4 rivers project facing opposition from green groups

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

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The Chosun Ilbo – Historic Village to Be Spared in 4-Rivers Project
The Chosun Ilbo – Compensation under 4-Rivers Project to Start Next Month

Eli Cohen’s sustainability and phytoremediation lecture

Eli Cohen recently gave a lecture as one of the Freshkills Park lecture series and the Freshkills Blog posted this on Wednesday

Eli Cohen gave a terrific talk Monday night on his work, as director of Ayala Water and Ecology, using plants to remove pollutants and contaminants from water, soil and air. We’re grateful to the huge crowd that poured into the Arsenal gallery for the event, to Laura Starr and Yamit Perez for putting us in touch with Eli and, of course, to Eli himself for sharing his work and his thoughts.

The Freshkills Park Blog post also includes the MP3 and PDF of the presentation for listening and viewing.

[SOURCE: Freshkills Park Blog]

European Green City Index – how green is your city?

Siemens recently published on their website the European Green City Index showing the results of a study conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Copenhagen was ranked #1 with Stockholm (2) and Oslo (3). Dense city centres such as Berlin (8), Paris (10) and London (11) scored high on the test. Cities that scored low where Sofia (29) and Kiev(30). These cities scored low as populations have increased and the economies have grown underinvestment in infrastructure has caused crowding on public transport and roads along with other factors such as climate which increase requirements for heating and cooling.

For more information about the study go to the [SOURCE: Siemens - Green City Index]

Landscape architects help Australians keep an outdoor lifestyle

Southbank, Brisbane

Landscape architects will be among the leaders in the battle to keep Queenslanders cool – and outside – as the world deals with climate change, according to QUT’s Professor Gini Lee.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the first graduates in landscape architecture from Queensland University of Technology and Professor Lee is looking forward to the positive impact her students will have on the world over the next 40 years.

There are only seven university programs in landscape architecture in Australia and QUT’s Brisbane-based program is focused on the region’s subtropical climate.

“We want to encourage a more positive attitude to how people deal with climate change issues in Queensland, whether they are students, residents or planners,” she said.

“We have a great opportunity to improve the public urban spaces in south-east Queensland and look at how we live and exist in this climate.

“Everyone at the moment is finding it difficult in the heat. When it comes to public spaces, we do need shade and shelter and there’s still work to be done to provide adequate levels of this in all areas.”

Professor Lee cited Brisbane’s South Bank as an example of a public space that successfully provided various shelter options while still embracing an outdoor lifestyle.

“The challenge for landscape architects is to provide diverse and remarkable spaces that meet the needs of the wide group of people who come together in public areas,” she said.

“It will be interesting to see how development along other areas of the Brisbane River progresses – the city needs good landscape architecture that is an interface of infrastructure, design, art, ecology, practicality, and sustainability.”

Southbank, Brisbane

[SOURCE: Queensland University of Technology]

[IMAGES SOURCE: brisbaneishome.com]

‘Karachi needs to be connected to its hinterland’

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’.]

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