Lego World shows Nova Scotians how cities and nature can click
A Halifax urban designer wants to teach people how to live in harmony with nature by building tiny model cities — out of Lego.
Christine Hempel has created an exhibit called Design With Nature, Design With Lego which is on display at Halifax Public Libraries.
It examines how cities are built and how they interact with nature.
The model includes streams integrated into the city landscape, land for agriculture, a green space next to the hospital, insect and animal observation centers, a farmers market and land bridges for wildlife.
“Can we design our cities in such a way that [nature] can still flourish with the people? The buildings are very integrated with the environment,” Hempel told CBC’s Kyah Sparks of the model in a recent interview.
Her model shows that cities can be built compactly to protect wildlife and the environment, which she says can also benefit human well-being.
« I have a skateboard park [in the model] where teenagers can play on the very different types of rock that are at the edge of the cliff,” she said.
« And the assumption is that if we grow up connected to the landscape, we’ll be more grounded in our community and therefore more protective of it and more interested in staying and that also gives us the ability to connect with each other. »
Hempel is the first Artist and Innovator in Residence for Halifax Public Libraries.
She said she was inspired to build the model because urban designers are often taught to ignore nature. « We should do things differently. There’s still room for a lot of beauty and joy in a city designed around these sustainability principles, » she said.
His Lego model will be on display at the Woodlawn Public Library until September 12. It will travel between branches until June.
Hempel recently gifted CBC Nova Scotia host Amy Smith News at sixa tour of the eco-city.
Check out the model and watch their conversation here: