This Week in Landscape | 15 January 2012

The weeks round-up of landscape news and views

Dhaka (Image: Flickr User Marufish)

Making the city liveable | Shafiqul Alam | The Financial Express
A look at Dhaka and how to address the problems of over-urbanisation, living conditions, energy, settlement and natural cities. MORE>>

Streams of the subconscious | Tamzin Baker | FT
A campaign is underway to save Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe’s Water Gardens is underway as they fall into disrepair. One of the important postwar landscapes in UK needs saving.  MORE>>

Chinese officials commit to sustainable urban development | JACLYN SKURIE | medill on the hill
Chinese development officials Wednesday joined with an environmental think tank backed by the U.S. and other governments to commit their groups to developing environmentally sustainable cities. MORE>>

Britain should have a gardening archive | Ambra Edwards | Telegraph
Gardens are, by their nature, ephemeral. Although those with a strong architectural structure will survive to some extent, the great majority of gardens simply vanish when their creators die or move on. MORE>>

(Landscape) Architect and urban planner Lynn Osgood advocates for Austin’s parks | Katherine Craft | Culturemap
Culturemap talked to Osgood about parks, New Urbanist principles and why city planning is like making sausage.

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IMAGE Credit: Flickr Marufish

La Moran | Caracas Venezuela | Enlace Arquitectura

La Moran | Venezuela | Enlace Arquitectura
In Venezuela 93% of the population live in cities, half of which inhabit urban slums. Upgrading initiatives to date have tended to focus on housing solutions to improve living conditions. However, graver issues affect the livelihood of slum dwellers on a daily basis. Alarmingly high homicide rates, frequent adolescent pregnancies and very high school dropout rates compromise every slum dweller´s quality of life and condemn them to a perpetual cycle of poverty. Health issues and low self dignity associated with living in severely degraded environmental conditions also diminish their livelihood. Improving the situation, therefore, goes beyond supplying mortar and brick to build better houses; it requires a holistic approach that seriously considers social and environmental deficiencies.

Continue reading La Moran | Caracas Venezuela | Enlace Arquitectura

Coe Design’s Chesil Beach Visitor Centre proposal wins heritage lottery funding

Chesil Beach Visitor Centre

Approval has been given for Coe Design’s proposal for the redevelopment of the Chesil Beach Visitor Centre, situated on the 17-mile long Chesil Beach at the heart of England’s Jurassic Coast in Dorset, a place of international importance for its birds and marine wildlife.

The leading landscape architecture firm was appointed in 2009 to support Dorset County Council’s application to secure crucial heritage lottery funding for the development of England’s only natural UNESCO designated World Heritage Site.

The £1 million redevelopment project has been awarded £550,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and will be developed in time for the Olympic & Paralympic Games sailing events in 2012. The initial concept was developed with the artist John Maine RA.

Continue reading Coe Design’s Chesil Beach Visitor Centre proposal wins heritage lottery funding

2010 IFLA Congress – Day 2

Day 2 saw 80 local and international speakers give presentations throughout the day covering a wide range of topics including design, planning, heritage, business and many others.

The New Bund in Shanghai

With only 12 days to the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai you have probably seen images of the new Expo site with its amazing pavilions. But there is more going on in Shanghai in the last 2-3 years than the construction of Expo. Last month the main promenade in Shanghai known as the Bund or Waitan was recently reopened after a two years of renovation which involved removing the main elevated expressway onramp and constructing a new traffic tunnel under the fill length of the road and the pedestrian promenade was widened and extended.

The Bund is a historical piece of the city that has dramatically changed from in the last century from a mud flat riverbank with wooden planks for baording boats and ships whilst overlooking the opposite bank of farmland to becoming a thriving pedestrian promenade in front of buildings dating from 1880′s to 1930′s now overlooking a modern metropolis of contemporary architecture; most of which was built in the last decade.

The renovated Bund is 2000 metres long (1.25 miles) with three levels – roadside, promenade and lower level plazas beside the river. The new Bund has done away with the concrete upstand walls replaced with a curved balustrade which is more comfortable to lean against and watch the ships, barges and ferries go by whilst looking across at Lujiazui, the modern financial district.

The new expansive bund is accessed by long ramps that  create dramatic sense of arrival to the promenade which is paved in light coloured large unit granite paving and timber paving replacing the small sized pink ceramic tile (installed in a 1993 renovation). The new design also includes some new wave like glass sculptural roofs that give a different architectural dynamic although they are placed at the south end to ensure an unobstructed view of the historical buildings.

The renovation of  the Bund also includes renovated and new ferry terminal & jetties, a renovated weather station, thematic lighting and water sprays into the river. The lower roadside promenade and plazas are to include commercial shopping and restaurant areas.

The slideshow above can be enlarged to full screen by clicking on the four-arrow button (right side)

If you are coming for Expo or the 2010 IFLA Congress in Suzhou – the Bund is an interesting place to visit and take in the city. We will be featuring other posts about the changes that Shanghai has undergone in the last few years including Expo.

by Damian Holmes (Resident of Shanghai for almost 5 years)

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