Go out and get a copy of the Saturday, January 13th Globe and Mail. There’s a story in it that will make you feel good about being a Canadian – and give you some shread of hope for our beleagered planet.
The piece – A River Back from the Dead – is not available on the G&M website, unless you’re a print subscriber. And anyway, this article by Val Ross is better read on newsprint, particularly to take advantage of the double-page spread with detailed map:
This is the story of the Wadi Hanifah, the river that runs through Riyadh, capital of Saudi Arabia. Though it made human settlement possible a thousand years ago, the river had become a dumpsite for everything from automobiles to animal carcasses.
But six years ago, Saudi princes summoned the Canadians: Moriyama & Teshima – the Toronto architecture and environmental planning firm. The article details the work of George Stockton and Drew Wensley, and shows kilometre by kilometre what they’re doing to bring a river back from the dead.
The author, writing for the dead-tree media, knows that a lot of us will go to Google Earth to check out the context, and starts off his piece with that assumption:
You can give yourself virtual vertigo by swooping around on Google Earth, the 3-D computer program that offers aerial views of almost every place on the planet. Especially if you zoom from, say, Toronto to the barren desert of Saudi Arabia and then zero in on the tangle of housing and highways that is Riyadh.
The Wadi is the “intriguing dark line” running diagonally from the upper left.
Maybe the fact that this is a Canadian-led project is why you’ve never heard of it before.