Image by popejon2 via Flickr
During the Winter Olympics in Vancouver a newly updated Granville Street by PWL Partnership Landscape Architects has become a lively impromptu event space for buskers, street hockey, olympic pin sellers and more. The street has been closed to traffic for 30 years with only buses allowed back in the mid-1970’s. Retail groups have lobbied to have cars reintroduced to the space. However, the success of the space which is usually the domain of club-hopping group has caused planners and downtown businesses to rethink the future of the space post-Olympics.
Could this be the catalyst for a renaissance of pedestrian malls in cities?
Read more about Granville Street during the Olympics at the [SOURCE:Globe & Mail – Games reignite dream of a car-free Granville]
The Environmental Protection Agency will spend $2.2 billion over five years on the Great Lakes to clean up polluted water and beaches, restore wetlands and fight invasive species such as Asian carp in a revitalization effort.
In 2010 $475 million is budgeted under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan.
The Initiative builds upon 5 years of work of the Great Lakes Interagency Task Force (IATF) and stakeholders, guided by the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy. The IATF includes 16 cabinet and agency organizations, including: EPA, State, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, HUD, Transportation, Homeland Security, Army, CEQ, and Health and Human Services.
Chicago Breaking News reports
Billing the effort as light on study and heavy on action, environmental leaders say they’re seeking to heal the Great Lakes ecosystem from “150 years of abuse” and to ensure that “fish are safe to eat; the water is safe to drink; the beaches and waters are safe for swimming, surfing, boating and recreating; native species and habitats are protected and thriving; no community suffers disproportionately from the impacts of pollution; and the Great Lakes are a healthy place for people and wildlife to live.”
[Vancouver Sun – U.S. looks for help in battling Asian carp invasion]
[M.live – Asian carp may swallow federal Great Lakes Cleanup funding]
Recently the contest organisers of the Gateway Arch Design Competition announced the shortlist for the second round of the competition and it reads like a who’s who of built environment design from around the world. This competition is shaping up to be one of the most interesting for 2010 and the jury will have a hard job on their hands picking a winner.
The lead designers and design teams are:
- Behnisch Architekten, Gehl Architects, Stephen Stimson Associates, Buro Happold, Transsolar, Applied Ecological Services, Limno-Tech, Herbert Dreiseitl, Arne Quinze, Peter MacKeith, Eric Mumford
- FIT (Fully Integrated Thinking) Team – Arup, Doug Aitken Studio, HOK Planning Group, HOK
- Michael Maltzan Architecture, Stoss Landscape Urbanism, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Richard Sommer, Buro Happold
- Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Steven Holl Architects, Greenberg Consultants, Uhlir Consulting, HR&A Advisors, Guy Nordenson and Associates, Arup, LimnoTech, Ann Hamilton Studio, James Carpenter Design Associates, Elizabeth K. Meyer, Project Projects
- PWP Landscape Architecture, Foster + Partners, Civitas, Ned Kahn, Buro Happold
- Quennell Rothschild and Partners and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Vishkan Chakrabarti, Buro Happold, Atelier Ten, and Nicholas Baume
- Rogers Marvel Architects and Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects, Urban Strategies, Local Projects, Arup
- SOM, BIG, Hargreaves Associates, Jaume Plensa, URS
- Weiss/Manfredi, Magnusson Klemencic Associates, Mark Dion
The nine design leaders and teams now have five weeks to complete their teams and present full qualifications to the competition jury, Stastny said.
In addition, local contractors, minority, disadvantaged, or women-owned businesses and others are invited to meet Feb. 18 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Old Court House with representatives of the short-listed design groups for potential teaming opportunities.
“This will be an excellent opportunity for these businesses to learn about the project and to begin considering participating,” Stastny said. “We look forward to a strong turnout.”
The final stage, Stage III, to take place over the summer, will include a 90-day design concept competition to explore the finalists’ design approach and test their working methodology.
The public will be invited to two events this spring and summer. A “meet the designers night” will be held in late April. This summer, there will be a public exhibition of the designs. Details will be available soon.
