Hidden Strengths – landscape security

Does security have to be as ugly as a concrete barrier? Or can it be both effective and attractive? Planners in the US capital are putting well-designed physical security to the test

The stately white mansion at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has survived fire, scandal and an attack by the British. Someone even crashed a small plane into its facade. All the while, “America’s House” has sat, just yards away from its citizens, as a powerful symbol of the freedom and accessibility of democratic government. But in recent years, a wave of security threats has added layer upon layer of visual armor….

Read more @ CIO – Hidden Strengths by Daintry Duffy

Outlandish landscapes

A showcase for experimental gardens by top landscape designers, Cornerstone is the first outdoor gallery of its kind in the US. Visitors looking for neatly planted rows and ornamental cherubs will be disappointed. Cornerstone is highly irreverent and playful, from American landscape designer Ken Smith’s “Daisy Border” – a display of candy-coloured plastic pin-wheels that both mocks and pays homage to the classic floral border – to Mexican architect Mario Schjetnan’s “A Small Tribute to Immigrant Workers”. With its regimented boxes of vegetables and rusty metal walls, Schjetnan’s garden delivers a strong political message about the plight of immigrant workers in California. Even the upcoming installation of a 1,000 ft-long fence around the perimeter of the site is expected to defy conventions. “It’s a white picket fence with a twist,” says David Aquilina, general manager.

Read more @ FT.com – Outlandish landscapes by Chloe Veltman

Dongtan Eco city shouldn’t be a marketing piece – Planners

Two countries will lead the world in eco-cities: China and Britain.” The words of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown lingered in the cold Shanghai winter air long after he had given tacit approval to the Dongtan ‘eco-city’, set to be constructed on the formerly preserved wetlands of Chongming Island, near Shanghai. Dongtan was initiated by Shanghai Industrial Investment Corp, which contracted British engineering firm Arup to work on the development.

The heavily hyped, and controversial, development is being marketed as the world’s first “self-sustaining eco city” – designed to house up to 90,000 people by 2010, with 90 per cent of all waste to be recovered, recycled or reused. Last November, it was recognised as one of the “most innovative and outstanding buildings in Asia” by the MIPIM Asia Awards in Hong Kong.

However, speculation persists about the yet-to-be-constructed Dongtan’s actual ecological credentials, and rumours have surfaced that its near-neighbour may be a Disneyland theme park (reported here).

China Business News and Business in China – BizChinaUpdate.

Local architects offer their visions of S.F. 100 years

The jury has spoken – and it wants San Francisco in 2108 to be a place where forests of towers grow algae as well as house people, and where geothermal steam baths sprout atop Twin Peaks.

Those elements are part of the proposal by IwamotoScott Architecture, selected Sunday as the winner of an eight-team competition to imagine how San Francisco could change during a century likely to be defined by global warming and the search for new forms of energy.

In addition to a $10,000 prize, architects Lisa Iwamoto and Craig Scott received the satisfaction of triumphing over rivals who offered such visions as an offshore island housing 250,000 people and 40-story towers used for commercial farming.

Read more at SFGate.com Local architects offer their visions of S.F. 100 years hence in a competition – John King

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?.

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