The Philadelphia Eco-District Framework: Redeveloping the Refinery Site

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Date: 27 August 2019
Contact: Christopher Zelov 484-554-4710, David Steinberg 856-383-5325
E-Mail: info@ecodistrictphiladelphia.org
Web: http://www.ecodistrictphiladelphia.org/

Philadelphia, PA — 27 August 2019 — The Philadelphia Eco-District Incubator, an initiative of the Knossus Project, announced today "The Philadelphia Eco-District Framework". The Framework is a way of thinking about redeveloping the PES (Philadelphia Energy Solutions) Refinery site which has recently closed due to a major explosion, fire, and bankruptcy.

Christopher Zelov, co-founder of the Philadelphia Eco-District and the Knossus Project, said "The idea of the Eco-District Framework is to engage the creative power of regenerative ecological design to summon the vision and the courage to boldly dream about how our great city of Philadelphia can lead the world in putting into practice the emerging ideas of the Long Now and Regenerative Design to show how humanity can sustainably thrive on the one and only habitable planet known to science, our home, the Earth."

Imagination Key

Mr. Zelov, added, "More succinctly, the Eco-District Framework is A Proposed Cutting-Edge Framework in Support of Redeveloping the PES Refinery site as a Net-Positive Regenerative Design Initiative from the Long Now Perspective."

David Steinberg, an Eco-District Member and a nominee for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, imagined in October 2017 the PES refinery being closed. He realized that the post petroleum age warranted an Eco-District project to imagine reuse of the refinery lands. He said, "What if we missed a multibillion dollar opportunity and made rash decisions because of the expediency of the moment? I brought this project to the Eco-District's attention because I saw that the site, with its long history of environmental contamination in the sunset petroleum industry, presents a Golden Opportunity that will never happen again."

Mr. Steinberg continued: "There are two issues that must be addressed, regardless of how the PES Refinery site is reused:

  1. It is situated over the NJ Aquifer, which NJ Farmers use to irrigate their crops. We eat the food they grow, and I seriously question if we are putting poison into our bodies?
  2. Rising waters are coming a lot faster than we want to believe and will displace Philadelphians in low lying areas and create a rolling disaster upstream and downstream in PA, NJ and DE. We can deal with both issues, provide displaced residents with energy efficient homes, and relieve the pressure on the aquifer. The problems were created over a 150-year time period and will take decades or more to resolve. There are many challenges that need to be considered and resolved. We must think Long Term and do it right."

Mr. Zelov explained how and why the Eco-District Framework was situated in a Long Now historical context, "When William Penn founded the colony of Pennsylvania, he called Philadelphia a 'Greene Country Towne'. Also, our Lenni Lenape forefathers on this land understood the value of deep ecology and deep time. Just as our ancestors engaged visionary and far-reaching hopes for these lands, we ought to engage in a visionary rebirth for some of our city's most polluted lands. As Buckminster Fuller's life demonstrates, cutting edge breakthrough thinking is best developed from a meta-historical perspective: it is what empowers effective visionary thinking. Therefore, the Eco-District Framework includes the core principles of restoration and aspirational values. They empower us to rebuild the refinery site into something ennobling built on the great traditions of historical consideration grounded with our traditional values, considerate design, and the imagineering of the future."

Mr. Steinberg added, "I am grateful to be on the Eco-District team contributing ideas to help reimagine how Philadelphia can transition from the toxicity of petroleum to one of on-going human-centric ecological regeneratively with Net-Positive results to help Philadelphia continue thriving for generations to come. This kind of thinking led us to our five pillar framework."

The Eco-District Framework features five core pillars of consideration:

  1. Aspirational Values So People Can Live, Work, and Play There,
  2. Remediation: Repairing Environmental Damage,
  3. Restoration: Bringing the Land Back for Eco-Humanist Uses,
  4. Regenerativity: Creating an Environment That Gives Back More Than It Takes,
  5. Designing Human Settlements: Eco-District Model with a Mixed-Use Design Ethos.

