by Lindsay Kinkade
The Neighborhood Green Swap barter system uses recycled furniture to help neighbors meet one another, share plants, and share their bountiful harvests.
Green Swap furniture can be made by any community group to exchange plants for the yard or garden and to exchange bountiful harvests. This system can be part of a neighborhood response to lack of healthy food sources. Neighbors can share their vegetables as they become ripe. Don’t the zucchinis always overwhelm? Who can eat so many tomatoes at once? By making a place to trade and share, the Green Swap makes healthy food more accessible to everyone.
D E S I G N
The project stands out on the street. The inside is now outside, creating a more intimate space on the sidewalk. The green swap barter point also uses color to stand out in the concrete urban environment. The foundation of the first piece of furniture is bright lime green with bright orange stenciled onto it, but the system is open to interpretation by the people who create it.
T O O L K I T – H O W T O M A K E O N E
The tool kit used to make the project includes stencils of flowers and type. Anyone can use these tools and hardware store-bought paint to transform a piece of curbside furniture into a point of neighborhood transaction. The set of posters can also be used by neighborhood or gardening groups to advertise their Green Swap events. I hope to make these tools available online for free.
Lindsay would like very much to collaborate with you on the implementation of a Green Swap project for your group. If you are interested in doing a Green Swap project or workshop, please contact Lindsay at email@example.com.
Adaptive Reuse of Transportation Systems to Combat Food Deserts – The Loop
the grocery loop proposal for a better world by design 2010 challenge
A collaborative project by RISD Graduate Students
Erika Tarte firstname.lastname@example.org
Beth Weaver email@example.com
Lindsay Kinkade firstname.lastname@example.org
The Grocery Loop is an innovative design solution to the pressing social problem of limited access to healthy food. Built on the cost-effective and environmentally friendly model of adaptive reuse, The Grocery Loop is a public transportation system that provides access to nutrition, encourages community engagement, and promotes environmental sustainability.
Providence and many other cities are what Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign calls a “food desert” — a place in which access to affordable, quality, and nutritious foods is limited. Over 30,000 households in the city of Providence live without easy access to healthy food (living over one mile from a grocery store) and although this presents an opportunity to encourage non-vehicular transportation, such a solution neglects the physical and financial limitations of many Ocean State residents.
In a 2010 survey our group conducted of a cross-section of the current RIPTA ridership, interviews revealed widespread frustration with linear routes, the impracticality of riding multiple routes to visit multiple grocery stores, and the lack of proper amenities for transporting food on buses and at bus shelters. Riders favored looping routes, such as the existing Trolley, and expressed a desire for accurate schedules and comprehensive route maps.
The Grocery Loop integrates amenity-based bus lines into the existing Rhode Island public transportation system (RIPTA). These low-emission, hybrid diesel buses run in a continuous loop stopping at a diverse selection of stores — from farmers markets, to specialty shops, to large grocery stores. Both buses and bus shelters provide seating and storage that is optimized for transporting food. Real-time GPS tracking information is displayed to keep riders informed of arrivals and departures. Once riders are on The Grocery Loop, they know exactly where they’re going: to the grocery store.
kennedy plaza el rancho grande gr een loop red loop Whole foods
Attentive to the evolving needs of the ridership, The Grocery Loop’s routes are informed by rider feedback. The Grocery Loop buses and website give riders the opportunity to suggest routes and schedules that fit into their busy lifestyle. Additionally, The Grocery Loop website allows riders to share recipes, generate grocery lists, suggest and review grocery stores, and connect to their fellow riders through social networking services. To further accommodate rider needs, the website will be optimized for personal computer and mobile use.
The web and mobile component of The Grocery Loop is an incredible opportunity to connect Rhode Islanders to resources about health and nutrition. By creating an engaging online presence, The Grocery Loop aims to keep riders “in the loop” of healthful resources throughout Rhode Island.
This project has received the generous support of RISD with the award of a prestigious Graduate Studies Grant. The grant period has allowed for further design and development of The Grocery Loop’s website so that it will son include functional social networking components. Lindsay and Erika will also begin a public outreach campaign to generate community interest and to organize community support.
This ambitious project will require research, prototyping, and a pilot program. We are currently in the first stages; throughout the 2010–2011 academic year, we will focus of research, networking, and moving our project forward with political and commercial stakeholders. We will discuss the particular needs of store owners will be and we’ll find out how they will support the system through sponsorship and shared marketing.
