Archive for October 6, 2008

Will CR rebuild green?

   For a time Sunday, a panel discussion at the Environmental Film Festival was a panel of one. OPN architect Bruce Hamous made it to the showing at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, but City Council members Tom Podzimek and Brian Fagan were no-shows for the film, “Edens Lost and Found: Chicago,” about urban transformation, and their spot on the panel.

  Hamous gave his insight on LEED standards and sustainable building – or “smart” building as he’s come to call it, but he wasn’t in a position to answer some of the questions lobbed from an audience that had obviously been doing their homework. Many of their questions were about the city’s commitment to environmentally sustainable rebuilding after the floods. Podzimek did show up toward the end of the session, saying he had been working.  Fagan, contacted today, was apologetic.  He had the forum on his calendar, but for the wrong date.  

   Fagan said he really wanted to be at the discussion and noted that the city is absolutely committed to sustainable rebuilding. In fact, he said that the “Year of the River” concept should be broadened to the “Decade of the Watershed.” Let’s hope the rest of the council agrees.

   As evidence of the city’s commitment to rebuilding green, Fagan sent the following:

Here are links to the planning firms we are working with in our River Corridor Redevelopment Planning coordinated by Sasaki in conjunction with JLG.


Working with the city on facility assessment and redevelopment is CDM:


CDM’s city’s of the future podcasts can be found on their site or this direct link to the Knowledge Center:


Also working on site systems sustainability is Conservation Design Forum (Jim Padgett is a principal – and native Iowan – and I hope to have him come in and talk about focusing on the watershed in the near future):


On building systems sustainability is Arup:


Finally, and critically from a sustainability perspective is the transportation firm Parsons Brinckerhoff:


All are involved in plan review and as we move to the next phase and talk about neighborhood development and strengthening, I would like to see us continue to work with these firms, Fagan wrote.

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