Shrinking public spaces in cities

MANY INDIAN cities do not have public spaces worth their names. Most of the open grounds in urban areas have been converted into stadiums, corporate blocks etc. Space should be such where citizens can gather for conviviality without being bothered by honking of horns.

It is a distressing reality of urban India that open public spaces are being converted into enclosed stadiums, sporting arena or shopping plazas. Earlier, these places were available as neighborhood grounds in till few years ago but have shrunk at an alarming speed.

While in developed countries these spaces are converted into urban settlements for citizenry, the haphazard urban growth in our country has put so much pressure on land that not a small piece of land seems left for any other purpose than commercial or exclusive uses.

Read more @ the SOURCE: merinews.com – Shrinking public spaces in cities.

USA job market remains optimistic for many graduates

For Oklahoma State University landscape architecture graduate Jessica Waugh, the job search was more of a job sort.

Before Waugh even walked across the commencement stage May 3, she’d had four employment offers, including two from out-of-state companies. She picked a Tulsa firm and will start work next week.

Read more @ the SOURCE: NewsOK.comState’s job market remains optimistic for many graduates

Urban checkpoint – timesofmalta.com

“Contact with the natural environment can be an antidote to some of the unhealthy aspects of an urban environment.” This statement came out of a seminar on mental health organised by the Richmond Foundation.

Marking its 15th anniversary, while taking a leaf from this year’s theme for World Health Day, the foundation invited a psychiatrist and psychologist to speak on the effects of the environment on mental health.

In cities, mutual trust and the safety of neighbours, the glue that holds society together, can break down resulting in social isolation. The way urban areas are designed can sometimes contribute to this. The health effects of infra-noise (low-level noise) and vibration from building sites or machinery require more study.

Believing that cities should serve people and nature, visionary architects and activists in 1970s California created ‘Urban Ecology’. They used urban planning, ecology, and public participation to help design healthier cities together.

Read more @ the SOURCE: timesofmalta.com – Urban checkpoint – Anne Zammit.

Winners of 2010 Design Competition to Be Announced

The City of Cape Town will on Thursday announce the winners of its 2010 Green Goal Mouille Point Student Landscape Design Competition.

As a one of the host cities of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the city will announce the winners of the competition on Thursday at the Cape Town Hotel.

This is the first ever student competition in Cape Town, linked to the Green Goal programme of the forthcoming world cup.

Landscape design and architectural students from both the University of Cape Town (UCT) and Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) were invited to submit entries on how the Mouille Point promenade area could be suitably transformed prior to the world cup event.

Source: allAfrica.com: South Africa: Winners of 2010 Design Competition to Be Announced (Page 1 of 1).

Going ‘green’ in landscaping

How “green” (eco-friendly) is your lawn? A truly healthy landscape is not measured by a weed-free, well-manicured lawn but by what lies beneath the surface (the condition of the soil) and the environment above the ground.

Many people use chemicals and pesticides to maintain a green, weed-free lawn, not considering that, although most lawn fertilizers will make your grass green, they ultimately may harm the soil and the environment. The chemicals found in lawn fertilizers can kill healthy insects, fungi and organisms, such as earthworms. Earthworms aid in aeration of the soil.

Pesticides not only kill the bad bugs, but also beneficial insects and other creatures, such as ladybugs, spiders and honeybees. All of these “healthy” bugs attract songbirds and other wildlife, which then promote a healthy ecosystem and environment.

Another serious result of using chemicals and pesticides on lawns is runoff. Runoff occurs when there is overwatering or excessive rain. This causes the chemicals, as well as phosphorus, to flow into storm drains and directly into our fresh water source.

Source: IndyStar.com – The Indianapolis Star – Going ‘green’ in landscaping

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