Design steps up in the fight against obesity

Two in three men and three in four women in England don’t get enough exercise, but the good news is that the answer lies on our doorstep. CABE has long argued that the design of your neighbourhood really does influence whether you’re fit in the long term or whether you’re going to gradually just put on weight.

That’s because it’s regular exercise which takes and keeps the pounds off – but you are only likely to take that exercise if local streets and open spaces are inviting.

The case for investing in decent design for streets and open spaces is getting stronger by the day. This week saw the publication of both new government strategy and independent public health guidance into how active lifestyles can be designed into streets, towns, and cities.

Read more @ CABE ‘Design steps up in the fight against obesity’

Landscape Institute competition set to regenerate Preston’s Winckley Square

A major project to regenerate Preston’s Winckley Square is now underway.

Preston City Council has teamed up with Preston Vision Board, the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), and the Landscape Institute to launch a scheme that will see the re-design of Winckley Square to make it a more attractive and better used area and encourage more people to use it as a link between Avenham Park and the city centre.

The first stage of the project involves finding a suitable consultant to draw up proposals for the regeneration scheme and the council has commissioned the Landscape Institute to run a design competition to search for an outstanding landscape architect.

Five landscape design practices have been chosen to take part, with the winner being announced in March.

Landscape Institute competition set to regenerate Preston’s Winckley Square.

Work Underway To Transform City Square

Work to transform Preston’s prestigious Winckley Square is now underway.

The City Council and the Preston Vision Board have been given cash from the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), and the Landscape Institute to re-design the square, making it a more attractive and encouraging people to use it as a link between Avenham Park and the city centre.

Five landscape design practices have been invited to submit designs, with the winner being announced in March.

Work Underway To Transform City Square (from Preston and Leyland Citizen).

Library building is taking shape – Wales

A BOLT was tightened on the roof of Cardiff’s new central library to mark a milestone in work on the project.

The new library will include study spaces, reading areas, meeting rooms and the latest educational materials, information and entertainment. The fit-out begins later this year with the opening earmarked for early next year.

Located on the former Marriott Hotel car park opposite Mill Lane, the new library features pioneering environmental measures, including a green roof that is designed to enhance biodiversity by retaining rainwater, reducing heat in the summer and acting as an insulator in the winter.

Library building is taking shape – icWales.

L.I. to address workplace shortages

The Landscape Institute is set to launch a major new campaign to promote the study of landscape architecture at university.

“I want to be a landscape architect” will raise awareness of the benefits of landscape architecture as a career option for young people at key decision-making points in their lives. At the heart of the campaign will be the launch of a new website, iwanttobealandscapearchitect.com, which will be unveiled in April.

Landscape architecture courses are currently offered at undergraduate and postgraduate levels at fourteen universities in the UK and although numbers are rising, it is not sufficient to meet demand in the workplace. A report published by the Academy for Sustainable Communities last year predicted a shortage in the profession of 91 percent by 2012, while a survey completed by Landscape Institute members in August 2007 revealed that 52 percent of respondents were turning away work because of staff shortages. These figures are set to worsen given the Government’s commitment to Crossrail and the proposal to develop three million new homes.

Landscape Institute President Nigel Thorne said: “There has never been a more important time to train as a landscape architect because of growing social, political and economic concern over the use of our natural resources and development of sustainable communities. Landscape architects are experts in place and space, planning, designing and managing open spaces in cities, towns and the countryside.

“The vital importance of the environment means that many public policy objectives will not be met successfully without the involvement of landscape professionals. This campaign will highlight the fact that landscape architecture is the environment and design profession for the 21st century.”

Landscape Institute will produce a leaflet describing the advantages of landscape architecture as a profession, a direct e-mail campaign designed to encourage exploration of the iwanttobealandscapearchitect.com website and toolkits for landscape architects visiting schools and teachers and careers advisors, downloadable from the website.

Landscape architects to launch major new campaign to address workplace shortages – Landscape Institute UK