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]
OLIN is part of the team lead by KieranTimberlake that recently won the competition for the US Embassy to be built in Battersea (London), UK. From among 37 architectural submissions, four finalists were chosen to explore the symbolism of the Embassy and its presence and position in the cityscape of London. OLIN was the landscape architect of choice for three of the four competition finalists: KieranTimberlake, Morphosis and Richard Meier & Partners, all of whom worked for nearly a year before making their final presentations to the jury.
The U.S. Department of State’s goal was to create an Embassy and landscape with a timeless quality to appropriately represent the United States of America in the United Kingdom. The winning team was selected by a distinguished jury of both American and British leaders in the fields of architecture, academia and diplomacy for a design which “met the goal of creating a modern, welcoming, timeless, safe and energy efficient embassy for the 21st century.”
The anticipated ground breaking for the Embassy will be in 2013 with a goal to complete construction in 2017. In addition to KieranTimberlake and OLIN, members of the winning team include Arup for Sustainability, MEP/FP and Civil Engineering; Weidlinger Associates for Structural and Blast Engineering; Gensler for workplace design; Davis Langdon for Cost Consulting; and Sako & Associates for Technical Security.
Partners Laurie Olin and Hallie Boyce will lead the design efforts.
[TEXT & IMAGE SOURCE: OLIN]
Recently the contest organisers of the Gateway Arch Design Competition announced the shortlist for the second round of the competition and it reads like a who’s who of built environment design from around the world. This competition is shaping up to be one of the most interesting for 2010 and the jury will have a hard job on their hands picking a winner.
The lead designers and design teams are:
- Behnisch Architekten, Gehl Architects, Stephen Stimson Associates, Buro Happold, Transsolar, Applied Ecological Services, Limno-Tech, Herbert Dreiseitl, Arne Quinze, Peter MacKeith, Eric Mumford
- FIT (Fully Integrated Thinking) Team – Arup, Doug Aitken Studio, HOK Planning Group, HOK
- Michael Maltzan Architecture, Stoss Landscape Urbanism, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Richard Sommer, Buro Happold
- Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Steven Holl Architects, Greenberg Consultants, Uhlir Consulting, HR&A Advisors, Guy Nordenson and Associates, Arup, LimnoTech, Ann Hamilton Studio, James Carpenter Design Associates, Elizabeth K. Meyer, Project Projects
- PWP Landscape Architecture, Foster + Partners, Civitas, Ned Kahn, Buro Happold
- Quennell Rothschild and Partners and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Vishkan Chakrabarti, Buro Happold, Atelier Ten, and Nicholas Baume
- Rogers Marvel Architects and Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects, Urban Strategies, Local Projects, Arup
- SOM, BIG, Hargreaves Associates, Jaume Plensa, URS
- Weiss/Manfredi, Magnusson Klemencic Associates, Mark Dion
The nine design leaders and teams now have five weeks to complete their teams and present full qualifications to the competition jury, Stastny said.
In addition, local contractors, minority, disadvantaged, or women-owned businesses and others are invited to meet Feb. 18 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Old Court House with representatives of the short-listed design groups for potential teaming opportunities.
“This will be an excellent opportunity for these businesses to learn about the project and to begin considering participating,” Stastny said. “We look forward to a strong turnout.”
The final stage, Stage III, to take place over the summer, will include a 90-day design concept competition to explore the finalists’ design approach and test their working methodology.
The public will be invited to two events this spring and summer. A “meet the designers night” will be held in late April. This summer, there will be a public exhibition of the designs. Details will be available soon.
The final jury pick will be announced on Sept. 24, 2010. The project is set to be constructed by Oct. 28, 2015.
The new design is called for in the National Park Service’s General Management Plan, which was developed with extensive public input over an 18-month period and approved Nov. 23, 2009.
The competition is sponsored by the CityArchRiver 2015 Foundation, which includes National Park Superintendent Tom Bradley, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, community leaders from Missouri and Illinois, academics, architects and national park advocates.
A full list of registrants for the competition, “Framing a Modern Masterpiece: The City + The Arch + The River 2015,” has also been released. It can be found with other competition information at www.cityarchrivercompetition.org.
