Sustainable Sites gets coverage in Biocycle

The Sustainable Sites Initiative launched the Guidelines and Performance Benchmarks 2009 in November 2009 has received more recent press coverage from the December issue of Biocycle magazine. The article looks at the history of the Initiative and explores the Ecosystem as a Baseline. The article also looks at the pilot program and the industry acceptability of the Performance benchmarks. for a good read go to the article at the Biocycle – Performance Guidelines for Sustainable Sites – Vol.50 No.12 Pg. 32

Remember that pilot program applications need to be submitted by February 15.

AECOM on the M&A trail not far from home

Recently we reported recently via (Building.co.uk) that AECOM was one of the firms to be rumoured to be on the look out for firms ripe for Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) in the UK. However, it seems they are also looking in their own backyard as they announced yesterday by press release that the professionals from Glatting Jackson Kercher Anglin, a multi-disciplinary firm with offices in Atlanta, Denver, Orlando & West Palm Beach would be joining AECOM. For more information read the press release below

AECOM: Investor Relations: Press Release

AECOM Technology Corporation (NYSE: ACM), a leading provider of professional technical and management support services for government and commercial clients around the world, announced today that approximately 90 professionals from Glatting Jackson Kercher Anglin have joined the firm’s U.S. operations.

The employees’ expertise enhances AECOM’s offerings in the areas of environmental services, landscape architecture, planning, transportation and urban design.

“We are delighted to have these outstanding professionals join AECOM,” said John M. Dionisio, AECOM president and chief executive officer. “These new members of the AECOM family will enable us to better meet our clients’ evolving planning, design and development needs as they enjoy increased professional-development opportunities as part of our company.”

“These outstanding professionals complement our integrated design and planning practice,” added Joe Brown, FASLA, chief executive of Planning, Design + Development for AECOM. “The expertise of Glatting Jackson employees strengthens our capabilities to deliver innovative, integrated responses to public realm and infrastructure challenges in a world where resource scarcity, urbanization, environmental change and economic uncertainty factor into projects of every scale.”

[SOURCE: AECOM]

Walter Hood in the New York Times

New York Times feature with Walter Hood about Crown Memorial State Beach

Mr. Hood, whose landscape architecture firm designed the grounds of the de Young Museum in San Francisco, lives in Oakland, and he spends a lot of time traveling. In August, he accepted a Cooper Hewitt National Design Award at the White House. (His words have been edited and condensed.)

read more at the SOURCE: New York Times – A beach with a different view

Go-ahead on Gustafson Porter designed Woolwich Squares

Builder & Engineer reports

A £6.6m project to revamp the two squares at the heart of Woolwich town centre will go ahead in the New Year after Greenwich councillors gave the scheme the green light yesterday….

The scheme has been designed by landscape architects Gustafson Porter, and follows detailed consultation with local residents and businesses, as well as targeted consultations to enable young people to give their views……

read more at the [SOURCE: Builder & Engineer – Go-ahead for £6.6m revamp of Woolwich Squares]

 

IULA shortlist announced

The jury session for the International Urban Landscape Award 2009 took place at the end of November 2009. The focus of this year’s award was on projects from Great Britain and Germany. The feedback was excellent: 43 projects were submitted.

IULA 2009 aimed to find urban design solutions for the challenges of dynamic population changes and shifting economies, as well as creative concepts for social and economic integration within the city and its districts, placing emphasis on energy-efficient and resource optimised construction.

The five projects shortlisted by the jury for the IULA Awards are:

Havenwelten – Old/New Harbour, Bremerhaven
Submitted by: Latz + Partner, Kranzberg

Lea River Park, East London
Submitted by: Design for London, London Development Authority, London

Neues Wohnen in Hamburg-Jenfield – an ecological neighbourhood.
Submitted by: West 8 urban design & Landscapes Architecture, Rotterdam

The LifE Project (Long-term initiatives for Flood-risk Environments in Hackbridge, Peterborough and Littlehampton)
Submitted by Baca Architects, London.

West Oxford Commons – Concept for sustainable development strategy in Oxford.
Submitted by: David Hammond Associates, Oxford

SOURCE: EuroHypo

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]

MIT wins Major Urban Design Competition

A redevelopment plan drafted by an interdisciplinary team from the School of Architecture + Planning has been chosen as the winning scheme in the seventh annual Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition of the Urban Land Institute.

The SA+P team competed against 91 teams from 42 universities – including North America’s top schools in urban design, architecture and landscape architecture – a field that was then narrowed to four finalists. The jury chose the MIT entry over plans submitted by other finalist teams from Columbia, Kansas State and the University of Miami.

The result was announced following presentations by the finalists during a public forum at the University of Denver. Sharing the top prize of $50K, the SA+P team included MCP candidates Blair Humphreys, Jesse Hunting and Sarah Snider, MArch candidate Duncan McIlvaine, and Eric Komppa of the University of Wisconsin, an MBA student specializing in real estate. Their advisor was Tunney Lee.

The winning entry, Panorama Station, focused on creating a destination in the Denver region – a place where people would enjoy living, working or visiting for the afternoon – by taking advantage of the site’s greatest assets while improving the lifestyle for future residents and existing neighbors.

It provides public spaces that maximize the view of the mountains to the west and supports a car-free lifestyle by giving residents access to all daily amenities and services within a 15-minute travel time. In response to the arid climate, it also integrates water-conserving landscapes by choosing native plants and introducing rainwater retention infrastructure.

Read more and to see the design go to the SOURCE: MIT – SA+P Team Wins Major Urban Design Competition

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