The hills of the future – BBC News

Major construction projects produce hundreds of tons of rubble and spoil, but is there an environmentally-friendly alternative to landfill? Four hills which have sprung up on the outskirts of London provide the answer.

For years large quantities of it ended up simply being dumped in landfill sites.

But now, in a more environmentally-conscious age, imaginative solutions are being provided and one of the most innovative has taken shape beside the A40, the main road leading from London out towards Oxford and Birmingham.

Eight years ago Ealing Council wanted to redevelop a 45 acre (18.5 hectare) area of derelict parkland in Northolt, which had become an eyesore.

They recruited a firm of consultants, led by landscape architect Peter Fink, who came up with a solution which included the creation of four man-made hills on the south side of the carriageway. It would become part of a park called Northala Fields.

Source: BBC NEWS – UK – Magazine – The hills of the future – Chris Summers .

Shortage of landscape architects to be tackled in major new campaign

A major new campaign to address the severe shortage of landscape architects will be launched next week.

The Landscape Institute – the chartered body for landscape architects – will promote the benefits of the profession to young people aged between 11 and 18.

Landscape architects work on a massive range of projects from master planning the 2012 London Olympic site to creating public squares, gardens and parks across the country. They are also playing an increasing role in tackling climate change and building sustainable communities.

At the heart of the campaign, backed by Government advisors CABE Space, will be the launch of a new website, iwanttobealandscapearchitect.com, which will be unveiled at a special event in central London on 14 May.

Source: Landscape Institute: Shortage of landscape architects to be tackled in major new campaign.

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.

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