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    Destiny's Child

    Paulina May 24 '05 6

    Picture a gargantuan shopping complex in upstate New York -- a so-called "retail city" big enough to make Mall of America look like a five-and-dime -- with thousands of shops plus restaurants, theaters, hotels, a high-tech research park for commercial R&D, and a sprawling, climate-controlled biosphere for recreation. Yet another environmental abomination, you say?

    Not so fast.

    Shopping-mall titan Robert Congel, one of the world's biggest commercial real-estate developers, is about to begin building a multi-billion-dollar, 800-acre shopping and entertainment complex with all of the above-mentioned amenities, but without -- and here comes the part that strains belief -- so much as a barrel of oil or a kilowatt of fossil-fuel-generated power. That's right, folks, a 100 percent clean-energy mega-mall. He vows that it will be the closest thing to an "Apollo Project" for renewable energy that America has ever seen -- one that grows the economy, strengthens national security by encouraging energy independence, and protects the environment.

    http://www.grist.org/news/muck/2005/05/20/little-destiny/index.html

     

     
    • 6 Comments

    • WonderK
      May 24, 05 1:31 pm

      If they can pull it off, I'll go.

      switters
      May 24, 05 2:39 pm

      how do you send and build 75 million square feet of building material without a drop of oil? do you guys really think that Clear Channel and ADT security will create anything that has anything to do with what you might want as urbanism?

      this is more bad 'sustainabliity' marketing. anyone who claims to be sustainable is just marketing themselves. anyone who is in it for the right reasons doesn't make a fuss about it-they just do it becuase they are making good decisions.

      this DestiNY develope is crazy. already fired nearly dozen architects. its in the hands of gensler now. you tell me if they are going to protect the environment.

      MMatt
      May 25, 05 12:32 am

      While I too am skeptical about the ability to build something of this scale which doesn't use a drop of oil, I think you are off-base by saying that something is not truly sustainable because it is being used as a marketing tool. Of course it's a marketing tool! It's powerful PR these days! But if it takes turning it into a marketing tool to get issues of sustainabilty discussed in marketplaces where 10 years ago there was absolutely NO interest, then I say it's a step in the right direction.

      By the way, for what it's worth Gensler's Chicago office is over 60% LEED accredited professionals, and it's starting to show in their work (young office, about 7 years old now). As much as I dislike the LEED system and the very shallow (read: lax) perspective the USGBC tends to take on most issues, it's one of the few groups which is having any effect on the profession whatsoever. Until the marketplace shifts so far as to crave a cradle to cradle approach, I'm afraid being "less bad" is a good first step.

      Even if the corporations are only doing it for the PR.

      .mm

      Robert Asumendi
      May 25, 05 5:15 pm

      Everything in America is marketing. Marketing isn't inherently evil, it's a powerful tool. Let's use it to promote truly sustainable urbanism and architecture!

      For Jim Kunstler's take on DestiNY, read May 9. Who knows though, the renderings look a bit "New Urbanist", hopefully the plan will follow this example where "less bad" is better.

      cvankle
      May 25, 05 8:13 pm

      Hmm....thousands of stores, 800 acres, biosphere? Sure mall of america does ok, but is there really sufficient demand for such a huge complex. Lets hope this guy did his market research. Green design is nice and all, but building something so needlessly huge is wasteful, no matter how efficient the actual buildings may be.

      cvankle
      May 25, 05 8:13 pm

      Hmm....thousands of stores, 800 acres, biosphere? Sure mall of america does ok, but is there really sufficient demand for such a huge complex. Lets hope this guy did his market research. Green design is nice and all, but building something so needlessly huge is wasteful, no matter how efficient the actual buildings may be.

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