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A Year Ago on Zero Resource – September 2010

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Oaklavia

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Thousands Play in Oakland’s Streets at the First-Ever ‘Oaklavia’ fromStreetfilms on Vimeo.

On October 2, Oakland will hold an event called Oaklavia, closing a few miles of roads to cars to let people experience car-free city streets. Today’s video is the community reaction to the first time Walk Oakland Bike Oakland organized Oaklavia, last year.

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You can learn more about Oaklavia at its website, oaklavia.org, or at walkoaklandbikeoakland.org.

See you there?

THIS POST IS PART OF OUR FRIDAY VIDEO SERIES.

Today is PARK(ing) Day!

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You can find events in your area through the map on the Parkingday.org site.

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What is PARK(ing) Day, you ask? According to Parkingday.org,

PARK(ing) Day is a annual open-source global event where citizens, artists and activists collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into “PARK(ing)” spaces: temporary public places. The project began in 2005 when Rebar, a San Francisco art and design studio, converted a single metered parking space into a temporary public park in downtown San Francisco. Since 2005, PARK(ing) Day has evolved into a global movement, with organizations and individuals (operating independently of Rebar but following an established set of guidelines) creating new forms of temporary public space in urban contexts around the world. The mission of PARK(ing) Day is to call attention to the need for more urban open space, to generate critical debate around how public space is created and allocated, and to improve the quality of urban human habitat … at least until the meter runs out!

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You can find out more about PARK(ing) Day by reading an article in Smithsonian magazine. Some highlights:

The genesis of Park(ing) Day began in 2005, while Passmore was working in a downtown building, watching cars going in and out of metered spaces. “I had a vision of time-lapse photography, and started thinking: What if an art gallery came in for two hours, or a park came in for two hours? I looked into the law and found that, in San Francisco, it’s technically legal to do something with a metered parking space, apart from storing your car there.” … …

“We did it on November 16, 2005, on Mission Street,” Passmore recalls. “It lasted two hours: the maximum time offered on the meter.” Despite his legal research, Rebar’s foray into guerilla landscape architecture was filled with trepidation. “We actually had speeches prepared for the police: speeches about how we were acting in the public interest, planned to clean up after ourselves and so on. Because we were sure we were going to be arrested.” But nothing happened. “A few meter maids scooted by,” Passmore says with a laugh. “They must have assumed we had a permit—because no one in their right mind would try to do something like this otherwise.”

The event swept through the blogosphere. Suddenly, people all over the country wanted to turn parking spaces into parks. “People were asking us to replicate our project in their cities—which was difficult to do. We were just three guys with day jobs. Rebar was something we did on weekends. So we decided to make a how-to manual and let people do it on their own.”

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Seattle’s 2030 District

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This video highlights the first high-performance building district. The Seattle 2030 District is a district in downtown Seattle that aims to dramatically reduce the environmental impacts of facility construction and operations. It just announced it’s formal launch. Check it out – maybe we can do this in other cities!

If you do not see the video embedded above, click here to watch it on YouTube.

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You can find out more about the Seattle 2030 District here.

THIS POST IS PART OF OUR FRIDAY VIDEO SERIES.
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Snippets

The University of California–Davis has opened its West Village development, which aims to be the largest net-zero-energy community in the country  (via BuildingGreen.com). The bankruptcies of three American solar power companies in the last month, including Solyndra of California… have left China’s industry with a dominant sales position — almost three-fifths of the world’s production capacity — and rapidly declining costs (via NY Times).  China was the United States’ number one source of and destination for PV products in 2010.  The U.S. imported approximately $1.4 billion worth of PV products from China, while exporting between $1.7 billion and $2.0 billion.  This resulted in a positive trade balance with China with net exports of $247 million to $540 million (via Greentech Media).

Tiny Houses on TV!

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This week’s episode of HGTV Design Star challenges the designers to decorate a tiny house. Which means that those of us who have admired (and secretly coveted) a tiny house such as the Tumbleweed Tiny Houses, can get a sense of how much space they have inside and how they could potentially be configured to fit different lifestyles. You can watch the episode online here.

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(Image credit: Wikimedia Commons)

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ZETA Factory and Installation

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Many of you may have heard of ZETA Communities, a company that builds high performance and net zero energy modular housing, schools, and commercial structures that can be installed quickly and in dense urban areas.

A few weeks ago, they posted a video of how the structures are assembled in their factory,and they highlight some of the potential benefits of modular construction.

If you do not see the video embedded above, click here to watch it on YouTube.

I am also posting a video of one of their structures being installed on a site. (Note: the video does not have any sound.)

If you do not see the video embedded above, click here to watch it on YouTube.

THIS POST IS PART OF OUR FRIDAY VIDEO SERIES.