· Community Energy for San Antonio

Community Energy for San Antonio

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This past April the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) hosted the Land Art Generator Initiative for a workshop in San Antonio in partnership with the Land Heritage Institute, LiftFund, and AIA San Antonio.

We have since put together a PDF record of the workshop outcomes. Download the PDF brochure here (or click on the image above) to learn discover the innovative ideas that participants developed over the course of the day-long event.

During the day long workshop, community members investigated how renewable energy technologies can be incorporated into public art and creative placemaking opportunities around San Antonio. The event was an open forum for the creative exchange of ideas within a variety of contexts to address multifaceted issues around the environment and social equity through a design lens, and without constraints on individual creativity.

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Chris Plauche from San Antonio Catholic Worker explains the unique characteristics of a site in San Antonio’s Eastside.

Over the next decade as San Antonio continues to build on its rich cultural heritage through exciting developments around the city, it will be important to maintain a focus on how the outcomes of economic growth will bring benefits to everyone and not only to those who live in more affluent districts. It will also be important to consider the environment and incorporate sustainable infrastructures for energy, water, and food.

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Robert Amerman, Exuecutive Director of the San Antonio River Foundation talks about a new acequia for pico hydro and using an old chimney as a solar updraft tower.

Perhaps there are opportunities to bring site specific design solutions to key sites around San Antonio that can proactively address these issues and serve as an example and catalyst for equitable development throughout the region.

To that end, LISC has identified a number of city-owned vacant lots in key residential neighborhoods. The workshop took a look at some of these, along with more prominent sites, such as the Lone Star Brewery, a large mixed use redevelopment project, and EPIcenter, a project transforming the old Mission Road Power Plant power plant into a clean energy incubation hub.

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Visiting a site on 19th Street in San Antonio’s Westside

This is the challenge that the participants in the workshop set out to solve with artful and creative proposals for speculative design interventions in public space.
The discussion brought out many ideas for potential applications in San Antonio, including vacant lots, the Mission Reach, and major development projects where a public art component could also add to sustainable development goals by generating clean energy on site.

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Conversation pointed to how such projects could involve the school systems to invigorate science, technology, engineering, and math education by inspiring creativity and supporting STEM to STEAM initiatives. Sites could serve as destination field trips for learning about closed-loop systems, sustainable technologies, ecology, and biomimicry.

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Innovative projects with roots in San Antonio could even spread to other cities, supporting the local economy through research, design, manufacturing, and fabrication.