The final jury pick will be announced on Sept. 24, 2010. The project is set to be constructed by Oct. 28, 2015.
The new design is called for in the National Park Service’s General Management Plan, which was developed with extensive public input over an 18-month period and approved Nov. 23, 2009.
The competition is sponsored by the CityArchRiver 2015 Foundation, which includes National Park Superintendent Tom Bradley, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, community leaders from Missouri and Illinois, academics, architects and national park advocates.
A full list of registrants for the competition, “Framing a Modern Masterpiece: The City + The Arch + The River 2015,” has also been released. It can be found with other competition information at www.cityarchrivercompetition.org.
Natural England and the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) have published Green Belts: a Greener Future. The first major survey of the environmental state of Green Belt land and the benefits it provides for people and wildlife.
Helen Phillips, Natural England’s Chief Executive, said: “By containing urban sprawl, the Green Belt has been a great success story of post-war planning. We need to look at ways in which it can expand on its success to date and play a full role in supporting England’s wider network of protected areas and open spaces. The Green Belt is an important environmental resource that, managed effectively, can help tackle climate change, support wildlife and provide health and leisure opportunities for millions to enjoy.”
Shaun Spiers, Chief Executive of CPRE, said: “This report confirms that the countryside around our largest and most historic towns and cities is a vital, but fragile, environmental asset. We must continue to strengthen our Green Belts and make full use of the opportunities they provide to allow people to appreciate their local countryside. Where Green Belt land is underused, or in poor condition, the answer is to improve its quality, not to build on it.”
30 million people live in or next to Green Belts which cover 13% of the land surface of England.
Download website for Summary and Full Report of Green Belts: a Greener Future
[SOURCE: Natural England]
Industrial-sized dumpsters, mini skips, a shipping container and exotic aquatic weeds are the four key elements in the exhibition garden being designed by Christchurch-based international designer Craig Pocock for this year’s Ellerslie International Flower Show.
“As landscape architects, we should be aiming to create landscapes with longevity that will survive changing demographics, community growth and fashion trends. Our landscapes need to be timeless designs that serve a community well for decades to make the most of the embodied energy costs that comes with creating and maintaining a landscape, especially our urban spaces”.
Read the full article at the [SOURCE: Voxy.co.nz – Water Oasis In An Industrial Setting]
The principal government of Miyi County in Sichuan Province, China, just north of Kunming, has started construction on the first phase of a 330-hectare (1.3 square miles) new-town designed by SWA Group’s Los Angeles office utilizing historical ecologies as well as technology innovation to create a more sustainable community.
One of the largest of many city design competitions won by SWA, the Anning River new-town will include higher-density housing and commercial areas as well as preserved agricultural practices, parks and recreation zones. When complete, the new South Miyi County, also known as New South Town, would be home to up to 100,000 people via new construction of 2.3 million square meters of building area and 20,000 units of housing. North Miyi is already home to 500,000 people.
[SOURCE: Businesswire – SWA Group Wins Design for Anning River New Town for 100,000 People Starting Construction Near Kunming, China]
Continue reading SWA urban design project in Anning, China starts construction
Australian scientists have announced the world’s first successful large-scale restoration of a coastal wetland being devastated by acid runoff.
The acid crisis at East Trinity began in the 1970s, when developers drained and cleared 800 hectares of tidal wetland to grow sugarcane. This dried out underlying acid sulfate soils causing them to release slugs of acid whenever they were soaked by rain, leading to fish kills and loss of wetlands which alarmed local residents.
A dramatic improvement in environmental conditions has been achieved by researchers working on the trial Hills Creek catchment at the East Trinity site near Cairns in Queensland, using a combination of natural tidal action and strategic treatment with lime.
Mangrove and wetlands are returning, birdlife is flocking to the area and fish abound in creeks that once ran so acid that nothing could survive in them. Having first demonstrated success in the trial catchment, remediation is underway on the remainder of the site.
[SOURCE: CRCCARE -World-first clean-up of acid wetlands]
Continue reading Wetlands restored after long term acid runoff