Mott MacDonald win contract to develop Crossrail

Mott MacDonald, the global management, engineering and development consultancy has recently been awarded several new design contracts worth a total of around £10 million to help develop Crossrail, one of the biggest and most complex rail projects in the world.

David Gutteridge, Mott MacDonald’s director for Crossrail commented: “We’re delighted to continue our long relationship with Crossrail in delivering this iconic project which will benefit both London and the UK’s economy.”

SOURCE: Mott MacDonald

Toyota uses LA & SF Interstates to launch Prius

Prius Floralscape

Harmony Floralscape” along the Pasadena Freeway (SR-110) (Credit: Toyota)

Toyota has unveiled “Harmony Floralscape” along the Pasadena Freeway (SR-110), this is one of the nine oversized floral designs that will appear alongside California freeways in support of the ongoing launch of the 2010 Toyota Prius hybrid vehicle. Seven of the Floralscapes will be in the Los Angeles area and two in the San Francisco area. Developed by Greenroad Media, Inc., using the company’s patent-pending “Living Pixel” technology, design images are replicated using flowers of differing varieties and colors.

The 30’x60’ Toyota Prius “Harmony Floralscapes” are comprised entirely of living seasonal flowers. The flowers used in each Floralscape – about 20,000 blooms in total – are grown by local businesses in special modular “Eco-crates” made from recycled plastic. Several different designs have been developed, and the displays will be changed and updated several times during the next four months.

Video -The Making of a Toyota Prius “Harmony Floralscape” (Credit: Toyota)

SOURCE: Toyota via Autoblog

Toronto green roof initiative closes September 11


The City of Toronto is inviting owners of industrial, commercial and institutional properties to submit an application for funding from the Eco-Roof Incentive Program. The program, which is open to properties that retrofit their buildings with green or cool roof technologies, closes September 11, 2009.

The Eco-Roof Incentive program is a new initiative in 2009, created as a way to encourage Toronto’s business community to become more environmentally sustainable and better adapted to climate change.

Owners who install a green roof, a surface that supports the growth of vegetation, can apply for $50 per square metre up to a maximum of $100,000. Cool roofs, which feature a membrane or coating designed to reflect the sun’s rays, are eligible for $5 per square metre to a maximum of $50,000.

Grants for the Eco-Roof Incentive Program will be awarded twice a year – once in the spring and once in the fall. The City of Toronto recently announced the successful projects from the first round of applications: 22 projects, including five in the targeted employment districts, were awarded a total of $500,000.

Projects currently under construction include:
• A 704-square-metre green roof on software maker ESRI Canada (employment lands near the Don Valley Parkway and Eglinton Avenue), with future plans to add solar panels to the remaining portion of the roof
• A highly visible 630 sq m native grassland and rooftop wetland located on the downtown YMCA building
• A 975 sq m urban agricultural garden and native species meadow on the Carrot Commons (located on the Danforth between Broadview and Pape Avenues)
• An 882 sq m green roof on the Wexford Heights Mall (Lawrence and Warden employment lands)
• A 5008 sq m cool roof on the Toronto Cricket, Skating and Curling Club (Wilson and Avenue Road)
• Two cool roof projects in the Tapscott employment area (Markham and Finch) totaling 9400 sq m.

For more information about the Eco-Roof Incentive Program, including eligibility criteria, past projects and how to apply for funding, visit www.livegreentoronto.ca.

SOURCE: City of Toronto
IMAGE SOURCE: Flickr – Padriac.

OMA reduced plans for Commonwealth Institute

The Architects Journal reports that the OMA plans for redevelopment of the former Commonwealth Institute in Kensington have been submitted with reductions in height and less demolition of existing buildings about outcry from conservation groups.
via Architects Journal – OMA’s Institute plans ‘significantly reduced’

World Landscape Architect first reported on the OMA Commonwealth Institute project in December 2008.

Declining cities have a chance to reinvigorate

The decline of large USA industrial cities has received  media attention recently in articles such as the Forbes Fastest Declining cities, which have caused a great amount of emotion and despair among the named city’s citizens. This was evident from the city meeting last weekend in Dayton, Ohio reported by Wall Street Journal – ‘Fastest Dying Cities’ Meet for a Lively Talk.

Many cities may have declining populations and reduced levels of employment within the city, however it does not mean that they are necessarily going to die and become ghost towns. Many of these cities have large amounts of cheap residential and commercial buildings that could be reused for other uses within the city. The office tower, big box stores, abandoned schools and office parks could once again come to life.  There is time for these cities to act and draw up plans on how to reinvigorate the city. However, its not just a city level or county level problem – state and the federal governments need to work together with citizens to find solutions. These solutions need to be found and acted upon quickly and decisively to change policy and zoning within cities.
Continue reading Declining cities have a chance to reinvigorate

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