UC Berkeley Extension recently announced its new designation as a U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Education Provider. USGBC sets the standards for the green building industry in the United States and abroad through its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System certification program. UC Berkeley Extension is the first continuing education program at the University of California, and one of the few public continuing education programs in the country, to offer USGBC-approved course credits.
With the Obama administration’s budget proposal this week for $2.4 billion in energy efficiency and renewable energy programs—and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ prediction of a 30 percent growth over the next decade in top green jobs such as mechanical engineer, environmental engineer, environmental educator, and landscape architect—the demand is growing among professionals for more green industry education.
The UC Berkeley Extension sustainability courses approved by USGBC are designed to meet that growing demand. They include advanced courses in solar, sustainable construction, renewable energy, transportation, clean technology, and sustainability leadership and management. All USGBC-approved courses are rigorously peer-reviewed and approved for credit toward LEED Professional Credentialing Maintenance.
UC Berkeley Extension’s Sustainability Studies program includes more than 60 courses for professionals in emerging green industries. The program emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to sustainability in a broad range of important areas including green building design and construction, LEED, solar and renewable energy, climate change and land use planning, and clean technologies. This spring, UC Berkeley Extension offers several new sustainability studies courses, as well as two new specialized programs of study: Leadership in Sustainability and Environmental Management and Solar Energy and Green Building.
Australian scientists have announced the world’s first successful large-scale restoration of a coastal wetland being devastated by acid runoff.
The acid crisis at East Trinity began in the 1970s, when developers drained and cleared 800 hectares of tidal wetland to grow sugarcane. This dried out underlying acid sulfate soils causing them to release slugs of acid whenever they were soaked by rain, leading to fish kills and loss of wetlands which alarmed local residents.
A dramatic improvement in environmental conditions has been achieved by researchers working on the trial Hills Creek catchment at the East Trinity site near Cairns in Queensland, using a combination of natural tidal action and strategic treatment with lime.
Mangrove and wetlands are returning, birdlife is flocking to the area and fish abound in creeks that once ran so acid that nothing could survive in them. Having first demonstrated success in the trial catchment, remediation is underway on the remainder of the site.
[SOURCE: CRCCARE -World-first clean-up of acid wetlands]
Continue reading Wetlands restored after long term acid runoff
Susan Szenasy posted on Metropolis an article titled “United We Stand” in which she recalls some government officials giving encouragement at a recent NeoCon East annual trade show that there is “a new day for government design”. Szeasy goes on to talk about the importance to design of the recent $5.5 billion allocation to General Services Administration and the Department of Defense’s $7.4 billion reconfiguration funding.
However the point I found most interesting in Szenasy’s article was the GSA signing of a new accord with AIA, ASLA, IIDA; in which they have pledged to collaborate to achieve design excellence. I find this encouraging that professional associations have come together.
Currently, there is change occurring not just in the short-term with the Global Financial Crisis, but it seems more and more that sustainability, the environment, and climate change is becoming more important to the world. I feel that we need to move forward with new ideas and be armed with new tools especially in the area of urban design where cities are shrinking in the USA, new eco-towns are being built in the UK and new mega-cities are being designed and constructed in China, India, and Africa. Now is the best time to seek out other disciplines for collaboration not just for the networking and possible work opportunities but for the greater good of the profession. As Landscape Architects I know we often seek collaboration with other disciplines whether they are internal or external of our companies, however I think that as we head towards a new decade we should make more of a commitment to further collaborate with other professions to improve your knowledge and their knowledge so that together we can create a better future.
By Damian Holmes
Read the full article that inspired this post at the [SOURCE: Metropolis – United We Stand]
Shanghai Daily reports
CONSTRUCTION of the worlds longest cross-sea bridge linking Chinas southern economic hub of Guangdong Province to Hong Kong and Macau began yesterday, a project expected to strengthen economic ties.Starting from Lantau Island off the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Y-shaped Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge will have a total length of almost 50 kilometers(31 miles), of which about 35km(21 miles) will be built over the sea, making it the longest of its kind, according to Zhu Yongling, an official in charge of the projects construction.
The bridge is going to cost 73 billion yuan ($10.3billion USD)
read more at the SOURCE: Shanghai Daily – Sea bridge goes long way to link key zones