John Atkin selected for Beijing Olympic exhibition

John Atkin, Reader in Fine Art at Loughborough University, has been selected from 2,600 applicants to create a new sculpture for the major exhibition at Olympic Park, Beijing later this year. His initial designs received an ‘outstanding award’ from the judging panel.

The sculpture weighs 27 tons and is carved from marble and granite. It takes its inspiration and name – Strange Meeting – from a poem by Wilfred Owen. The poem tells of a dramatic meeting between two dead soldiers who had fought on opposing sides. No longer enemies, they find it possible to see beyond conflict and hatred in a shared awareness of “the truth untold”.

‘The Chinese workforce were tremendous – their attention to detail and ability to translate the subtle shifts in form of the sculpture was a remarkable achievement. It was also great to meet a number of artists from other parts of the world’ said John.

The public art exhibition launches in May 2008 and is based on the 2008 Olympic theme of One World, One Dream. John’s sculpture allows people to walk through the spaces between each element of the sculpture. The two identical, shapes, based on garment template contour patterns, are cut from the same veined block, turned inward on each other.

John Atkin selected for Beijing Olympic exhibition – Landscape Institute

Rare plant halts Sydney development

An investment company bought the 181ha former Air Services Australia site at Cranebrook in 2004, intending to subdivide and develop it for 1800 new residents.

Since then, a number of rare and threatened plants and animals have been found on the land.
The state environment department specifically recommended in 2006 that the entire site be protected.

A December study of the land identified nine threatened species and three endangered ecological communities across the rugged bushland, including 30 endangered flowering nodding geebung shrubs, of which just a few thousand remain in the wild _ and only in Western Sydney.

Rare plant halts development | The Daily Telegraph.

Cities of the Future – Technewsworld

Part 1 by Pam Baker looking at different models of the future cities and talking about the practicalities of Hyperstructures,

Issues raised about building and maintaining Hyperstructures by the author and interviewees include:
– Fire Protection
– Waste Management
– Hydraulics and Maintenance

Baker also talks about Dongtan on Chongming Island near Shanghai and its future of 500,000 people and sustainable design

Technology News: Future Tech: Cities of the Future, Part 1: The Hyperstructure Concept.– Pam Baker

The second part of this series looks at City planning and Environment.
A good summary looks at the past and also the future of city planning and models for different continents based on population (Asia – Hypercites and America – architectural experimentation and knowledge societies)
Technology News: Future Tech: Cities of the Future, Part 2: If We Build Them, Will We Stay?.

Work Underway To Transform City Square

Work to transform Preston’s prestigious Winckley Square is now underway.

The City Council and the Preston Vision Board have been given cash from the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), and the Landscape Institute to re-design the square, making it a more attractive and encouraging people to use it as a link between Avenham Park and the city centre.

Five landscape design practices have been invited to submit designs, with the winner being announced in March.

Work Underway To Transform City Square (from Preston and Leyland Citizen).

Green light for transit after years of stagnation

In year-end reviews, writers and pundits on urban affairs often missed a very important transformation that occurred in 2007, one that will have reverberations possibly for generations to come. This change has come in the politics of public transit.

Fast forward to 2007 when the City of Toronto announced an ambitious Transit City plan costing billions of dollars. Some critics decried the plan a pie in the sky as it had no funding commitments.

Within a few months, however, Premier Dalton McGuinty announced his government’s commitment not only to fund the TTC plan, but to include ambitious targets for GO Transit and other municipal transit authorities. The commitment was to fund $11 billion of the $17 billion required for the plan, and advocate to the federal government for the remainder.

TheStar.com | comment | Green light for transit after years of stagnation.

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