What is your Big Idea for Philadelphia?
PRODUCTpark: a Self-Sustaining, Multi-Purpose Urban Greenway
Cities and urban centers have long been major consumers of the world’s natural resources and energy as well as one of the largest producers of municipal waste. These factors are not only destroying large amounts of land in the creation of landfills, but are also a substantial contributing factor to global climate change. With populations in urban centers expected to increase drastically in the next 15-20 years it is unlikely that the impact cities have on the world will subside.
In order to start relieving the pressure that cities place on the world it is time to start re-thinking how these urban systems can become more self sufficient and rely less on the resources of their surrounding communities. By looking at one of the major products of cities it is possible to start finding solutions in our city’s urban waste. By creating multi-purposed sites within the city that are capable of utilizing the energy potential of organic waste materials by converting, through naturally occurring bacterial processes, organic waste and materials into a useable natural gas that can be used to power and heat our buildings and urban spaces while drastically reducing the cities global climactic impact.
Eric Torrens is a recent graduate with a Bachelors of Architecture from Philadelphia University’s College of Architecture + the Built Environment. While pursuing his B.ARCH Eric spent considerable time studying biological and chemical systems, ultimately getting a minor in Environmental Conservation Biology. These studies allowed him to begin experimenting and finding ways to apply these naturally occurring systems to current and future architectural projects. His education has led him to study with the School for Field Studies in Australia, New Zealand, and Costa Rica and look closely at how endangered ecosystems and their neighboring societies interact. Eric is currently working as part of the design staff at Erdy McHenry, a Philadelphia based architecture firm in the Northern Liberties.