Mr. Zelov emphasized, "The Long Now perspective of the Eco-District Framework with its five pillars altogether provides a vision of regenerative landscapes. I can imagine a laboratory of Landscape Architecture where local Universities and students test their ideas and learn the emerging craft of regenerative ecological design from the Long Now perspective. The key conceptual idea is to understand how life-replenishing ecosystem services provide on-going economic and spiritual dividends that when designed effectively can produce Net-Positive results for generations to come. It is a wonderful example of the multiplier effect in action. Many of these ideas come from ekistics, the science of human settlements".

Mr. Zelov added, "Regenerative landscapes provide ecosystem-based adaptation. This is a significant shift in thinking about our natural and built environments as hybrid landscapes and architectural zones of resilience."

City21 Emergent Urbanism

The Eco-District Framework is summarized in a three page document "The Philadelphia Eco-District Framework: Reimagining the Refinery Site" outlining a way of thinking about redeveloping the site. You can read the Framework document at http://www.ecodistrictphiladelphia.org/articles/Eco-DistrictFramework.pdf

Mr. Zelov added, "The Eco-District is leading the way to reimagining Philadelphia for the ecological transition. This site is particularly challenging because of the extensive toxicity that 150 years of oil refining have imposed on the land. But in my 30 years of ecological filmmaking and consulting for the Knossus Project, I have learned enough about Bio-Remediation to be confident that the 1300 acre toxic dump in South Philly can be restored to the point that it provides on-going regenerative ecological services to benefit people and nature. We ought to Bio-Remediate the site because it is economical, effective, and necessary for the future use of the land. It is also necessary because at expected rates of sea level rise, the site will soon be inundated spreading its toxicity to many other places. Our lands ought to have its important ecological functions restored: it is the legacy of land stewardship that we owe our great-grandchildren."

CJ Fearnley, co-founder of the Philadelphia Eco-District, said "I am impressed with David Steinberg's vision in initiating this project. Of course, he didn't expect that on June 21st the recent Refinery fire would lead to the sudden bankruptcy and closure of the facility. But he started work in October 2017, long before Kleinman Energy Policy Institute's Christina Simone’s September 2018 exhortation “Given the near-term potential for closure of refinery operations, stakeholders should begin exploring redevelopment options for the site”. David's leadership in anticipating this golden opportunity together with Christopher Zelov's able guidance and impressive understanding of the field of regenerative design from the Long Now perspective have produced this exciting new way to think about reimagining the refinery site."

Mr. Fearnley continued, "We should consider the situation before us from the broad perspective of energy profiles. Every historical change in humanity's energy profile has brought profound and always unexpected change. Consider the transition from human power that fueled the great era of megaliths in prehistory, to the use of draft animals that fueled urbanization in Earth's first cities some 6,000 years ago, to the era of climate change bringing free fodder to the great steppes of Asia that fueled the Mongol empire's geopolitical dominance, to the major improvements to the coach developed in Kocs, Hungary in the 1400s which revolutionized European transportation just before Europe's great awakening, to the age of industrialization and railroads fueled by coal, to the automobile and airplane era built on oil, to our current nascent post-petroleum era whose energy profile is still being invented. History teaches us that no energy profile persists and these changes can be significant. In order to meet the great challenge of our generation to navigate changes in our energy profile, we must see through many uncertainties to build the best future possible by reimagining the refinery site as a regenerative resource for our future."

Inventing The Future

Mr. Fearnley concluded, "All citizens and stakeholders in the greater Philadelphia region should study the Eco-District Framework and provide ideas for strengthening it and implementing its empowering and exalting vision."

The Eco-District maintains a web site dedicated to introducing and summarizing its initiative to Prototype the Post-Petroleum Age with the Refinery Site as an exemplar of visionary, Long Now, Net-Positive imagineering to help Philadelphia and the global community transition to the post-petroleum age. The home page for this initiative is http://www.ecodistrictphiladelphia.org/redeveloping-the-philadelphia-refinery/

About the Knossus Project
The Knossus Project is a Mid-Atlantic based research and development firm dedicated to guiding the citizenry through the labyrinth of life by producing custom built artifacts in the areas of Educational Film, Fine Art Publishing, and Green Design. Over the years, the Project has produced over 15 films, 5 books, and 4+ inventions. Including the multi-award winning film "Ecological Design: Inventing the Future" that helped launch the mainstreaming of the Sustainability movement and has been used in classrooms around the world. To learn more about the Knossus Project, visit http://www.geniusloci.com/indexsub.htm.

