Sustainable Architecture at Spark 2018

Building our Green City

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Building our Green City

We began the first week of our Spark 2018 summer program with four empty expanses, and ended with a vibrant and bustling city! We started by talking about what it means to be green, and learned about a few sustainable energy sources, including wind, solar, and hydro power.

With so many buildings constructed, we sat down to do some urban planning, organizing our many buildings into different areas of town while considering the natural landscape features like the existing hill, river and ocean.

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A wind turbine station

We created a downtown that housed many of our commercial ventures and cultural institutions, and put some of our apartments and hotel accommodations in prime beachfront property. (The sighting of a megalodon, the 2.6 million year old extinct shark once thought to be extinct, did nothing to dampen speculative interest in waterfront properties, and the beach actually became populated with many people and useful outhouses!) We made decisions about where to place each building as a community, voting on ideas and debating the relative merits of each placement.

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The Green City Green House

Finally, we generated ideas for our city’s name, and voted on the name Green City! After placing our buildings around the newly named Green City, we divided into the greening committee, the public art committee, and the transportation committee. In our teams, we added sculptures and murals; shrubs, trees, and bushes; and animal and human bridges, cars, and hovercrafts!

 

Life in the Park!

IMG_0282When we weren’t busy building, we were exploring Prospect Park! We spent our afternoons building structures from natural materials (like our lightning bug house), climbing in trees, and making a hydropower plant out of recycled materials. We found forts and a swing in the park made from a tree branch. On our hottest day, we went to the back yard and played in our sprinkler, keeping cool with spray bottles and water droppers.

Whether indoors or out, we were amazed at how each child engaged in our curriculum of sustainability, weaving green concepts into their buildings, their free play, and their art. We’re so proud of our Green City. One cannot help but be inspired by their vision of what a city ought to look like: powered by renewable energy; filled with art, museums, concert halls, and schools; and where public spaces are playful, numerous, and green. We hope that each child will carry what they have learned  with them as they move into the world and build communities elsewhere!

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