|Courtesy of Pam Zimmerman|
Remember Park(ing) Day, that whimsical time of year when bikers, architecture students, nonprofit workers, urban planners and other assorted car critics take over parking spots around the city in order to reveal what a world with a few less automobiles might be like?
I wrote about it in 2008, when it first took place in Philly:
The first Park(ing) Day took place in San Francisco in 2005. People were encouraged to claim a parking space, and cover it with bikes, grass or anything that wasn't a car, and pay the meter. The point was to legally demonstrate that automobiles dominate too much public land, and that it should be redistributed to parks, bike lanes and vegetation.
"In most cities, 70 percent of outdoor space is devoted to cars. But what makes a city great culture, diversity, walkability has nothing to do with a car," says Pam Zimmerman, the organizer of Park(ing) Day in Philly.
Zimmerman just e-mailed The Clog to let us know that Park(ing) Day will happen again, on Sept. 17, with takeovers in Center City, North Philly, Southwest Philly, Germantown, Northern Liberties and University City. Here's a list of the participants so far:â¢ Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
â¢ Community Design Collaborative
â¢ Philadelphia City Planning Commission
â¢ Philadelphia Water Department
â¢ Pennsylvania Planning Association â Southeast Chapter
â¢ Germantown Community Connection
â¢ City Lights Network / Southwest CDC (Southwest Philadelphia)
â¢ Planning Collective
â¢ Arch Street Methodist Church
â¢ University of Pennsylvania â Penn Design
â¢ University of Pennsylvania â Urban Transit Group
â¢ Southwest Community Development Corporation / City Lights
â¢ SMP Architects
â¢ Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Architects
â¢ PostGreen Development
â¢ Interface Studio
â¢ âFree Books Parkâ in Northern Liberties
Sometimes, just sometimes, the city does good. This is one of those times. According to the Streets Department, starting two days ago, you can recycle much, much more trash:
STARTING AUGUST 1: Recycle All Plastic Containers!
You've been recycling plastic containers marked:
#1: Soda, water bottles
#2: Milk jugs, detergents, shampoo bottles
Now you can add:
#3: Rigid plastic containers and juice bottles
#4: Plastic tubs and lids from butter, margarine or similar products
#5: Yogurt containers and deli trays
#6: Plastic cups, plates and to-go containers
#7: Many mixed plastic containers and plastic products
These are just some examples of what you can recycle, so look for the number to make sure.
But don't forget: paper clips, window glass, napkins, PVC pipes and a slew of other WTFs are still off-limits. Click here to get the lowdown on all the rules, new and old.
As we told you earlier today, the city was considering cutting all $2.4 million in funds to the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's vacant land program. It didn't; instead, it cut $840,000 that's 35 percent of the program's total funds.
"Over the next few days and weeks, PHS will plan how it will best use the funds we will receive," says PHS spokesman Alan Jaffe. "For now, we know there will be no new land stabilization, and the maintenance schedule of the stabilized lots will be reduced. There will be also be an impact on the more than 200 green jobs the program has created."
This comes along with today's announcement of $47 million in cuts to this year's city budget that's $27 million more than Mayor Nutter originally announced in May. You can check out how these cuts affected other agencies and programs by downloading the city's five-year plan here.
|Courtesy of PHS|
|Before PHS's vacant land program.|
|Courtesy of PHS|
|After PHS's vacant land program.|
For the last two weeks, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) has stopped maintaining most of its 5,000 vacant lots. "There's basically been no work on them," says Alan Jaffe, PHS's public relations manager. "People have started to dump on the lots again." That's because, although the fiscal year ended on June 30, the city still hasn't determined how many funds PHS's vacant land management program will receive this year.
PHS says it needs $2.4 million from the city to keep up the program, which employs workers to clean, mow and plant trees on abandoned lots. The city is considering cutting all of that funding. Jaffe says that without the money, 200 to 250 related jobs would be lost and 5,000 lots would soon become blighted. This could have real, tangible effects: According to PHS, real estate values have increased as a result of the program, and studies have shown that crime increases when the number of abandoned lots and properties in a neighborhood goes up.
The city says it will make a final decision about the funding by the end of the day. We'll keep you posted.
In this weeks' Editor's Letter, I introduced you to Jay Parekh and Aakash Mathur, two recent Penn grads with a product called Hydros Bottle that's an on-the-go water filtration system, a water bottle with the filter right in the cap.
Parekh wrote in the comments section that they're running an Earth Day special for the Hydros Bottle: "If you'd like to go green for Earth Day and cut out bottled water from your diet, use the coupon code 'EARTHDAY2010' to get free shipping on your Hydros Bottle! Enter code at www.hydrosbottle.com."
So get on that.
Yes, the needles on your dead non-denominational holiday shrub are turning brown and falling all over your floor, getting stuck in your socks and making your life a living hell. You're just itching to kick that thing to the curb on garbage day, right?
