Four sheep from Ouessent Island, off the coast of Brittany, were selected to take over a gardener’s job, and also for their small size—they stand barely over two-feet tall, and are considered hardy and too small to be eaten—which makes them easier to transport between sites.
Over the next six months, the grass-guzzling living ‘lawn-mowers’ need to keep a 2,000-square meter grass patch neatly trimmed, as a trial. And if the low-tech program (known as eco-grazing) is successful, sheep will be seen replacing mechanical lawnmowers throughout the French capital’s public spaces.
The black shaggy sheep are seen as an environmentally-friendly alternative, as they reduce cost, noise and air pollution, and the use of pesticides and fuel—and they help fertilize plants as well.
“Motorized lawn mowers make a lot of noise, and they also consume fossil fuels and sometimes electricity,” Fabienne Giboudeaux, Paris City Hall’s director of Green Spaces told BBC. “It’s not very rewarding work for gardeners, pushing these machines around. It’s tiring.”
When reached for comment on the local viability of such a project, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson simply said “Baaaaah.” (ok, not really)
(via) miLES is a group based out of the Lower East Side of Manhattan that aims to repurpose and temporarily lease out upwards of 200 vacant retails spaces for events and pop-up shops. In an interview with Fast Company, founder Eric Ho likened the service to “Zipcar or AirBnb for storefronts,” aiming to capture and commodify “the time between when they find the long-term tenant to occupy the space […] to bring back something valuable for the community.” With so many vacant retail spaces in Vancouver, it would be great to see more of them utilized as business incubators by local creatives and first-time entrepreneurs who aren’t quite ready for (or capable of affording) prime time. As regular readers are well aware, Vancouver certainly isn’t a stranger to the pop-up concept, but we see nowhere near as many as we could. We have the requisite diversity of people and product to fill a large number of the city’s vacant addresses. All that’s missing is a local service that functions similarly to miLES. So, someone, would you please…
You know the 7ft. tall porcelain “Main Street Poodle” sculpture at Main & 17th that recently caused a NIMBY uproar because it cost $100,000 and “just doesn’t fit” with the neighbourhood? Pfft, that’s nothing. Check this puppy out. The massive installation by LA-based artist Richard Jackson sees a gigantic dog peeing yellow paint all over the side of the Orange County Museum of Art (…because art). Where do you think it would it show best in Vancouver? In other words, what should it pee on?
Update: the correct answer is real estate marketers.
(via) We love these hand-stitched, 100% cotton city quilts by HapticLab. They do San Fran, LA, Chicago, Paris (above), London, New Orleans, New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington DC, but not Vancouver. Get on it.
“The Flogsta Scream” takes place every night at 10pm in the Swedish university town of Uppsala, specifically in its Flogsta neighbourhood. As you can hear in the video, some of the people really unclench their butt-cheeks and let loose. The wiki: “There is controversy over how the tradition started. Some locals say it was simply a stress reliever, which started during exam times and then became a daily occurrence. Others say it started in remembrance of a student who committed suicide in the 1970s.” I prefer the former explanation. We have the heritage horns sounding noon from Canada Place and the 9pm gun in Stanley Park, but a city-wide, nightly scream session (to vent against the high cost of living, NIMBYism, Ed Hardy, The Province newspaper, and Earls) would make a huge difference in our general happiness index.
(via Laughing Squid) The Urban Air project seeks to convert outdoor advertising billboards into suspended bamboo gardens (video). Each Urban Air installation will feature live bamboo nourished by water misters. The installation will be monitored by a Wi-Fi enabled climate sensor. The project has its roots in a conceptual artwork created by Los Angeles-based artist Stephen Glassman back in 2010. Glassman is now working with environmental engineers, billboard fabricators, and other specialists to build the first full-scale prototype in Los Angeles. He also intends to develop a kit for installing Urban Air gardens in cities around the world.
