For Urban Tree Planters, Concrete Is the Easy Part – New York Times

“It’s not unusual for people to say they don’t want it,” said Mr. Simpson, the “it” referring to whatever tree the city has resolved to plant in a swatch of sidewalk or other public space. Mr. Simpson is privy to some of those objections because he works for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, one of 40 or so foresters helping to execute Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s million-tree initiative, a plan the mayor announced (one year ago this week) to blitz the city’s five boroughs with a million trees by the year 2017.

Sometimes the residents or homeowners are worried about their allergies (though the trees are intended to help alleviate asthma and allergy rates citywide); sometimes they’re worried that a branch will fall on their car (a call to 311 will procure a free pruning). Sometimes they’re worried about the extensive construction required to plant a tree in a patch of concrete.

Read more at the SOURCE: New York Times – For Urban Tree Planters, Concrete Is the Easy Part – .

field operations win Shelby Farms Competition

Landscape architect James Corner unveiled plans yesterday for creating America’s largest urban park in Memphis: a 4,500-acre site, five-times the size of Manhattan’s Central Park. Corner’s firm, Field Operations, beat out Hargreaves Associates and Tom Leader Studio, the other finalists in a six-month competition to master plan Shelby Farms, a patchwork of open space that had been a state-run prison farm during the mid-20th century and has since remained un-programmed.

Read more @ the Source: Architectural RecordField Ops Wins Massive Memphis Park Competition 

NYC and EPA Launch Third New York City Green Building Competition

New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg and EPA Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg announced the opening of the third New York City Green Building Competition. This national competition seeks projects and ideas that promote the New York City as the pre-eminent cultural and sustainable urban epicenter. Design projects are encouraged that integrate whole-building principles, employ the tenets of green building construction and end-of-life considerations, anticipate post-occupancy concerns, and complement the community in which they reside.

“Green building is now in the mainstream here with visionary and innovative construction projects gaining a full head of steam all over the city,” Regional Administrator Steinberg said. “This competition helps create more visible examples of building green in the mosaic of everyday city life.”

“Promoting energy efficiency and environmentally friendly design in both old and new buildings is critical to our future, and the core of PlaNYC, our long-term plan for a sustainable New York” said Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor of the City of New York “I am happy to announce once again that New York City will be holding a green building contest to highlight those who to create a greener future for New York through smart and innovative design.”

To find out how to enter the New York City Green Building Competition visit: http://www.nyc.gov/html/planyc2030/html/news/competition.shtml. Project submissions are due by Friday, May 30, 2008.

Source: US EPA – NYC and EPA Launch Third New York City Green Building Competition

Brings a new meaning to the concept of ‘Green Roof’

Sod is not the only green substance growing on King’s Court English College House’s recently-installed green roof.

A King’s Court resident was arrested yesterday after maintenance staff discovered he was growing marijuana on the college house’s roof, which was completed this January.

Read more @ the Source: The Daily Pennsylvanian – ‘When green goes wrong’ .

Architects must encourage real progress on green building, not ‘greenwash’

Buildings are the biggest source of emissions and energy consumption in Canada.

They play a major role in the environmentally unfriendly trends projecting energy consumption to increase by 37 per cent and greenhouses gases by 36 per cent over the next 20 years in North America alone. Add to that that these buildings are interconnected by a series of roads and highways and you begin to see the magnitude of the issue.

There was an estimated $30-billion worth of building-construction plans in architects’ offices in cities across Canada as 2007 began. Once completed, these more than three million new buildings will have a lifespan of between 50 to 100 years – during which time they will consume energy in the form of electricity, and generate greenhouse gases by burning fuel oil, natural gas or liquid propane. Enter the role of the architect

Read more @ the Source:  Daily Commercial NewsArchitects must encourage real progress on green building, not ‘greenwash’ by Kiyoshi Matsuzaki, FRAIC

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