About the Philadelphia Eco-District Incubator
The Philadelphia Eco-District Incubator undertakes several initiatives to nurture and catalyze the Green Transition. It endeavors to plant creative seeds to foster regenerative ecological design thinking and practice at the neighborhood scale in the Philadelphia region. It is a grassroots, collaborative, and participatory thinking and doing initiative focused on making our neighborhoods flourish with Net-Positive℠ regenerative design. The initiative began in early 2016 with The Philadelphia Eco-District Oasis, a six month design studio with the University of the Arts. This led to an undertaking to seed Philadelphia's first Eco-District Incubator in Philadelphia. To learn more about the Philadelphia Eco-District, visit http://www.ecodistrictphiladelphia.org/ or call Christopher Zelov 484-554-4710.

Magazine Article, Growing Support, and Guided Introductions to the Bio-Remediation Barge Project Now Available

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Date: 23 May 2019
Contact: Christopher Zelov
Phone: 484-554-4710
E-Mail: info@ecodistrictphiladelphia.org
Web: http://www.ecodistrictphiladelphia.org/

Philadelphia, PA — 23 May 2019 — The Philadelphia Eco-District Incubator, an initiative of the Knossus Project, announced today that The Bio-Remediation Barge project is receiving growing support.

The Bio-Remediation Barge Project is featured in Revitalization Magazine issue #99 published on 15 May 2019. Revitalization Magazine is dedicated to providing a place where representatives of academia, non-profits, foundations, businesses, and government (at all levels) from all over the world come together to focus on creating a healthier, more-prosperous and resilient future for all. You can read the article on-line for free until June 1st: Bio-Remediation Barge would teach kids regenerative tech and clean Schuylkill River.

In addition, the Barge Project has received a letter of support from Joseph Syrnick, President and CEO of the Schuylkill River Development Corporation (SRDC) whose mission is revitalizing Philadelphia’s tidal Schuylkill River corridor into an asset that connects neighborhoods and encourages investment. Working with the City and stakeholders to build, maintain, and program Schuylkill Banks, SRDC drives improvements in recreation and transportation, community and economic development, public health, and environmental stewardship, benefiting neighbors, Philadelphia and the region.

Also, this weekend Christopher Zelov, co-founder of the Philadelphia Eco-District and the Knossus Project, will be hosting a group of Government Officials and students from Tbilisi, the Capital of the Georgian Republic, who are interested in building exchanges related to cutting edge Ecological Design, featuring among other projects, the Bio-Remediation Barge.

Zelov said "The three substantial recent recognitions of the Bio-Remediation Barge Project by Revitalization Magazine, Schuylkill River Development Corporation, and the Republic of Georgia are just three of the most prominent feedbacks suggesting that the Barge project idea is ripe for realization."

Zelov continued, "Our strategy is to convene these supporters into a team that can realize the Project."

The scale model of the Bio-Remediation Barge was built by Jay Baldwin and is on display at City CoHo, 2401 Walnut Street, in Philadelphia.

To make an appointment for a guided introduction to the Bio-Remediation Barge Project and to learn about all the features of the scale model of the Bio-Remediation Barge, please contact Christopher Zelov by phone 484-554-4710 or E-Mail info@ecodistrictphiladelphia.org.

More information about the Bio-Remediation Barge project is available at http://www.ecodistrictphiladelphia.org/the-bio-remediation-barge/.

About the Knossus Project
The Knossus Project is a Mid-Atlantic based research and development firm dedicated to guiding the citizenry through the labyrinth of life by producing custom built artifacts in the areas of Educational Film, Fine Art Publishing, and Green Design. Over the years, the Project has produced over 15 films, 5 books, and 4+ inventions. Including the multi-award winning film "Ecological Design: Inventing the Future" that helped launch the mainstreaming of the Sustainability movement, and has been used in classrooms around the world. To learn more about the Knossus Project, visit http://www.geniusloci.com/indexsub.htm.

