CitiesAlive Green Roofs and Wall Conference 2016 Call for Paper and Poster Abstracts

February 9, 2016 at 1:00 pm

By Linda S. Velazquez
Greenroofs.com Publisher

It’s time to get your creative juices rolling for the 2016 CitiesAlive Green Roofs and Wall Conference!

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Green Roofs for Healthy Cities is seeking presentation proposals for its 14th Annual CitiesAlive Green Roofs and Wall Conference to be held in Washington, DC on November 1-4, 2016.  This year’s conference theme is stormwater management – policies, technologies, design and best management practices.

As you know, Washington, DC is currently a leader in green roof implementation and policy and stormwater management is a critically important requirement here as well as many other jurisdictions.

Topic areas include:

  • How to maximize stormwater retention – technologies and design;
  • Policy best management practices – “feebates”, grant programs, credits, minimum standards, construction standards, maintenance standards;
  • Green roofs and walls as part of an integrated building & site approach to stormwater management – case studies;
  • The economics (costs + benefits) of various best management practices for stormwater retention – comparing apples to apples – short and medium term perspectives;
  • Looking beyond stormwater to other tangible benefits and the role of private investment;
  • Design and testing methods and measurement tools;
  • Stormwater economics – flooding, erosion control, tanks;
  • Stormwater as a resource – rainwater harvesting best practices, storage and irrigation systems. ~ CitiesAlive 2016

Please complete your submission online by February 26, 2016.

Read about the Application Process; Research, Design, and Policy Tracks; Benefits of presenting at CitiesAlive; Detailed Speaker Timeline, and much more here.

Haven Kiers and I will be submitting ours soon (probably at the last minute, as usual) for our 2016 Top 10 Lit of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design ~ make sure you don’t miss the deadline for yours!

~ Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEEP AP, GRP

Call for Submittals on Kinetic Living Architecture

January 29, 2016 at 11:05 am

By Linda S. Velazquez
Greenroofs.com Publisher

The Journal of Living Architecture (JOLA), a Green Roofs for Healthy Cities publication, has issued a Call for Submittals for manuscripts for the special topic issue of Kinetic Living Architecture.

What does this entail?  Mobile, movable, and kinetic forms of living architecture.  This is a great opportunity for you to share your research:

“This themed issue will profile the current state of projects, describe research findings, and deliver commentary to advance our understanding of living architecture that possesses movable traits or specific kinetic characteristics for green roofs, biofilters, screens, and walls. All submittal and dissemination will proceed within the Journal of Living Architecture’s current, peer-reviewed, open access format.” ~ JOLA Call for Submittals

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Submission Categories:

Commentary articles challenge or present an opinion on an issue of concern to the living architecture industry, or discuss a manuscript previously published in the JOLA. [1500-2500 words]
Ideas at Work describe novel ideas, innovative programs and new methods of interest to professionals. [1500-2500 words]
Tools of the Trade report on specific materials, books, techniques and technologies useful to professionals. [1500-2500 words]
Research in Brief manuscripts summarize research results of importance to living architecture professionals. The focus of a Research in Brief manuscript is more specific than a Feature. [1500-2500 words]
Feature manuscripts discuss concepts and research findings of particular significance to living architecture professionals and to the living architecture knowledge base, methodology, practice and organization.
Visuals drawings, maps or graphic communication that represents living architecture knowledge. (exploratory section).

Contact Info:

Journal of Living Architecture
For all inquiries contact Reid Coffman, MLA, Ph.D., JOLA Special Issue Editor and Co-Editor in Chief at: rcoffma4@kent.edu

Important Dates:

Notification of Interest: March 1, 2016
Manuscripts Due: June 1, 2016
Projected Publication: Fall 2016

Although the JOLA is published exclusively on GRHC’s Living Architecture Monitor magazine website, we certainly want to help to spread the word to our research community!

~ Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEEP AP, GRP

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities Challenges New York to Become Number #1 for Green Roofs and Walls in North America

October 1, 2015 at 1:43 pm

Have you seen this challenge from Green Roofs for Healthy Cities yet?  Sounds like they’re throwing down the gauntlet for the City of New York to step up their greening efforts!

New York is already a city with many, many living architecture projects – in fact, we highlighted this fantastic metropolis in our Greenroofs.com 2014 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design in the #3 category: The Green Apple: New York City

But GRHC believes the city that never sleeps can do better!  Read on from their recent News Release:

Building 3 Million square feet of Green Roofs in New York yields over $95 million in public benefits over a 25 year period including over 4,000 new jobs in construction and maintenance!

