The target is to plant 200 000 trees in dry and dusty Soweto by the end of the year. Already well on the way, City Parks has a number of tree-planting projects on the go.
WITH thousands more trees being planted in the dusty, denuded areas of Soweto, this area may reach its urban forest status sooner than expected.
The next big tree planting event planned by Johannesburg City Parks is on 22 April, when the world celebrates International Earth Day. Some 15 000 trees will be planted by the utility in Bram Fischerville and Meadowlands as part of the City’s drive to green Soweto and other marginalised areas.
City Parks has a target of planting 200 000 trees by the end of this year, says Jenny Moodley, its marketing and communications manager. With the Earth Day project and the 24-hour extreme park make-over planned in May for Diepkloof, the tally of trees planted since 2006 will grow to over 78 000.
Source: city of johannesburg – Urban forest grows in Soweto.
Most streets in this country are failing pedestrians, and need to become destinations again, and not simply ways of getting traffic from A to B.
Radical new thinking in urban street design may point the way forward. Civilised streets, a new report from CABE, sets out the opportunities and challenges of new design approaches. It argues that the car still dominates and our streets will only become more civilised places if the needs of pedestrians are prioritised over cars.
CABE argues that streets which are designed to give all users more freedom of movement are ultimately slower, safer and more social places. These civilised streets are places where people of all ages can walk, cycle, play, talk and shop more easily. Civilised streets explores the contentious concept of shared space, which advocates removing signs and guard rails, obliging drivers and pedestrians to become more alert to each other, which in turn leads to more responsible driving.
Shared space is one way of rescuing our streets from the car. Director of CABE Space, Sarah Gaventa, highlights New Road in Brighton as one example of how redesigning a street can reinvent it. If the country is to get more streets of such quality, local authorities, highway engineers and planners must both understand and consider shared spaces as a means of delivering more civilised streets.
Go to CABE.org.uk now to download the series of publications
Source: CABE – Designing streets for people – not traffic | News | .
The Atkins designed Bahrain World Trade Center (BWTC) made history last week as the turbines on this pioneering project turned together for the first time.
The three 29m-diameter turbine blades on Bahrain’s iconic landmark are the first in the world to be integrated on such a scale into a commercial development and are forecast to provide the equivalent of 11-15% of the power for the two towers when fully operational.
The successful rotation of the blades involved collaboration between Atkins architects and engineers and turbine specialists Norwin, who were in Bahrain for the milestone event.
“Having all three turbines spinning simultaneously represents an historic achievement for this landmark project and Atkins is excited to have been a major player in turning the original idea into reality” says Simha LytheRao Senior Project Manager for Atkins in Bahrain.
Source: Atkins Press Release
You can watch a video of the turbines here
An abandoned municipal area, alongside a neglected backyard in Bat Yam, has been turned into a blossoming garden over the past three weeks, serving dozens of the city’s residents: pensioners, new immigrants, solitary people and families.
“We decided to do some recycling in an unused area of the city, to expand the concept of the shared living space and to enable residents to enjoy resources that actually belong to them,” explains the garden’s architect, Kerem Halbrecht, 29. The project, which was also planned by Halbrecht’s father, industrial designer Zvi Halbrecht, was included in the first International Biennale for Landscape Urbanism, which will open next Sunday in Bat Yam.
Source: Haaretz – Israel News – Playing with different spaces –
As our cities grew and our housing settlements changed, we began to separate the places where we live from the places where food is grown. The average North American food item now travels 1,500 kilometres to reach the grocery store shelves.
The quest for a more sustainable way of living is taking aim at this separation of people and food with a commitment to urban agriculture. There are few places in North America where urban agriculture is exploding as fast as it is in the Vancouver area.
The urban agricultural movement promises a new vision where people are living in harmony with the lands and ecosystems around them. Urban agriculture invites food production back into our communities through innovative planning and design.
Source – Vancouver Sun – Urban agriculture exploding in Vancouver by Bob Ransford