A walk down Stratford Avenue with Paul Mankiewicz

February 21st, 2013 Posted in Blogs, Bronx River, Committees, Front Page News, In the News, Project Green, Water Committee

City of Soil: A Walk Down Stratford Avenue with Paul Mankiewicz

Paul Mankiewicz is no ordinary biologist and plant scientist. As founder and director of the The Gaia Institute, Mankiewicz explores — through research, development, design, and education — the relationship between human communities and natural systems. Resting on the dual hypotheses that the flow of “waste” materials from human activities can be cleaned and utilized to support habitat, and that human industry can be coupled with conserving and creating landscapes for everything from birds to bacteria, Mankiewicz’s essential philosophy holds that humans and natural systems can coexist to mutual benefit. The Gaia Institute implements a variety of projects for both public and private clients throughout the five boroughs, including: green roofs, urban farms, watershed restoration, stormwater treatment, and other forms of ecological engineering. Many of the institute’s projects utilize GaiaSoil, the lightweight soil that Mankiewicz has developed and distributes.


Earlier this month, I met Mankiewicz on Stratford Avenue in a south-central section of the Bronx where he is about halfway through retrofitting eight existing tree pits with curbside drains, expanded tree beds, and new combinations of plants. Each of the enhanced curbside swales will capture roughly five thousand gallons of water over the course of a strong storm; polluted water that would otherwise find its way into the city’s oversaturated system and cause a combined sewer overflow to drain directly into the Bronx River. Mankiewicz’s interventions are not overly complex — here they consist of a two-foot gap in the curb, leading to an enlarged bed of soil below grade — but in the case of Stratford Avenue, they are designed to handle the stormwater produced by a 100-year storm. Mankiewicz took some time out of his day to talk to us about GaiaSoil, the inherent environmental productivity of organisms, his infrastructural advice for our coasts post-Sandy, and to explain why the city’s waste stream is our greatest untapped ecological and economic asset.


to read more ……… http://urbanomnibus.net/2013/02/city-of-soil-a-walk-down-stratford-avenue-with-paul-mankiewicz/

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  1. 2 Responses to “A walk down Stratford Avenue with Paul Mankiewicz”

  2. By i-c on Feb 24, 2013

    I don’t really believe in Greek Mythology, but I do think (Buddhistly speaking) that Dr.Paul is a reincarnation of the God Gaia.

  3. By i-c on Feb 24, 2013

    http://vimeo.com/51886928 Click on this surprisingly straightforward video that explains the secret of Gaia Institute’s effectiveness in fewer than 3 minutes. Very well-produced. Nominated for 3 Dopcumentary Oscars in 2012 by Bronx Environmental Oscar Nominations Committee.

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