The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) announced a world-class shortlist of contractors bidding to manage the landscaping of the northern section of the London 2012 Olympic Park, which will be one of the largest new urban parks in Europe for 150 years.
The four shortlisted following a competitive procurement process are:
* Fitzpatrick Contractors Ltd
* Edmond Nuttall
* Skanska McNicholas
* Balfour Beatty
The ODA expects to appoint a landscape and public realm contractor for the north of the Park in the summer ready to pre-order trees and other plants, and for work to start on site in 2009. It’s expected that the appointed contractor will select and manage a number of specialist subcontractors.
Source: ODA – ODA announce shortlist of companies competing to landscape the north of Olympic Park – London 2012.
A new project to help the South Bank reduce its carbon footprint has been unveiled by the London Development Agency (LDA), the South Bank Employers’ Group (SBEG) and London South Bank University (LSBU).
The project is the first of its kind to focus on a whole area in central London. It will build an understanding of current and projected energy consumption patterns in the area and explore opportunities for decentralised energy systems including district heating, combined heat and power (CHP) and biomass. The project will encourage proactive energy efficiency throughout the South Bank neighbourhood through co-operative business partnerships….. read more at LDA
Source: London Development Agency – South Bank to reduce carbon footprint
After the athletes have gone and the flame has moved on, the biggest public park in more than a century will emerge from the site of the 2012 Olympics in London.
Its designers hope the 270-acre park (pdf), which will open in 2014, will capture the spirit of the great Victorian parks whose creators hoped to counteract the urban squalor of the industrial revolution.
Source: The Guardian – Olympics will leave east London an open space to rival Hyde Park
The dark side of this surreality is that the places far from these hallowed urban cores are experiencing unprecedented decline and, according to some experts, threaten to become tomorrow’s slums.
We’re not talking about mean inner city streets getting meaner, we’re talking about the pristine, newly built developments of four-bedroom, three-bath dream homes produced in the last housing boom becoming ghettos for the poor and the disenfranchised.
Slumburbia? After decades of middle class flight from the cities in search of safe neighborhoods and good schools — a flight that continues today even from gentrified cities like San Francisco — it’s hard to conjure the image of a truly derelict suburbia. Will all those manicured lawns sprout weeds and broken bottles like a Baltimore back alley? Will drug dealers take over the local cul-de-sac? Will squatters set up camp in the neighbor’s McMansion?
Source: SFgate.com – Is Suburbia Turning Into Slumburbia?.
Urban planning a factor in rising obesity rates, says new report
By Isabela C. Varela, ExpressNews Staff
Kim Raine, director of the University of Alberta’s Centre for Health Promotion Studies
March 13, 2008 – Edmonton – If you and your family are fighting the battle of the bulge, look around you: your environment may be partly to blame. Research led by the University of Alberta and funded by the Canadian Institute for Health Information confirms there are links between our urban surroundings and how likely we are to struggle with overweight or obesity
Source: ExpressNews – University of Alberta – Urban planning a factor in rising obesity rates, says new report –