the fold.  It’s unbelievable the damage nature can do. 

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Rafael Viñoly Walkie-Talkie Tower Gains Approval (S2)

Walkie Talkie Tower

Soon, London is going to welcome another interesting object to the city’s skyline.  If you’re familiar with 30 St Mary Axe, you know what I’m talking about.  Now, developer Land Securities will get the opportunity to construct a new, 37-story, Rafael Viñoly-designed building that commentators affectionately call the "Walkie-Talkie" Tower.  City councillors were split on whether to approve the scheme, but ultimately it received a 12-8 vote for approval.  Some councillors were worried about its location and the asymmetrical impact to London’s skyline.  Another councillor said the building design is "striking, remarkable and [an] exciting standalone building."  To be located at 20 Fenchurch Street, Land Securities thinks the building is necessary to meet the market’s demand for efficient large floor plates. 

Like most towers being designed these days, this one will also include sustainable design.  One notable green feature is the roof garden and park.  The sky garden will be open to the public on the weekends, making it the highest accessible park in London.  Also, there will be a cafe and restaurant on the park level.  Via BD Online

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Capitol Hill Green Building, Ford's Plug-in Hybrid, SCU's Solar Home + Putting Buildings on an Energy Diet (WIR)

Week in Review
  1. Congress celebrates first green building on Capitol Hill with one building being renovated to LEED Silver level certification and saving energy by about 48%. 
  2. Ford Motor Company and Southern California Edison join together to make plug-in hybrid technology a reality. 
  3. Santa Clara University was chosen by US Department of Energy to design, construct, and display a fully functional, 650 sf solar powered home. 
  4. The Cost of Saving Energy – New Yorkers are working on energy consumption, but some buildings need to go on an energy diet. 

O2 Student Village, A Community of M-CHs (F2)

O2 Student Village

This is a pretty popular photo of the O2 student village at the Technical University of Munich.  In addition to being sponsored by O2 Germany, the community of seven micro-compact homes (posted about previously here) is also sponsored by Siemens.  Six students and one professor stay in the homes for an entire school year.  Each home includes a plasma screen, high-speed internet, a bed, and state-of-the-art kitchen and bathroom appliances (although you probably wouldn’t want to powder your nose and cook at the same times as these are only about 76 sf big).

"F2" is short for "Flickr Friday," a weekly short posted on Friday with an image from Flickr and a quick description.  Feel free to email me your F2 ideas.

The Jetson Green Sustainability Bookstore

Sustainability Bookstore

If you know me, you know I like to read.  You name it, I read it.  Books.  Magazines.  Newspapers.  Online.  Actually, I have a theory on book reading, which goes like this:  if you don’t pay reasonable market value for it, you won’t be motivated to read it.  It’s like a gym membership.  With this in mind, I’ve put together an online shop of sustainable books, The Jetson Green Sustainability Bookstore, in case anyone is searching for good material on environmentalism.  There’s a lot out there.  Let me know if I left something out that you think merits inclusion.  Here are the categories:

++ Magazines + Prefab/Small + Architecture/Design ++
++ Non-fiction/Business + Green Lifestyle ++

This isn’t a money maker for JG, I’ve never made more than $10 /quarter from Amazon…this is more intended to be a resource library for those of us at all levels in the journey towards living and working in a greener way.  Again, let me know if I left a good book out.  Also, I’ve gotten into Eco-Libris thanks to Victoria-E.  Eco-Libris plants a tree for every book that you purchase an offset for.  I’m not going to get into the offset controversy, but suffice it to say, I like the idea and will do it from now on.

mkLotus: West Coast Green Showhouse

mkLotus

One reason to attend West Coast Green is to see the unveiling of Michelle Kaufmann Design’s newest home, the mkLotus.  Built by ExtremeHomes, mkLotus will be a showhouse for West Coast Green in San Francisco from September 20-22, 2007.  I can’t wait to see this.

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