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A little Bit of Sun; a whole lot of Community Envolvement; an Award Winning LIbrary

@WLIC2016‎ @amlibraries and @ IFLA have news for those of us who think we have insurmountable problems getting our new library building projects off the ground and running.

SanCrisCasasVidCap5Landscape + Recycling + Childrens' Reading Needs + Community Engagement = ‎The IFLA Green Library Award 2016. The Pequeño Sol Green Library

This is the 'formula' the people of Germinalia A.C., San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico used for their sustainable new library project.

For their brilliant needs assessment; commitment to sustainability; community orgainisation and willingness to do the work  - this community has received 1st Place: for “a project where sustainability was in the soul of the project from the first starting of the idea until to the new library”

The design is clear cut and simple in its inception and brilliant in its execution:

Foundation and concrete slab, mixed and hand poured by parents and young adults; SanCrisCasasVidCap3

Wall construction: Recyclable containers carefully washed out and stockpiled by families fill cast-off wooden packing pallets, parged by hand;

and a roof of sturdy metal tops off this structure built with love and intelligent design.

SanCrisCasasVidCap2But it is the manner in which this library was constructed, by hand and with total community commitment, that impresses anyone who watches this beautifully put together video: El Pequeño Sol ecological library (The Little Sun Ecological Library

 Be prepared to never complain about your library again.  SanCrisCasasVidCap4

 

See the full details in the Press release from IFLA [English – PDF].

Screen Grab Credit: YouTube Video

 
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Cloudburst boulevards, St. Kjeld-Copenhagen

2015_01_26_ScrnSht_ClimateChngCpnhgn2Climate Change: Huge Opportunity to Build Greener Cities

 “Copenhagen City Hall is about to embark on an ambitious plan to make the whole city climate-change-resilient. Though there will be individual variations, each neighborhood will feature cloudburst boulevards and beautified squares ready for water-basin duty. One Copenhagen suburb is already building its own climate quarter, and Morten Kabell, Copenhagen’s deputy mayor in charge of environment and technology, reports receiving climate-quarter inquiries from mayors around the world. Following a catastrophic cloudburst in 2011 that resulted in damage of about $1 billion, this windy port city had little choice but to find ways of protecting itself.”

2015_01_26_ScrnSht_ClimateChngCpnhgn2_StKjeldMapIn the St. Kjeld neighbourhood, “city planners looked at the option of adding ‘gray infrastructure’ technologies that, in this case, would have included essentially more and bigger sewers, or of designing “green,” nature-based structures that collect the water and lead it away.’”

Flemming Rafn Thomsen of Tredje Natur, the Danish architecture firm chosen for the project reports that they “looked at St. Kjeld and thought, ‘That’s a lot of asphalt with no function. We can use some of that space for water.’ ”

“The answer, Rafn Thomsen and the city decided, was to tear up the neighborhood’s squares and replace their asphalt covering with what’s essentially a hilly, grassy carpet interspersed with walking paths. Should a storm, flood or rising sea levels hit the Danish capital again, the bucolic miniparks will turn into water basins…”

2015_01_26_ScrnSht_ClimateChngCpnhgn1

“Surrounding streets will, for their part, be turned into “cloudburst boulevards.” Under ordinary circumstances, they’ll just be ordinary streets with raised sidewalks, but during floods and megastorms, they’ll become canals, channeling rainwater away from the squares to the harbor. Millions of gallons of water will be dispatched back to the harbor on such above-ground waterways, St. Kjeld becoming a temporary Venice.”

From Aljazeera America: 'Cloudburst boulevards' and innovative bowl-shaped parks are designed to protect the city from rising sea levels, January 26, 2015 5:00AM ET, by Elisabeth Braw @elisabethbraw

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