Urban SOS – AECOM student ideas competition

AECOM has launched for its second year, an open student ideas competition for 2010 – Urban SOS.

The competition seeks to engage students in the design, planning, architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, engineering, environmental and related fields, with the urban conditions that are now facing the majority of the world’s population.

This year, AECOM are exploring the topic of ‘Transformations,’ looking at seven cities in particular that are in the midst of a change or collection of changes that represent both challenges and opportunities to the shared futures of each city. Entrants must submit a site redevelopment plan that addresses specific issues in one of the following seven cities:

  • Beijing, China
  • Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  • Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Istanbul, Turkey
  • Phoenix, USA
  • Port au Prince, Haïti
  • São Paulo, Brazil

The top four finalist/teams will travel to Barcelona to attend the World Architecture Festival from 3-5 November, 2010, with $20,000 in prize money at stake.

To learn more and download the brief go to the competition website

SOURCE: AECOM

World Landscape Architect is not involved with the organisation of this design competition please contact the organisers AECOM  via the competition website

Ecological Urbanism Book Launch Reception at Harvard GSD

Ecological Urbanism book launch will be on the night of May 3  at Back Yard 6:30pm – 8:30pm

While climate change, sustainable architecture, and green technologies have become increasingly topical, issues surrounding the sustainability of the city are much less developed. The premise of the book is that an ecological approach is urgently needed both as a remedial device for the contemporary city and an organizing principle for new cities. Ecological Urbanism approaches the city without any one set of instruments and with a worldview that is fluid in scale and disciplinary approach. Design provides the synthetic key to connect ecology with an urbanism that is not in contradiction with its environment. The book brings together design practitioners and theorists, economists, engineers, artists, policy makers, environmental scientists, and public health specialists, with the goal of reaching a more robust understanding of ecological urbanism and what it might be in the future.

With contributions by Homi Bhabha, Stefano Boeri, Chuck Hoberman, Rem Koolhaas, Sanford Kwinter, Bruno Latour, Nina-Marie Lister, Mohsen Mostafavi, Matthias Schuler, Sissel Tolaas, Charles Waldheim, among others

For more information visit: Ecological Urbanism on Lars Muller Publishers site

Marsa Al Nejoum unveils master plan

Marsa Al Nejoum has unveiled the master plan for its waterfront Nujoom Islands project in Sharjah.

The master plan of phase one has been approved by Department of Survey and Planning, Sharjah. The developers have completed a major part of the infrastructure including the dredging works and all water canals for the Nujoom Islands, a cluster of natural islands located strategically on the coastline of Al Hamrya in Sharjah, and outside the residential area of the emirate.

Nujoom Islands is considered the northern gateway to the emirate of Sharjah, spanning an area of over 60 million square feet.  95 percent of the landmass including the islands is natural. The blue sea water flow and circulation will give a unique 36 kilometers of waterfront ambience for resident and visitors to the Nujoom Islands.

[SOURCE: Albawaba.com]

Pakistan mosque installs country’s first urban rainwater harvesting system

The Faisal Mosque complex installed Pakistan’s first urban rainwater harvesting system has been installed in the capital city Islamabad. The system was funded by the city’s Capital Development Authority, and will provide clean drinking water while recharging the local water table for the city’s nearly 1 million residents.

Known as the Pilot Rainwater Harvesting Project, the initiative was developed in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program and the Pakistan Council of Research for Water Resource.

[SOURCE: Circle of Blue Water News]

Autodesk releases AutoCAD freestyle

Autodesk recently announced the availability of AutoCAD Freestyle software, a new, easy-to-use application for 2D drawing and sketching that specialty contractors and do-it-yourselfers can use to create professional-looking drawings, layouts and plans.

I think this will be good for people who are just starting their landscape architecture firms or design and build company and can’t afford the $1200-$4500 for AutoCad LT or AutoCAD Full Version for every user. Some users could do the basic design and sketch work on Freestyle and than have someone finish off the full design in LT or full CAD.

Currently its on special short time offer of $49.00. The full retail price will be $149.

For more information go to the AutoCAD Freestyle site.

* UPDATE  [14 may 2010]*

The price for freestyle is now $79USD for a limited period before it goes to full RRP of $149USD

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