N.Y. leads USA in green construction

Two days ago, the Verdesian, a 26-story rental building developed by the Albanese Organization, became the first multi-family, residential high-rise building in the United States to receive Platinum LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) status from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Five years ago, the Solaire, built by the same Long Island-based family, became the first-ever green residential high-rise building in the U.S. Currently under construction, the Visionaire will soon be the greenest high-rise residential condominium in the country.

You have to see these buildings, all in Battery Park City, to understand what it means to build green. While tours of the Solaire are given on request, here’s the next best thing — a visual and textual look inside the three greenest residential towers in the U.S.

N.Y. leads country in green construction – Daily News – Jason Sheftell

Our endangered coast – Australia

COASTAL development, rising sea levels, increasing storm surges and a vocal community are a potent political mix. The climate change debate has rightly focused on the critical need to reduce carbon emissions but inadequate attention is being given to what we need to do in terms of adaptation to climate change on the coast.

Our coastal communities face an impending crisis. Continuing development in areas likely to be inundated is foolhardy at best. For a nation skilled at emergency management when it comes to floods and fire, we are remarkably unprepared for when the inevitable storm surge hits a populated coastal area.

Read more ‘Our endangered coast’ – Opinion – theage.com.au – Barbara Norman

A city in the mapping – Chennai

Gargi Gupta from Business Standard weighs the pros and cons of  the second master plan and MAP Chennai Region help the city overcome the problems of rapid urbanisation?
You know the truism about the best laid plans of mice and men? Nowhere does it apply more than in the area of urban planning, in India especially. But despite their plans going awry, architects, town-planners, civic officials, industry and citizens bodies continue to persist with the exercise.

The most recent one in this vein is the one floated by the Confederation of Indian Industries for the city of Chennai. Euphonically christened MAP Chennai Region, it proposes to develop a 5,000 square kilometre region around the southern metropolis, ringed by the cities of Marakkanam, Arakkonam and Pulicat

A city in the mapping – Business Standard – Gargi Gupta.

L.I. to address workplace shortages

The Landscape Institute is set to launch a major new campaign to promote the study of landscape architecture at university.

“I want to be a landscape architect” will raise awareness of the benefits of landscape architecture as a career option for young people at key decision-making points in their lives. At the heart of the campaign will be the launch of a new website, iwanttobealandscapearchitect.com, which will be unveiled in April.

Landscape architecture courses are currently offered at undergraduate and postgraduate levels at fourteen universities in the UK and although numbers are rising, it is not sufficient to meet demand in the workplace. A report published by the Academy for Sustainable Communities last year predicted a shortage in the profession of 91 percent by 2012, while a survey completed by Landscape Institute members in August 2007 revealed that 52 percent of respondents were turning away work because of staff shortages. These figures are set to worsen given the Government’s commitment to Crossrail and the proposal to develop three million new homes.

Landscape Institute President Nigel Thorne said: “There has never been a more important time to train as a landscape architect because of growing social, political and economic concern over the use of our natural resources and development of sustainable communities. Landscape architects are experts in place and space, planning, designing and managing open spaces in cities, towns and the countryside.

“The vital importance of the environment means that many public policy objectives will not be met successfully without the involvement of landscape professionals. This campaign will highlight the fact that landscape architecture is the environment and design profession for the 21st century.”

Landscape Institute will produce a leaflet describing the advantages of landscape architecture as a profession, a direct e-mail campaign designed to encourage exploration of the iwanttobealandscapearchitect.com website and toolkits for landscape architects visiting schools and teachers and careers advisors, downloadable from the website.

Landscape architects to launch major new campaign to address workplace shortages – Landscape Institute UK

Fifteen Group Unveils Vision for Model Community

Fifteen Group Land & Development LLC today announced a plan to redevelop the 1930s era-Wyvernwood Garden Apartments into a 21st century, sustainable community that increases the amount of rental and for-sale housing, retail and commercial space in Boyle Heights.

Los Angeles-based landscape architect Meléndrez to design a community that meets the standards for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Development (LEED ND).

Fifteen Group Land & Development LLC Unveils Vision for Model Community in East Los Angeles – Business Wire

Eastview park to be ‘one of a kind’

City hall is looking at creating a “one-of-a-kind” park for pollinators – including bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and moths – as part of its plans for turning the former Eastview landfill site into a big community park.

“It’s going to be one of a kind. It will be the first in the world of its size,” said Coun. Vicki Beard.

University of Guelph landscape architecture students have already come up with some ideas and concepts for a pollinator park, it says.

Beard said such a park would have a big educational component, and the University of Guelph would be able to do research there

GuelphTribune.ca: Article: Eastview park to be ‘one of a kind’.

New city plazas: Digital or not, interactivity key to great design

In San Francisco, two relatively new pedestrian lanes – Mint Plaza and Yerba Buena Lane – each linked to Jessie Street and within walking distance of each other, signal the rise of interactive design emerging and melding with street life downtown.

These clearings in the urban jungle point to what we can expect as the city grows; the best designs and spaces will be interactive in the way these plazas are, with new stores, arts and music venues and digital playgrounds.

Mint Plaza, the $3.5 million, 290-foot-long, L-shaped paved piazza that opened in November next to the dilapidated Old Mint building, took the place of dingy sections of Mint and Jessie streets off Fifth Street between Market and Mission streets.

The storm-water filtration system is low tech, but landscape architect Willett Moss says that it is the first time it is being used for public space in the Bay Area, in part to alleviate the stress on the city’s sewer system during storms.

“It is a prototype that the city may use elsewhere,” says Moss. The system, functioning imperfectly because the sandy soil is too porous and the water percolates through too rapidly, is still being fine-tuned.

Yerba Buena Lane is a model of how San Francisco’s urban districts are developing, with old and new architecture serving as arts and music venues, exhibition spaces and outdoor “living rooms.”

Designed by architect Daniel Libeskind, the museum is in the repurposed brick shell of the 1881 Jessie Street Power Substation, which was remodeled in 1906 by architect Willis Polk with Classical Revival terra-cotta embellishments. Libeskind’s version is capped with a cube-shaped blue concert hall that may become the museum’s most popular space.

New city plazas: Digital or not, interactivity key to great design
. Zahid Sardar – SFGate.com

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