Calls for Collaboration between professions

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]

Construction begins on world’s longest cross-sea bridge

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

4 rivers project facing opposition from green groups

South Korea has recently had a ground breaking for a large scale remaking of the four major rivers known as the Han, Nakdong, Yeongsan and Geum. The project includes dredging of the rivers and construction of dikes, reservoirs and hydro-dams whilst creating parks, bikeways, and water recreation areas. This is a major undertaking by South Korea and its President Lee Myung-bak, Lee has a successful track record with rehabilitating rivers as it was during his term as Mayor of Seoul that the successful rehabilitation of 5.8km Cheonggyecheon River occurred.

The Four Rivers Project is expected to cost $19.2 billion USD and is expected to increase the water quality and flood control of the rivers which are somewhat polluted. 400 green groups have filed suit against the project to halt its progress based on environmental grounds including disruption to the ecosystem. The political opposition have joined with the green groups in opposing the project, however the government has countered that thorough environmental studies show minimal distrubance will occur and project will bring great economic benefits to the region.

SOURCES: The Chosun Ilbo – 4-Rivers Project Passes Nat’l Assembly Committee
Arirang – Groundbreaking Ceremony for 4 River Restoration Project Held
New York Times – River Project Fuels Competing Claims of Green

RELATED STORIES:
The Chosun Ilbo – Historic Village to Be Spared in 4-Rivers Project
The Chosun Ilbo – Compensation under 4-Rivers Project to Start Next Month

US companies on the M&A trail in the UK?

Building posted a report today that some large US firms the size of Jacobs, AECOM and CH2MHill maybe looking at acquiring firms in the UK. Many UK firms have established offices in Europe, Middle East and North Africa which makes their businesses more appealing as they have established company structures and trained personnel. They also have large infrastructure projects such as Crossrail and work in North Africa already on their books.

US Companies are seeing that the recession has abated in the US and Europe so its the most opportune time to acquire companies at low valuations and increase their personnel count and revenues across the world.

Read the article at Building for a list of targeted companies, analysis and interviews.

[SOURCE: Building.co.uk]

Eli Cohen’s sustainability and phytoremediation lecture

Eli Cohen recently gave a lecture as one of the Freshkills Park lecture series and the Freshkills Blog posted this on Wednesday

Eli Cohen gave a terrific talk Monday night on his work, as director of Ayala Water and Ecology, using plants to remove pollutants and contaminants from water, soil and air. We’re grateful to the huge crowd that poured into the Arsenal gallery for the event, to Laura Starr and Yamit Perez for putting us in touch with Eli and, of course, to Eli himself for sharing his work and his thoughts.

The Freshkills Park Blog post also includes the MP3 and PDF of the presentation for listening and viewing.

[SOURCE: Freshkills Park Blog]

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