By Lauren Mandel, MLA, ASLA

As Roofmeadow’s resident Rooftop Agriculture Specialist, I was delighted to attend a food security conference in Philadelphia this past week.  “Feeding Cities: Food Security in a Rapidly Urbanizing World” attracted scientists, regional planners, urban farmers, and food security experts from around the globe, resulting in robust dialogue with an international flair.  The University of Pennsylvania and Rockefeller Foundation hosted the two-day event, which showcased the organizational prowess of the Penn Institute for Urban Research, PennDesign, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, among others.

Lecture and panel discussion topics addressed diverse issues that reflected the presenters’ varied backgrounds.  Topics spanned from water resource management to food supply chains to the geopolitics of urban food security.  When viewed holistically, the talks addressed a singular, underlying questions: How do…

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Slim Paley


As Valentine’s Day is but a breathless day or two away,

I thought I’d gather a few of my roses for you.

Screen Shot 2013-02-12 at 12.24.26 AMSome fun with Instagram 

Screen Shot 2013-02-12 at 2.57.51 PMI zoomed these roses through a shop window in Paris. I think the glass had a beautiful effect on them, don’t you?



The Beloved

It is enough of honor for one lifetime

To have known you better than the rest have known

The shadows and colours of your voice,

Your will, immutable and still as stone.

The shy heart so lonely and so gay,

The sad laughter and the pride of pride,

The tenderness, the depth of tenderness

Rich as the earth, and wide as heaven is wide.


Sara Teasdale


L1010648From my garden.  

K, I’m ready for spring.

screen-shot-2011-02-13-at-1-41-21-pmDo you have any special plans for this romantic day that, let’s admit, has become just a tad commercialized ?


Remember way

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Achawin Design



Design team: Achawin Laohavichairat, Montakan Manosong, Peerapon karunwiwat

For the Bangkok area, this area is a congested urban area, there are many types of building such as low-rise building, mid-rise building, and high-rise. In our designed, we proposed to use existing building as high-rise building that produced the waste products as waste water, rubbish and also use more energy in the day. From the research, the high-rise building produces the waste water 30,000 liter/day. So, according the result, we proposed to design a self-sufficient house that use the waste products to support itself, it becomes a “Zero Energy Living”






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Slim Paley

Ceylon teaSlim Paley photo

Fields of TEA, the most consumed beverage on the planet



Being an Irish lass, what better day to post about my visit to the tea plantations of Sri Lanka than on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day?!

And ye of little faith, thinking I wasn’t going to post this week!

Why I was just getting settled back in, unpacking, battling jet lag and eating Coldstone’s ice cream at 5:00am in the morning.

You know, the usual…



tea plantationsSlim Paley photo

Certainly one of the highlights of our trip was the time we spent along the Tea Trails.

Imagine falling into a Genie’s bottle of Hendrick’s gin and you’ll get some idea of the verdant atmosphere of this area.


Did you notice the tiny church nestled at the top of the fields of tea? The most beautiful little church in the world, which…

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Earth Hour tonight at 8.30pm (local time) !

Earth Hour

Earth Hour 2012 takes place on Saturday 31 March at 8.30pm (local time) and is a global call to action to every individual, every business and every community throughout the world. It is a call to stand up, to take responsibility, to get involved and lead the way towards a sustainable future. Iconic buildings and landmarks from Europe to Asia to the Americas will stand in darkness. People across the world from all walks of life will turn off their lights and join together in celebration and contemplation of the one thing we all have in common – our planet.

Earth Hour has done a lot to raise awareness of climate change issues. But there’s more to it than switching off lights for one hour once a year. It’s all about giving people a voice on the future of our planet and working together to create a sustainable low carbon future for our planet.

With participation levels now exceeding all expectations, and with more cities and towns signing up every day to be a part of this historic event, the success of Earth Hour 2012 is limited only by the will of the global community to want a say in the future of their planet.

The challenge of Earth Hour is to rethink how we live our lives in the next hour, the next day, and the day after that.

It’s always darkest before the dawn. Let’s make this hour the dawn of a new greener age.

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Lush Garden Hotel in Sanya

Hotel garden in Sanya (china)

NL Architects’ Sanya Block 5 is a Lush Garden Hotel for China

Sanya is a popular tropical destination in China with average temps of around 25 deg C (77 deg F), making it a perfect spot for a lush garden hotel. NL Architects has recently unveiled plans for a new hotel complex there that features a sculptural facade planted with tropical trees and vegetation in deep pocketed extrusions. Wastewater from inside the hotel rooms is used to water the plants, which also provide shade, cooler temps, and privacy. A maze-like 3D bridge system branches out from the central courtyard to access the rooms, and the ground floor serves as a public deck with restaurants, bars and retail spaces.

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27th edition of the “Salon du Vegetal” in Angers (France) from 21 to 27 February 2012

The 27th “Salon du Vegetal” opens today and will last until February 27 in the Exhibition Park of Angers (Maine-et-Loire – France).

Reserved to the professionals, these 3 intense days in events and meetings provide an appointment more than expected by the entire profession.

