Monthly Archives: January 2010

Local sustainability efforts will take center stage at [Un]discliplined event

Picture 1To borrow the title for Tommy Linstroth’s 2007 book, tonight’s SCAD Sustainability Council event is all about local action. Having heard from international industry leaders on Tuesday night and professional journalists last night, tonight’s program is all about local folks working to make our community and world more sustainable. Representatives from the Emergent Structures Project, the Savannah Bicycle Campaign, the SCAD physical resources department and New Moon of Savannah are among those scheduled to describe their efforts and take questions from the audience.

The event begins at 7 p.m. at River Club, 3 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. The event is free and open to the public. A complete minute by minute schedule is available on the sustainability council Web site. The event will be streamed live by District, SCAD’s award-winning student news source. Video from the last two days of [Un]disciplined can be viewed here and here.

Tonight: Panel to examine media coverage of sustainability

The SCAD Sustainability Council’s [Un]discliplined series continues tonight at River Club with a Picture 6panel discussion from 7-9 p.m. Cosponsored by SCAD’s chapter of the Society for Collegiate Journalists, news professionals will discuss how media coverage has shaped public understanding of sustainability. Scheduled to participate are Bill Dawers, columnist for the Savannah Morning News; Orlando Montoya, news producer for Georgia Public Broadcasting and Jim Morekis, editor in chief of Connect Savannah. The panel will be moderated by Travis Walters, editor-in-chief of District and president of SCAD’s SCJ chapter. The panel will also be streamed live on the District Web site. The event is free and open to the public.

Industry leaders speak on sustainability tonight at River Club

Dror portrait[Un]disciplined begins tonight at River Club with a trio of industry leaders who can deliver on the series’ goal of “understanding the scope of sustainability.” Scheduled to speak are:

Additional biographical information on the keynote speakers is available on the SCAD Sustainability Council Web site. The night begins with a reception at 6:30 p.m.,  at River Club, 3 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. The event is free and open to the public.

Series of events at SCAD examines sustainability from multiple angles


The Savannah College of Art and Design Sustainability Council announces a  series of events focusing on Sustainability, Jan. 26-29 at River Club, 3 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. [Un]disciplined is aimed at examining and understanding the full scope of sustainability. All events are free and open to the public.

The series begins Jan. 26 with an opening reception at 6:30 p.m. and keynote addresses from 7-9:30 p.m. Scheduled to speak are Matt Nolan, project architect for Belay Architecture in Tacoma, Wa.; Ursula Tischner, professor of design for sustainability at SCAD and CEO of Econcept, Germany; and Dror Benshetrit, multidisciplinary design, Dror, New York, NY.

On Jan. 27, a panel discussion from 7-9 p.m. features professional journalists discussing how media coverage has shaped public understanding of sustainability. The panel discussion is co-sponsored by SCAD’s chapter of the Society for Collegiate Journalists.

On Jan. 28 from 7-9:30 p.m., representatives from local organizations working on sustainability issues will describe their efforts and explain opportunities for participation. Scheduled to speak are representatives from the Emergent Structures Project, the Savannah Bicycle Campaign, SCAD physical resources and others.

Hands on workshops on a variety of subjects will invite participants to learn more about topics including bicycle design and modification, wind turbines and rainwater showers. Workshops will be held on Jan. 29 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

A complete schedule of events and presenters can be found on the SCAD Sustainability Council Web site. [Un]disciplined is sponsored by the Office of Innovative Teaching and Learning and the Industrial Design Department.

Study links walkability and access to healthy food in Savannah

Picture 3Mary Landers’ story, Savannah examines making healthy food an easier choice, in the Jan. 6 Savannah Morning News describes a study commissioned by the Healthy Savannah Initiative, which documents the problem of food deserts in Savannah.

Landers describes the study’s methodology, which uses a variety of data sources “to come up with a block-by-block analysis of how convenient it is to choose fresh and healthy over fatty and fast. The group calculated a ‘food balance’ score for each city block by dividing the distance from it to any mainstream food provider (such as Kroger) by the distance to any fringe food venue (such as McDonald’s).”

The story  notes that lack of healthy food options is not exlusive to low income, inner city neighborhoods:

Kathryn Martin, chair of Healthy Savannah, knows that from first-hand experience. She’s lived in Southbridge since she moved to Savannah six years ago. “Southbridge is considered affluent, but when I moved there the closest place to access healthy food was 7 miles away in Pooler,” said Martin, a former administrator of the Chatham County Health Department who now is the Medical College of Georgia assistant dean for Southeast Georgia campus. “Officially, I was in a food desert.”

The difference, of course, between affluent communities such as Southbridge and some other neighborhoods is that nearly everyone in Southbridge has access to a car (sometimes more than one car) and thus easy access to healthy food. In other parts of Savannah, where residents depend on public transportation to travel outside their neighborhoods, the food that’s easy to find is often not the healthiest choice. And the study addresses this in one of its recommendations:

Identify traffic routes, especially pedestrian pathways, to mainstream food venues and identify ways to shorten and improve those routes. The dot maps showing the locations of mainstream and fringe food venues will aid in prioritizing where to start on this task.

The study, “A New Day in the Garden: A Food Desert and Food Balance Analysis in Savannah, Georgia,” can be downloaded here.