Saturday, May 19, 2007

Birds & Buildings

Cool ideas for both.

These buildings are for the birds; With activists and their exhibit of 2,500 carcasses in attendance, city unveils guidelines for bird-friendly towers
Theresa Boyle, Toronto Star
The Toronto Star
May 4, 2007

On the day Toronto released new "bird-friendly" development guidelines, an animal rights group announced it recovered 5,461 birds - a record number - that had collided with buildings last year.

"It's extremely sad because it's very much preventable," Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone told a news conference yesterday.

Pantalone released a 42-page document, containing guidelines for architects and developers on how to design bird-friendly buildings.

Among the recommendations are using less reflective glass, covering windows with film to mute reflections, installing awnings and overhangs and installing lights in such as way as to reduce light pollution.

Pantalone said he'd like the guidelines to eventually become mandatory.

"I suspect that in a handful of years or so a lot of the green Toronto development standards are going to switch from the voluntary to the obligatory," he said.

The news conference was held in the rotunda of Metro Hall where the group FLAP (Fatal Light Awareness Program) had on exhibit 2,500 birds that had died last fall after flying into buildings.

More than 600 birds have been picked up so far this year.

"It's mind-boggling," said Michael Mesure, of FLAP, noting that many of the birds were collected around office buildings in the downtown core.

FLAP has been recovering birds since 1993 and every year the number goes up. In 1995, 4,690 birds were recovered.