Not so fast. It's estimated that as much as 20 percent of waste that goes into landfills is organic and compostable, so you definitely don't want to add to that by chucking your tree onto the pile. There are a bunch of TREECYCLING events happening this coming weekend, so hold onto that "ever"green a few more days.
From 10 a.m. till 4 p.m. on Sat., Jan. 9., at at NoLibs' Liberty Lands park (900 block of N. Third) and a Manayunk location TBD and from 10 a.m. till 4 p.m., Sun., Jan. 10, at Mount Airy's Allens Lane Arts Center (601 Allens Lane) and Passyunk Square's Columbus Square (13th and Reed, not at Capitolo Garden as noted on the above flier).
Remove all decorations and please bring a $5 donation to cover wood chipper rentals.
The program will start in North Philly and then roll out by sanitation area starting in February, 2010.
The event tomorrow, Thursday, Dec. 3, will go down at the Strawberry Mansion Neighborhood Action Center, Outside in adjacent courtyard, 2829 West Diamond St., and will feature Deputy Mayor Rina Cutler, Streets Commissioner Clarena I.W. Tolson, Sustainability director Katherine Gajewski, Councilman Darrell Clark and Ron Gonen, co-founder and CEO of RecycleBank, the company that'll run the rewards program.
Nutter will sign up for a rewards account live on a laptop.
While it seems a no-brainer, this recycling incentives thing is tricky business. As our own Loose Canon Bruce Schimmel wrote last year, when a RecycleBank pilot program in Chestnut Hill and Oak Lane was dumped: "It's hard to imagine that encouraging more consumption, even of recyclables, will make for less waste."
What say you? Will this program be good for Philadelphia, or will the unintended consequence be tons more waste?
Read the city's full press release after the jump.
Mayor Michael Nutter Unveils Philadelphia Recycling Rewards Program at Press Event in North Philadelphia
The City of Philadelphiaâs Recycling Rewards program allows city residents to get redeemable points for curbside recycling
WHAT: City of Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter and the Philadelphia Recycling Office will announce the launch of the Cityâs Philadelphia Recycling Rewards program. This incentive based recycling program will allow city residents that participate in curbside recycling to earn points that can be used for discounts, full value gifts cards or charitable contributions at dozens of local and national merchants and non-profits.
The press event and official announcement will take place in North Philadelphia, which is the first section of the City that will be able to participate in Philadelphia Recycling Rewards. Philadelphia Recycling Rewards will roll out by sanitation areas starting in February 2010. Residents that sign-up for the program prior to February 2010 will receive 100 bonus points.
Philadelphia Recycling Rewards will be the largest incentive based recycling program in the United States and is anticipated to divert thousands of tons of materials away from costly land fills, saving tax payers millions while they earn rewards for themselves. The program is a partnership of the Streets Departmentâs Recycling Office and RecycleBank.
Mayor Michael A. Nutter will be joined by Deputy Mayor Rina Cutler, Department of Streets Commissioner Clarena I.W. Tolson, Director of Sustainability Katherine Gajewski, Councilman Darrell Clarke and Co-founder and CEO of RecycleBank Ron Gonen. Remarks will be made regarding the benefits of the Philadelphia Recycling Rewards program and the ease for city residents to sign-up for the program and begin collecting redeemable points.
Representatives from nearly 30 participating merchants and organizations will attend the event and talk with residents about how they will be able to use their redeemable points at their businesses. Vendors will distribute food. In total, more than 100 representatives from these businesses are expected to be at the announcement.
This will be a highly visual event that will feature remarks from the City of Philadelphiaâs top officials. Visual opportunities will include:
- Mayor Michael A. Nutter signing-up for a Philadelphia Recycling Rewards account via a laptop
- Commissioner Clarena I.W. Tolson demonstrating how recycling participation is recorded and points earned
- Philadelphia Recycling Rewards sticker that participating residents will receive to place on their recycling container
- North Philadelphia residents signing-up for the program
- Mural Arts Program-designed recycling trucks
- Participating merchants
- Hundreds of recycling advocates and individuals representing participating businesses
There will also be interview opportunities with all of the event speakers and city residents that are present to receive information about the program.
City residents and merchants that would like to participate in Philadelphia Recycling Rewards should visit www.PhillyRecyclingPAYS.com or call 1-888-769-7960.
