Solar arrays, “green” roofs and storm-water management that doubles as civic art and takes place only when it’s raining are among the ideas for improving the environment in the redevelopment of downtown Columbia, a consultant told residents this week.
Town Center could be a “city within a garden,” said Keith Bowers, a landscape architect on General Growth Properties’ design team — a vibrant place that makes use of renewable energy and is built with local materials so that little energy is expended to bring supplies here. Bowers’ ecological restoration design, planning and assessment business is leading the sustainability and environmental component of GGP’s efforts to re-create downtown
Read more @ the Source: baltimoresun.com – Green proposals for downtown Columbia
At his first sight of Las Vegas, a Chinese student of community participation in urban development remarked, “I feel as if I am back in Beijing’s second ring road!”
Indeed, the shadow of the American casino capital looms large over Beijing and many other Chinese cities, which vie with one another in copying the model of Las Vegas to become a mixture of something of everything.
With a messy combination of bits from New York City, Paris, Italy, Egypt and others, Las Vegas could satisfy a fancy of the wonderland.
Yet the city in the wild desert is a nightmare for urban planners, as it has developed with little planning. Even though Las Vegas hosted the centennial convention of the American Planning Association (APA) in late April, many American planners dismiss it as a good example of urban development.
To their regret, however, Las Vegas becomes a role model for too many Chinese cities in their drive for urban development. Like Las Vegas, these cities with entirely different cultural and socioeconomic contexts are sprawling ever wider with ever more and taller high-rises, until they become jungles of cement.
Perhaps the decision-makers and designers of Chinese cities should come to such a consensus. They should learn from the culture and traditions of their own cities before they set out to borrow others’ experiences. If they fail to develop a taste for the treasures under their eyes, it is doubtful that they can pick out something valuable elsewhere.
Read more at the Source: China Daily – to stop building cities without souls by Xiong Lei
THE man advising New York on how to revamp its public spaces has slammed the NSW Government’s plan for the former Hungry Mile site, warning it will become “fearsome at night” and a “wasteland” on weekends and public holidays.
The Government wants to transform the historic wharves at East Darling Harbour in what it describes as the biggest urban renewal project in a generation.
Half of the 22-hectare site would become a waterside wedge of parkland and public open space. The other half would consist of residential and commercial buildings.
But the Danish urban planner Jan Gehl, who is visiting Sydney, said a lack of nearby residents, a parkland too large for its own good and a location too difficult to reach, would make the area, known as Barangaroo, dangerous and deserted.
Read more @ the Source: smh.com.au – Hungry Mile wasteland warning
Global climate change and coastal brownfield redevelopment are two subjects that on the surface don’t play well together.
But a group of University of Michigan graduate students, including four from its School of Natural Resources and Environment ( SNRE ), have come up with an award-winning strategy. Their proposal calls for linking the subjects with a glue: a planning and design concept known as “resilience.”
The students’ interdisciplinary work was produced in the fall for the course “NRE 576/UP 576: Applying Landscape Ecological Design to Brownfield Redevelopment.” Joan Nassauer, a professor of Landscape Architecture at SNRE, developed and taught the course, which received significant support in 2007 from the Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute, Lubert-Adler, Antares Real Estate and their partners in Stamford, Conn. Each interdisciplinary team in the course developed its own focus for proposing an alternative scenario for a 220-acre brownfield redevelopment site on the South End of Stamford.
Members of the winning team are: Jeffrey Carey, College of Engineering; M’Lis Bartlett, Amy Beltamacchi and Amy Kludt, landscape architecture ( SNRE ); Sarah Levy, environmental policy ( SNRE ); and Stacey Braverman, Law School. The title of their winning project is “Building Resilience: Remediation Options for Minimizing Risk on Coastal Brownfield Development in light of Global Climate Change.”
Source: SNRE Press Release