Susan Szenasy posted on Metropolis an article titled “United We Stand” in which she recalls some government officials giving encouragement at a recent NeoCon East annual trade show that there is “a new day for government design”. Szeasy goes on to talk about the importance to design of the recent $5.5 billion allocation to General Services Administration and the Department of Defense’s $7.4 billion reconfiguration funding.
However the point I found most interesting in Szenasy’s article was the GSA signing of a new accord with AIA, ASLA, IIDA; in which they have pledged to collaborate to achieve design excellence. I find this encouraging that professional associations have come together.
Currently, there is change occurring not just in the short-term with the Global Financial Crisis, but it seems more and more that sustainability, the environment, and climate change is becoming more important to the world. I feel that we need to move forward with new ideas and be armed with new tools especially in the area of urban design where cities are shrinking in the USA, new eco-towns are being built in the UK and new mega-cities are being designed and constructed in China, India, and Africa. Now is the best time to seek out other disciplines for collaboration not just for the networking and possible work opportunities but for the greater good of the profession. As Landscape Architects I know we often seek collaboration with other disciplines whether they are internal or external of our companies, however I think that as we head towards a new decade we should make more of a commitment to further collaborate with other professions to improve your knowledge and their knowledge so that together we can create a better future.
By Damian Holmes
Read the full article that inspired this post at the [SOURCE: Metropolis – United We Stand]
Shanghai Daily reports
CONSTRUCTION of the worlds longest cross-sea bridge linking Chinas southern economic hub of Guangdong Province to Hong Kong and Macau began yesterday, a project expected to strengthen economic ties.Starting from Lantau Island off the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Y-shaped Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge will have a total length of almost 50 kilometers(31 miles), of which about 35km(21 miles) will be built over the sea, making it the longest of its kind, according to Zhu Yongling, an official in charge of the projects construction.
The bridge is going to cost 73 billion yuan ($10.3billion USD)
read more at the SOURCE: Shanghai Daily – Sea bridge goes long way to link key zones
Gateway Arch - SOURCE: Flickr - rpkelly22
The National Park Service and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay recently launched an international design competition to invigorate the park and city areas surrounding of one of the world’s most iconic monuments, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.
The winning design will be announced in October 2010, with the resulting work completed by October 28, 2015 – the 50th anniversary of the completion of the Arch.
The competition – “Framing a Modern Masterpiece: The City + The Arch + The River 2015” – is called for in the NPS’s new General Management Plan, which was developed with extensive public input over an 18 month period, and finally approved on November 23.
The competition will invite teams to create a new design for the Arch grounds and surrounding areas with 10 goals in mind:
- Create an iconic place for the international icon, the Gateway Arch.
- Catalyze increased vitality in the St. Louis region.
- Honor the character-defining elements of the National Historic Landmark.
- Weave connections and transitions from the City and the Arch grounds to the Mississippi River.
- Embrace the Mississippi River and the east bank in Illinois as an integral part of the national park.
- Mitigate the impact of transportation systems.
- Reinvigorate the mission to tell the story of St. Louis as the gateway to national expansion.
- Create attractors to promote extended visitation to the Arch, the City and the river.
- Develop a sustainable future for the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial.
- Enhance the visitor experience and create a welcoming and accessible environment.
Additional information can be found at www.cityarchrivercompetition.org.
South Korea has recently had a ground breaking for a large scale remaking of the four major rivers known as the Han, Nakdong, Yeongsan and Geum. The project includes dredging of the rivers and construction of dikes, reservoirs and hydro-dams whilst creating parks, bikeways, and water recreation areas. This is a major undertaking by South Korea and its President Lee Myung-bak, Lee has a successful track record with rehabilitating rivers as it was during his term as Mayor of Seoul that the successful rehabilitation of 5.8km Cheonggyecheon River occurred.
The Four Rivers Project is expected to cost $19.2 billion USD and is expected to increase the water quality and flood control of the rivers which are somewhat polluted. 400 green groups have filed suit against the project to halt its progress based on environmental grounds including disruption to the ecosystem. The political opposition have joined with the green groups in opposing the project, however the government has countered that thorough environmental studies show minimal distrubance will occur and project will bring great economic benefits to the region.
SOURCES: The Chosun Ilbo – 4-Rivers Project Passes Nat’l Assembly Committee
Arirang – Groundbreaking Ceremony for 4 River Restoration Project Held
New York Times – River Project Fuels Competing Claims of Green
The Chosun Ilbo – Historic Village to Be Spared in 4-Rivers Project
The Chosun Ilbo – Compensation under 4-Rivers Project to Start Next Month
The News reports
All mega cities were deeply connected with their hinterland and until we see Karachi in relation to its hinterland, we won’t be able to solve many of its problems, said Chairman, Department of Architecture and Planning, NED University of Engineering and Technology, Dr Noman Ahmed.
Read Dr Ahmed’s full presentation at the [SOURCE: The News – ‘Karachi needs to be connected to its hinterland’.]
During the Convention for Biological Diversity being held in Jakarta from November 30 to December 2, representatives from about 200 companies worldwide in mining, fisheries, construction, forestry, tourism and cosmetics business released a draft charter called the Jakarta Charter which will requires companies to integrate biodiversity into their business strategies to reduce poverty and increase sustainable development.
Jakarta Post cited Ahmed Djoghlaf, executive secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) as saying
“The Jakarta Charter will be open for signatures to all companies in the world that adhere to its principle,”…..
He said the Jakarta Charter on Business and Biodiversity would be submitted for adoption at the convention’s meeting in Japan in Oct 2010.
Executive director of the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity, Rodrigo Fuentes, told reporters that biodiversity loss was a forgotten crisis in the region that received little attention in the media.
read more at the SOURCE: Jakarta Post
Also read more at the Convention for Biological Diversity
London Borough of Southwark announced that they have awarded the £1.5 billion (circa A$2.7 billion) regeneration of Elephant & Castle to Lend Lease.
The project is one of the most significant schemes of its type in Europe, comprising over 300,000 square metres of new build, mixed-use development, together with major infrastructure improvements and a range of enhanced community facilities. The location, within two miles of London’s West End, is unrivalled for a development of this scale.
The scheme comprises six phases. The first phase demolition is scheduled to commence in February 2010. Detailed planning consent for the first phase is expected to be achieved by April 2011. Both parties have expressed their commitment to work together on the redevelopment of all six phases of the site.
SOURCE: Lend Lease
IMAGE SOURCE: Elephant & Castle