New York, NY – Tuesday September 29, 2015 – With just one week to go before 2015 CitiesAlive Green Roof and Wall Conference Oct. 5-8, 2015 in Brooklyn, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC), the green roof and wall industry association issued a challenge to New York today, calling upon them to work together to implement more than 3 million square feet of green roof each year starting in 2016. www.citiesalive.org

“New York City is in fifth place for the number of green roofs installed after much smaller cities like Washington, Chicago and Philadelphia. We are issuing a challenge to New York policy makers, developers, designers and building owners to contribute to the goal of 1 billion square feet of green roofs installed in North America by 2022 – that amounts to just over 3 million square feet installed each year!” said Steven W. Peck, GRP, Founder and President of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities.

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Source: GRHC 2015, Annual Market Survey

“New York has incredible potential to improve the quality of life in the city by utilizing the miles and miles of rooftops to provide amenity spaces to recreate, grow food and get in touch with nature,” said Mark Morrison, CitiesAlive Conference Co-Chair and Principal, MKM Landscape Architects. “With the right types of policies in place, many building owners would leap at the opportunity to turn their barren rooftops and walls into a private or public oasis,” he added.

While important progress has been made in New York, there is considerable room to utilize green roofs and walls to fight climate change, create jobs and improve equity and social justice across the Five Boroughs. For example, industry leaders in New York have been calling on local and state policy makers to:

  • double the $5.23 per square foot tax abatement for green roofs,
  • remove bureaucratic barriers to implementation,
  • expand the existing Department of Environment’s Green Infrastructure Grant Program,
  • change the City’s stormwater detention standard to a retention standard, and
  • make changes to the building code so all new buildings have the loading capacity for green roof installations.

“We are at a critical juncture as a city, with rents increasing faster than wages; environmental catastrophes such as floods threatening the city’s livelihood; high rates of asthma, obesity and hunger; and increasing divisions between the haves and have-nots. The benefits of green infrastructure to New York City are well documented: green infrastructure reduces energy demand, mitigates flooding, improves housing quality, air quality and public health and supports urban agriculture. For New Yorkers, the choice is ours whether we embrace green infrastructure as a critical solution to our environmental and societal challenges, or whether this technology remains underutilized,” said Rob Crauderueff, Co-Chair of CitiesAlive Legacy Committee and CEO of Crauderueff & Associates.

The Green Infrastructure Design Charrette in Harlem on Thursday, October 8 will bring together local and international designers to help to demonstrate the potential of deep green design and implementation in a 10 block area of central Harlem. The designers will focus on how many jobs can be created, for example, through the use of roofs for food production on buildings owned by the Canaan Baptist Church, a partner in the Charrette.

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Source: Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, 2015

See the full list of 2015 CitiesAlive Green Roof and Wall Conference speakers and activities, and register now at www.citiesalive.org.

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Perhaps the Big Apple will eventually be known as the Big Green Apple, but regardless, we send kudos to all of the New York City city officials, designers, developers, and researchers who have done so wonderfully so far!

See you in a few days in Brooklyn?

~ Linda V.

In Memoriam: Wang Xianmin

September 18, 2015 at 7:11 pm

As reported yesterday, we regret to announce the passing of Mr. Wang Xianmin or Wang Xian Min (in Chinese) of Beijing, China on August 19, 2015 at the age of 72 years.

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Wang Xianmin

Xianmin Wang was the secretary-general of the WRGA, the World Green Roof Association, which produces the annual China World Green Roof Conferences (WGRC).  Also known as the International Rooftop Landscaping Association (IRLA,) the organization is a founding member of the World Green Infrastructure Network – WGIN.

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A true leader of Chinese greening efforts, Wang Xianmin was the founder (2006) and former secretary-general of the Beijing Green Roof Association.  He graduated from Beijing University of Aeronautics & Astronautics.  Among others, Xianmin Wang authored Beautiful Award for Second World Landscape Planning and Design Contest Set (Chinese Edition), 2015; Roof Garden Design and Case Analysis, 2013; China 2010 Shanghai World Expo venue three-dimensional Green, 2011; and Roof Garden, 2007.

Professor Wang enjoyed numerous accomplishments through his life, and was devoted to promoting green infrastructure throughout China.  In addition to the above named posts, here are just a few more:

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L to R: Wang Xianmin in 2014 China Qingdao City with the world’s ecological green roof of the General Assembly and 2013 China Nanjing World Green Roof Assembly. Photos courtesy of IRLA.

Wang Xianmin was the Secretary-general of the Association of Professional Committee of China Building Energy Efficiency and International Association for the Promotion of the Electric Vehicle, 2015-2013;
Secretary-general of the 2014 (Qingdao), 2013 (Nanjing), and 2012 (Hangzhou) China World Green Roof Conferences;
Deputy Chief of the Vertical Greening Academic Group of China Green Building Council;
Former Secretary-general of the Great Wall Green Engineering Organizing Committee;
Former Deputy Dean of the Asia-Pacific Education Centre of Peking University;
Former Director of the Research Center for Better Business China.

See his remembrance from the WGRA and IRLA in Mandarin Chinese here (click on translate to see the English version).

