The San Diego Environmental Foundation's EcoCenter
I always thought it promising when a city had an "Eco Center" like the famous Urban Ecology Center.
It turns out San Diego has its own version, not three miles from where I live. I missed it, though I've passed it, because it looks like an automobile showroom. Not like an urban ecology center. Or a permaculture institute, or the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center.
To be fair, San Diego does have some permaculture-looking sites featured in books (it was in Athena & Bill Steen's The Straw Bale House or The Beauty of Straw Bale or (an even better book) The hand-sculpted house: a philosophical and practical guide to building a cob cottage / Ianto Evans, Linda Smiley, and Michael Smith currently available in the SDSU library). SD also has the Green Store.
But, the EcoCenter has "a state-of-the-art 'Autotorium'" conveniently located immediately next to the I-15 highway:
The Autotorium at the Ecocenter is a 47 seat theatre equipped with actual automobile seats, a projector for DVD's, CD's and a 10ft by 7ft screen and audio system.
I'm pretty sure I saw a photo in the Union Tribune a while ago of Education Director Judy Bishop getting a kid to drink the water from the tailpipe of a hydrogen/electric-powered vehicle. . .
Well, alright. I shouldn't complain too much about the good they're doing.
Let's make a "San Diego Center for Urban Ecology". Let's locate it next to or near the trolley line—away from a highway, if possible. Let's not have it filled with "actual automobile seats". May it look organic, human-scale, and hand-sculpted. May it have more than three palm trees and a strip of grass growing out front. Auto-industry funding? We'll have to pay for it some other way.