More green, less glitz will improve city life

We need more green, not glitz in the city. We need the soothing green, the trees and shade, the parks where we can amble for a bit of respite from the concrete jungle.

Lack of natural landscape for public recreation is a major weakness in our striving international metropolis. Trees take time and they don’t yield a profit, like high rises on valuable real estate. All the same, greenery is good city planning.

Dazzling neon lights, skyscrapers, hustle and bustle are all captivating, but without greenery one gets exhausted in the concrete jungle and longs for fresh air, space and peace.

Shanghai’s public green space per capita is now 12 square meters, nearly double the figure 20 years ago, according to 2007 statistics by the Shanghai Forestry Bureau.

Read more of the 3 page Special @ Shanghai Daily – More green, less glitz will improve city life

RIBA and CABE launch new award

RIBA and CABE have launched the RIBA CABE Public Space Award.

Any well designed and innovative public space is eligible. These external spaces need to be publicly accessible but can be urban or rural; publicly or privately owned; designed, redesigned or refurbished for public use. The award is part of the annual RIBA Awards and is sponsored by CABE.

Read more @ Landscape Institute – RIBA and CABE launch new award.

HOK Designs First LEED Gold for Latina America

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has certified the first LEED Gold building in Latin America. Located in Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City, the HSBC Bank Headquarters Tower features a redesigned facade, public spaces, and interiors by architecture firm HOK.

The 400,000-square-foot, 24-story redesigned Torre Angel building is a pilot project for HSBC’s new global workplace standard initiative and serves as the firm’s Mexican headquarters.

HOK Designs First LEED Gold for Latina America – 1/28/2008 – Interior Design.

Green Buildings Don’t Have to Be New

JUST about every month, a glitzy tower rises somewhere in the country, boasting the latest in “green” design and technology. To many people, that is an encouraging trend, especially when considering that commercial buildings account for more than 60 percent of the nation’s electricity consumption, according to government estimates, and generate 30 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions.

Yet these buildings represent a small fraction of the nation’s estimated 4.5 million commercial properties, many of which were erected decades ago before sustainable, or green, designs became de rigueur. This vast stock of older buildings presents a much bigger opportunity to cut down on energy consumption and carbon emissions that contribute to the warming of the planet.

Read more @ Green Buildings Don’t Have to Be New – By Amy Cortese – New York Times .

Anti Smog Architecture: A Catalyst for Cleaner Air in Paris

Architect Vincent Callebaut’s latest project balances public galleries, meeting rooms and gathering spaces over canals and abandoned railroad tracks in the 19th Parisian district. The prototype uses green technologies and techniques but is more than just an example of sustainable design. Callebaut’s ‘Anti Smog: An Innovation Centre in Sustainable Development’ is a catalyst for cleaner air.

Read more @ Inhabitat » Anti Smog Architecture: A Catalyst for Cleaner Air in Paris by Ali Kriscenski

Not everything wild gets on well in cities

Environmental activists, scientists and green organizations, first and foremost the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI), have over the past few years been making an effort to protect the remaining natural assets in urban areas. Apparently there is no clear worldview about the characteristics of urban nature, its importance and the means of preserving it.

Now the Deshe (Open Landscape) Institute, which operates as part of the SPNI, has published a paper, “Urban Ecology,” on the subject by Inbal Brikner Brown from the Institute of Desert Studies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. It deals with, among other things, what is worthwhile and possible to preserve on the basis of existing scientific knowledge.

Read more @ Not everything wild gets on well in cities – Haaretz – Israel News.

Sheffield Parkway bridge design winner

Danish architect Tim Norlund has beaten over 100 entries to gain first prize in the Sheffield Parkway footbridge competition.

Norlund joined forces with Ramboll Whitby Bird after his design was short-listed to the second stage in the competition. They will work together with the client team at Sheffield and Rotherham Councils, to take the scheme forward.

Read more @ Builder & Engineer – Sheffield Parkway bridge design winner.

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