In the News – 3 August

Turning roofs into gardens is a flourishing business [KansasCity.com]

African economies hit by global slowdown [TimesoftheInternet]

Drought taking a toll on I-10 trees [Houston Chronicle]

Ornamental Grasses for Fall Landscapes [Epoch Times]

Native shrubs worth planting [Chicago Tribune]

College students are flocking to sustainability degrees, careers – USATODAY.com


Image SOURCE: Flickr – davidsilver

USATODAY.com reports

Students interested in pursuing a job in sustainability now can choose from a variety of “green” degree programs.

With an increased interest in the environment and growth in the “green collar” job sector, colleges and universities are beginning to incorporate sustainability into their programs………

Read the full article at the SOURCE: USATODAY.com – College students are flocking to sustainability degrees, careers

Tree protection measure requires flexibility

Just read Chris Grygiel of Seattlepi.com blog post about the new tree measure in Seattle that could grant developers exemption for retaining trees if the trees preclude or prohibit the development of the site. This new tree protection measure seems a ham-fisted attempt at protecting trees which are in current developments (houses, offices, etc) not future developments. I can understand the need for exemption, as cities like Seattle try to encourage development in the city to create denser (in-fill) developments on existing sites instead of allowing urban sprawl to continue unabated. However, exemptions should be given only where the tree is inspected and assessed by a qualified arborist that the tree is at the end of its life or of very poor form for it species. Developers should be encouraged wherever possible to retain all existing mature trees (including tree offsets/buffers) to maintain the green canopy of the city. The benefits of trees within a city are indisputable and the length of time it takes for new trees to mature on a development is decades.

Developers may find this stance very anti-development – however new development should occur within cities to provide denser housing, offices, and retail. This is where more flexibility in tree protection measures are needed. Flexibility would come in the form of clauses that grant exemptions if the developer can show that they are going to plant new trees or install a green roof that contributes the equivalent benefit as the tree to be removed. For a developer to provide the information for this type of exemption may increase the cost of developments as the developer will have to engage consultants to assess the green value of the new trees and green roof. However, the increased environmental cost of trees being removed may be far greater in the long term.

By Damian Holmes
3 August 2009

In the News – Weekend 1-2 August

Bicyclists take to Chicago streets clear of traffic  [Chicago Tribune] (updated with correct link 8/5)

A Fourth Urbanism, Part 6: Limitations on Urbanism [Huffington Post]

Goettsch Partners Wins Design Competition for Soochow Securities Headquarters [contract magazine]

Health center steel tops out [San Diego Source/ The Daily Transcript]

LAUSD selects Clark Construction to build new South Los Angeles High School [Building Design & Construction]

Praying for Robin Hood Gardens’ demolition [bdonline.co.uk]

Land-use planning: What did we get for our “smart growth’? [oregonlive.com]

Volunteers sought to help restore rare wetland [Chicago Tribune]

Chinatown Master Plan 2010 to identify vision and goals for the future [Sampan - New England]

New addition, improvements to greet Zephyrhills High students [Tampa Bay Online]

Calgary’s Calatrava footbridge unveiled

Calgary Herald reports

CALGARY – The newly released design for the city’s new pedestrian bridge has been derided by some Calgarians as a gaudy red waste of $24.5 million, and praised by others as a sleek, elegant contribution to downtown Calgary.

But to the architect, Santiago Calatrava, the Bow span is the most accessible, functional and technically challenging one he’s ever made…

read the full story at the SOURCE: Calgary Herald – Calgary’s $24.5M footbridge unveiled to cheers, jeers

IMAGE SOURCE: City of Calgary
IMAGE CREDIT: Santiago Calatrava

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