Posts Tagged ‘Cathryn J Prince’

For years, I’ve been a fan of Bikes Not Bombs, a local bike repair and training outfit that got its start providing donated bikes to poor people in Central America.

Now I find out that an architecture charity also likes Bikes Not Bombs — enough to donate time to renovate the shop.

The Christian Science Monitor and Cathryn J. Prince have the story.

“Inside the sleek steel and cement workshop of Bikes Not Bombs in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood, at-risk youths recondition bicycles before sending them on for use in developing countries.

“Halfway across the country at the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital, a ‘showcase suite’ shows how a child’s hospital room can be made less intimidating and more comfortable.

“The ‘1 percent’ built the bike-repair workshop. The ‘1 percent’ also built the hospital room.”

The 1% program of Public Architecture, based in San Francisco, “connects nonprofit groups in need of design assistance with architecture or design firms. The name for the group comes from the idea that if firms across the country donate just 1 percent of their time each year to charitable work it would equal 5 million hours. …

” ‘In a moment of ambitious insanity, I decided to start a nonprofit,’ says John Peterson, the founder and president of The 1%. …

“Most architecture and design firms, he found, were unfamiliar with the idea of doing pro bono work. Initially, holding design competitions was the only way to get firms to participate.

“ ‘But competition [projects] rarely get built,’ says Amy Ress, project manager for The 1% program. ‘We wanted to do projects that would get built.’

“Mr. Peterson launched The 1% in 2001. More than 10 years later, more than 1,000 architecture and design firms (between 3 percent and 5 percent of all American architectural firms) and 600 nonprofit organizations are participating. About 18 new firms join each month, he says.

“One of the earliest design ideas was The Station, which would serve as a gathering point for day laborers. Day laborers normally must hang out at spaces meant for other uses, such as gas stations and parking lots. Today a handful of official Day Labor centers exist across the country.”


Photograph of John Peterson: The 1% program of Public Architecture

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You probably think of the Connecticut River as being in Connecticut. And so it is. But it flows through most of the New England states, so protecting it results in protecting a large chunk of the Northeast. Its 7.2 million acre watershed runs through Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

The Christian Science Monitor recently added to its Change Agent series an article on the U.S. Interior Department’s May 24 designation of the Connecticut River as the first National Blueway.

Correspondent Cathryn J. Prince writes, “Between 40 and 50 local and state entities, both public and private, from four states will work together to preserve the 410-mile-long Connecticut River and its watershed. …

“It took the cooperation of between 40 and 50 local and state, public and private, organizations from four states to make the designation possible. While it doesn’t mean more federal funding, it does mean better coordination between these groups to promote best practices, information sharing, and stewardship.

“National Blueway is more than a label, says Andy Fisk, executive director of the Connecticut River Watershed Council.

“ ‘There are no turf wars here, but there are a lot of folks on the dance floor,’ Mr. Fisk says. ‘It’s important to recognize that this is a new way in how you get things done. It’s not one entity that will get things done, it’s diversity.’ ” Read more here.

Photograph: John Nordell, Christian Science Monitor

The Connecticut River, as photographed from the French King Bridge in Gill, Mass. The river and its watershed have been named the first National Blueway, an effort to coordinate the work of nonprofit groups and governments to protect and wisely use the entire 410-mile river and its 7.2 million acre watershed.

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