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Walking around on the grass

What do you get when university students aren’t even allowed to walk or sit on the grass on campus? I imagine it would be something like this…

Inhabitat Blog Archive GRASS WHEEL:

A group of students from Dalhousie School of Architecture decided to remedy this problem with a street-ready grass-lined wheel. The wheel is of simple construction – just plywood, mesh, fishing line, and sod, but it’s loaded with meaning. On one hand, it’s a playful protest to the lack of public green space in Halifax. On the other hand, using sod for their material offers a deeper critique on urban greenery. (Photo by Andre Forget – Click on the image to see more of his work).


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Universities have long been a source of activism, but this project proves that students look further than their immediate needs, to spend some time creating a great discussion piece on the lack of walk-able green space in the city of Halifax, NS, Canada.

One commenter has playfully coined the title “bioneers” for these students, but their message may have questionable impact in a city like Halifax, where many people say the city has a good amount of green space. But really can we have too much in cities? I just think of how much we value the parkland areas around our home in the inner suburbs, but living in a city with no publicly accessible green space would diminish the quality of life rapidly. Here in Newcastle, inner city residents and workers are fortunate to have the harbour foreshore, ocean baths and beaches within walking distance of the greatest concentration of apartments and office space.

Sustainable cities need green space to survive, revitalising existing concrete jungles with green space does require a lot of planning and forethought, but there are solutions including green roofs on many types of buildings, cleaning up existing city parks, providing grass in strategic areas, including non thoroughfare areas, and those sites that get a suitable level of sunlight throughout the year.

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Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of UrbanWorkbench.com and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada. If I post something here that you find helpful as you navigate the world of engineering, planning and building communities, that’s wonderful. But when push comes to shove: This is my personal blog. The views expressed on these pages are mine alone and not those of my employer.