lunes, 29 de septiembre de 2008

Mitchell Joachim: Redesign Cities From Scratch

Photo: Bruce Gilden

By Tom Vanderbilt
Dressed in architect black and sporting dreadlocks, Mitchell Joachim isn't your average Whole Foods envirogeek. For one thing, he speaks in an intense staccato punctuated with words like peristaltic and epiphetic. And don't get him started on sustainability. "I don't like the term," he says. "It's not evocative enough. You don't want your marriage to be sustainable. You want to be evolving, nurturing, learning." Efficiency doesn't cut it, either: "It just means less bad." Even zero emissions falls short. "This table does zero damage," he says, thumping the one in his office. "No VOCs, no carbons. Whatever. It doesn't do anything positive."

Joachim spent a decade working with architect Michael Sorkin, followed by a short spell with Frank Gehry. He now teaches at Columbia University and is a partner at Terreform 1, a nonprofit focused on ecological design. A kind of Frederick Law Olmsted for the 21st century, he spends most of his time thinking about how to reduce the ecological footprint of cities. It's not a short-term project. "It took 15 to 20 years to get a hybrid car," he says. "To change the basic paradigm for how we make buildings, 40 to 50 years. To change a city? That's 100 to 150 years." If the next president is smart, he'll want to get started sooner rather than later.

WIRED MAGAZINE 16.10 Nota Completa

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