Ruth Reed’s vision for RIBA

Reading the Architects Journal article gives an interesting insight into Ruth Reed. The gist of the article is that next week Ruth Reed takes up her role as the new president of the Royal Institute British Architects (RIBA) and she intends to implement some changes to improve the RIBA and also meet the members. She is planning a 50 towns in 50 weeks tour of Britain to meet the members and hear their concerns and frustrations with the RIBA. She also has a vision under the headings  – planning, education and value. She wishes to reduce the number of planning documents needed for submissions, and ask the government to look at how the green credentials of buildings are assessed. On the education front she wishes to bring in a competency based test to help student who can’t find work to complete their case studies.
Value is to move architects to extend the offer of professionals to assist clients from design through to maintenance.

SOURCE:  Architects Journal

Birlingham wetland to double in size

Planners have agreed to a proposal to double the size of the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust wetland to 34 hectares. The wetland in Birlingham is set to increase biodiversity and increase water flora and fauna. The water will be supplied by a wind pump the river Avon into the wetland of four ponds. The land to be used for the wetland is currently a meadowland that was flooded regularly and attempted cultivation for farming has failed.

SOURCE: Eversham Journal

Parkway planned for Memphis Airport

Ritchie Smith Associates have proposed turning the 2-mile stretch of barren road from Memphis International Airport (the home of Fedex) into a Parkway at a cost of $1 to $2 million dollars. The plan includes planting 2,500 trees, new lighting, signage and some public art. As apart of the masterplan a 180 scupltural lights have been proposed along the Parkway. The plan is to be reviewed by council in mid September.

SOURCE: Memphis Flyer – Seed the Plough

U Va. students to map green spaces

A group of students from the University of Virginia School of Architecture will be mapping green spaces in Strauton to decide how to manage and restore the spaces. The class dubbed Greens Lands is sponsored by the Urban and Community Forestry Program of the USDA Forest Service and the Virginia Department of Forestry. The students will use GIS as there main tool for mapping and assessment.

SOURCE: Newsleader.com – Staunton, U.Va. students team up to map city green spaces

RIBA Future Trends Survey – outlook optimistic

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) announced its July 2009 results of its monthly Future Trends Survey, marking the start of the third quarter monitoring business and employment trends affecting the architecture profession.

The trends emanating from last month’s survey continue to highlight a steady return to some optimism; only 18 per cent of practices were expecting a decrease in workload, compared to 21 per cent in June. Practices predicting an increase in workload also rose from 31 per cent in June to 31 per cent in July, a further indication that practices continue to grow more confident about their work outlook. The number of staff that are currently underemployed also continued to decrease from 23 per cent in June to 22 per cent in July.

The most significant change in workload predictions has occurred within the public sector, which rose from just 16 per cent in June to 29 per cent in July. There was also an improvement in the commercial sectors, with expectations for growth steadily increasing from 13 per cent in June to 16 per cent in July. However, there was minimal change within the private housing sector, with workload predictions remaining constant at 24 per cent in June and July.

Changes in predictions for staff retention were positive overall, with 11 per cent of practices expecting staff levels to increase over the next three months, compared to 8 per cent in June. The number of practices expecting staff numbers to be cut decreased further from 16 per cent in June to 13 per cent in July; 76 per cent of all practices expected staff levels to remain constant over the next three months, which is a minimal increase from 75 per cent in June.

SOURCE: RIBA

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