来週の土曜日の５月１９日、SHIBAURA HOUSE の「たべるみどり みるみどり」のキックオフイベントに参加します。子供たちのために種爆弾のワークショップ、グリーンカーテンとグリーン階段の作り方のワークショップ、そして片山陽介さんとトークイベントをします。興味があれば、是非来てください。
Next Saturday, May 19, I’ll be participating at the kick-off of Shibaura House’s two month Eat and See Green program. I am leading a workshop for kids to create seed bombs, helping plant a green curtain and staircase at Shibaura House, and talking on stage with Katayama Yousuke (片山陽介). The events are low-cost and open to the public!
My friend Azby Brown will be reading from his new book at four events in San Francisco next week. I highly recommend attending his book talk if you can. Azby is a great speaker, and an accomplished architect, writer, and designer based in Japan.
The book is Just Enough: Lessons in Living Green from Traditional Japan, and it portrays how Japan overcame environmental crises with sustainable farms and cities 200 years ago. The book is very informative about what we can learn today from the past, illustrated with hundreds of hand-drawn illustrations, and very engaging. I reviewed the book in the Huffington Post a few months ago.
Here’s the schedule for the book talks:
Monday, June 28, 7 p.m.
The Green Arcade
1680 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94102-5949
Tuesday, June 29, 5:30 reception/6 p.m. talk
The Commonwealth Club
The Commonwealth Club (The Gold Room)
595 Market Street
Telephone: (415) 597-6700
Wednesday, June 30, 6:30 p.m.
University of California, Berkeley
Rm 112, Wurster Hall (southeast corner of the Berkeley campus)
Title: “The Edo Approach to Sustainable Design”
Thursday July 1, 12:00 noon
130 Sutter Street, Suite 600
Last week I gave several talks about Tokyo Green Space, including at Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Gaimusho, 外務書). The 1960s modernist building and landscaping impressed me. You can see the bright yellow ginkos in the background and the last fall leaves in the foreground.
My main point to the Ministry was that Japan has not done a good job of explaining its accomplishments in creating livable cities. Both its ordinary gardeners who compensate for a history of poor planning, and its landscape visionaries who are creating new public spaces for people and wildlife are unknown within and outside Japan. Most foreigners are surprised at how human-scaled and enjoyable Tokyo is.
Given climate change and global urbanization, Japan should promote its achievements and expertise in new urbanism, with relevance to developed and emerging cities around the world.
I also gave talks last week at Hitachi Ltd Headquarters to an audience that included Hitachi global business, defense systems, environmental strategy, and research institute leaders, as well as Kajima and ARUP biodiversity specialists, university professors, and Japanese media. Voted the MVP (most voted person), I also gave an impromptu speech, in Japanese, at the wonderful TEDxSeeds conference organized by the extraordinary culture curator Satoh Keiko.
Just outside Shibuya station, next to the famous Hachiko statue, is a single train with wonderful photographs of how the station area has evolved in the past hundred years. What amazes me is that in crowded Tokyo, a museum train prompts most visitors to relax and behave as if they were in a real train. Apart from one woman studying the exhibit and one man representing the exhibit, the other “passengers” are acting like typical Tokyo train riders: two salary men sleeping, two people reading books, and a couple talking with eachother. Below gives you an idea of the context of this non-moving, perhaps hyper-real experience.