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110801. NYT - bikes on campus, 2. Chinese courtyard housing complexes

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  • Christopher Miller
    Oct 21, 2008
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      1. An article from the New York Times (via CoolTowns blog) on the
      success of free bike programmes on some US college campuses:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/20/education/20bikes.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

      =========================================================

      With Free Bikes, Challenging Car Culture on Campus

      By KATIE ZEZIMA
      Published: October 19, 2008
      BIDDEFORD, Me. — When Kylie Galliani started at the University of New
      England in August, she was given a key to her dorm, a class schedule
      and something more unusual: a $480 bicycle.

      (photos and comments link deleted)

      “I was like, ‘A free bike, no catch?’ ” Ms. Galliani, 17, a freshman
      from Fort Bragg, Calif., asked. “It’s really an ideal way to get
      around the campus.”

      University administrators and students nationwide are increasingly
      feeling that way too.

      The University of New England and Ripon College in Wisconsin are
      giving free bikes to freshmen who promise to leave their cars at home.
      Other colleges are setting up free bike sharing or rental programs,
      and some universities are partnering with bike shops to offer
      discounts on purchases.

      The goal, college and university officials said, is to ease critical
      shortages of parking and to change the car culture that clogs campus
      roadways and erodes the community feel that comes with walking or
      biking around campus.

      “We’re seeing an explosion in bike activity,” said Julian Dautremont-
      Smith, associate director of the Association for the Advancement of
      Sustainability in Higher Education, a nonprofit association of
      colleges and universities. “It seems like every week we hear about a
      new bike sharing or bike rental program.”

      While many new bike programs are starting up, some are shutting down
      because of problems with theft and vandalism. The program at St.
      Mary’s College in Maryland was suspended because bikes were being
      vandalized.

      “Ours was one that was totally based on voluntary taking care of the
      bike,” said Chip Jackson, a spokesman for St. Mary’s, “and I guess
      that was maybe a tad unwise. So the next generation of this idea will
      have a few more checks and balances.”

      At Ripon, and the University of New England, officials say that giving
      students a bike of their own might encourage them to be more
      responsible. Ripon’s president, David C. Joyce, a competitive mountain
      biker, said the free bike idea came in a meeting about how to reduce
      cars on campus.

      The college committed $50,000 to the program and plans to continue it
      with next year’s freshmen. Some 200 Trek mountain bikes, helmets and
      locks were bought, and about 180 freshmen signed up for the program.
      “We did it as a means of reducing the need for parking,” Dr. Joyce
      said, “but as we looked at it from the standpoint of fitness, health
      and sustainability, we realized we have the opportunity to create a
      change.”

      (...more at the linked web page)

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      2. Via a posting on Treehugger, a Wikipedia article on the large
      courtyard housing complexes (Fujian Tulou) of Fujian Province:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fujian_Tulou

      These are similar to the housing surrounding an interiour courtyard
      proposed in _Carfree Cities_ except that they seem to be a rural
      building type and have some characteristics in common with European
      defensive castles. The article contains a number of interesting
      photographs of different tulou.

      =========================================================

      Christopher Miller
      Montreal QC Canada
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