About the Philadelphia Eco-District Incubator
The Philadelphia Eco-District Incubator undertakes a number of initiatives to nurture and catalyze the Green Transition. It endeavors to plant creative seeds to foster regenerative ecological design thinking and practice at the neighborhood scale in the Philadelphia region. It is a grassroots, collaborative, and participatory thinking and doing initiative focused on making our neighborhoods flourish with Net-Positive℠ regenerative design. The initiative began in early 2016 with The Philadelphia EcoDistrict Oasis, a six month design studio with the University of the Arts. This led to an undertaking to seed Philadelphia's first Eco-District Incubator in Philadelphia. To learn more about the Philadelphia Eco-District, visit http://www.ecodistrictphiladelphia.org/.

Philadelphia Eco-District Announces The Bio-Remediation Barge Dedication, Design Elements Document, and New Educational Programming

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Date: 26 March 2019
Contact: Christopher Zelov
Phone: 484-554-4710
E-Mail: info@ecodistrictphiladelphia.org
Web: http://www.ecodistrictphiladelphia.org/

Philadelphia, PA — 26 March 2019 — The Philadelphia Eco-District, an initiative of the Knossus Project, announced today that the The Bio-Remediation Barge project will be dedicated to the memory of design pioneer Jay Baldwin.

Jay Baldwin (1933-2018) was an Industrial Designer and Soft Technology editor at the famous Whole Earth Catalog. He was a collaborator with R. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983).

Christopher Zelov said, "Jay Baldwin was one of my principal design mentors. He taught me about how practice and prototyping, with a keen attention to nature's operating principles can lead to conceptual breakthroughs in Ecological Design. He also transmitted the joy of continuous learning and the power of the creative design/build ethos. It is fitting that we dedicate the Barge project in his memory."

Zelov added, "Jay Baldwin built the scale model for the Bio-Remediation Barge which is currently on display at City CoHo, 2401 Walnut Street, in Philadelphia."

In addition, the Philadelphia Eco-District announced that a one-page overview of the design elements for the Bio-Remediation Barge is now available at http://www.ecodistrictphiladelphia.org/articles/Bio-Remediation_Barge_DesignElements.pdf.

The Bio-Remediation Barge project is a multi-dimensional design concept for cleaning the Schuykill River in Philadelphia. The Barge is also conceived as an harbinger of the future of architecture that is integrated with cognitive living systems. A short 9 minute video introducing the concepts involved in the Barge project idea is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUUOqopbGP8.

At the most recent Eco-District meeting, Penn climate scientist Irina Marinov said, "I would love to teach in a regenerative environment like on the Barge, it reminds me of an EarthShip."

Christopher Zelov added, "The Barge is an iconic art, educational and scientific project that will help advance regenerative ecological thinking throughout the bioregion."

In addition, the Philadelphia Eco-District announced that the educational programming for the Barge is being expanded.

Christopher Zelov said, "We are looking for educational partners to realize this creative space for learning. In that spirit, we imagine a new film that will illuminate the design elements of the Barge."

More information about the Bio-Remediation Barge project is available at http://www.ecodistrictphiladelphia.org/the-bio-remediation-barge/.

About the Knossus Project
The Knossus Project is a Mid-Atlantic based research and development firm dedicated to guiding the citizenry through the labyrinth of life by producing custom built artifacts in the areas of Educational Film, Fine Art Publishing, and Green Design. Over the years, the Project has produced over 15 films, 5 books, and 4+ inventions. Including the multi-award winning film "Ecological Design: Inventing the Future" that helped launch the mainstreaming of the Sustainability movement, and has been used in classrooms around the world. To learn more about the Knossus Project, visit http://www.geniusloci.com/indexsub.htm.

