Cornell hopes to help revive Utica

Recently reported in UTHICAOD.com

The city faces immense challenges on its way back to economic vitality – from hundreds of millions of dollars worth of crumbling infrastructure, to neighborhoods hollowed out by a loss of middle class residents, to the barely audible legislative peep it registers when compared to the powerhouse cities of downstate and Western New York.

But those traits are exactly what several optimistic professors from Cornell University are looking for, and why they’ve selected Utica as one of two cities for its Rust to Green program that seeks pathways for urban rebounds. The other city is Binghamton.

“An interesting part about these cities, they are particularly poised to undertake a recovery,” said Jamie Vanucchi, a lecturer in Cornell’s school of landscape architecture.

read more at the [SOURCE: UTHICAOD.com]

Clemson landscape architect wins Rome Prize

A Clemson University assistant professor of landscape architecture has been awarded the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome. Case Brown is the recipient of the Prince Charitable Trusts Rome Prize for landscape architecture.

Recipients of the 114th annual Rome Prize Competition are provided with a fellowship that includes a stipend, a study or studio, and room and board for a period of 6 months to 2 years in Rome, Italy.

Adele Chatfield-Taylor, FAAR’84, President of the American Academy in Rome, stated: “We are delighted to announce that Trustees of the American Academy in Rome awarded the Rome Prize fellowships earlier today, honoring a tradition that has supported artists and scholars for over 116 years. We look forward to welcoming the 33 Rome Prize recipients this September in Rome.”

The 2010-2011 Rome Prize winners are Seth G. Bernard, M. Shane Bjornlie, Dike Blair, Casey Lance Brown, Thomas J. Campanella, Felipe Dulzaides, Holly Flora, Fritz Haeg, Huck Hodge, Stephanie Malia Hom, Jay Hopler, Lauren M. Kinnee, Ersela Kripa, John Matteo, Heather McGowan, Jeremy Mende, Kathryn Blair Moore, Stephen Mueller, Stephanie Nadalo, Barbara Naddeo, Sarah Oppenheimer, Mark Rabinowitz, Andrew M. Riggsby, Elizabeth C. Robinson, Paul Rudy, Laurie W. Rush, Jennifer Scappettone, Joshua G. Stein, Carly Jane Steinborn, Tyler T. Travillian, Adrian Van Allen, Michael J. Waters, and Karen Yasinsky.

[SOURCE: Independent Mail]

[SOURCE: American Academy in Rome]

Marsa Al Nejoum unveils master plan

Marsa Al Nejoum has unveiled the master plan for its waterfront Nujoom Islands project in Sharjah.

The master plan of phase one has been approved by Department of Survey and Planning, Sharjah. The developers have completed a major part of the infrastructure including the dredging works and all water canals for the Nujoom Islands, a cluster of natural islands located strategically on the coastline of Al Hamrya in Sharjah, and outside the residential area of the emirate.

Nujoom Islands is considered the northern gateway to the emirate of Sharjah, spanning an area of over 60 million square feet.  95 percent of the landmass including the islands is natural. The blue sea water flow and circulation will give a unique 36 kilometers of waterfront ambience for resident and visitors to the Nujoom Islands.

[SOURCE: Albawaba.com]

San Francisco using new online tool for mapping trees

Last week the Mayor of San Francisco, announced new online tool developed by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), in cooperation with Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF) and the City of San Francisco, to catalogue the city’s trees.

“You can add the trees around your home, office, school, or local café to the Urban Forest Map, or you can use it to learn more about the trees in your neighborhood,” said Amber Bieg, manager of the project. “It’s like a census for trees.”

Anyone with a web browser, whether on a mobile device, laptop or desktop computer, can add information about specific trees to the Urban Forest Map, such as their location, species, size, and health. That data can then be used by urban foresters and city planners to better manage trees in specific areas, track and combat tree pests and diseases, and plan future tree plantings. Climatologists can use it to better understand the effects of urban forests on climates, and students can use it to learn about the role trees play in the urban ecosystem.

Because the Urban Forest Map is built with open-source software, and leverages the growing power of geographic information systems (commonly known as GIS tools), it will likely have uses beyond those currently envisioned. Technologists can “layer” the tree data with other kinds of geographic data to illuminate or reveal aspects of an area or region that might otherwise be overlooked.

San Francisco is the first city to use the Urban Forest Map; others are expected to follow. “Million Tree” campaigns are taking-off around the nation, and this tool enables the on-the-ground community information sharing vital to the success of such campaigns.

See the tool in action at Urban Forest Map

[SOURCE: SFGOV.com] via Inhabitat

Pakistan mosque installs country’s first urban rainwater harvesting system

The Faisal Mosque complex installed Pakistan’s first urban rainwater harvesting system has been installed in the capital city Islamabad. The system was funded by the city’s Capital Development Authority, and will provide clean drinking water while recharging the local water table for the city’s nearly 1 million residents.

Known as the Pilot Rainwater Harvesting Project, the initiative was developed in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program and the Pakistan Council of Research for Water Resource.

[SOURCE: Circle of Blue Water News]

Autodesk releases AutoCAD freestyle

Autodesk recently announced the availability of AutoCAD Freestyle software, a new, easy-to-use application for 2D drawing and sketching that specialty contractors and do-it-yourselfers can use to create professional-looking drawings, layouts and plans.

I think this will be good for people who are just starting their landscape architecture firms or design and build company and can’t afford the $1200-$4500 for AutoCad LT or AutoCAD Full Version for every user. Some users could do the basic design and sketch work on Freestyle and than have someone finish off the full design in LT or full CAD.

Currently its on special short time offer of $49.00. The full retail price will be $149.

For more information go to the AutoCAD Freestyle site.

* UPDATE  [14 may 2010]*

The price for freestyle is now $79USD for a limited period before it goes to full RRP of $149USD

Queens Quay get go ahead – WEST 8

The plan to redesign Queens Quay, the backbone of Toronto’s waterfront revitalization plans, finally has the go-ahead.

The provincial government approved an environmental assessment yesterday for a pedestrian-friendly promenade. Construction of the first phase, an 800-metre section, should begin early next year.

The plan involves cutting the lanes of traffic from four to two, creating a wider boulevard for people to walk on, adding grass in between the streetcar tracks and extending the Martin Goodman Trail through the busiest stretch of Queens Quay.

The TTC’s light rapid transit lines will remain where they are. The three-kilometre project extends from Parliament Street to Spadina Avenue and will be completed in three stages.

An initial $48 million has been set aside by Waterfront Toronto. That will go towards reconfiguring the entire three-kilometre boulevard and building the first section, which is expected to take 18 months. The remaining phases are dependent on funding.

[SOURCE: WEST 8]

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