Friday, December 28, 2012

Dear friends, colleagues and much appreciated clients:

EcoVidalDesign, Inc. is very thankful for the very productive 2012 in Rio de Janeiro and Chicago and hopes to continue to work with you in new adventures in the New Year ahead of us.

V i v a   2 0 1 3!

EVD 2012 highlights

In 2012, we started in Rio de Janeiro (January and February) with a Fellowship from the US Department of State/Partners of the Americas collaborating with Secretaria de Economia Verde (INEA) on the first "Rio Green District". We ended the year receiving in Chicago Antonio Augusto Verissimo, Rio de Janeiro Housing Coordinator, thanks to Partners of the Americas.

Also during the year we had a pleasure to continue to collaborate with Urban Works Architecture on the award winning UNO Natchez School Site Design and LEED certification and with LBBA restoring great buildings in the Back of the Yards neighborhood for The Resurrection Project. We hope to continue to be part of the Back of the Yards transformation next year. We enjoy teaching at the Green Exchange as part of St. Augustine College Workforce Development Institute, training construction professionals in Green Construction Practices and LEED GA and hope to perhaps expand the program to Brazil!

In Edgewater, we support the Environmental Sustainability Project and hope to transform the neighborhood into the example of stormwater management in 2014 working with EESP, Kim Kaulas Landscape designer, Terra Engineers, SENN HS, Alderman Harry Osterman, Loyola University and the community at large.

We are also proud to announce a couple of awards including the Second Place on the Design Makes Change Competition "Sweet Homes Chicago 2012" with special thanks to son Gabriel Vidal-Hallett, a hard-working CMU student in Architecture and Leonardo Cadena, Architect from Columbia. We will continue to work with Austin Coming Together to make the proposed project a reality in the near future. In the same competition at the Junior level daughter Emilia Vidal-Hallett, a sophomore at Lane Tech got first place and will potentially complete her proposed mural and garden with the Austin, Chicago Youth during the 2014 summer season. Finally, why not to mention the Vidal-Hallett (including the Vidal-Halletts from Spain) 1st Place and Best in Show at the fun Sand Castle competition organized by the Edgewater Community Council in August 2012. Mark Hallett, husband, photographer and journalist had a very important role documenting and supporting all of these efforts.

In addittion, in order to be able to pursue so many projects and activities we have to regularly dance and perform with Soul & Duende Flamenco Theater Company directed by Azucena Vega and Lili Sie. Without visual and performing arts, the Vidal-Hallett family could not survive!

We thank all our partners in 2012 and hope to continue to get your support in 2013. Sincerely,

Carmen Vidal-Hallett,
EcoVidalDesign, Inc.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fellowship at RIO Secretaria de Ambiente

View of MAR (Museo de Arte do Rio) construction on Rua Venezuela, the street of INEA offices where I'm working in downtown Rio.

I have been in Rio already for 3 days working at Secretaria de Ambiente. Maria Silvia Muylaert, Assessora and Architect introduced me to all. The first day I learned about the closure of Parque Gramacho landfill, the largest in Brazil. We talked about the potential sustainable redevelopment of the community. It is a fascinating project.

The second day I was educated about the INEA (Instituto Estadual do Ambiente) structure and they walked me through the land use plans and potential economic and urban design development for urban gaps with their housing programs.

Today I had an interesting meeting about the proposed Rio Green Districts. In addition, the INEA is developing a new office building which could definitely became LEED certified. All very exiting projects at a time when the world is watching Rio carefully. Rio is already developing a partnership with the US and I would love to link them also to the Chicago sustainable urban development initiatives and its potential investors.

The INEA and RIO in general have a vibrant environment that inspires... I hear from my balcony escolas de samba as I'm blogging...