APA Announces Sustaining Places Initiative at World Urban Forum

American Planning Association (APA) President Bruce Knight, FAICP, at the United Nation’s Fifth World Urban Forum (WUF) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil announced the Sustaining Places Initiative will focus on the role of planning in addressing the entire set of human settlement issues relating to sustainability.

The initiative will establish a Sustaining Places Task Force that will focus on the use of the comprehensive plan as the leading policy document and tool to help communities of all sizes achieve sustainability. Work of the task force will include a survey of existing best practices, evolving needs and practices and the ways in which practices should change in the future in order for the comprehensive plan to better achieve its role as the leading policy document.

A Sustaining Places Day will be held during APA’s Federal Policy and Program Briefing in September 2010 that will include collaboration with the American Institute of Architects Challenge 2030 and the American Society of Landscape Architects Sustainable Sites.

[SOURCE: APA]

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Six teams shortlisted for Stoke bus station

Six internationally renowned teams have been short-listed to design a new bus station which will welcome visitors to a rejuvenated Stoke-on-Trent city centre.  The teams have been selected following a major competition organised by the North Staffordshire Regeneration Partnership.

More than 40 architectural practices expressed interest in designing the new bus station, which will unlock Realis Estates’ £250 million redevelopment of Stoke on Trent’s East West Centre creating a regional retail and leisure destination for the city.

The six short listed design teams are:
• Austin Smith Lord, the practice behind the proposed new €100 million Tara Street Station in Dublin, lead architect with sub consultants Curtins, Hilson Moran & JMP

• BDP, which was responsible for the new Number 1 court at Wimbledon, lead architect with sub consultants Mott MacDonald & AA Projects

• Grimshaw, the architects behind the Eden Project in Cornwall, lead architect with sub consultant Arup

• John McAslan & Partners, which is working on the masterplan for the redevelopment of Marble Arch in London, lead architect with sub consultants Mott Macdonald, AECOM & Billing Jackson

• Wilkinson Eyre, which designed the Millennium Bridge in Gateshead, lead architect with sub consultants Arup, Drivers Jonas & Buchanan

• Zaha Hadid, the practice working on the London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympics, lead architect with sub consultants AKT, Savell Bird & Axon, Max Fordham.

The competition to find a multi-disciplinary team, including architects, engineers and environmental experts, was launched in the Official Journal of the European Union in December 2009. The short-listed design teams now have 40 days to prepare more detailed submissions to include proposed layouts and external designs.   Residents will be consulted about the designs and their views will form part of the selection process.

The aim is for construction is to start on site in 2011 with completion in 2012.

SOURCE: Stoke on Trent Council VIA  The Architect’s Journal

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NBBJ and Chan Krieger Sieniewicz to merge

NBBJ, a global architecture and design firm, and Chan Krieger Sieniewicz, internationally-known for urban design and architecture excellence, announced today a merger of the two firms that will create an integrated team of over 700 architects, landscape architects, urban designers, planners and interior designers.

The Chan Krieger Sieniewicz team, including its five principals, will continue in their current roles. As part of the transition to the NBBJ name, the Cambridge office will operate as Chan Krieger NBBJ.

The merger gives NBBJ, which already operates a project office in Boston, a larger presence in New England. The Seattle-based firm has offices in several U.S. cities, including Columbus, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Seattle. Overseas offices include London, Beijing, Shanghai and Dubai.

SOURCE: NBBJ.com

KCAP wins Bay of Pasaia masterplan competition

KCAP Architects & Planners have won the prestigious masterplanning competition for the development of a 70 hectare site at the Bay of Pasaia, San Sebastián, Spain. The site, currently used for harbor activity, will gradually become available for redevelopment. The project is considered as a key opportunity for the surrounding communities which are in need of regeneration and will have an important impact on the entire region.

The winning scheme was elaborated by KCAP in collaboration with sustainability advisors of ECOFYS and local consultants of LKS engineering and architect Ángel de la Hoz. It was chosen unanimously by the jury. The team will remain involved to elaborate and refine the winning masterplan concept. The final version of the masterplan will be delivered in October 2010. During the next weeks an exhibition will tour the local municipalities of the bay.

[SOURCE: KCAP]
[IMAGE SOURCE: KCAP]

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White House launches Urban Affairs website

The White House launched the Office of Urban Affairs website including a blog and Innovations and Ideas page where US citizens can submit ideas and best practices. This is a follow up to the Urban Tour which included 9 city centers and the Inter-Agency working group on urban policy.

The OUA blog states that the launch of the website is to

This effort is an important addition to our ongoing conversation on the Future of America’s Cities and Metropolitan Areas. We have already met with many urban stakeholders, elected officials, and academics; and we’ve been around the country visiting places that are on the cutting edge of urban innovation. But today we are establishing a more direct relationship with you – the American people. You are the ones that are innovating every single day – you are the innovators. You tackle government bureaucracy with creativity and leadership; you overcome a slow economy with public-private partnerships; and you turn distressed neighborhoods around with determination, hope and, above all, hard work.

The President knows that government doesn’t have all the answers. He knows that the best solutions come from you in places like Auburn Gresham in Chicago, South Lake Union in Seattle, and the small city of Flagstaff, Arizona – just to name a few. We know there are many more out there and we want you to share them with us.

Submit your idea or best practice (US Citizens)

[SOURCE: Office of Urban Affairs Blog – Announcing the White House Urban Affairs Website]

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Britain’s tallest sculpture to grace Wales-England border

Waking the Dragon (SOURCE: Creative Wales)

Wales may soon have its own landmark to mark the Wales and England border called ‘Waking the Dragon’. The  sculpture would stand at 210ft is planned to grace the A5 road at Chirk.

The bronze dragon would be 75ft tall on a 135ft glass and steel tower and have a wingspan of more than 150ft – bigger than a Boeing 737. The bronze sculpture will sit on a tower that will include cultural centre, 100 seat cafe, 125 seat restaurant and a museum.

The project is estimated to cost £6 million with some of fund being raised from selling 206 steps that will be inscribed with the name of the donor. Each step will cost £2000.

SOURCE: Wales Online – Huge ‘Dragon of the North’ planned

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Wales

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Ole Scheeren leaving OMA to setup own studio

OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture) and Ole Scheeren announced today that Ole Scheeren will be leaving the firm in order to establish his own studio.

During his time at OMA, Scheeren has led several of the firm’s projects, including the design and construction of CCTV and TVCC in Beijing, the Prada Epicenters in New York and Los Angeles, the MahaNakhon tower in Bangkok and the Interlace in Singapore.

Rem Koolhaas commented: “Ole has played a significant role in the development of the office and has successfully led the realization of the CCTV project. After 15 years of collaboration, we have now decided to work independently. I am personally looking forward to furthering OMA’s activities in Asia.”

Scheeren, who has accepted a post as Visiting Professor at Hong Kong University, added: “My collaboration with Rem Koolhaas and OMA has been an extraordinary experience – we have generated some remarkable projects both in East Asia and North America. The time has now come for me to pursue new opportunities, and I am very excited about this next phase of my work.”

[SOURCE: OMA]

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