The Omnibus Roundup – Urban farming, budgets, TIGER and nano-helicopters

Flickmor - snow

Image by Flickr user Flickmor.

Food, urban farming and policy are on our minds this week, (by the way — Foodprint NYC is still on, snowstorm or no snowstorm), and it looks like the issues are peaking interest near and far: Architecture Lab reports on a project by student Jack O’Reilly that looks at how urban farming and media networks can make Manchester, England more sustainable. If that’s what they’re teaching in architecture school, imagine what we’ll be implementing in five years! In an even more theoretical analysis of food consumption, the Why Factory, a think tank run by MVRDV and Delft University of Technology, produced an animation visualizing the space required if Manhattan were to produce all of its own food. The resulting towers of food production, though obviously unrealistic to implement, are worth a look just for a sense of the scale of our massive caloric consumption.

Clearly, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer has had food systems on mind of late (click here to download a pdf of FoodNYC), and his office has also decided to let Manhattan residents and workers voice their opinions about where budget priorities should lie. An online survey is now up while the next budget is being developed. Fill it out and be heard!

This weekend, if you won’t be talking food systems at Studio-X, instead check out the Bronx Coalition for Parks and Green Spaces’ annual Bronx Parks Speakup tomorrow, Feburary 27th at Lehman College from 11 to 5. The event is free and refreshments will be served. This year’s theme is Open Spaces, Environment and Health.

CUNY’s Institute for Sustainable Cities is in the midst of a four-part lecture series called Turning the Tide: New York’s Waterfront in Transition.  The first lecture was last Wednesday, but there are still three more to go.  The next one will be held on Wednesday, March 17th at 5:30 PM at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College. Be sure to register, or find out more information here. (via Freshkills Park Blog)

In federal news, Urbanophile looks at the recipients of the DOT’s new TIGER grants, and the big winner for New York is Moynihan Station, with $83 million awarded to kick-start phase one of construction (the project is currently budgeted at approximately $267 million). TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) is a new federal government program with $1.5 billion in funding for a transportation project of any kind. For more information on grant winners, see the DOT’s pdf report. And head over to Fast Company to see Rob Vargas’ infographic to make sense of what $1.5 billion gets us. (via the Infrastructurist)

While you are waiting for all this snow to melt, let your mind wander and imagine the potential for the MIT Senseable City Lab’s new Flyfire project. The idea is that remote-controlled nano-helicopters carrying LED lights would swarm in unison to form various patterns and shapes, thus creating 3D displays that move and transform through space. BLDGBLOG is excited about it – imagining web browsing, movie watching, “avant-garde rural entertainment” and more. How will you use your first Flyfire fleet?


The Roundup keeps you up to date with topics we’ve featured and other things we think are worth knowing about.

The views expressed here are those of the authors only and do not reflect the position of The Architectural League of New York.