Arch. Myriam B. Mahiques Curriculum Vitae

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Hanging out clothes in the sun. The green point of view

Mercado La Paloma, in Los Angeles. And its neighbors. Photo by architect Luis R. Makianich
Do not reproduce without permission

Last Sunday I went to Los Angeles with my husband in search of murals. And I was surprised to see that next door to the famous Mercado La Paloma, a residential condominium exposed lots of underwear and more clothes hanging from the wire fence. I was thinking about how much I missed to hang out our clothes in the sun, like I did in Buenos Aires, -except on rainy days, of course- and was also wondering why the condominium residents didn´t choose to use the windows instead. I´m not sure in the rest of the USA, but in California you must use the washer and dryer, to avoid creating visual pollution. Also, the machines cannot be exposed, outside . To approve the location of your laundry, you must have it somewhere inside, with the corresponding ventilations. Today, it was by chance that I´ve read this article by Sara Robinson at, well, I didn´t think about the green point of view.
Let´s read an excerpt from Making Sustainability Legal: 9 Zombie Laws That Keep Cities From Going Green:

 You’ve done your part, you good greenie, you. You’ve changed out the light bulbs, bought energy-saving appliances, learned to recycle, tuned up your bike, joined a co-op, and bought a transit pass and/or a fuel-efficient car. Now you’re looking around, wondering what to do next. With spring around the corner, maybe you’d like to hang out the wash on a sunny day. Or perhaps you could build an apartment in your basement to increase both your income and your neighborhood’s density…. Not so fast. Because this is the point at which your city government is very likely to swoop down in a flurry of paperwork and citations, telling you in no uncertain terms: No. You can’t do that. We don’t care how green it is, it’s also against the law.

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