The Sustainable Landscape

Visualize a lush, green expanse of lawn surrounded by vibrant beds of flower blossoms anchored by ornamental shrubs. Tall, majestic trees loom overhead. Silent butterflies float and bees buzz happily, gathering nectar and pollinating. Joy filled birds dart from branch to branch.

You don´t have to imagine this scenario. It can be yours through sustainable landscaping. It is a whole system approach which benefits all inhabitants. Communal balance amongst all members is achieved through cooperation. Instead of focusing on manipulating nature, we as humans make a greater effort to work with it. Taking on the role of land steward is not as complex as it may seem.

Sustainable landscaping integrates long term solutions which address and eliminate problems; replacing short term, unnatural treatments that merely mask symptoms. The goal is to develop a healthy, self sustaining landscape that is capable of naturally warding off disease and pest infestation.

Read more at American Chronicle | The Sustainable Landscape – Jenn Miller

Tower of strength for Expo — Shanghai Daily

SHANGHAI will turn a 165-meter chimney at an old power plant into a state-of-the-art observation tower for the 2010 World Expo.

The building will demonstrate architectural prowess in combining advanced technology with the city’s history – and to say that it is on track is a truism in more ways than one.

see image at Shanghai Daily

Tower of strength for Expo — Shanghai Daily

Chongqing to spend $13b on housing

Chongqing municipality will spend 100 billion yuan ($13.8 billion) over the next five years on the demolition and renovation of all old and dangerous houses in its nine urban districts, officials have said.

The mammoth project aims to build affordable housing for low-income residents, officials from the municipal government said.

The city’s development and reform white paper revealed the ambitious plan. The 100 billion yuan investment is about a quarter of Chongqing’s estimated gross domestic product for last year.

Zhou Bo, a spokesman for the municipal government, said the city will this year complete building an additional 1.8 million sq m of affordable housing for 30,000 low-income families.

Chongqing to spend $13b on housing – China Daily – Xinhua – Huang Zhiling and Chen Hong

Minnesota Eco Group proves not only new houses can be green

Wayzata Minnesota-based environmental organization Live Green, Live Smart announces The Sustainable House™ received Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council™ (USGBC), for the remodeling of a 1948 rambler, located in Minnetonka, Minnesota. The award is the Council’s highest level certification for residential Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design™ (LEED). This is the first remodeled home to be certified Platinum by the USGBC, the most widely recognized green building standard-setting organization in the country.

The original house and landscape underwent major alterations focused on energy efficiency, water conservation, habitat protection, resource efficiency and healthy occupancy.

Eco-Pioneering Minnesota Group Earns First USGBC Platinum for Green Remodeled Home – businessnewswire.com

I just want to say one word to you: sustainability – SFGate.com

During six years writing about architecture for The Chronicle, I’ve seen trends come and go. Glass is the new stucco. Towers are taller and some of them twist. Celebrity architects spend as much time on self-promotion as serious design.

But here’s the trend that sticks, the one lasting change: Visual drama is no longer enough. Environmental sustainability counts for more than curb appeal.

That’s why San Francisco’s planned Public Utilities Commission building (KMD Architects) is so much a sign of the times. It’s conceived to be a showcase of “green” design, a departure from the bureaucratic norm. But by the time it opens in 2010, I’ll wager that even more adventurous buildings are close behind – because the world has changed, and architecture has to change with it.

read more at SFGate.com – I just want to say one word to you: sustainability. – Author: John King

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