About the Philadelphia Eco-District
The Philadelphia Eco-District is an incubator with a number of initiatives to nurture and catalyze the Green Transition. It endeavors to plant creative seeds to foster regenerative ecological design thinking and practice at the neighborhood scale in the Philadelphia region. It is a grassroots, collaborative, and participatory thinking and doing initiative focused on making our neighborhoods flourish with Net-Positive℠ regenerative design. The initiative began in early 2016 with The Philadelphia EcoDistrict Oasis, a six month design studio with the University of the Arts. This led to an undertaking to seed Philadelphia's first Eco-District in Philadelphia. To learn more about the Philadelphia Eco-District, visit http://www.ecodistrictphiladelphia.org/.

New Article Posted “Eco-Districts and the Future of the City?”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Date: 3 October 2017
Contact: Christopher Zelov
Phone: 484-554-4710
E-Mail: info@ecodistrictphiladelphia.org
Web: http://www.ecodistrictphiladelphia.org/

Spring Garden, Philadelphia, PA — 3 October 2017 — The Spring Garden Eco-District, an initiative of the Knossus Project, announced today that Christopher Zelov's article "Eco-Districts and the Future of the City?" has been posted at LinkedIn Pulse. The article raises the important questions which the Spring Garden Eco-District is poised to answer: to locally address the challenge of our time. To read the article in full, please visit https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/eco-districts-future-city-christopher-zelov.

About the Knossus Project
The Knossus Project is a Mid-Atlantic based research and development firm dedicated to guiding the citizenry through the labyrinth of life by producing custom built artifacts in the areas of Educational Film, Fine Art Publishing, and Green Design. Over the years, the Project has produced over 15 films, 5 books, and 4+ inventions. Including the multi-award winning film "Ecological Design: Inventing the Future" that help launch the mainstreaming of the Sustainability movement, and has been used in classrooms around the world. To learn more about the Knossus Project, visit http://www.geniusloci.com/indexsub.htm.

About the Spring Garden Eco-District
The Spring Garden Eco-District is an incubator with a number of initiatives to nurture and catalyze the Green Transition. It endeavors to plant creative seeds to foster regenerative ecological design thinking and practice at the neighborhood scale in the Philadelphia region. It is a grassroots, collaborative, and participatory thinking and doing initiative focused on making our neighborhoods flourish with Net-Positive℠ regenerative design. The initiative began in early 2016 with The Philadelphia EcoDistrict Oasis, a six month design studio with University of the Arts Associate Professor Tony Guido and a group of undergraduates. This led to an undertaking to seed Philadelphia's first Eco-District in the Spring Garden neighborhood of Philadelphia. To learn more about the Spring Garden Eco-District, visit http://www.ecodistrictphiladelphia.org/.

The Spring Garden Eco-District Announces 7 Service Offerings

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Date: 10 July 2017
Contact: Christopher Zelov
Phone: 484-554-4710
E-Mail: info@ecodistrictphiladelphia.org
Web: http://www.ecodistrictphiladelphia.org/

Spring Garden, Philadelphia, PA — 10 July 2017 — The Spring Garden Eco-District, an initiative of the Knossus Project, announced today that it has launched 7 Net-Positive℠ Services.

Christopher Zelov, Founder of the Knossus Project and principal organizer of the Spring Garden Eco-District, said, "With the vast cinematic material the Knossus Project has produced over the last 25+ years on the frontiers of ecological design, I am delighted to organize our connections, partnerships and decades of research to offer these Net-Positive℠ services to the marketplace."

Zelov added "Net-Positive℠ Design refers to the art and practice of bringing forth regenerative eco-technology that gives back more than it takes."

The Spring Garden Eco-District now offers the following Net-Positive℠ Services: Energy Audits, Solar Fountains, Long Now Sculptures, Custom Green Walls and Roofs, Green Design including Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Custom Video Production, and Educational Programs including the "Inventing EcoFutures" course.

At the next Spring Garden Eco-District meeting on 16 July 2017 from 1–3 PM at Saige Cafe, 1631 Wallace St, Philadelphia, PA 19130, Zelov will introduce these services so interested people can engage the great work of our time and begin to make the green transition.

Zelov said "At the meeting on the 16th, I will illuminate the Net-Positive℠ design philosophy we practice and how it informs each of our service offerings. I will also explore who might benefit from our services, the benefits of each, and we'll discuss any questions participants may have about each of the seven green service offerings we are launching."

