the way we live

toxic trailers

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yesterday news broke that the fema trailers (pictured above) housing hurricane katrina victims tested positive for inordinate amounts of toxins, namely formaldehyde.  specifically, five times the normal levels of formaldehyde were found in fema trailers.  more than 100,000 people (some 38,000 families) still live in these temporary trailers almost 3 years after the hurricane, may of whom had been reporting serious illnesses and respitory problems almost immediately after being relocated to the trailers.  first, it’s simply unacceptable that 100,000 people are still living in temporary trailers almost three years later.  second, i am astounded to find that, at minimum, these people havent been relocated to any number of the proposed alternative dwellings all of which have been extremely cheap and necessarily small but humane and warm with wonderful architectural articulation.

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some of these include the lovely katrina cottage (pictured above and discussed here).  another wonderful example is the architecture for humanity response in biloxi, mississippi (pictured below and discussed here and here).

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these people deserve better; i would think that at minimum they should not have to go to sleep at night hoping they aren’t being poisoned.  it is unconscionable for fema, the federal government, the state government, or insurance companies to allow this to happen.  furthermore, it is shameful that those who had to endure the devastating and traumatic experience of the hurricane have been forced to live like this, to live through this, for the past three years.

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15 February 2008 Posted by | architecture, society | Leave a comment

photo friday: fifth ave.

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this photo was lifted from devyn’s nyc photoblog, 24gotham.  as one of our favorite blogs we’ve mentioned it before, but it always proves interesting.  this is a powerful shot to be sure.   according to the metadata it was taken with a nikon d80, which just makes me jealous.  the overwhelming perspective combined with the dynamic black and white tones really make this picture pop (not to mention a certain special building in the background anchoring the whole composition).  if you’ve never seen 24gotham be sure to check it out (you could also venture to his old chicago-based photoblog, aptly named looper, if you’re feeling adventurous).

15 February 2008 Posted by | architecture, photo, urban planning | 1 Comment