Professor pushes envelope of park design – Daily Journal of Commerce

“We need a lot more parks and a lot fewer chairs,” said Galen Cranz.

At a lecture Tuesday, Cranz, a professor of architecture at University of California Berkeley, was preaching to the choir when she shared her excitement about creating more parks.

Cranz is an expert in park design. But, ironically, she wrote the book on the chair – aptly called “The Chair.” It is a study of the history of the chair and the science behind the ergonomics of today’s high-end chairs, such as the Aeron. Her point: We sit too much and walk too little.

At Tuesday’s lecture, part of Portland Parks & Recreation’s “Great Parks, Great Cities” lecture series, Cranz gave a brief history of parks in the United States and attempted to give a glimpse into the future of parks.

“Defining the Sustainable Park,” as her speech was titled, turned out to be difficult. That’s because we’re only in the first inning of understanding what the new prototype for sustainable parks will look like, she said.

Read more @ the SOURCE: Daily Journal of Commerce – Professor pushes envelope of park design – Sam Bennett

Cityscape China 2008 featuring world renowned real estate projects

Shanghai and Singapore (ANTARA News/PRNewswire-AsiaNet) – Aside from featuring world-wide real estate developers from more than 15 countries, Cityscape China 2008 — the renowned international real estate investment and development event — will showcase numerous high profile projects including those of US-based MGM Mirage (NYSE: MGM), UAE’s ETA Star Property, Meydan LLC, and Dubai’s Fortune Group. Organised by the Institute for International Research (IIR), Cityscape China 2008 will be held at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre in Pudong, China from 25 to 27 June 2008.

Read more @ the SOURCE: ANTARA : Cityscape China 2008 featuring world renowned real estate projects.

The hills of the future – BBC News

Major construction projects produce hundreds of tons of rubble and spoil, but is there an environmentally-friendly alternative to landfill? Four hills which have sprung up on the outskirts of London provide the answer.

For years large quantities of it ended up simply being dumped in landfill sites.

But now, in a more environmentally-conscious age, imaginative solutions are being provided and one of the most innovative has taken shape beside the A40, the main road leading from London out towards Oxford and Birmingham.

Eight years ago Ealing Council wanted to redevelop a 45 acre (18.5 hectare) area of derelict parkland in Northolt, which had become an eyesore.

They recruited a firm of consultants, led by landscape architect Peter Fink, who came up with a solution which included the creation of four man-made hills on the south side of the carriageway. It would become part of a park called Northala Fields.

Source: BBC NEWS - UK - Magazine - The hills of the future – Chris Summers .

City-state a role model for the world

The most recent topic of global interest is Singapore’s breakthrough on the technology to produce reasonably cheap desalinated and recycled water, which meets some 25% its needs and sharply reduces the dependency on imports.

DESPITE a growing disenchantment at home, tiny Singapore has attracted scattered admiration in countries keen to follow its way of solving problems.

These involve mostly economic and management systems that were well crafted and implemented by a purposeful and hard-working population – rather than its form of politics.

Source: TheStar.com.my – City-state a role model for the world.

Shrinking public spaces in cities

MANY INDIAN cities do not have public spaces worth their names. Most of the open grounds in urban areas have been converted into stadiums, corporate blocks etc. Space should be such where citizens can gather for conviviality without being bothered by honking of horns.

It is a distressing reality of urban India that open public spaces are being converted into enclosed stadiums, sporting arena or shopping plazas. Earlier, these places were available as neighborhood grounds in till few years ago but have shrunk at an alarming speed.

While in developed countries these spaces are converted into urban settlements for citizenry, the haphazard urban growth in our country has put so much pressure on land that not a small piece of land seems left for any other purpose than commercial or exclusive uses.

Read more @ the SOURCE: merinews.com – Shrinking public spaces in cities.

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