Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Big Ups for Mitchell Joachim and Sustainable Cities

Wired magazine ran an article on Mitchell Joachim and his collective Terreform yesterday. Additionally Joachim was placed on Wired’s “2008 Smart List” as being one of 15 people the next president should ‘listen to.’ Unfortunately he was placed after people whose ideas include using big robots and bigger guns, anthropology in warfare, and embracing the Post-American age. Shouldn’t Joachim et co. optimistic vision for our future cities be a little closer to the top? Oh well. Hopefully next time.

Here are some choice quotes from the first article:

And don't get him started on sustainability. "I don't like the term," he says. "It's not evocative enough. You don't want your marriage to be sustainable. You want to be evolving, nurturing, learning." Efficiency doesn't cut it, either: "It just means less bad." Even zero emissions falls short. "This table does zero damage," he says, thumping the one in his office. "No VOCs, no carbons. Whatever. It doesn't do anything positive."

Citing US Department of Energy statistics, he says that while 29 percent of the nation's energy expenditure--what he calls "the suck"--now goes toward getting around, "in 50 years that will double." Among the biggest sources of waste, he argues, is the automobile--not only in energy but in the space it occupies (cars, he notes, spend more than 90 percent of the day parked). For nearly a century, Joachim says, "cities have been designed around cars. Why not design a car around a city?"

For some visual delight, here are some YouTube videos I dug up on Joachim and Terreform:

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