Urban checkpoint – timesofmalta.com

“Contact with the natural environment can be an antidote to some of the unhealthy aspects of an urban environment.” This statement came out of a seminar on mental health organised by the Richmond Foundation.

Marking its 15th anniversary, while taking a leaf from this year’s theme for World Health Day, the foundation invited a psychiatrist and psychologist to speak on the effects of the environment on mental health.

In cities, mutual trust and the safety of neighbours, the glue that holds society together, can break down resulting in social isolation. The way urban areas are designed can sometimes contribute to this. The health effects of infra-noise (low-level noise) and vibration from building sites or machinery require more study.

Believing that cities should serve people and nature, visionary architects and activists in 1970s California created ‘Urban Ecology’. They used urban planning, ecology, and public participation to help design healthier cities together.

Read more @ the SOURCE: timesofmalta.com – Urban checkpoint – Anne Zammit.

Boris takes on Ken’s Legacy

Day one, gaffe one. Even before he officially signed on as the new London Mayor on Saturday 3 May, Boris Johnson had managed to confuse Norman Foster with Richard Rogers.

Stumbling up to the podium, he mistakenly praised Rogers for designing the Greater London Authority HQ in Southwark.

But at least he noticed the architecture. In urban design terms the Conservative candidate has a lot to live up to when compared with his predecessor Ken Livingstone, who commissioned the London Plan and launched the 100 Public Spaces drive. Islington-based architect Chris Roche says Livingstone has ‘done more for London, and for architecture, than any other politician in recent history’.

Read more @ the Source: Architect’s Journal – Boris picks up Ken’s urban design legacy.

 

Students to gain real-world work experience in Spain

Eight Cornell architecture students in an Arch 501 studio received real-world experience this semester, working on a new community music center to be built in Valencia, Spain. Students visited the site over spring break and met with architects in Valencia.

“We wanted to share all of our doubts and our concerns professionally with the students, with a real site, real conditions and the environment of what the project would be,” said Antón García-Abril, principal architect of Ensamble Studio in Madrid (http://www.ensamble.info), who taught the studio with colleague Débora Mesa Molina. “We’re working with the real needs of the city of Valencia. Reality in urbanism and architecture is so strong that we don’t need to create any fiction around it.”

Read more @ the Source: Cornell Chronicle: Architecture project in Valencia, Spain.

Urban Splash makes a splash at awards – Yorkshire Evening Post

URBAN regeneration specialist Urban Splash has picked up the Best Residential Marketing Campaign award for its Saxton development in Leeds at this year’s Property Marketing Awards.

Urban Splash accepted the award at a ceremony organised by trade magazine Estates Gazette in partnership with The Chartered Surveyors Company in London. The award recognises the innovative marketing campaign employed by the company to raise awareness of the Urban Splash brand in Leeds and to promote Saxton, its first development in the city during the run up to the first public sales launch.

Source: Yorkshire Evening PostUrban Splash makes a splash at awards –

Road signs will mark out Iron Curtain in Germany

Road signs will remind drivers in Germany they are driving over a piece of history when they cross what was once the armed border between the capitalist West and Communist East starting this fall.

Posted at every intersection along the former border between west and east Germany, the signs will show the path of the Iron Curtain through Europe and the date each crossing was opened to travelers, the ministry of transport in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt announced on Thursday. A design from the Munich firm Büro für Gestaltung Wangler & Abele beat out 20 other entries in a public competition.

Germany will start putting up signs after German Unification Day on Oct. 3 and aims to finish the project before the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov. 9, 2009. Each sign will cost €5,000, German newswire DPA reported. Wangler & Abele also won €5,000 in the competition.

Read more @ the Source: The Local – Road signs will mark out Iron Curtain in Germany.

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