Recently, the Scottish Government released a report completed by Douglas Wheeler Associates With Ann Flint Associates, Austin-Smith: Lord Edinburgh College of Art (School of Architecture-ScotMark). The report was commissioned to investigate the barriers to mixed use development in Scotland.
The report developed several recommendations with numerous suggestions on how they could be achieved. The recommendations included
- clearer definition of mixed use development;
- government to be proactive in promoting mixed use development;
- training of local government officers and giving the public and officers good resources and tools including a series of good case studies;
- Government to encourage new pilot schemes and use the Scottish Sustainable Communities for as an intervention for pilot schemes between local planning authorities and developers.
The report also stated
Planning reform in Scotland presents an ideal opportunity to put in place appropriate interventions to deliver more and better quality mixed use development and this will require appropriate skills. In the current economic downturn there are likely to be very significant opportunities to stimulate and deliver appropriate mixed use development using new kinds of ‘delivery models’. Local planning authorities in Scotland could adopt a more proactive role to sponsor, pilot, promote and deliver mixed use development projects.
Download Barriers to Delivering Mixed Use Development: Final Report
SOURCE: Scottish Government via Architecture & Design Scotland
A new scheme for Barry Island, Wales has been submitted to planners with a expected cost £250 million. The scheme is expected to create 2,000 new homes, some retail areas, a waterfront cafe area, and expansive waterfront open space.
The development is expected to take 10 years and create 2,000 jobs according to the scheme backers.
The masterplan design was undertaken by Holder Mathias Architects, Soltys Brewster Landscape and Kedrick Davies of CDN Planning. The planning consultant for the scheme is Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners.SOURCE: Wales Online
Natural England(independent public body) has committed £4million of funding to recover close to 2000 hectares of wetland. The funds will be distributed to organisatons such as the Wildlife Trusts and RSPB who will work with the Environment Agency and English Heritage to manage re-wetting the land.
Dr Helen Phillips, Chief Executive for Natural England: said: “It may be hard to imagine, but England was once a much wetter place than it is today. Around 90 percent of the soft and squelchy bogs and marshes have been lost over the last 1000 years. Healthy wetlands are a unique and vital habitat for wildlife and provide fantastic places for people to visit.
Wetland projects to receive funding over the next two years include the East Anglian fens, Humberhead Levels, Midlands Meres and Mosses, Morecambe Bay Wetlands, the Somerset Levels and the River Till in Northumberland*
SOURCE: Natural England
Construction is moving along at the first Shell Bridge, West 8+ MRIO designed for the City of Madrid. 100 m3 of concrete was poured inbetween the two layers of the wooden mold, moving another step closer to the desired end result: a concrete dome.
SOURCE: WEST 8
IMAGE CREDIT: WEST 8
Reseachers at Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR) have been riding around Rotterdam and Arnhem in the Netherlands on two trikes mapping and measuring the urban climate during four time intervals on a 24 hour day. The measuring was to study the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect that often causes heat stress.
The measurements on 6 August in Rotterdam showed that during day time the city centre was two degrees warmer on average than Zestienhoven(Rotterdam) airport, which is located outside the city. A striking observation was that the city park De Twee Heuvelen was 2.4 degrees cooler than Zestienhoven. This means that the differences in the afternoon in the city can rise to 4.4 degrees centigrade. During the late evening (22-24 hours), the city centre was more than 5 degrees warmer than Zestienhoven. The route near the national Green Heart (Doenkade) turned out to be even cooler (2 degrees C) than Zestienhoven. The difference in temperature between the city and countryside consequently amounted to more than 7 degrees during nocturnal hours.
In the late afternoon the felt air temperature – the air temperature perceived by the human body – was 28 degrees C at Zestienhoven, the temperature at the city centre of Rotterdam (in the sun and out of the wind) would feel more than 6 degrees higher – so well above 30° C. Surprisingly, similar effects were measured in the much smaller city of Arnhem.
For the measurements (before sunrise, midday, late afternoon, after sunset), days with maximum temperatures above 25° C were necessary. With the two cargo bikes with measurement equipment, the researchers cycled along two previously determined routes through a number of characteristic urban districts, such as an industrial area, an older residential area, a city park and the harbour area. The researchers plan to take more measurements later this year and in 2010.
SOURCE: Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR)
IMAGE: Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR)
Reading the Architects Journal article gives an interesting insight into Ruth Reed. The gist of the article is that next week Ruth Reed takes up her role as the new president of the Royal Institute British Architects (RIBA) and she intends to implement some changes to improve the RIBA and also meet the members. She is planning a 50 towns in 50 weeks tour of Britain to meet the members and hear their concerns and frustrations with the RIBA. She also has a vision under the headings – planning, education and value. She wishes to reduce the number of planning documents needed for submissions, and ask the government to look at how the green credentials of buildings are assessed. On the education front she wishes to bring in a competency based test to help student who can’t find work to complete their case studies.
Value is to move architects to extend the offer of professionals to assist clients from design through to maintenance.
SOURCE: Architects Journal
Planners have agreed to a proposal to double the size of the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust wetland to 34 hectares. The wetland in Birlingham is set to increase biodiversity and increase water flora and fauna. The water will be supplied by a wind pump the river Avon into the wetland of four ponds. The land to be used for the wetland is currently a meadowland that was flooded regularly and attempted cultivation for farming has failed.
SOURCE: Eversham Journal