Is Great Park a soaring vision or just hot air? – latimes.com

Paloma Esquivel of the LA Times reports

It’s a hot, windless summer day. Ken Smith is standing in the giant, orange, tethered helium balloon that has become a symbol of everything good and bad about Orange County’s planned Great Park. The sky is blue and from 400 feet up one can see the endless sprawl of homes, the ocean and rolling hills that define this suburban county.

Through round, black sunglasses, Smith looks down at 1,300 acres of a closed Marine air base; 1,300 acres of possibility……….

read the full article at the SOURCE: LA Times – Is Great Park a soaring vision or just hot air?

Shortlisted Designs for the development of Queens Wharf

The Winners for the Queens Wharf Competition in Auckland, New Zealand has been announced after thorough evaluation and assessment, five designs have been selected from the 237 original entries.

The Finalists
Design number 024 – Andrius Gedgaudas, Architect, Shanghai China.
Design number 046 – Den Aitken, Pete Griffith and Hamish Foote, Field Landscape Architecture, Auckland.
Design number 170 – David Gibbs and Aaron Sills, Construkt / SVB, Auckland.
Design number 195 – John Coop, Tasman Studio, Auckland.
Design number 216 – Simon Williams, Williams Architects Ltd, Auckland.

The five designs were selected by chief executives of the three sponsor organisations, the Ministry of Economic Development, Auckland Regional Council and Auckland City Council with expert advice from an advisory panel comprising Prof. John Hunt, Ian Athfield, Rebecca Skidmore, Jillian de Beer and Graeme McIndoe.

The final five designs were chosen for their ability to strike the right balance between meeting the need for a great space for the public to enjoy, the ability to act as a major celebration venue during Rugby World Cup 2011 (and other future events), and the need for a world class cruise-ship terminal.

The 237 designs gave the selection team a chance to look at a very broad range of concepts from which five were chosen that have the best potential to be further developed in Stage 2. As such, they are really a starting point for the work that will take place over the next two weeks until the end of Stage 2 of the competition, on 23 October.

In Stage 2, the finalists will develop their designs further, taking into account public feedback from over 2000 forms received and the 13 specific factors (pdf) identified by the advisory panel as critical to achieving the objectives of the development.

Click to go to Competition Website
Design number 024 – Andrius Gedgaudas, Architect, Shanghai China.

Click to go to Competition Website

Design number 046 – Den Aitken, Pete Griffith and Hamish Foote, Field Landscape Architecture, Auckland.

Click to go to Competition Website
Design number 170 – David Gibbs and Aaron Sills, Construkt / SVB, Auckland.

Click to go to Competition Website
Design number 195 – John Coop, Tasman Studio, Auckland.

Click to go to Competition Website
Design number 216 – Simon Williams, Williams Architects Ltd, Auckland.

SOURCE: Queens Wharf

IMAGE SOURCE: Queens Wharf

IMAGE CREDIT: As noted at the bottom of each image

Landscape changes slated for I-90 in downtown Spokane

The Washington State Department of Transportation will make some changes on I-90 in downtown Spokane to enhance safety. On I-90 between Division Street and the Hamilton Interchange, the Department will remove trees that have grown too large over the years and replace them with a variety of shrubs.

SOURCE: WSDOT – 2009 News – Safety improvements with landscape changes slated for I-90 in downtown Spokane

Charlotte Uptown eyes 2020 vision

Charlotte Business Journal reports

On Tuesday, leaders from the uptown organization unveiled their consultants, led by California planner MIG. A mix of national and local firms will help put together the 2020 Vision Plan, with a final version expected next fall. MIG is based in Berkeley, but also has an office Raleigh. Others working on the study include local landscape architecture firm ColeJenest & Stone and ad agency Wray Ward.

SOURCE: Charlotte Business Journal: Uptown eyes 2020 vision

America’s national parks face challenges

Christian Science Monitor reports

Finding money to restore and repair the parks won’t be easy during the current fiscal crisis. But delaying will only raise the cost. “It’s just like your house. If you don’t do that routine maintenance, you’re going to have a big bill staring at you. And the bill is growing,” Mr. Repanshek says.

The maintenance challenges are huge. The NPS’s 58 national parks and 333 monuments and historic sites contain some 680 water-treatment and wastewater systems, 505 dams, 1,804 bridges and tunnels, 8,500 miles of roads, 775 campgrounds, and 12,250 miles of trails, as well as 84.6 million acres of land. “Many national parks are little cities unto themselves,” says Phil Voorhees, a senior fellow at the NPCA.

SOURCE: Christian Science Monitor – America’s national parks face challenges | csmonitor.com

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