This project started in a weekend workshop with Jake Barton, one of the creators of StoryCorps, and principal of Local Projects.
Grow Your Own Vegetables, City Dwellers, But Do Mind The Lead: http://www.npr.org/130212437
Yet another obstacle to getting fresh food into underserved neighborhoods.
IBM said on Thursday it will open three analytics centers in Europe, part of its growing business analytics business highlighted by its $1.7 billion offer earlier this week for vendor Netezza.
The centers will be in Zurich, Budapest and Vienna, IBM said. Zurich will focus on financial analytics and “Smarter Cities,” an IBM program that uses its technologies to help government improve their city infrastructures. The Budapest center will work on green infrastructure and transportation, while Vienna will focus on energy grids, supply chain optimization and Smarter Cities, IBM said.” —IBM to Open Three Analytics Centers in Europe - PCWorld Business Center
Because Everyone Loves a Homegrown Tomato!
We share yards, time, tools, seeds, potlucks, fruit, vegetables, stories, music, wisdom…but mostly we share our garden space!
Since sprawl is, literally, an extension of the challenge of urbanization, people are welcome to submit posts about suburban issues.
Feed the Smarter Cities Scan by tagging your own post “cityscan” — and the Smarter Cities Scan can reblog it right into the mix here.
Help others discover this project by reblogging, liking or tweeting posts that you want others to know about. The short URL for the Scan is: http://bit.ly/smartercities.
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A Better World by Design, the internationally acclaimed student-run conference on reshaping the built environment, wants to your ideas for eliminating urban food deserts.
What is a food desert? Quite simply, it is a geographic area with limited access to fresh, nutritious, or locally-sourced food. Obstacles to the elimination of food deserts include availability, price, proximity of sources, transportation and preservation of goods, poor environment for local farming, and lack of awareness or education.
Smart and healthy cities need accessible nutrition. How is your city addressing food deserts? What innovations have you seen in sourcing and distributing food? A Better World by Design, in partnership with IBM’s Smarter Cities Scan, is searching for practical, efficient, and visionary solutions to various aspects of the food desert problem. You can submit a post right on this Tumblr site, send it via email to email@example.com, or if you have a Tumblr site, just tag your post “bxdfood” and we’ll reblog it from your site to the Smarter Cities Scan.
This effort is part of the 2010 Better World Challenge, an international design competition in which the top ideas will be implemented locally in Providence, RI with the support of the municipal government.
The three most popular posts, based on the number of “likes” and “reblogs” received, will be shown in front of our audience of hundreds of global innovators and broadcast live on the web on the afternoon of October 3, just before we reveal the winner of the Better World Challenge!
A Better World by Design is an annual conference at Brown University and RISD that connects students, professionals, and individuals from a variety of disciplines to build a global community of socially conscious and passionate innovators. Find out how you can attend or watch our live stream October 1-3 at www.abetterworldbydesign.com.
In a world undergoing rapid urbanisation and witnessing the rise of the megacity, it’s easy to forget about the villages and towns that began this transformation. There are many advantages to urban living, including a reduced average carbon footprint, the freeing up of countryside for nature and agriculture, and the creative benefits of people working within a short distance of each other. However, not all good ideas emerge from the world’s cities. In fact, across the globe there are countless innovative towns and villages that our cities could learn a great deal from. Here are five:
Rock Port, America:
As the western world struggles to achieve energy independence, one small town in America has already done it.
- title or topic in the Subject field
- content in body of the email.
- Important: include the tag “cityscan” at the bottom of your post
You can even submit different kinds of posts such as pictures, text, links, quotes and video.
Other questions? Try the Help/FAQ section
Founded in 2005, the Renegade Theatre Festival exists to present a free theatre festival that creates opportunities for artists of all experience levels to offer a wide spectrum of theatre with varying techniques, production values, and styles, all completely free to the public.
Just having closed its fifth year, performances include comedy, drama, musicals, children’s theatre, performance art, readings of new works by local playwrights and improv, from some of Lansing’s most prominent theatres.
On each of the three nights, visitors will have a dozen choices with shows twice a night in traditional performance spaces and some unique locations all over Lansing’s historic Old Town. Saturday afternoon features several children’s theatre plays.