Maybe Gregor was wrong to concentrate on just bike lanes. Not even mouth-breathing gearheads who bench press Hummers between roid shakes would dare protest such an awesome thing as a trampoline commuter lane. Scout not only proposes these as viable options for the Dunsmuir and Georgia viaducts, but reiterates its call for trampoline add-ons to each of Vancouver’s major bridges. Though traveling upon such bouncy snakes would obviously be subject to the mandatory helmet law, what a nightly comedy they would make once the bars let out (hat tip to reader C.A.)
We recently came across these cool wooden desk tops by San Francisco-based furniture maker and artist Jared Rusten and they gave us an idea. They’re shaped like the state of California, which is fine enough, but we thought they’d be much better if they were modeled on the shape of British Columbia instead. The outline of BC is similar to California’s, only ours is significantly fatter, which is to say it would make for a far more stable table. What’s more, two people could dine upon it comfortably with room for share plates and bottles of wine (Haida Gwaii would make a great hook for a dangling ice bucket). To our dearest woodworking readers, we hope one among you will give it a try. Please show us when you’re done!
by Sean Orr | Canada no longer from coast to coast to coast. Oh, shut up! This goes all the way back to the question of Confederation. It has defined our country and our identity as a Province. Western isolation is nothing new and all this rhetoric is just that.
Related: Canadians say China is the biggest threat to national security. “My concern is with the ignorant projections that associate ‘China,’ ‘state-owned,’ ‘Communist party’ and ‘takeover’with nightmarish fantasies of the People’s Liberation Army marching down Jasper Avenue in Edmonton,” writes the Financial Post. Thanks for putting that beautiful possibility in my head, though. What a visual.
Because China is probably responsible for the earthquake: Earthquake off B.C. coast precursor to the Big One? Excellent question. It’s just too bad that this is only cheap conjecture as nowhere does the author even attempt to answer it. Probably because ALL earthquakes are precursors to the Big One on account of the fact that the Big One has yet to occur. Do earthquakes like this act as a trigger? No, they do not. If anything, they might release some of the pent up pressure that could cause the Big One.
Oh, never mind! Be scared always: Halloween tips for the sensibly paranoid. The media killed Halloween. There was never a razor-blade in the apple.
And they have the nerve to say stop brainwashing our kids. Education has always been inculcation, and the right-wing only disagrees with it when it conflicts their own agenda.
Stop brainwashing our adults: P3s help meet future challenges. Wherein the author, leader of a national P3 team, uses the example of Port Mann, which in fact was abandoned by financiers during the (last) recession and had to be taken up by Translink which then went bankrupt. Capitalism saving us from capitalism. Oh good.
Leading to the tweet of the day c/o Sean Leslie: “Adrian Dix counters Free Enterprise Friday with Theoretical Marxism Thursday. He is kidding. We think”.
Not so free enterprise: Judge shuts down Vancouver millionaire’s late night penthouse hot tub parties. Perhaps he should sue Bob Rennie for selling him a false idea: “Newell’s attitude seems to be that his closest neighbours […] are killjoys and do not belong in Yaletown,” the story goes. “But Yaletown living does not give Mr. Newell an excuse for ignoring the bylaws of his strata corporation.” We are Tennyson’s mariners.
Vancouver Would be Cooler If? Jesse Harris mural in Toronto.
When the news is a metaphor: Pedestrian hit by limo in DTES dies.
When the news is hyperbole: Condos vs. Cottonwood Garden: How City Hall’s viaduct removal plan would make it harder to eat in the Downtown Eastside. But if they turn them into bike-lanes they are anti-car. There’s a balance in there somewhere. Oh dear God, I’m turning into a modern-day pragmatist.
Food not Bons: Bad Boss Award goes to Bon’s Off Broadway. Plus I’m pretty sure they didn’t even pay the Coffee Sheriff.
Halloween rooted in plants. Don’t forget about the Funghi kingdom, because Halloween just wouldn’t be the same without mushrooms.
