Carbon Sponge

2017-

Carbon Sponge is a platform to sequester carbon in urban soils as a means to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions led by an interdisciplinary team of artists, scientists, educators and urban gardeners. 

Soil can be a sink or a source of carbon, the building block of life, and we want to sink it. We want to create conditions in which our soil is a sponge and holds onto carbon for a very long time. Carbon in the ground has multiple benefits; for example, it increases soil’s fertility and capacity to retain water. Also, if carbon stays in the ground then guess where it is not? It is not in the atmosphere where carbon levels are currently too high and climbing, increasing the atmosphere’s greenhouse effect. 

Carbon Sponge asks: How can we carbon farm in the city? 

Carbon Sponge is publicly accessible starting Spring/Summer 2018 at the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) in Queens and in Spring/Summer 2019 at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn. 

I initiated this project while Designer in Residence at NYSCI (2018-2019) and in partnership with CUNY Advanced Scientific Research Center (ASRC), the Jacob Riis Settlement House at NYCHA Ravenswood, NYC Mayor’s Office of Environmental Remediation (OER) and La Casita Verde (a GreenThumb garden). Funders include NYSCI, Patagonia, Brooklyn Arts Council and ASRC.

Read New York Times article “The City’s Buried Treasure is not Under the Dirt. It is the Dirt” with mention of Carbon Sponge from July 25, 2018.