Urban gardener: Gravitational pull – Gardening, House & Home – The Independent

Well, it’s over for another year. The dust, and there was plenty of that at Chelsea this year, has settled and we can be pleased that not only did we win an RHS Gold Medal, but that our garden for Bupa will now be transferred to Meadbank care home in Battersea, a short distance across the river Thames from the Royal Hospital. As ever, it was a team effort. So many people play a vital part in the success of a show garden. They are too numerous to mention here, but they know who they are and how grateful I am for their help. I must, however, tell you about La Boule, the sculptural element of the garden that seemed to capture the imagination of everyone who saw it.

Read more @ the SOURCE: The Independent – Urban gardener: Gravitational pull

Urban Design Competition for Kings Cross

Camden Council and land owner Network Rail are seeking expressions of interest from architects, landscape architects and urban designers for the design of a brand new, urban square at Kings Cross, London.

The first stage of the competition invites a response from international participants before the end of July who are asked to submit credentials and relevant experience. From these responses a shortlist of six will be chosen to work up concept propositions, for which an honorarium of £6000 will be paid. These will be reviewed by a technical panel and a final decision made by a jury that will meet in early December.

The deadline for Stage One submissions is 1 August 2008.

SOURCE: Landscape Institute: Urban Design Competition for Kings Cross.

Athens’ deserted Games sites a warning to London Olympics – Telegraph.co.uk

The buildings constructed in Athens for the Olympic Games four years ago are fly blown, closed to the public and covered in graffiti, a forewarning of the possible aftermath of the London Games in 2012.

Of the 22 venues in the city, 21 are in a state of disrepair and under guard to prevent vandalism.

Athens spent more than £9 billion on staging the Olympics, slightly less than the current estimate for the London games.

The hangover from the games was tremendous. Greece was left with a national budget deficit of 6.1 per cent, more than twice the maximum allowed under European Union rules.
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The infrastructure, which was installed in such haste, has proven to be far too extravagant for the city. It is difficult to imagine there was ever much local interest in continuing to use the baseball, kayaking, fencing and handball facilities down the coast at Hellenikon.

A few miles outside the city centre, the sprawling Faliron complex that once hosted the beach volleyball and taekwondo competitions is deserted and a lone security guard has not been able to deter youths from spraying the walls with slogan

Telegraph.co.ukAthens’ deserted Games sites a warning to London Olympics.

Urban Splash founders sell 24 per cent to managers

The founders of property developer Urban Splash are to sell off almost a quarter of the company’s equity to its management team and have agreed a refinancing deal with three banks worth £125m.

Chairman Tom Bloxham and chief executive Jonathan Falkingham are selling 24 per cent of the shares to seven of its most senior staff, who will be given the option of buying between one and five per cent for an undisclosed price.

SOURCE: Crain’s Manchester BusinessUrban Splash founders sell 24 per cent to managers –

Living roofs, solar panels – all standard in new homes – Northampton Chronicle and Echo

A living roof, drains which lead to sunken wetland, water heated with solar panels – it sounds like something from a green home in the future but these are all standard features of a new housing development in Northampton.
The properties, which all lie just off the A45 by Sixfields, boast a ‘sustainable urban drainage system’ which offers an alternative to traditional drains.

Instead of using sewers for rainwater, the development has specially designed reed-bed ditches which create habitats for wildlife, as well as reducing the risk of flooding in heavy rains.

Read more @ the SOURCE: Northampton Chronicle and EchoLiving roofs, solar panels – all standard in new homes 

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