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The Flat Tower

Flat TowerSecond Place
2011 Skyscraper Competition
Yoann Mescam, Paul-Eric Schirr-Bonnans, Xavier Schirr-Bonnans in France

The construction of skyscrapers has been an architectural solution for high-density urban areas for almost a century for its ability to combine height with a small footprint. Today there is a constant race between large metropolises and nations to build the tallest structure, but it has been proven that this typology is sometimes not desirable for medium-size cities where skyscrapers destroy the skyline and disrupt the infrastructure of a specific location.

The Flat Tower is a new high-density typology that deviates from the traditional skyscraper. It is based on a medium-height dome structure that covers a large area while preserving its beauty and previous function. The dome is perforated with cell-like skylights that provide direct sunlight to the agricultural fields and to the interior spaces. The dome’s large surface area is perfect to harvest solar energy and rainwater collection.

Community recreational facilities are located at ground level while the residential and office units are in the upper cells. An automated transportation system connects all the units, which are different shapes according to their program. It is also possible to combine clusters of cells to create larger areas for different activities.

Although this proposal could be adapted to any medium-size city around the world, it has been designed for the city of Rennes, France, in an old industrial area.

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Your Roof: Once Black, Now Green

Green Roof

Toronto has been aggressive about it: they have a new, comprehensive green roof law, the first one in North America.
Efforts are already paying off: Green Roofs for Healthy Cities is reporting that the law has resulted in more than 1.2 million square feet of new green space planned on new commercial, institutional, and multi-unit residential developments. It will also keep enough rainwater runoff out of the lakes and rivers to fill fifty Olympic sized swimming pools. It’s reduced the heat island effect and led to an annual energy savings of over 1.5 million KWH for building owners…

Read more :
More about green roofs and more photos of roofs there :

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Lilypad, the floating city

With global sea levels predicted to rise significantly over the next century due to climate change, a lot of people living in low lying areas are expected to be displaced from their homes. Architect Vincent Callebaut has come up with a possible relocation destination for these climate change refugees in the form of the “Lilypad” concept – a completely self-sufficient floating city that would accommodate up to 50,000.

The floating city would also include the full complement of renewable energy technologies, including solar, thermal, wind, tidal, and biomass to produce more energy than it consumes. The Lilypads could be located close to land or set free to follow the ocean currents wherever they may lead.

More photos on Facebook

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A green domino for Euronews !

Euronews Lyon siègeEuronews Lyon in aluminiumOf bright green aluminium !

Lyon, France, Saturday 12 November 2011, at the site of its future world headquarters, Euronews laid the first stone of one of the most prominent buildings in Lyon’s new Confluence district, an urban renewal project in central Lyon.

Euronews Lyon plan-interieurNew world headquarters in 2014 (France) !

Designed by architects Jakob + MacFarlane, the future world headquarters of euronews will be an audacious and modern building with a strong identity, reflecting the values of the channel. The international news channel will be located on the docks of the Saône river, in the heart of the Lyon Confluence district, the largest urban redevelopment project in Europe. The building will be completed in the last quarter of 2013. It will then take six months to finish the interior layout and technical installations so that the channel can begin operations at the new site in 2014.

Euronews Lyon coloured toyA coloured toy !

With approximately 10,000 square metres of space on 6 levels, the building will accommodate the 800 current staff of the international news channel. The two spherical voids on the facade and the perforated outer shell of bright green aluminium are just a few of the technical feats of the building whose interior is designed to meet the needs of a television channel broadcasting live worldwide, 24 hours a day.


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Skyscraper Recipro-City – Living Structure

Recipro-CityThe skyscraper proposed by S3 Arquitectos was a finalist in the competition. It will be a living structure which will respond to the requirements of both the density and vibrancy of modern city and the tranquillity of a suburban life.

The skyscraper city is designed as a vertical living tree. The mega-structure will have several functional layers similar to those in a city. It was designed by superimposing horizontal and vertical layers to fulfill all the functions of a city.

The transposable elements and layers determine the boundaries of the skyscraper. It will resemble an organic living tree rising from the base. The entire structure from the base to the canopy represents an organism building and creates awareness about the preservation of nature.

Posted in Green building, Preservation of Nature, Skyscraper Recipro-City, sustainable building, vertical living tree | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Dochodo Zoo Island is an Eden at Sea

Dochodo Zoo islandIt sounds like the plot of the movie Jurassic Park (minus the dinosaurs), but JDS Architects have created an incredible plan for a zoo located on the South Korean island of Dochodo. The island could, according to the architecture firm, be a “case study to define a tourist region based on sustainable development only, where natures and structures function in equilibrium, symbiotically feeding one another.”
read more: Dochodo Zoo Island is an Eden at Sea

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Project Haiti Orphanage and Children’s Center

Every story about green building is a story about people !

Project Haiti Orphanage and Children’s Center is about the people of Haiti who are facing ongoing devastation following the earthquake of January 2010. It’s about a replicable, resilient model for rebuilding.

Children in Haiti

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Happy New Year 2012 !

Happy New Year 2012 !

We wish you a very Happy New Year 2012 !

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