Professor pushes envelope of park design – Daily Journal of Commerce

“We need a lot more parks and a lot fewer chairs,” said Galen Cranz.

At a lecture Tuesday, Cranz, a professor of architecture at University of California Berkeley, was preaching to the choir when she shared her excitement about creating more parks.

Cranz is an expert in park design. But, ironically, she wrote the book on the chair – aptly called “The Chair.” It is a study of the history of the chair and the science behind the ergonomics of today’s high-end chairs, such as the Aeron. Her point: We sit too much and walk too little.

At Tuesday’s lecture, part of Portland Parks & Recreation’s “Great Parks, Great Cities” lecture series, Cranz gave a brief history of parks in the United States and attempted to give a glimpse into the future of parks.

“Defining the Sustainable Park,” as her speech was titled, turned out to be difficult. That’s because we’re only in the first inning of understanding what the new prototype for sustainable parks will look like, she said.

Read more @ the SOURCE: Daily Journal of Commerce – Professor pushes envelope of park design – Sam Bennett

Brownfield speaker: Promote urban architecture – Crain’s Detroit Business

Urban environments – and their potential for redevelopment – are a reason for celebration in America.

That was the message from Bill Strickland, CEO of Pittsburgh-based Manchester Bidwell Corp., during his keynote remarks at the national Brownfields 2008 conference at Cobo Center in Detroit Monday.

“There is nothing wrong with poor people that good food, sunlight, celebration and architecture can’t fix,” said Strickland, a developer and author.

Read more @ the SOURCE: Crain’s Detroit Business – Brownfield speaker: Promote urban architecture .

Olin Partnership win 2008 National Design Awards

The National Design Awards were conceived by the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum to honor the best in American design. First launched at the White House in 2000 as an official project of the White House Millennium Council, the annual Awards program celebrates design in various disciplines as a vital humanistic tool in shaping the world.

This year Olin Partnership won the Landscape Design category of the Awards who were against finalists Gustafson Guthrie Nichol

The recipient of the Landscape Design Award, which is presented for work in urban planning or park and garden design, is Olin Partnership, one of today’s leading American landscape architecture firms. The Philadelphia-based studio has been dedicated to sustainability and green design since its inception in 1976. Olin Partnership collaborates with renowned architects, planners, public agencies, corporations, institutions, development groups and foundations worldwide. Its diverse projects include public parks, civic spaces, educational and cultural institutions, and mixed-use urban developments, such as the Fran and Ray Stark Sculpture Garden at the J. Paul Getty Center in Los Angeles, the Gap headquarters in San Francisco, the Bryant Park restoration and reconstruction and Columbus Circle in New York, Exchange Square in London and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, in collaboration with Peter Eisenman in Berlin.

The finalists honored in the Landscape Design category are Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, a multidisciplinary practice led by partners Kathryn Gustafson, Jennifer Guthrie and Shannon Nichol specializing in high-use landscapes in complex urban contexts; and Stoss Landscape Urbanism, a Boston-based studio that practices at the juncture of landscape architecture, urban design and planning.

The 2008 jury was comprised of a diverse group of leading figures in design, including:
• Tim Brown, jury chair and chief executive officer and president, IDEO
• James Carpenter, principal, James Carpenter Design Associates
• Francisco Costa, creative director, Calvin Klein Collection for women, Calvin Klein, Inc.
• Camilo Pardo, design chief, Special Vehicles Team and Living Legends Studio, Ford Motor Company
• Mark Robbins, dean, Syracuse University School of Architecture
• Georgianna Stout, founding partner and creative director, 2×4
• Raquel Tudela, global creative director, Bloomberg L.P.
• Lauren Zalaznick, president, Bravo and Oxygen Media

SOURCE: National Smithsonian Press Release

Suburban urbanism hard to figure out on Nashville City Paper

Developments dubbed “town centers” have become centers of attention while springing up here and across the country.

One of the first is Westhaven Town Center in Franklin. Now, there’s McEwen Town Center under construction in Franklin, and others have been proposed, the largest of which is May Town Center, targeted for Bells Bend.

“Villages” are the derivatives — conceptually similar though — just a different name and created in the suburbs just as a town center is.

Read more @ the SOURCE: Nashville City Paper – Suburban urbanism hard to figure out 

City puts development applications online

The City of Ottawa is going online with all major development applications in an effort to increase transparency and build public confidence in the planning-approval process.

As of Tuesday morning, citizens can go on the city’s website and see all of the current development applications and supporting studies for everything from zoning changes that allow taller buildings to site plan applications that show exactly how a building project will be laid out.

Read more @ the Source: Ottawa Citizen – Canada.com – City puts development applications online

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