John Burrows | As Vancouver approaches the East Side Cultural Crawl and the spectacle that comes with some of the most interesting and unknown makers in the city doing their thing, my excitement is combined with impatience in having to wait for such a rich and inspiring experience. On a recent trip to Portland I was able to calm this restlessness at Beam and Anchor, a retail space downstairs with a rich group of makers upstairs where they work with wood and leather, make soap, do upholstery, and other things besides. Not everything downstairs is made upstairs, but it all has the sense of locally made, small batch production; like taking the best elements of the Crawl and putting it into one space so people can see and support it everyday. Back downstairs on my way out I was greeted by a small bus of tourists entering the shop, which again reminded me of that Crawl-like sense of phenomenon, of spectacle, of something worth doing just for the experience. And so whilst it would be hard to translate the awesomeness of the annual Crawl into a single space for the everyday – more things would be found than lost.
John is a web entrepreneur and writer who curates the online shop at Wood Design. He is passionate about materials and is always seeking out the craftsmanship that surrounds us, appreciating it as the antidote to a generation that has lost touch with its industrial roots and the motivation to perform a task well for its own sake.
(via Design Boom) “Installed near the Bir-Hakeim bridge [in Paris], the conception is formed out of inflatable modules, like giant life-preservers, 30 meters in diameter. In the central part of each ring, a trampoline mesh is stretched. The floating buoys, fabricated in PVC membrane, are attached together by cord to form a stable and self-supporting ensemble. Each module under tension – filled with 3700 cubic meters of air – developing in space with an arch-like form. Designed entirely of light materials, the project crosses the Seine at a specific point; it can of course adapt to larger or smaller dimensions at other sites [my italics].”
How many fewer people would commute by car across False Creek’s three bridges if a fourth was built and it was a giant trampoline? Who wouldn’t want to
safely hilariously bounce across it? This being Vancouver, helmets would be mandatory, but it would still be the best rush hour ever! Look into it, Gregor et al. Earn your money today.
We may have forgotten about it in recent weeks, but we know it’s coming. 161 rainy days. Having wrapped ourselves up tight in a summer that still lingers, we say no thank you. Mayor Gregor, if you can have a big one of these installed above the city we’d appreciate it. Thank you very much.
In the interactive art installation “Rain Room,” visitors can walk through a thousand square foot space that is being soaked by falling water— without getting wet themselves. To achieve the effect, cameras track the locations of people within the installation, shutting off nearby water valves to stop the downpour over the visitors.
Too tall an order? OK, fine. But still, if we head over to the Barbican Center in London before this upcoming March, the “Rain Room” installation from art collective rAndom International will at least allow us to pretend (and goodness knows the English need it as much as we do).
by Claudia Chan | I recently came across this animated gif in my FB news feed. It’s a reconstructed image of what a Vancouver street could have looked like in 1914 and what it potentially could look like in the future. Pretty cool. It wasn’t uncommon for large trees to loom over city streets at the turn of the century when our city was still in its infancy. If city planners had just left them there, we would practically be living in an old growth forest by now.
As part of their exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery this past May, the designers of Goodweather Collective put forth this “retroprojective” proposal where giant trees would sit in the middle of neighbourhood roundabouts. By borrowing this idea from the past, they were re-imagining how we could marry urban and forest spaces together. I could just imagine the little kids just loving it – spending hours running around the roundabout tree. They would have the best of both worlds – the city and the forest in their own front yard.
It would be a pretty bold and avantgardist way of re-landscaping the city, and I think most folks would dig it. I’m just not sure how urban planners would react to the idea given that a roundabout tree might pose as an earthquake or lightning hazard. Still, I’m not opposed to a massive three hundred year old Douglas Fir down the middle of my street. You?
Claudia Chan is an advocate of all things green. Born and raised in Vancouver, she is inspired by the work of local urban farmers, eco artists and policy makers who make this city the most lush and livable to work and play in. Her mission with Scout and her “Greenlight” column is to impart her enthusiasm for bike lanes, community gardens, farmers’ markets and more to her fellow Vancouverites.