China to reach 50% urban population by 2015

Recently Li Shouxin, director of the Development Planning Department stated that China’s urban population had reached 622 million by the end of 2009, with the urbanization rate standing at nearly 47 percent with the urban population growing by just under 1% annually over the last five years.

Zhang Qin, deputy director of the Urban-Rural Planning Department under the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD), said the rapid urbanization of China will continue for 15 to 20 years and China will become an urban society during the “12th Five-Year Plan” period (between 2011 and 2015 ).

The process will create a market of at least 1 trillion yuan ($146 billion) in the coming 20 years, according to a report by the Xinhua News Agency.

[SOURCES: People's Daily Online and Global Times]

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Gulf Landscaping opens in Abu Dhabi

Gulf Landscaping 2010 starts in Abu Dhabi, UAE today with His Excellency H.E. Rashid Mubarak Al Hajeri, Chairman of the Department of Municipal Affairs inaugurating the event which will showcase both the theory and shared best practice for those involved in the Plan Abu Dhabi 2030 vision.  Speakers involved include Masdar architects Foster+Partners and SWA Group, landscape architects for the 11-hectare green oasis including plazas, pools and promenades that surround the Burj Khalifa. Gulf Landscaping is held in the centre of a cash rich market with an estimated US$1000 billion of projects planned or underway in the Gulf, with the UAE alone accounting for a third of this. Gulf Landscaping takes place at ADNEC, Abu Dhabi on 29, 30 and 31 March 2010.

World Landscape Architect is a supporter of Gulf Landscaping 2010.

International Green Construction Code launched

Version 1.0 of the International Green Construction Code(IGCC) was launched by the International Code Council. Of interest to Landscape Architects is Chapter 4 – Site development and land use which

provides requirements for the development and maintenance of building and building sites that encourage natural resource conservation and environmentally responsible land use and development.

This chapter addresses soils, land use and conservation, storm water, irrigation, graywater, vegetation, building site management, transport, bicycle & vehicle parking, hardscape, vegetative roofs, lighting. Version 1.0 was undertaken with American Institute of Architects (AIA), ASTM International, ASHRAE, USGBC and IES with the inclusion of ASHRAE Standard 189.1 as an option for jurisdictional requirements. Version 1.0 of the code is open for public comment and then a Version 2.0 will be released in November 2010.

The IGCC aims to significantly reduce energy usage and greenhouse gasses. Enforcement of the code will improve indoor air quality and support the use of energy-efficient appliances, renewable energy systems, water resource conservation, rainwater collection and distribution systems, and the recovery of used water (greywater).

The IGCC emphasizes building performance, including features such as a requirement for building system performance verification and building owner education to ensure the best energy-efficient practices. A key feature of the new code is a section devoted to “jurisdictional electives” that will allow customization of the code beyond its baseline provisions to address local priorities and conditions.

Read more and download the IGCC (pdf or word format) at the [SOURCE: ICC] via Dexigner

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University of Manitoba LA students win $25,000

A team from the Landscape Architecture program at University of Manitoba was one of the four teams awarded $25,000 from the $100,000 Go Green Challenge, a competition funded by the TD Friends of the Environment foundation (TDFEF), a national organization formed by TD Bank and Financial Group.

Aileen Zubriski and Kathryn Voroney, two masters students in Landscape Architecture at the University of Manitoba, made up the winning team for their proposal, prize with their project “Uncovering Water: Exposing the Storm Water System Through Sustainable Design.”. The proposal consisted of using bio-retention filters, green roofs and permeable paving to reduce the amount of runoff water that flows into the city’s sewer systems — stopping raw sewage from entering the Red River every time the system tops out and overflows, which happens an average of 18 times per summer.

[SOURCE: The Manitoban]

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Underpass Park unveiled

Before-after-Underpass-Park_West-screen-res

A derelict area beneath a series of overpasses in the West Don Lands is going to be transformed into the most extensive park to ever be built under an overpass in Canada, and the first in Toronto.

Located within the West Don Lands – home to the 2015 Pan American Games Athletes’ Village – Underpass Park will cover a total of 1.05 hectares (2.5 acres) under and around the Eastern Avenue and Richmond/Adelaide overpasses, between Cherry Street and Bayview Avenue.

Designed by renowned landscape architects Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg in association with The Planning Partnership, Underpass Park embodies design excellence and is the epitome of innovative urban park design.  The design creates a socially-engaging park for community members of all ages and abilities by incorporating public art, recreational space, playful climbing structures and play areas, flexible community space, community gardens, and public gathering places.

Before-after--Underpass-Park-Rendering-evening-screen-res

[IMAGE SOURCE: Waterfront Toronto]

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