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L to R: Wang Xianmin in Hangzhou, China 2012 World Green Roof Assembly; Hainan, China 2011 World Green Roof Assembly; and Shanghai, China 2010 World Green Roof Assembly. All photos courtesy of IRLA.

Ed Snodgrass of Emory Knoll Farms told us the news, and has this to say about Professor Wang:

“Wang Xianmin, Professor, founder of China’s Green Roof Associations, and the Executive Vice President of International Rooftop Landscaping Association passed away recently.  Mr. Wang was a warm and gentle man that I have had the pleasure to get to know and work with over the last four years.  He worked hard to promote green roofs and green walls in China.

He was adept at making everyone feel welcome and cared for.  He will certainly be missed.” ~ Ed Snodgrass

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L to R: Mr. Mung; Mr. Snodgrass; Mr. Wang.

We remember Mr. Wang fondly for his beautiful nature and decades of very important work; here are some thoughts from his fellow WGIN members:

“Professor Xianmin Wang was responsible for the thriving green infrastructure industry in China by holding many conferences including Hainan 2010, the Shanghai Expo 2011, World Congress in 2012, Nanjing 2013.  Professor Wang made many friends in Australia when he spoke in Sydney in 2011 and at the 2014 World Green Infrastructure Congress.  He was well respected internationally and loved for his warmth, generosity and passion about green roofs.” ~ Matthew Dillon, Green Roofs Australasia

On August 25 Green Roofs Australasia observed a 3-minute moment of silence with China at 2100.

“Professor Wang was leading the charge to bring Green roofing into the mainstream in China.  He had a huge smile, and a gentleness and kindness about him that made everyone feel welcome!  He will be missed!  ” ~ Steven Peck, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities

A board member of the World Green Infrastructure Network, Mr. Wang is also remembered on the WGIN website:

“WGIN members appreciate his great work on Green infrastructure over many years.  We will keep him in our best memories as professional and as long year friend. ” ~ Manfred Koehler, World Green Infrastructure Network

Professor Wang was a great conference organizer and believer in the promotion of new ideas as well as youth.  Below he’s speaking in Qingdao, 2014 promoting greenroofs and green energy as a member of the International Association for the Promotion of the Electric Vehicle:

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Here he is (middle, left of Mr. Mung) in Nanjing at the 2013 Award Ceremony of Green Award International Landscape Planning Competition:

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Aramis and I met Professor Wang for the first time in Singapore where he and I both spoke in 2010 at the inaugural International Skyrise Greenery Conference.  We were captivated by his genuine smile, gentle demeanor and fierce commitment to engage us to come to China and help spread the word about greenroofs and greenwalls, which we did in 2012 along with Steven, Matt, Manfred, and many more.

2012Hangzhou-lake

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Left to right: Manfred Kohler, Julian Briz, Francois Lassalle, Patrick Blanc, Florian Betlzer, Aramis Velazquez, Isabel de Felipe, Karla Dakin, Dorte Romo, Linda Velazquez, Damian Tang, Ho Wan Weng, Zuoshuang Zhang, and Professor Wang Xianmin.

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Organized again by Wang Xianmin and his great staff at IRLA, the 2012 Hangzhou China World Green Roof Conference was attended by hundreds – I would guess about 1,600.  It was a fantastic event and we all were treated like royalty.

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Afterwards about 10 of us went on an amazing whirlwind 6-day tour to several cities including Beijing and Xi’an, the Great Wall of China – and we even had two airplane trips.

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Professor Wang met us in Beijing and treated us to a dinner extravaganza including awesome food, musicians, acrobats, and even a magician.  Led by Professor Wang’s right hand man, William Wei (middle photo, left), our experiences will be greatly cherished and it was truly a trip of a lifetime.

Back at home, Professor Wang graciously participated in both Greenroofs.com’s inaugural Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 and in 2013.  See his videos below:

“The Status of Chinese Green Roofs & Featured Presentations from the 2012 Hangzhou China World Green Roof Congress” for the Virtual Summit 2013: Wang Xianmin  gave us an overview of greenroof challenges and growth in China and invited participants to attend the 2013 China World Green Roof Congress in Nanjing held in October of that year. Following Wang Xianmin’s video, you can see videos that IRLA shared with Greenroofs.com from the 2012 Hangzhou China•World Green Roof Congress, in both Mandarin and English.

Promo for the Virtual Summit 2013: We filmed Professor Wang at the 2012 Hangzhou China•World Green Roof Congress in November, 2012.

For the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Professor Wang presented “The Current Situation and Future of Green Roofs in China.”

We visited with Professor Wang last October in Sydney at the 2014 World Green Infrastructure Congress, and will always remember him respectfully and fondly.

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Professor Wang Xianmin will be greatly missed and we send our heartfelt condolences to his family, colleagues, and supporters in China and across our greenroof and greenwall community!

Please add your comments, too.

In memoriam,

~ Linda V.