Part of New York’s industrial past lost

Recently the NYC Parks Department dismantled Pier D on the Hudson Riverfront near the Riverside Park. Removed by the Parks Department as it was slowly disintegrating into the River and once it had fallen into the river would be ‘causing a hazard to navigation’.  The piers were part of the industrial past that once the Hudson River and Riverfront played in New York’s history and surely could have been allowed to slowly fall into the river and be a future dive site for recreational divers.

Read more at the New York Times – Remnants of an Industrial Past, Now Gone

New Orleans Urban Farm hits red tape

The Viet Village Urban Farm is an integral part of  the rebuilding the community in New Orleans but has hit red tape. The CDC purchased land for the Urban Farm but the land has been disignated by the Army Corp to be ‘jurisdictional’ wetlands which would require the CDC to purchase over $300,000 in environmental credits. They are now looking at other options for the planned Urban Farm that requires $5-6million for Phase I and II.

Read more about the Viet Village Urban Farm at NOLA.com

Snøhetta introducing new ways of working to an American architecture

Snøhetta, a Norwegian an integrated landscape, architecture and interior firm based in Oslo and a smaller office in New York. The New York Office is featured in a Metropolis Magazine article by Belinda Lanks who looks at the egalitarian approach of Snøhetta and how it is working in the American market. Snøhetta offices are not just about open plan and different teams hot-desking, it is also creating a culture that is transparent, diverse and includes cross-discipline teams.  Lanks looks also into bonuses, pay scale and how hard it is for Snøhetta to maintain the culture as the firm grows.

Read more about Snøhetta at [Metropolis Magazine]

Signage Guidelines can reduce clutter in the landscape

The image of US 280 in Michael Tomberlin’s post – Birmingham committee revisiting sign rules is very telling of the suburban landscape where signs breed like rabbits and litter the road side with retailers using the mantra ‘the bigger the better’ rather than ‘less is more’. Signage littering the urban landscape is not endemic to just Birmingham or the USA for that matter, all across the globe streetscapes are littered with A-Frames blackboard signs, bus stop advertising and billboards. But do they really urge passers by to go and shop or are they just landmarks to designate the location of the store? I think it is the latter and that all cities should have formulate signage guidelines (many already do) including the number of signs allowed and the size.

Guidelines should also go further to streetscape and city government signage & intepretation. Often towns and city landscapes becomes a minefield of directional, parking and place marking signs that have been added layer by layer by various departments and changes of staff who continually add more signage to the landscape. All cities should at the least evaluate their main streetscapes and see where they can reduce the clutter to provide a clean landscape that is visually easy to navigate and often more pedestrian friendly. Often city signage for an area can be easily amalgamated into one sign(or sign family) such as place marking and area parking restrictions.

Read more about what Birmingham is proposing at [al.com]

Thailand: Developers focusing on Landscape Architecture

Once upon a time a good facade and interior design was all that was needed to sell apartments in Thailand. However, the market is getting very competitive with developers focusing more on Landscape Architecture to differentiate there projects from other similar developments.

Recently the Bangkok Post in Landscape architecture thrives on developers’ demand to stand out in competitive property market interviewed some local landscape firms such as Surajak Chuepanich of Root Design

“It has become another significant selling point for developers to lure buyers,” Mr Surajak says. “More focus has been put on the design of the surroundings or common areas that allow residents to enjoy outdoor activities and a good atmosphere.”

Read more at the [Bangkok Post]

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