Can landscape planning help get LEED certification?

stltoday.com has just published a great article about the benefits of landscape architects and landscape planning in relation to obtaining LEED certification for developments through irrigation, mulching and specification of native plants.

Its great to see some press about how landscape architects can assist owners or developers of commercial buildings.

Read the full article at the [SOURCE: stltoday.com - Tips for seeking LEED certification -How can landscape planning help achieve LEED certification?]

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KCAP wins Bay of Pasaia masterplan competition

KCAP Architects & Planners have won the prestigious masterplanning competition for the development of a 70 hectare site at the Bay of Pasaia, San Sebastián, Spain. The site, currently used for harbor activity, will gradually become available for redevelopment. The project is considered as a key opportunity for the surrounding communities which are in need of regeneration and will have an important impact on the entire region.

The winning scheme was elaborated by KCAP in collaboration with sustainability advisors of ECOFYS and local consultants of LKS engineering and architect Ángel de la Hoz. It was chosen unanimously by the jury. The team will remain involved to elaborate and refine the winning masterplan concept. The final version of the masterplan will be delivered in October 2010. During the next weeks an exhibition will tour the local municipalities of the bay.

[SOURCE: KCAP]
[IMAGE SOURCE: KCAP]

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White House launches Urban Affairs website

The White House launched the Office of Urban Affairs website including a blog and Innovations and Ideas page where US citizens can submit ideas and best practices. This is a follow up to the Urban Tour which included 9 city centers and the Inter-Agency working group on urban policy.

The OUA blog states that the launch of the website is to

This effort is an important addition to our ongoing conversation on the Future of America’s Cities and Metropolitan Areas. We have already met with many urban stakeholders, elected officials, and academics; and we’ve been around the country visiting places that are on the cutting edge of urban innovation. But today we are establishing a more direct relationship with you – the American people. You are the ones that are innovating every single day – you are the innovators. You tackle government bureaucracy with creativity and leadership; you overcome a slow economy with public-private partnerships; and you turn distressed neighborhoods around with determination, hope and, above all, hard work.

The President knows that government doesn’t have all the answers. He knows that the best solutions come from you in places like Auburn Gresham in Chicago, South Lake Union in Seattle, and the small city of Flagstaff, Arizona – just to name a few. We know there are many more out there and we want you to share them with us.

Submit your idea or best practice (US Citizens)

[SOURCE: Office of Urban Affairs Blog - Announcing the White House Urban Affairs Website]

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Beijing to build six lakes and two wetlands

Marco Polo Bridge (Lugouqiao, 卢沟桥) {{fr|Le pon...

Image via Wikipedia

Beijng is planning to build six lakes and two wetlands along the currently dry Yongding River (known as the Mother River of Beijing). Part of the river flows for 170 kilometres through several districts of Beijing.

The six lakes to be constructed are Mencheng Lake, Lianshi Lake, Xiaoyue Lake, Wanping Lake, Daning Lake, and Daotian Lake, and will 50 kilometers long and 270-hectare  water area. Recently, the construction of Wanping Lake and Lianshi Lake started simultaneously at the lower reaches of the Yongding River. These lakes and wetlands are part of a bigger ecological corridor 170km long project which is budget to cost 17 billion yuan (2.5 billion USD).

The water required for the project is 130 million cubic meters is needed to recover Yongding River, and the water will mainly come from reclaimed water and rain. The Qinghe, Xiaohongmen, Lugou Bridge, Wulituo and Mencheng reclaimed water plants will help provide Yongding River with quality water resources that meet the three-star surface water standard. In addition, two million cubic meters of rain can be stored every year for use. A wetland will be built at the upper reaches of every lake in order to further purify the water and ensure that the water in the Yongding River can meet the three or even four-star standard of surface water.

The four lakes will be constructed and filled with water by the end of 2010. The bigger 170 kilometers long ecological corridor projects will be completed by 2014.

SOURCE: CCTV

Britain’s tallest sculpture to grace Wales-England border

Waking the Dragon (SOURCE: Creative Wales)

Wales may soon have its own landmark to mark the Wales and England border called ‘Waking the Dragon’. The  sculpture would stand at 210ft is planned to grace the A5 road at Chirk.

The bronze dragon would be 75ft tall on a 135ft glass and steel tower and have a wingspan of more than 150ft – bigger than a Boeing 737. The bronze sculpture will sit on a tower that will include cultural centre, 100 seat cafe, 125 seat restaurant and a museum.

The project is estimated to cost £6 million with some of fund being raised from selling 206 steps that will be inscribed with the name of the donor. Each step will cost £2000.

SOURCE: Wales Online – Huge ‘Dragon of the North’ planned

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Wales

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