MIT wins Major Urban Design Competition

A redevelopment plan drafted by an interdisciplinary team from the School of Architecture + Planning has been chosen as the winning scheme in the seventh annual Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition of the Urban Land Institute.

The SA+P team competed against 91 teams from 42 universities – including North America’s top schools in urban design, architecture and landscape architecture – a field that was then narrowed to four finalists. The jury chose the MIT entry over plans submitted by other finalist teams from Columbia, Kansas State and the University of Miami.

The result was announced following presentations by the finalists during a public forum at the University of Denver. Sharing the top prize of $50K, the SA+P team included MCP candidates Blair Humphreys, Jesse Hunting and Sarah Snider, MArch candidate Duncan McIlvaine, and Eric Komppa of the University of Wisconsin, an MBA student specializing in real estate. Their advisor was Tunney Lee.

The winning entry, Panorama Station, focused on creating a destination in the Denver region – a place where people would enjoy living, working or visiting for the afternoon – by taking advantage of the site’s greatest assets while improving the lifestyle for future residents and existing neighbors.

It provides public spaces that maximize the view of the mountains to the west and supports a car-free lifestyle by giving residents access to all daily amenities and services within a 15-minute travel time. In response to the arid climate, it also integrates water-conserving landscapes by choosing native plants and introducing rainwater retention infrastructure.

Read more and to see the design go to the SOURCE: MIT – SA+P Team Wins Major Urban Design Competition

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]

Businesses asked to sign up to Jakarta Charter

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

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