Designs on Policy – Allison Arieff Blog – NYTimes.com

A great opinion piece about a need for a Design Policy by Allison Arieff  of the NYTimes.com

Some designers I spoke to are less than thrilled with the whole design policy idea. An architect said emphatically, “Good design needs no spokesperson, needs no voice other than itself.” Yet I’m not convinced that’s always the case. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be living in, as I’ve heard one homeowner describe it, “a house with a Spanish Gothic front”, or driving Pontiac Aztecs through poorly designed intersections……..

read the full op-ed piece at the SOURCE: NYTimes.com – Designs on Policy – Allison Arieff Blog

Rebuilding cities – Down To Earth magazine

Down To Earth magazine has published a great article by Yogesh Saaji & Jonathan Smulian (Wallace Roberts and Todd) about the urban renewal in Indian cities:

Contrasts in living standards in India make it imperative that urban planning ensures equitable distribution of employment avenues, housing and basic infrastructure. Affordable transport systems facilitating convenient access from homes to workplaces are as critical as educational, commercial, and recreational opportunities.

read the full article at the SOURCE: Down To Earth magazine – Rebuilding cities
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The National Stadium Beijing wins RIBA Lubetkin Prize 2009

The RIBA Lubetkin Prize 2009 winner is The National Stadium Beijing by Herzog & de Meuron with China Architectural Design & Research Group and Arup Sport for National Stadium Company.

The National Stadium in Beijing – nicknamed ‘the bird’s nest’ – by Herzog & de Meuron, with the China Architectural Design and research Group, Arup Sport and Ove Arup and Partners Hong Kong, and artist Ai Wei Wei, has scooped the Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) prestigious Lubetkin Prize for the most outstanding work of architecture outside the European Union by an RIBA member.

The presentation of the RIBA’s Lubetkin Prize will took place at a ceremony on the 14th July at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Whitehall, sponsored by Cosentino and in partnership with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI). Winners of 2009 RIBA International Awards will also receive their awards at the ceremony.

SOURCE: RIBA

Flickr Image Source: Ed-meister

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Vegetable gardens bring urbanites back to earth – People’s Daily Online

People’s Daily Online reports

Green finger syndrome is sweeping China’s modern cities as more and more stressed out office workers seek solace by growing their own tomatoes and cabbages among the concrete high rises

Yu Kongjian, dean and professor of the Graduate School of Landscape Architecture at Peking University said such amateur urban agriculture was good therapy for stressed out office workers and their families.

“What the office workers want is a healthy living style away from the office, such gardens help all generations. The joy brought by labor and harvest also has educational benefits to the young generation and brings memories alive to the older generation,” he said.

SOURCE: People’s Daily Online – Vegetable gardens bring urbanites back to earth

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Ecologically sustainable park behind Honan Allston library

Allston/Brighton TAB reports

Allston-Brighton residents received a first look at designs for a new ecologically sustainable park behind the Honan-Allston Library at the July 8 meeting of the Harvard-Allston Task Force.

The design, which was created with residents’ suggestions in mind, was generally well received by those who attended the meeting, though residents asked for the inclusion of a much-desired water element to the park………..

Sustainability was a key factor in the overall design, said Laura Solano, a principal for Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates.

Officials from Harvard University and MVVA stressed that the presentation did not represent the park’s final design.

SOURCE: Allston/Brighton TAB – Ecologically sustainable park behind Honan Allston library

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