Builders of city parks

PARKS are the refreshing green patches in a concrete, gray dominated urban environment.

They provide the city’s denizens with fresh air to breathe. Unfortunately, there are not too many of them here in Cebu City.

Open spaces, like parks and plazas, compliment architecture. City parks afford its dwellers space, not just for a momentary dialogue with nature but also a spot where they can appreciate the beautiful buildings and vistas around.

This feature reveals the creative takes by Cebuano architects on two of the city’s parks (this week, we talk abuot Fuente Osmeña rotunda). With their knowledge, training and experience in site development and planning of buildings, they bring their ideas for the improvement of these spaces in pen and ink.

Sun.Star Cebu – Builders of city parks 

Design steps up in the fight against obesity

Two in three men and three in four women in England don’t get enough exercise, but the good news is that the answer lies on our doorstep. CABE has long argued that the design of your neighbourhood really does influence whether you’re fit in the long term or whether you’re going to gradually just put on weight.

That’s because it’s regular exercise which takes and keeps the pounds off – but you are only likely to take that exercise if local streets and open spaces are inviting.

The case for investing in decent design for streets and open spaces is getting stronger by the day. This week saw the publication of both new government strategy and independent public health guidance into how active lifestyles can be designed into streets, towns, and cities.

Read more @ CABE ‘Design steps up in the fight against obesity’

Outlandish landscapes

A showcase for experimental gardens by top landscape designers, Cornerstone is the first outdoor gallery of its kind in the US. Visitors looking for neatly planted rows and ornamental cherubs will be disappointed. Cornerstone is highly irreverent and playful, from American landscape designer Ken Smith’s “Daisy Border” – a display of candy-coloured plastic pin-wheels that both mocks and pays homage to the classic floral border – to Mexican architect Mario Schjetnan’s “A Small Tribute to Immigrant Workers”. With its regimented boxes of vegetables and rusty metal walls, Schjetnan’s garden delivers a strong political message about the plight of immigrant workers in California. Even the upcoming installation of a 1,000 ft-long fence around the perimeter of the site is expected to defy conventions. “It’s a white picket fence with a twist,” says David Aquilina, general manager.

Read more @ FT.com – Outlandish landscapes by Chloe Veltman

Inhabitat » Amazing Green Roof Art School in Singapore

If art school was in our future we might opt to study under, or on top of, the amazing green roof at the School of Art, Design and Media at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. This 5 story facility sweeps a wooded corner of the campus with an organic, vegetated form that blends landscape and structure, nature and high-tech and symbolizes the creativity it houses.

Read and See more @ Inhabitat » Amazing Green Roof Art School in Singapore.

L.A. Squared – Los Angeles Times

When is a public square not a public square? When it’s designed and built in Los Angeles, circa 2008. Our city–which has lacked plazas and other open-air gathering spots for so long–is now building them in a number of high-profile locations. Yet none of these spaces is fully civic in the traditional City Beautiful sense. Each one is shaped, controlled or compromised by private, commercial or other interests. Arguably, of course, that makes them right at home in Los Angeles, the most private metropolis ever devised.

Next month, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art will unveil the much anticipated first phase of its expansion, designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano. He is probably best known for the Pompidou Center in Paris, which opens onto a square that, despite its popularity with mimes, ranks as one of the world’s great public gathering places.

Read more @ L.A. Squared – Los Angeles Times – Christopher Hawthorne

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