Dartmouth, NS – A living, breathing example of innovation is growing at Nova Scotia Community College’s (NSCC) Centre for the Built Environment at the Waterfront Campus in Dartmouth.
Earlier today, NSCC president Dr. Joan McArthur-Blair helped students complete the first, permanent, exterior “living wall” east of Vancouver. “This living wall demonstrates the capacity of the Centre for the Built Environment to help Nova Scotians study the renewable energy and green technologies that are essential to our sustainable future,” said Dr. McArthur-Blair.
Living walls combine the natural and built environments. They filter the air, create habitats and add vitality to a building’s design. In 2007, Centre for the Built Environment architects, Barrie & Langille, hired Sue Sirrs, owner of Outside! Planning and Design Studio, to study the feasibility of an exterior living wall that would thrive in a cold climate. Horticulture students and faculty from NSCC’s Kingstec Campus in Kentville helped to plan then design and build the living wall.
The 7,000 plants that make up NSCC’s living wall offer a variety of colours, textures, flowers and berries, providing a living piece of art that will change with the seasons.
The Utah State University’s Board of Trustees,announced recently that the university’s Department of Landscape and Environmental Planning will become part of the College of Agriculture, strengthening both the department and college’s commitments to sustainable development.
The change, which will occur July 1, is part of strategic restructuring in the LAEP department’s current administrative home, the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, which is being divided into a college that includes the humanities and social sciences and a new Caine College of the Arts. As part of that split, USU President Stan Albrecht gave the LAEP department faculty and administrators a unique opportunity to evaluate the department’s plans and goals and consider which college could best support them.
AECOM has launched for its second year, an open student ideas competition for 2010 – Urban SOS.
The competition seeks to engage students in the design, planning, architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, engineering, environmental and related fields, with the urban conditions that are now facing the majority of the world’s population.
This year, AECOM are exploring the topic of ‘Transformations,’ looking at seven cities in particular that are in the midst of a change or collection of changes that represent both challenges and opportunities to the shared futures of each city. Entrants must submit a site redevelopment plan that addresses specific issues in one of the following seven cities:
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Johannesburg, South Africa
Port au Prince, Haïti
São Paulo, Brazil
The top four finalist/teams will travel to Barcelona to attend the World Architecture Festival from 3-5 November, 2010, with $20,000 in prize money at stake.
While climate change, sustainable architecture, and green technologies have become increasingly topical, issues surrounding the sustainability of the city are much less developed. The premise of the book is that an ecological approach is urgently needed both as a remedial device for the contemporary city and an organizing principle for new cities. Ecological Urbanism approaches the city without any one set of instruments and with a worldview that is fluid in scale and disciplinary approach. Design provides the synthetic key to connect ecology with an urbanism that is not in contradiction with its environment. The book brings together design practitioners and theorists, economists, engineers, artists, policy makers, environmental scientists, and public health specialists, with the goal of reaching a more robust understanding of ecological urbanism and what it might be in the future.
With contributions by Homi Bhabha, Stefano Boeri, Chuck Hoberman, Rem Koolhaas, Sanford Kwinter, Bruno Latour, Nina-Marie Lister, Mohsen Mostafavi, Matthias Schuler, Sissel Tolaas, Charles Waldheim, among others