Archive for June, 2013

June 2013

A few days after I posted the last newsletter, Anton, Abby and I went to a talk on urbanism at the University of Pretoria by alumnus Kobus Mentz. Anton posted one of his key messages from the lecture hall : “Travel is the enemy in good urbansim.” The most striking of the precedent studies Kobus discussed were of his work in Auckland (he now lives in New Zealand) after the earthquake. I don’t think anyone in the audience had realized quite how devastating that earthquake was. Check out Urbanismplus’s website.

Anton also posted the first concept for the landscape at the hotel to be developed at the Houghton Golf Course. Elize counterbalanced that rather serious post with something a little sillier – well, it was on a Friday, I suppose.

I posted an article called “Some of My Best Friends are Germs” from the New York Times, because it backed up another recent article that I read in Time magazine and also because disinfectant soaps are one of my pet hates. Luckily I’m not a surgeon. The Time article said that we each provide a habitat for microbes that together weigh as much as our brains, about 1.4kg, which far outnumber our human cells, and which we need to be healthy. This was all verified in the NYT article – we are superorganisms! Those soaps ARE useful if you want to change the microbe population on your hands to one that can’t be killed by any known disinfectant, though.

I also posted a link to the BMW Guggenheim Lab’s 100 Urban Trends website. This contains glossaries of “contextualized definitions that apply to the way we understand, design, and live in cities”, looking at New York, Berlin and Mumbai. It’s all very interesting, and there was a photo of them using post-it notes to sort the trends. We’ve also used post-its to sort ideas here at GREENinc, so I thought I’d better post this. Not to be outdone, again, Elize posted a link to¬†a music box made out of a “massive soil compactor”. These things used to be called steam-rollers, didn’t they? Until they stopped running on steam, I suppose. “Steam-roller” was more descriptive than “soil compactor” though, wasn’t it? The new term leaves out the bit about rolling, which I would have thought was quite important. Anyway, I think this news blog is finished now. Thanks to Urban Genesis Management for posting our pigeon pic. James is going to make us famous.

’til next time.

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