New ‘Future Cities Laboratory’ for Singapore

ETH Zurich, a Swiss University and the National Research Foundation of Singapore have signed an agreement for the “Future Cities Laboratory”. This set the seal on the structure of the new platform for urban development in Singapore.

In this project, it is collaborating closely with scientists from the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University. An agreement was signed in Singapore on 19 March 2010 forms an important link between the NRF and ETH Zurich as they build up their joint research activities. The plan is for the interdisciplinary research platform for sustainable urban development in Singapore to be staffed by September 2010.

The research focuses on three key scales: sustainable building technologies, the city as an urban system, and the relationship between urban and rural environments. The new strategy of the “Future Cities Laboratory” consists of combining these key points in an appropriate way and researching their interactions. The architects, planners and scientists see and design the city as a dynamic system in which people interact and in which resources such as energy, water, space, capital, materials or information are constantly in flux.

[SOURCE: ETH Zurich]

APA Announces Sustaining Places Initiative at World Urban Forum

American Planning Association (APA) President Bruce Knight, FAICP, at the United Nation’s Fifth World Urban Forum (WUF) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil announced the Sustaining Places Initiative will focus on the role of planning in addressing the entire set of human settlement issues relating to sustainability.

The initiative will establish a Sustaining Places Task Force that will focus on the use of the comprehensive plan as the leading policy document and tool to help communities of all sizes achieve sustainability. Work of the task force will include a survey of existing best practices, evolving needs and practices and the ways in which practices should change in the future in order for the comprehensive plan to better achieve its role as the leading policy document.

A Sustaining Places Day will be held during APA’s Federal Policy and Program Briefing in September 2010 that will include collaboration with the American Institute of Architects Challenge 2030 and the American Society of Landscape Architects Sustainable Sites.

[SOURCE: APA]

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University of Manitoba LA students win $25,000

A team from the Landscape Architecture program at University of Manitoba was one of the four teams awarded $25,000 from the $100,000 Go Green Challenge, a competition funded by the TD Friends of the Environment foundation (TDFEF), a national organization formed by TD Bank and Financial Group.

Aileen Zubriski and Kathryn Voroney, two masters students in Landscape Architecture at the University of Manitoba, made up the winning team for their proposal, prize with their project “Uncovering Water: Exposing the Storm Water System Through Sustainable Design.”. The proposal consisted of using bio-retention filters, green roofs and permeable paving to reduce the amount of runoff water that flows into the city’s sewer systems — stopping raw sewage from entering the Red River every time the system tops out and overflows, which happens an average of 18 times per summer.

[SOURCE: The Manitoban]

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Landscape Architecture Magazine gets new Editor-in-Chief

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) announced the selection of veteran journalist Bradford McKee as the new Editor-in-Chief for Landscape Architecture magazine, the landscape architecture profession’s national magazine of record celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

“He will be a tremendous asset to the magazine and ASLA.”

“Brad McKee brings an intense passion for design, enthusiasm and understanding for the design process, as well as a keen editorial eye through nearly two decades of design journalism experience,” said ASLA Executive Vice President and CEO Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA. “He will be a tremendous asset to the magazine and ASLA.”

For the past 10 years, Brad has worked as a freelance writer and editor. His work has appeared in such publications as I.D., Architect, Slate, Metropolitan Home, Interiors, AARP Bulletin, The Architect’s Newspaper, Harper’s Bazaar, Cookie, Men’s Journal, Regardie’s, Washington Monthly, the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post. He also launched and maintained a daily, web-based bulletin, Architect Newswire, on behalf of Architect magazine.

[SOURCE: BusinessWire]

Editors Note: Will it be more of the same? or will the new Editor in Chief change the publication? It will be interesting to see the direction that Landscape Architecture Magazine takes as traditional publishing  is a having a hard time during the Global Financial Crisis as advertising sales are down and loosing some readership to websites and social networking sites.

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Competition Shortlist is a who’s who of design

Recently the contest organisers of the Gateway Arch Design Competition announced the shortlist for the second round of the competition and it reads like a who’s who of built environment design from around the world. This competition is shaping up to be one of the most interesting for 2010 and the jury will have a hard job on their hands picking a winner.

The lead designers and design teams are:

  • Behnisch Architekten, Gehl Architects, Stephen Stimson Associates, Buro Happold, Transsolar, Applied Ecological Services, Limno-Tech, Herbert Dreiseitl, Arne Quinze, Peter MacKeith, Eric Mumford
  • FIT (Fully Integrated Thinking) Team – Arup, Doug Aitken Studio, HOK Planning Group, HOK
  • Michael Maltzan Architecture, Stoss Landscape Urbanism, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Richard Sommer, Buro Happold
  • Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Steven Holl Architects, Greenberg Consultants, Uhlir Consulting, HR&A Advisors, Guy Nordenson and Associates, Arup, LimnoTech, Ann Hamilton Studio, James Carpenter Design Associates, Elizabeth K. Meyer, Project Projects
  • PWP Landscape Architecture, Foster + Partners, Civitas, Ned Kahn, Buro Happold
  • Quennell Rothschild and Partners and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Vishkan Chakrabarti, Buro Happold, Atelier Ten, and Nicholas Baume
  • Rogers Marvel Architects and Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects, Urban Strategies, Local Projects, Arup
  • SOM, BIG, Hargreaves Associates, Jaume Plensa, URS
  • Weiss/Manfredi, Magnusson Klemencic Associates, Mark Dion

The nine design leaders and teams now have five weeks to complete their teams and present full qualifications to the competition jury, Stastny said.

In addition, local contractors, minority, disadvantaged, or women-owned businesses and others are invited to meet Feb. 18 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Old Court House with representatives of the short-listed design groups for potential teaming opportunities.

“This will be an excellent opportunity for these businesses to learn about the project and to begin considering participating,” Stastny said. “We look forward to a strong turnout.”

The final stage, Stage III, to take place over the summer, will include a 90-day design concept competition to explore the finalists’ design approach and test their working methodology.

The public will be invited to two events this spring and summer. A “meet the designers night” will be held in late April. This summer, there will be a public exhibition of the designs. Details will be available soon.

The final jury pick will be announced on Sept. 24, 2010. The project is set to be constructed by Oct. 28, 2015.

The new design is called for in the National Park Service’s General Management Plan, which was developed with extensive public input over an 18-month period and approved Nov. 23, 2009.

The competition is sponsored by the CityArchRiver 2015 Foundation, which includes National Park Superintendent Tom Bradley, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, community leaders from Missouri and Illinois, academics, architects and national park advocates.

A full list of registrants for the competition, “Framing a Modern Masterpiece: The City + The Arch + The River 2015,” has also been released. It can be found with other competition information at www.cityarchrivercompetition.org.

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