CJ Fearnley, a co-organizer of the Spring Garden Eco-District and impresario of spontaneous cooperation, said "Since our first monthly meeting in January of this year, the Spring Garden Eco-District has held a monthly meeting to explore ideas to improve ecological regenerativity in today's world. I hope these seven service offerings will stimulate another engaged discussion as we marshall the talent to precipitate the green transition to expand the practice of ecological regenerativity in our cities."

For more information about the Spring Garden Eco-District and its seven service offerings visit the web site http://www.ecodistrictphiladelphia.org/.

Net-Positive℠ is a service mark of the Knossus Project.

About the Knossus Project
The Knossus Project is a Mid-Atlantic based research and development firm dedicated to guiding the citizenry through the labyrinth of life by producing custom built artifacts in the areas of Educational Film, Fine Art Publishing, and Green Design. Over the years, the Project has produced over 15 films, 5 books, and 4+ inventions. Including the multi-award winning film "Ecological Design: Inventing the Future" that help launch the mainstreaming of the Sustainability movement, and has been used in classrooms around the world. To learn more about the Knossus Project, visit http://www.geniusloci.com/indexsub.htm.

About the Spring Garden Eco-District
The Spring Garden Eco-District is an incubator with a number of initiatives to nurture and catalyze the Green Transition. It endeavors to plant creative seeds to foster regenerative ecological design thinking and practice at the neighborhood scale in the Philadelphia region. It is a grassroots, collaborative, and participatory thinking and doing initiative focused on making our neighborhoods flourish with Net-Positive℠ regenerative design. The initiative began in early 2016 with The Philadelphia EcoDistrict Oasis, a six month design studio with University of the Arts Associate Professor Tony Guido and a group of undergraduates. This led to an undertaking to seed Philadelphia's first Eco-District in the Spring Garden neighborhood of Philadelphia. To learn more about the Spring Garden Eco-District, visit http://www.ecodistrictphiladelphia.org/.

Model of the Bio-Remediation Barge on Display at City CoHo in Philadelphia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Date: 29 March 2017
Contact: Christopher Zelov
Phone: 484-554-4710
E-Mail: info@ecodistrictphiladelphia.org
Web: http://www.ecodistrictphiladelphia.org/

Spring Garden, Philadelphia, PA — 29 March 2017 — The Philadelphia Eco-District announced today that the Bio-Remediation Barge model built by the acclaimed industrial designer and technology editor of the Whole Earth Catalog Jay Baldwin is on display at City CoHo in Philadelphia.

City CoHo is a creative center for sustainability in Philadelphia located at 2401 Walnut Street. It is open to the public from 9-5 on Monday-Friday. You are invited to stop by and check it out.

The Bio-Remediation Barge is a dynamic design concept incorporating Solar Aquatic Technology to clean the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. It is slated to become an Environmental Education center, that also helps feed the city with its aquaculture production. This innovative architecture will be an icon of Philadelphia'a efforts to actualize the green transition. It will serve the river, all the creatures who depend on the river, and showcase the project of integrating human architecture with the ecological world.

Key benefits of the Bio-Remediation Barge include:

  • Cleans the pollution in the river
  • Produces aquaculture to feed the city
  • Symbolic Architecture for the Future City
  • An exemplar of the new approach of Building as an Eco-System
  • Vibrant classroom space for design schools in Philadelphia

For more information, visit the Philadelphia Eco-District page dedicated to the project at http://www.ecodistrictphiladelphia.org/the-bio-remediation-barge/.

About the Philadelphia Eco-District
The Philadelphia Eco-District is an incubator with a number of initiatives to nurture and catalyze the Green Transition. It endeavors to plant creative seeds to foster regenerative ecological design thinking and practice at the neighborhood scale in the Philadelphia region. It is a grassroots, collaborative, and participatory thinking and doing initiative focused on making our neighborhoods flourish with Net-Positive℠ regenerative design. The initiative began in early 2016 and continues to build momentum. To learn more about the Spring Garden Eco-District, visit http://www.ecodistrictphiladelphia.org/.