Thanks so much for the Dispatch you printed in the September issue of Grid (“The River Wild”). Five years ago, I lived for a while in Heidelberg, Germany, and was able to swim in natural waters pretty often.
Viridity Energy, local pioneers of smart grid technology (featured in Grid’s August Energy Issue), have announced an exciting partnership with SEPTA. The city’s trains already employ regenerative breaking, generating electricity when they come to a stop.
The Philadelphia Center for Architecture and the Ed Bacon Foundation have launched their Fifth Annual Ed Bacon Student Competition. This year’s theme—“Designing for the Fair of the Future”—asks local and international college students to transport themselves to the year 2026, designing a venue for the World’s Fair celebration, held on the occasion of America’s 250th birthday. The student submissions will be judged on creativity, vision and the effectiveness of their solution for utilizing a vacant site in an underused section of South Philadelphia. Those with the winning designs will split $6,000 in prize money and attend an awards ceremony at the Philadelphia Center for Architecture on December 7. The competition reimagines the vision of Edmund Bacon himself, whose dream of a 1976 World’s Fair was never realized.
November 2 is the deadline for receipt of competition submissions; the awards ceremony will be held on December 7, edbacon.org
By Mark Syvertson
The Bourse at Independence Mall recently installed a 43-kilowatt solar array on its roof, becoming one of the first historic buildings in the city to employ photovoltaics. Due to the Bourse’s landmark status, there were concerns about preserving the integrity of the structure. SolarDock, a green energy company from Wilmington, DE, installed the panels in non-permanent brackets, mounting them at a 25 degree angle (as opposed to the standard 10), taking maximum advantage of the sunlight in the heart of Old City.
For more on the project, visit discoverthebourse.blogspot.com
Ever since its first iteration in the 1960s, bike sharing has been a bit of an idealistic campaign. It sounds great, sure. But in reality, bike sharing systems often lead to underutilized, vandalized and stolen bikes—keeping overhead high and program initiation low. Now, one local company is using innovative software to change the economics of this sought-after city asset.