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Rethinking the suburbs

Marc Lefkowitz  |  08/24/09 @ 1:44pm

Cleveland architects Jim Fish and Rob Donaldson's idea to convert foreclosed McMansions into vertical farms for renewable energy and food made the final 20 of Dwell Magazine's "Reburbia" competition. The practicality of replacing windows for wind turbines and gardens in bedrooms may be a stretch, but it does provide food for thought on how to repurpose the suburbs when people no longer want to or can't afford to live in isolated cul-de-sacs.

We like the idea of reusing the infrastructure of the McMansion for a greenhouse. Local food advocates and Cleveland Councilman Joe Cimperman have mused that it may be possible to reuse the foundation and the plumbing of abandoned homes and build a greenhouse where the rest of the house used to be. It might be better to deconstruct and "upcycle" the rest.

See the entry here.

Other news: 

  • Mobile electric car charger on the way Juice Technologies, based in Columbus, Ohio, will supply its Plug Smart "intelligent charger" which should allow people to charge cars anywhere in San Diego Gas and Electric service territory and have the usage billed to the driver's account. Read more.
  • Eaton wins $45 million stimulus grant to develop a plug-in hybrid electric engine for heavy duty vehicles such as utility trucks, delivery vehicles and garbage trucks.
  • ArcelorMittal has opened the second round of its grants program for watershed restoration projects. "These programs support habitat restoration, protection and enhancement projects, invasive species control, water quality improvements, and watershed planning and management within the Great Lakes basin. The Requests For Proposals are now available here.


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