- City of Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter
- City of Philadelphia Deputy Mayor Rina Cutler
- Commissioner Clarena I.W. Tolson, City of Philadelphia Department of the Streets Commissioner
- City of Philadelphia Councilman Darrell Clarke
- Katherine Gajewski, City of Philadelphia Director of Sustainability
- Ron Gonen, Co-founder and CEO of RecycleBank
- Philadelphia recycling advocates
- North Philadelphia residents
- Members of the Philadelphia Recycling Office
- Members of the RecycleBank
WHEN: Thursday, December 3
WHERE: Strawberry Mansion Neighborhood Action Center
Outside in adjacent courtyard
2829 West Diamond Street
Philadelphia, PA 19121
PARKING: Street parking will be available for all members of the media
Around here at City Paper, we do love us some Park(ing) Day the holiday when various environmental, sustainability, etc. groups take over parking spaces and convert them into miniature parks for the day. CP's Catherine Grubb told you all about it in this week's paper. You can find more info at the Parking Day Philly web site where there's an interactive map and a printable one. You can, of course, follow along on the Twitter at twitter.com/parkingdayphila. And please upload any photos you take to the World Parking Day Flickr group.
We're going to get as many photos of Park(ing) Day parks up here as we can, starting with these:
|The American Planning Association, Pennsylvania Chapter, Southeast, with
help from Greener Partners and Skunk Hollow Community Farm demonstrates
how much food can be grown in the space it takes to park one car;
most of the signs on the produce say things like "10 times the
amount here". (Chestnut Street and Juniper)
|Photo | Brian Howard's Android|
|350 Philly is part of a global movement aimed at reducing and get ready for
a little high school chemistry here the parts per million of CO2 in the
Earth's atmosphere from 390 to 350, a level many scientists, climate
experts and progressive governments have deemed as the safe upper
limit. There'll be a 350 rally in Philly Oct. 24. Hit them up on the Web
or on their Facebook. (Chestnut Street west of Broad)
Many more photos after the jump
|Photo | Brian Howard's Android|
|Zip Car set up a little cafe that I'd have investigated further were I not in
imminent danger of being run over. (Chestnut Street)
|Photos | Brian Howard's Android|
|The folks from SMP Architects and Viridian Landscape Studio were just
assembling their .004 Acre Woods when I passed this morning at 8:45.
The materials came from NRI, and one of the architects told me cheerily
that the exhibit will be recycled into woodchips that will then somehow be
turned into the firm's Christmas ornaments. (16th and Walnut). See pictures
of the finished installation, and many more spaces, at dragonballyee.com.
|Photos | Brian Howard's Android|
|The people at PostGreen, the folks behind the 100k House, were setting up a
beanbag toss. Not sure what this corn holing is all about.
(Second and Market)
|Photo | Carolyn Huckabay|
|Atkin Olshin Schade Architects, who're responsible for the sustainable
Environmental Education Eenter in Gladwyne, set up shop on Walnut Street
between Ninth and 10th, drawing with crayons, playing mini-golf
and laughing amid the insane midmorning traffic.
|Photo | Carolyn Huckabay|
|Graceful Gardens owner Grace Wicks kindly
donned her gardening hat for a quick herbaceous photo shoot. She says
that later this afternoon, she'll do edible landscaping demonstrations at her
Park(ing) Day spot, just over the Schuylkill at 30th and Walnut.
|Photo | Carolyn Huckabay|
|Trophy Bikes shared a space with Graceful Gardens in West Philly,
displaying all sorts of two-wheeled car alternatives. They did not put on
gardening hats, however.
|Photo | Carolyn Huckabay|
|The lovely ladies at Free Books Park at Liberties Walk told me that,
if I were to show up in the afternoon, there would be
many more free books up for grabs. Piazza at Schmidts
residents (we're looking at you, Mr. Danza), take note.
|Photos | Dominic Mercier|
|AIA's Park(ing) space, 1218 Arch Street.|
|Elizabeth Jane Cole|
In this week's Agenda section, I did an interview with Scott Beibin, a geek who's doing some pretty cool things. He'll be performing his show, Scientists are the New Rock Stars, at Johnny Brenda's next Wednesday. Here's a synopsis of what it'll be like:
City Paper: What inspired your show?
Scott Beibin: It came from my belief that market capitalism by allowing itself to partner with an open forum such as the Internet basically committed suicide. So, soon, big companies won't be able to maintain their rock-star-making, king-making abilities, and they won't be able to stop people from finding oppressed technology like solar energy or electric cars. I think this'll lead to young people being interested in science the way they're now interested in the arts and entertainment.
CP: What exactly do you mean by a "multimedia show"?
SB: I'm going to show clips of the documentaries I've made about scientists I admire, and talk about my experiences in person. Also, as the show develops, I think we'll have guest speakers and examples of new technology, like this projector that runs on bike power and also makes smoothies.
Anyway, since he'll be in town this summer (he's been travelling all over Europe performing SATNRS and heading the Lost Film Festival for the past few months), he's doing some rock star scientist things of his own. Next weekend, he'll be converting an old blacksmith stable at 48th and Wallace streets into a mini eco village. And, being the collaborative guy that he is, he's welcoming anyone regardless of experience with hammers and things to come along and help. Get at him at email@example.com if you're interested.
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