Soils management will be key to food, water and climate security | UNEP

Image Credit: Flickr User Soil Science

UNEP has just released the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Year Book 2012  and it highlights assessments indicating that some kinds of conventional and intensive agriculture are triggering soil erosion rates some 100 times greater than the rates at which nature can form soil in the first place.

There could also be profound implications for climate change. Soils contain huge quantities of carbon in the form of organic matter that in turn binds the nutrients needed for plant growth and allows rainfall to penetrate into underground aquifers. By 2030, without changes in the way land is managed, over 20 per cent of terrestrial habitats such as forests, peatlands and grasslands in developing countries alone could be converted to cropland aggravating losses of vital ecosystem services and biodiversity.

Continue reading Soils management will be key to food, water and climate security | UNEP

BIG ♥ NYC to celebrate Valentine’s Day

BIG ♥ NYC to celebrate Valentine's Day

Credit: Ho-Kyung-Lee

BIG + Times Square Alliance + Flatcut + Local Projects and Zumtobel celebrate the Valentine’s Day  with an interactive heart installation at Times Square, New York utilizing the flow of people, air and touch to bring the heart to life.
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Narrabeen Multi-Use Trail | Sydney Australia | ASPECT Studios

Narrabeen Lagoon-ASPECT Studios
ASPECT Studios has completed a multi-use trail at Narrabeen Lagoon on Sydney’s northern beaches. The lagoon is one of Sydney’s natural assets and is a major drawcard and focal point of the area. Diverse experiences are on offer at different locations around the lagoon. The eastern side comes to life especially at the weekends as people take to the water in kayaks and swimming, or strolling and pausing at cafes, restaurants and the bustling Sunday market. The western side of the circuit, which ASPECT Studios have designed, offers a tranquil bush experience. The new trail provides a multi-layered recreational facility and safe shared trail for pedestrians and cyclists to enhance the existing trail and facilitate the area.
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A Walk in the Woods | Hillsdale New York | Jon Piasecki

A Walk in the Woods-Jon Piasecki

The goal of this project is to connect my clients, an urban family of 4, with the amazing rural land they own in upstate New York as their second home. Simplicity, ease of maintenance and the use of materials taken from the 90 acres are the guideposts that orient the project. This work is a sculptural examination of the subtle traces of cultural history and ecological processes on site.

The soil on the project is horrendous. It is a greasy mix of shale and clay that is prone both to drought and standing water depending on the ambient meteorological conditions. The deer pressure is intense with upwards of 40 deer per square mile. No irrigation system exists, nor can it as the well supplies very little water. The wind and cold conditions are extreme. This site was formerly a high pasture for cattle that had been left fallow as a result of its low productivity for a few decades before my clients bought this land. The clients are not avid gardeners. They are quite busy and they live on this site primarily on the weekends.
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Second Wave of Modernism II Conference: VIDEOS

Second Wave of Modernism II Conference: VIDEOS

Back in November last year The Cultural Landscape Foundation held the Second Wave of Modernism II: Landscape Complexity and Transformation Conference at MoMA in New York. Various landscape architects and urbanists such as James Corner, Michael Van Valkenburgh, Raymond Jungles, Kathryn Gustafson, Gary Hilderbrand and many more gave lectures on Transformations of Residential and Metropolitan spaces. Now the videos of the lectures have been published with over 4 hours of interesting videos about the transforming the urban environments that we live, design, create and manage everyday. Each Video is approximately 20-25 minutes long so you can watch each one individually or cue the whole set.

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