By Ruth Owen
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5-acre (1-hectare) roof (shown in lower photograph) move air over the top of the building and draw the fresh air into the exhibition halls. 30 In London, a company named Novacem is working on an innovative project to develop a new type of environmentally friendly cement made from magnesium oxide. The new green cement has a very important environmental benefit. The cement hardens by absorbing carbon dioxide gases from the atmosphere and locking them in! The scientists believe that one ton of their new cement will capture one ton of harmful carbon dioxide gases and store the gases indefinitely.
DRAGONFLY Architect Vincent Callebaut’s “Dragonfly” is a revolutionary project that explores how people can live, work, and grow the food they need in urban environments where space is limited. Two towers of housing and offices are surrounded by gardens and public agriculture and leisure spaces. The Dragonfly’s “wings” would be a kind of vertical farm housing orchards, vegetable gardens, rice fields, and pasture for animals. Dragonfly, designed to be built along the East River in New York City, is a perfect example of an architect’s creativity and skills being put to use to create a green future.
I also spend a few hours a week in various meetings. And the rest of the time is spent outside in the garden! This year we began a garden drop-in for youth. This program has been exceptionally popular with 20–25 hard-working young people coming along every week. At our second drop-in, I taught 20 attentive volunteers how to plant lettuce and kale seeds. The act of teaching young people how to plant their own food was inspiring. Urban agriculture is good for the environment, the food is healthier, and it makes cities more beautiful.