4 rivers project facing opposition from green groups

South Korea has recently had a ground breaking for a large scale remaking of the four major rivers known as the Han, Nakdong, Yeongsan and Geum. The project includes dredging of the rivers and construction of dikes, reservoirs and hydro-dams whilst creating parks, bikeways, and water recreation areas. This is a major undertaking by South Korea and its President Lee Myung-bak, Lee has a successful track record with rehabilitating rivers as it was during his term as Mayor of Seoul that the successful rehabilitation of 5.8km Cheonggyecheon River occurred.

The Four Rivers Project is expected to cost $19.2 billion USD and is expected to increase the water quality and flood control of the rivers which are somewhat polluted. 400 green groups have filed suit against the project to halt its progress based on environmental grounds including disruption to the ecosystem. The political opposition have joined with the green groups in opposing the project, however the government has countered that thorough environmental studies show minimal distrubance will occur and project will bring great economic benefits to the region.

SOURCES: The Chosun Ilbo – 4-Rivers Project Passes Nat’l Assembly Committee
Arirang – Groundbreaking Ceremony for 4 River Restoration Project Held
New York Times – River Project Fuels Competing Claims of Green

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Eli Cohen’s sustainability and phytoremediation lecture

Eli Cohen recently gave a lecture as one of the Freshkills Park lecture series and the Freshkills Blog posted this on Wednesday

Eli Cohen gave a terrific talk Monday night on his work, as director of Ayala Water and Ecology, using plants to remove pollutants and contaminants from water, soil and air. We’re grateful to the huge crowd that poured into the Arsenal gallery for the event, to Laura Starr and Yamit Perez for putting us in touch with Eli and, of course, to Eli himself for sharing his work and his thoughts.

The Freshkills Park Blog post also includes the MP3 and PDF of the presentation for listening and viewing.

[SOURCE: Freshkills Park Blog]

Budget crisis prompts LAEP students to take a lesson from the Great Depression

There are many ways to skin a state-budget crisis, and in the face of California’s, Berkeley landscape architecture and environmental planning students came up with one of their own: a mini-version of the Great Depression’s most enduring public-works program.

Putting their landscaping expertise to work at Oakland’s Claremont Middle School are UC Berkeley students for three days, the students of the Landscape Progress Administration applied their expertise and muscle to projects in East Bay parks and schools left high and dry by the ongoing drought of state funding — including UC Berkeley itself.

Read more at the [SOURCE: UC Berkeley News]

Landscape architects help Australians keep an outdoor lifestyle

Southbank, Brisbane

Landscape architects will be among the leaders in the battle to keep Queenslanders cool – and outside – as the world deals with climate change, according to QUT’s Professor Gini Lee.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the first graduates in landscape architecture from Queensland University of Technology and Professor Lee is looking forward to the positive impact her students will have on the world over the next 40 years.

There are only seven university programs in landscape architecture in Australia and QUT’s Brisbane-based program is focused on the region’s subtropical climate.

“We want to encourage a more positive attitude to how people deal with climate change issues in Queensland, whether they are students, residents or planners,” she said.

“We have a great opportunity to improve the public urban spaces in south-east Queensland and look at how we live and exist in this climate.

“Everyone at the moment is finding it difficult in the heat. When it comes to public spaces, we do need shade and shelter and there’s still work to be done to provide adequate levels of this in all areas.”

Professor Lee cited Brisbane’s South Bank as an example of a public space that successfully provided various shelter options while still embracing an outdoor lifestyle.

“The challenge for landscape architects is to provide diverse and remarkable spaces that meet the needs of the wide group of people who come together in public areas,” she said.

“It will be interesting to see how development along other areas of the Brisbane River progresses – the city needs good landscape architecture that is an interface of infrastructure, design, art, ecology, practicality, and sustainability.”

Southbank, Brisbane

[SOURCE: Queensland University of Technology]

[IMAGES SOURCE: brisbaneishome.com]

Adams-Sangamon park breaks ground

Gazette Chicago reports

What made the recent groundbreaking for the new park at Adams and Sangamon Streets, currently known as Park 542, so “exciting” is “the new design,” said Chris Gent, deputy director of planning and development for the Chicago Park District.

Landscape architect Ernie Wong from Site Design Group was on site for the groundbreaking, along with Aldermen Robert Fioretti (2nd) and Walter Burnett Jr. (27th) and several other City and neighborhood leaders.

SOURCE: Gazette Chicago – Groundbreaking held for Adams-Sangamon park

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