State’s wildflowers rise to new role –

A new grant is helping a budding industry in Florida take root. The $50,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will pay for new equipment and marketing for wildflower growers, who are currently harvesting and cleaning tiny seeds as they build their young industry.

Now, with rising gas prices and shrinking water supplies, wildflowers provide a low-impact alternative for landscaping lawns. State transportation officials are gunning for the locally produced seeds to replace grass along highways — mowing is expensive.

For years the state has planted wildflowers along highways, but they usually don’t grow back so they’re replanted annually. Now the focus is on getting wildflowers to reseed themselves — something locally produced seeds help with — and preserving existing stands along the roadways. Areas with flowers require less mowing and can save money — it costs about $250 to mow a mile of highway.

State’s wildflowers rise to new role —

Urban Splash founders sell 24 per cent to managers

The founders of property developer Urban Splash are to sell off almost a quarter of the company’s equity to its management team and have agreed a refinancing deal with three banks worth £125m.

Chairman Tom Bloxham and chief executive Jonathan Falkingham are selling 24 per cent of the shares to seven of its most senior staff, who will be given the option of buying between one and five per cent for an undisclosed price.

SOURCE: Crain’s Manchester BusinessUrban Splash founders sell 24 per cent to managers –

Jamaican wins Boston community design competition – JAMAICAOBSERVER.COM

JAMAICAN Gregory Minott and team members Troy Depeiza and Snehal Intwala won the US$10,000 prize for Best Design for Building in the Dudley Square Community Charrette and Design Competition.

The Boston Society of Architects hosted the competition in association with the City of Boston, the Boston Redevelopment Authority, Common Boston and the Roxbury Masterplan Oversight Committee, as part of the public programming for the American Institute of Architects’ 2008 National Convention in Boston.

SOURCE: JAMAICAOBSERVER.COM – Jamaican wins Boston community design competition –

Free Plastic Bag ban comes into force in China

Today is the first day of the ban on retailers supplying plastic bags to customers. Numerous
retailers have started charging customers between 0.3 to 0.5 yuan per bag and supplying the alternative of heshian or material bags for shopping.

The law has come into effect to try and reduce the the direct pollution of the environment and the indirect pollution through the production of plastic bags. The production of plastic bags uses thousands of litres of oil per day in China.


Living roofs, solar panels – all standard in new homes – Northampton Chronicle and Echo

A living roof, drains which lead to sunken wetland, water heated with solar panels – it sounds like something from a green home in the future but these are all standard features of a new housing development in Northampton.
The properties, which all lie just off the A45 by Sixfields, boast a ‘sustainable urban drainage system’ which offers an alternative to traditional drains.

Instead of using sewers for rainwater, the development has specially designed reed-bed ditches which create habitats for wildlife, as well as reducing the risk of flooding in heavy rains.

Read more @ the SOURCE: Northampton Chronicle and EchoLiving roofs, solar panels – all standard in new homes 

Plan to Remake Tysons Corner Envisions Dense Urban Center –

The transformation of Tysons Corner from a car-dominated tangle of offices, malls and auto dealers into a livable city will start moving ahead in the coming weeks.

Fairfax County leaders and landowners are unveiling sweeping proposals to build densely packed high-rises, miles of new streets, and enough parks, schools, police stations and firehouses to serve an entirely new place.

The results could determine the future not only of Virginia’s mightiest jobs hub, but also what happens across the country. Urban-renewal leaders are looking to Tysons as a model.

read more @ the SOURCE: washingtonpost.comPlan to Remake Tysons Corner Envisions Dense Urban Center

Student Landscape Institute Council summer trip going to IFLA 2008

This year’s Student Landscape Institute Council summer trip will be to Amsterdam and IFLA 2008.

The trip will run from Saturday 28 June to Saturday 5th July.

“The theme for IFLA this year is Transforming with Water, and as well as the IFLA events themselves we will be visiting central Amsterdam, Westergasfabriek Park and Borneo Sporenburg in Amsterdam’s Eastern Docklands,” says Ian Lanchbury, SLIC chair.

“People who cant make all the days but want to attend just part of it are more than welcome.”

If you wish to take part, contact Ian Lanchbury by Friday 13 June. After this date, SLIC will be reserving accommodation, and making travel and meeting arrangements will be made.

“SLIC won’t be making advanced payments for trip attendees, so if you wish to attend, we will provide all the details of where and when to book, to allow you to easily do so yourself – A 3-Day student ticket to IFLA 2008 costs 150 euros. Someone from SLIC will be at the Hostel to meet you on arrival.”

If you are interested in attending or have any questions, please e-mail

SOURCE: Landscape Institute – UK

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