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

Gateway Arch International Design Competition

Gateway Arch - SOURCE: Flickr - rpkelly22

The National Park Service and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay recently launched an international design competition to invigorate the park and city areas surrounding of one of the world’s most iconic monuments, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.

The winning design will be announced in October 2010, with the resulting work completed by October 28, 2015 – the 50th anniversary of the completion of the Arch.

The competition – “Framing a Modern Masterpiece: The City + The Arch + The River 2015” – is called for in the NPS’s new General Management Plan, which was developed with extensive public input over an 18 month period, and finally approved on November 23.

The competition will invite teams to create a new design for the Arch grounds and surrounding areas with 10 goals in mind:

  • Create an iconic place for the international icon, the Gateway Arch.
  • Catalyze increased vitality in the St. Louis region.
  • Honor the character-defining elements of the National Historic Landmark.
  • Weave connections and transitions from the City and the Arch grounds to the Mississippi River.
  • Embrace the Mississippi River and the east bank in Illinois as an integral part of the national park.
  • Mitigate the impact of transportation systems.
  • Reinvigorate the mission to tell the story of St. Louis as the gateway to national expansion.
  • Create attractors to promote extended visitation to the Arch, the City and the river.
  • Develop a sustainable future for the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial.
  • Enhance the visitor experience and create a welcoming and accessible environment.

Additional information can be found at www.cityarchrivercompetition.org.

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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The Chosun Ilbo – Historic Village to Be Spared in 4-Rivers Project
The Chosun Ilbo – Compensation under 4-Rivers Project to Start Next Month

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