Ayub National Park to get upgrade

Ayub National Park in Rawalpindi, Pakistan is about to receive an upgrade. Acoording toThe News International the Punjab government has decided to turn the National Park into a public park. Ayub National Park is spread over 313 acres with lakes, lawns, and amusement areas.

The approved plan of the Ayub National Park includes parking, jogging tracks, aviaries, entertainment areas including an open air theatre, restaurants, kids play area, camping area, gymnasium, chalets at lakeside, butterfly gardens, water sports including boating and fishing, kiosks, souvenir shops, toilets, prayer areas, hiking tracks, art galleries, first aid centre and management office.

Read more at the [SOURCE: The News International - Ayub National Park to be upgraded]

Field Operations wins Santa Monica project *UPDATE*

Christopher Hawthorne reported recently for the Los Angeles Times that Field Operations has won the project for the 7 acres around the Santa Monica City Hall beating out teams including Frank Gehry & Peter Walker. The Field Operations proposal was the only one without an architecture firm attached.

For more information about the project  read the full article at the [SOURCE: Los Angeles Times (Christopher Hawthorne) - High Line designer wins park job in Santa Monica]

*UPDATE*

Christopher Hawthorne published his follow-up piece about Field Operations (James Corner) winning the Santa Monica Project which has a $25-million budget. His article includes some comments from his interview with James Corner. Hawthorne also summarises the developments that surround the site including the new Exposition light rail, a musuem and apartment developments.

Read the follow-up article by Christopher Hawthorne at the [SOURCE: LA Times - James Corner and Santa Monica are made for each other]

Cracknell appointed to SmartCity Malta

Cracknell Landscape Architects based in the UAE, UK and Oman have been appointed the landscape architects for SmartCity Malta - ‘a premier ICT and media park, showcasing Malta to the world as the region’s new destination for high-tech industries…..With the Government of Malta as a partner, local, regional and international companies can be assured of the country’s long-term commitment to knowledge-based opportunities.‘.

Cracknell’s scope of work extends from the strategic and master plan level through to the detailed design and construction. Key landscape elements of SmartCity Malta include the entry gate and Main Boulevard, urban ring road, coastal promenade, lagoon, and cascading terraces. The streetscape and lighting scheme will further set the ambiance and enhance the built environment.

Read more at the [SOURCE: Malta Independent Online - SmartCity Malta appoints landscape architects]

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$2.2 billion for Great Lakes Restoration: EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency will spend $2.2 billion over five years on the Great Lakes to clean up polluted water and beaches, restore wetlands and fight invasive species such as Asian carp in a revitalization effort.
In 2010 $475 million is budgeted under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan.

The Initiative builds upon 5 years of work of the Great Lakes Interagency Task Force (IATF) and stakeholders, guided by the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy. The IATF includes 16 cabinet and agency organizations, including: EPA, State, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, HUD, Transportation, Homeland Security, Army, CEQ, and Health and Human Services.

Chicago Breaking News reports
Billing the effort as light on study and heavy on action, environmental leaders say they’re seeking to heal the Great Lakes ecosystem from “150 years of abuse” and to ensure that “fish are safe to eat; the water is safe to drink; the beaches and waters are safe for swimming, surfing, boating and recreating; native species and habitats are protected and thriving; no community suffers disproportionately from the impacts of pollution; and the Great Lakes are a healthy place for people and wildlife to live.”

[Vancouver Sun - U.S. looks for help in battling Asian carp invasion]

[M.live - Asian carp may swallow federal Great Lakes Cleanup funding]

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Abu Dhabi releases Urban Street Design Manual

The Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) recently released a new street design standards in line with the Capital 2030 plan. The Urban Street Design Manual is based on key design principles including environmental sustainability embodied by the Estidama initiative. The Design Manual incorporates multi-modal forms of transport and varying land uses.

With the introduction of the Urban Street Design Manual, the UPC aims to reduce the emirate’s reliance on personal motorised vehicles by implementing a network of public transit to include highspeed rail and rapid transit options such as trams and buses.

The innovative street designs will provide genuine choice of movement by walking, cycling and public transport modes as well as in private motor vehicles. Abu Dhabi residents and visitors will start witnessing the transformation as early as 2010 when a City Centre street will be reconstructed according to the design standards.

The Urban Street Design Manual will be showcased at Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2010 to be held from April 18 to 21.

Read more at the [SOURCE: AMEINFO.com]

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