2010 welcomed two new additions to the festival: Renegade NOW (New Original Works) where brand new plays were solicited from all over Michigan, and eight were chosen to be featured in the NOW portion of the festival. Talk-backs with theatre professionals and audiences members were held after each performance. The festival also added a “Feed Your Festival” Forum, featuring five experts who have grown their own festival around the country and who spoke on the benefits of a festival on a community and how to effectively grown from year to year.
And not that Renegade is about numbers, but the numbers from Renegade 2010 are pretty cool:
- Over 1,800 audience members
- Over 200 theatre artists
- 23 productions
- 18 new works
- 10+ musicians
The Renegade Theatre festival is the only time during the theatre season when all of the producing theatres in the the area come together in one place and celebrate theatre as one community.
In 2009, hundreds of people in the Greater Lansing Region had begun talking together - about what’s next. We live and work in the middle of Michigan, which is itself in the middle of cathartic change as we move from the industrial models of the Old Economy to the global imperatives of the New Economy. Yet amid financial difficulty and doomsayers, there is great hope. In our midst, businesses are growing, entrepreneurs are launching start-ups, ideas are flowing from our colleges and universities, and people are beginning to envision what could be next.
We love with region, this place we call home. We have been innovators and dreamers and fighters. We still are. And we all want the same future: business growth, strong and vibrant communities, more and better jobs, a healthy and diverse region.
But the new economic realities will require a different way of thinking and a different level of cooperation. If a more prosperous future is our goal, here is one path to get us there. We call it Greater Lansing Next.
Greater Lansing Next is a road map to our future. Seven strategies, hundreds of volunteers, one goal. Be Great. Greater Lansing.
There are 221 accredited zoos and aquariums in the United States. That may sound like a lot, but as of the year 2000, the US Census counted over 10,000 cities. A quick memory lane math trip tells you that only 2% of US cities contain a zoo or aquarium. Lansing is fortunate enough to be one of those cities and the community has really taken ownership of their Zoo. Through events, donations and even every day visitation, Potter Park Zoo in Lansing, Michigan has constructed new exhibits, improved its education programs to enrich the learning environment of over 25,000 students annually and hosted guest speakers from around the globe. The Zoo also participates in 19 endangered Species Survival Programs (SSP’s), ranging from Puerto Rican Crested Toads to Amur tigers.
Potter Park isn’t alone. Several other cultural centers and museums speckle the cityscape and they continue to improve thanks to support from a community that gets involved. When we invest our hearts and minds ahead of our pocketbooks, great and positive things happen. The people of Lansing have done well to invest in both their cultural and informal educational environments.
Data is not exactly the sexiest thing in the world, but in #lovelansing, our local workforce development agency Capital Area Michigan Works! partners with our regional economic development organization Leap, Inc. to help economic developers, K-12 education, higher ed and business make smarter decisions about our future.
Based on labor market information from the Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives and data from the US Department of Labor, Census Bureau and elsewhere, we gather a group of businesses each year to take a look at a specific sector or trend and ask, what’s happening in this particular industry? What are the trends? Growth? Decline? Do we have the workforce to meet those businesses’ demands now? In the future? And what more can be done to support businesses?
In the past, we’ve looked at manufacturing, healthcare, construction, IT, insurance and financial services, green jobs and the creative economy, as well as what will happen in the greater Lansing economy when the Baby Boomers retire. As a result of these studies, seven trade associations have been formed and received grant funding to help specific sectors address their workforce concerns.
In 2011, we’ll be focusing on talent. As home to Michigan State University, Lansing Community College and the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, along with more than a dozen other higher education institutions, we want to know what it takes to keep knowledge economy workers, and we want to know the truth about brain drain in Michigan.
Copies of the past four years’ reports are available at:
1. First and foremost, because I am part of a dynamic community with everyone pulling in the same direction. Lansing moves with the energy of hundreds of people and dozens of initiatives (Young Smart and Global, Accelerate Lansing, Dewitt Creativity Group, Michigan State University, Lansing Economic Area Partnership, Impression 5 Science Center, Greater Lansing Next, ITEC—I could go on) all committed to creating a more vibrant, livable community.
2. Second, and almost as foremost, I have the chance to lead @ITECLansing in improving math and science education in greater Lansing. ITEC works with middle school and high school students to prepare them for academic success and the careers of tomorrow in technology and related fields.