Common Council Explores Redesign of The Commons

Recently Sasaki Associates and Clough Harbour & Associates(engineers) presented several design options for a redesign of the Itaca Commons to Ithaca Commons Council and about 30 residents. A finalised preliminary design will be available in December, 2009.

“The Commons is a vital area for the Ithaca community, but some areas are in need of major repair,” said Susannah Ross, a senior associate at Sasaki Associates.

The first option was a minimal plan addressing some current issues and maintaining the existing design; the second option was a radical redesign inspired by “solar radiation” and the third was an “eclectic streetscape” plan.

For more information go to the [SOURCE: The Cornell Daily Sun - Common Council Explores Redesign of The Commons]

Landscape Architecture preserving the environment

I just watched a great video from Land Choices about landscape architecture and our role in the community and planning. The video features Colleen Murphy of Murphy & Associates talking about the role of landscape architects and how as a profession we need to promote ourselves.

To find out more about Land Choices go to their website

Also follow Land Choices on twitter

SOURCE: Youtube submitted by Land Choices

Putting the ‘lake’ back in Lake Oswego

Lake Oswego Review reports

MacLeod Reckord Landscape Architects designed the new waterfront space, which will extend south of Millennium Plaza Park, another MacLeod Reckord creation.

The park’s design has evolved over time, but not since city councilors reviewed it June 30, said Lake Oswego Redevelopment Agency Director Bob Galante. The agency commission is made up of the Lake Oswego City Council.

Once constructed, the new park will open up views of Lakewood Bay from State Street. It will feature a rain garden and a gas-fueled fireplace along with large landscaped areas and a walkway along the bay.

Read more at the [SOURCE: Lake Oswego Review]

New MLA program to be offered at Sam Fox School of Design in 2010

Record reports

The Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts will launch a new Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) program in fall 2010, announced Bruce Lindsey, dean of the College of Architecture and the Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design.

Chairing the MLA program will be Dorothee Imbert, currently associate professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (GSD).

Meanwhile, the Sam Fox School will begin offering a new undergraduate minor in landscape architecture in fall 2011.

Deadline for applications is Feb. 1, 2010. Students can apply online through the Sam Fox School’s graduate admissions page. For more information, visit samfoxschool.wustl.edu or call 935-6227

for more information go to the [SOURCE: Record - New master's degree in landscape architecture to be offered in 2010 by Liam Otten]

Positive Economic News Continues for Landscape Architecture Firms

For the first time in 18 months, the majority of landscape architecture firm leaders reported normal or above levels of work compared to the previous quarter, according to the latest American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Business Quarterly survey.

For the third quarter of 2009, 51.3 percent of firms reported average or above billings compared to the second quarter 2009, a significant increase over 32 percent last quarter. Additionally, 55.4 percent of firms reported average or above inquiries for the same time frame, up from 32.2 percent last quarter. One in five firms (20.2 percent) reported work directly related to stimulus funds.

Despite increased optimism, the job market still remains weak as only 11.8 percent of firms plan to hire in the upcoming quarter, down from 14.3 percent previously and near the all-time low of 11.2 percent from the first quarter of this year.

“Obviously this represents excellent economic progress, but the industry still faces a long road to recovery and tough challenges through at least the rest of this year,” said ASLA Executive Vice President and CEO Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA. “While there appears some improvement in public and commercial work, the residential market remains a significant problem for landscape architecture firms.”

The survey also asked firm leaders about client familiarity with sustainable design techniques and reasons for incorporating them into project. Only one in ten (10.1 percent) reported clients as very knowledgeable about sustainable design, compared to 52 percent as somewhat knowledgeable and only 3.7 percent as not knowledgeable or interested. The most popular reasons clients incorporated sustainable design into projects were saving money on utility or maintenance costs (50.7 percent), meeting a government regulation, code or construction standard (49.1 percent), marketing cache (40.6 percent) and reducing environmental harm (39.8 percent).

Compared to the second quarter of 2009, your third quarter 2009 billable hours were:

Significantly higher (10% or more higher) – 4.3%

Slightly higher (between 5% and 10% higher) – 18.8%

About the same (plus or minus 5%) – 28.2%

Slightly lower (between 5% and 10% lower) – 19.3%

Significantly lower (10% or more lower) – 19.5%

Compared to the second quarter of 2009, your third quarter 2009 inquiries were:

Significantly higher (10% or more higher) – 6.6%

Slightly higher (between 5% and 10% higher) – 20.2%

About the same (plus or minus 5%) – 28.6%

Slightly lower (between 5% and 10% lower) – 18.8%

Significantly lower (10% or more lower) – 25.7%

Compared to the third quarter in 2008, your third quarter 2009 billable hours were:

Significantly higher (10% or more higher) – 4.3%

Slightly higher (between 5% and 10% higher) – 9.8%

About the same (plus or minus 5%) – 18.8%

Slightly lower (between 5% and 10% lower) – 13.3%

Significantly lower (10% or more lower) – 53.5%

Compared to the third quarter in 2008, your third quarter 2009 inquiries were:

Significantly higher (10% or more higher) – 4.9%

Slightly higher (between 5% and 10% higher) – 14.0%

About the same (plus or minus 5%) – 18.1%

Slightly lower (between 5% and 10% lower) – 22.5%

Significantly lower (10% or more lower) – 40.4%

Do you plan on hiring any employees in the fourth quarter 2009? (multiple answers):

Experienced landscape architect – 2.1%

Entry level landscape architect – 2.9%

Intern – 2.4%

Support staff – 2.4%

Other design/architecture/engineering staff – 3.7%

Other staff – 1.8%

Not hiring – 88.2%

Has your market received any stimulus funds and, if so, has your practice benefited?

My markets have not received any funds – 29.4%

My markets have received funds, but my practice, thus far, has not received work as a result – 50.4%

My market has received funds and my practice has work as a result – 20.2%

Rate client knowledge about sustainable design practices:

Very knowledgeable – 10.1%

Somewhat knowledgeable – 52.0%

Not very knowledgeable, but interested – 34.2%

Neither knowledgeable nor interested – 3.7%

Reasons clients request sustainable design techniques (multiple answers):

Save money on utility or maintenance costs – 50.7%

Meet requirements by government regulation, code or construction standard – 49.1%

Add marketing cache – 40.6%

Reduce environmental harm – 39.8%

Eligible for government incentive such as a tax break or quicker approval – 27.9%

Lower upkeep time and effort – 27.3%

Clients are not requesting sustainable design – 10.6%

Other – 12.7%

SOURCE: ASLA

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