SWA win riverfront project in Kunshan, China

Wusong

Wusong_water-cleansing-Park

SWA Group has won a master plan assignment creating an entirely new Riverfront District to accommodate growth, in sync with environmental and sustainability objectives, on the Wusong River in the city of Kunshan, China outside Shanghai.

The 10.2 million square-foot (955,000 square meter) project-area includes master planning for mixed-use implementations along the key oxbow portion of the waterfront as well as a phase-one business district and a signature main structure, the 107,640 square-foot (10,000 square meter) Huaqiao Forum building.

Of note, the master plan also provides a supporting framework for a regional planning for the Wusong River green network and the broader goals for integrating growth with environmental concerns including:

— Providing synergy between development and water treatment so that it creates people-oriented amenities as well as environmental habitat

— Maximizing the water edge for use and enjoyment by the community, and integrating numerous layers of experience

— Maintaining building massings that are appropriate to the pedestrian scale, preserve open space and enable the flexibility of phasing the construction schedule.

The project-sponsor, Kunshan Huaqiao Economical Development and Planning Bureau, wanted to create a new waterfront district that supports the area’s bustling economy while creating public amenities and open space. In analyzing the Wusong River’s natural systems, SWA Group identified the resources and opportunities to support the development objectives while also meeting sustainability goals, according to Hui-Li Lee of SWA. For example, the SWA plan calls for an extensive water purification system within the project’s infrastructure that provides for better water quality while creating recreational aspects.

The Kunshan new community is anticipated to begin first-phase construction in 2010, with a 10 year overall build-out. Other project consultants include Ojanen Chiou Architect LLP and Herrera Environmental Consultants.

SOURCE: Businesswire

IMAGES: SWA GROUP

DSDHA win Pennine Lancashire Squared competition

Proposed site plan highlighting a series of new spaces along a revitalised route

Proposed site plan highlighting a series of new spaces along a revitalised route

CLITHEROE-render2 CLITHEROE-render

DSDHA has won the Clithroe square area of the competition seeking ideas for the high profile public spaces in six Pennine Lancashire towns.

An architecture team inspired by Clitheroe’s pretty streets and unique character has triumphed in the Pennine Lancashire Squared competition.

DSDHA’s winning entry for Clitheroe suggests creating not just a square but a network of public spaces, celebrating the town’s unique qualities and reconnecting the market with the historic town centre and surrounding areas. The team’s ideas include making improvements to the market square, and revitalising existing routes through the town to enhance links between arrival ‘gateways’, destinations, pocket parks and meeting places.

DSDHA Director David Hills said: “Working within such a stunning landscape is something about which we are deeply passionate. We hope that our design approach shows respect for Clitheroe’s past whilst simultaneously creating new opportunities for its cultural and commercial renewal. We are extremely excited by this unique opportunity to make this a reality, working in close collaboration with Elevate and the wider Client team.”

The other four practices which made the shortlist for Clitheroe were Mitchell + Associates (landscape architects, urban designers and architects), ARUP and KMCS; Planit-ie; Graeme Massie Architects, rankinfraser landscape architecture and Donald Urquhart, Artist; and Birds Portchmouth Russum.

Winning design teams for four other Pennine Lancashire towns – Accrington(winner: Landscape Projects), Burnley(winner: Civic Architects & Colour: Urban Design), Blackburn(winner: Studio Weave and MESH Partnership) and Nelson (winner: Robinson Landscape Design, Reid Jubb Brown & Kapok) and the final winner – for Bacup – will be announced later this month.

SOURCE: Elevate East Lancashire
IMAGES:  DSDHA

Infrastructure blamed for Turkish floods

Istanbul Floods SOURCE: CCTV

Istanbul Floods SOURCE: CCTV

The deadly floods in Turkey have been blamed on poor infrastructure and illegal development throughout the city like Istandul. Experts stated that areas that had infrastructure 10 years ago to cope with 10,000 people now have populations of 100,000 people with the same outdated infrastructure. The urban development of Istanbul has created large areas of impermeable surfaces that increase the amount and speed of water runoff.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman

In the News – September 9

Urban design guidelines find favour with developers [The Standard – St Catherine]
Instead of seeing the guidelines — meant to improve the quality of infill development in a landlocked city — as obstacles, developers should see them as being beneficial……

Halifax Regional Municipality seeking public art advisor [The Chronicle Herald]

Halifax Regional Municipality in Canada is seeking a consultant to advise city officials on the development and management of an outdoor public art collection.

Stormwater management not needed behind library[Gazette.net]

The county’s Department of Environmental Protection says it will not conduct stormwater management work behind the Aspen Hill Library after learning more about expansion plans for the facility.

Free visits to city’s beautiful buildings in Bath, UK [thisisbatk.co.uk]

During the next few days several beautiful buildings in and around Bath which cannot normally be seen by members of the public will be opening their doors for free. Some attractions which normally charge for entry will also be available free of charge.

Hoar Construction of Birmingham wins work on 2 major projects in Southeast [The Birmingham News]
The Birmingham construction firm will build a $36 million, Department of Veterans Affairs’ VA Hospital in Biloxi. Hoar and the Christman Co. of Michigan will handle the $32 million renovation of the Robert Vance Federal Building and Courthouse downtown.

Increased Density could mean reduced emissions

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Last week the NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL released a report titled DRIVING AND THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT: THE EFFECTS OF COMPACT DEVELOPMENT ON MOTORIZED TRAVEL, ENERGY USE, AND CO2 EMISSIONS stating that

Increasing population and employment density in metropolitan areas could reduce vehicle travel, energy use, and CO2 emissions from less than 1 percent up to 11 percent by 2050 compared to a base case for household vehicle usage……

The report continues to give examples of if 75% of all new and replacement housing units were developed at twice the density and people drive 25% less then then CO2 emissions would be reduced by 7-8% by 2030, 8-11% by 2050. However if only 25% of housing was developed at twice the density and drove 12% less then the reduction in CO2 would only be 1% by 2030 and 1.7% by 2050.

The report also outlined the obstacles with trying achieve 75% dwellings at twice the denisty including local growth, local zoning regulations, concerns about congestion and home values.

The report also stated that

Government policies to support more compact, mixed-use development should be encouraged, the report says. The nation is likely to set ambitious goals to address climate change and, given the large contribution of the transportation sector to greenhouse gas emissions, changes in land use may have to be part of the effort.  If so, land use changes should be implemented soon, because current development patterns will take decades to reverse

For more information about the report go to the NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL website.

SOURCE: NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL

IMAGE SOURCE: Flickr austrini (suburbia)  Flickr DrPleishner (city)

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