Mauling the Mall? Don’t change the bricks: Halprin – The Hook – ONARCHITECTURE-

While discussing the proposed $7.5 million renovation of the Downtown Mall, city planners and the MMM Design Group, the Norfolk-based design firm contracted to do the work, have repeatedly vowed to remain faithful to the original Lawrence Halprin design. Interestingly, no one bothered to consult Halprin himself.

Reached at the California studio where he’s busy working on his memoirs, the 92-year-old landscape architect says he was unaware of the current plan to update his 1976 Charlottesville Mall design. Still, it wasn’t unfamiliar news. Quite a few of his landscapes have been renovated and altered over the years– and in 2003, the same year he received the National Medal of Arts from President Bush, the nation’s highest honor for artistic excellence, his Skyline Park in Denver was demolished.

Read more @ the SOURCE: The Hook – ONARCHITECTURE- Mauling the Mall? Don’t change the bricks: Halprin.

City unveils self-sustaining water centre – Metro

It’s unmistakable and unprecedented as Calgary’s first eco-friendly and fully sustainable office building.

The Water Centre “landscaper” building, as long as the Calgary Tower is high, is home to nearly 800 water treatment staff, cost $43 million to build and should pay for itself within 15 years through energy savings, said city project manager Russ Golightly.

read more @ the SOURCE: Metro News.ca – City unveils self-sustaining water centre.

$200-million resort adds to luxury landscape in Stowe

The luxurious resort hotel Stowe Mountain Lodge opens next week, and it already has a significant place in local history.

The $200-million resort is the centrepiece of Spruce Peak at Stowe, a posh, eco-conscious community of lofty mountainside living. It embraces superlative skiing, hiking, golf on a new wilderness-style course and spa life at a branch of the Cooper Institute, the Dallas-based wellness centre.

SOURCE: Canada.com (The Gazette) – $200-million resort adds to luxury landscape in Stowe.

Urban crush drives traffic woes – Jamaica Gleaner News

The failure of the state to implement an uncompromising transportation policy has contributed to the traffic mayhem unfolding on Jamaica’s streets.

Add that to unstructured urban planning, and commuters face a Pandora’s box of woes.

This is the view of Jacqueline Douglas-Brown, programme director of the Urban and Regional Planning Programme at the Faculty of the Built Environment at the University of Technology, Jamaica.

“My feeling is that governments have successively not addressed this issue of how you move people from one town to the next, one city to the next, on a daily and weekly basis,” she told The Gleaner recently.

SOURCE: Jamaica Gleaner News – Urban crush drives traffic woes

Reconstruction of infrastructure priority in quake-hit areas

China’s Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MHURD) stressed in a circular on Tuesday that infrastructure restoration was a priority in reconstruction after the May 12 earthquake.

The MHURD ordered governments at all levels to draw up construction plans by June 8, including building locations and materials.

It instructed officials to better manage construction of interim housing in quake-hit areas to ensure its safety.

The government is to assess all school buildings in quake zones, said a statement from the earthquake relief headquarters of the State Council.

Local governments must organize personnel to conduct safety appraisals of all school buildings as soon as possible to ensure the safety of students as they return to school, according to the statement.

SOURCE: Xinhua – Reconstruction of infrastructure priority in quake-hit areas.

Dwell on Design Los Angeles to start on June 5

What happens when Dwell editors drive the agenda? A roster of more than 50 incredibly talented and diverse speakers ranging from legislators to practitioners to activists, discussing everything from urban gardening to a mandated LEED program for LA. The conference follows two parallel tracks but we encourage you to veer from the linear and sign up for any panel that sparks your interest.  

An exciting and different event will be the Monrovia Design Challenge allows party attendees to create an instant, eye-catching landscape within a small space. Three teams at a time have just 10 minutes to create a design using a wide palette of stylish Monrovia plants. When all sets of teams are finished, the judges, including Monrovia CEO Miles Rosedale, will award the winning team a living trophy from Monrovia. Every party attendee will receive a Monrovia plant to take home.

Dwell on Design – Los Angeles starts on June 5 to June 8

SOURCE: dwell.comDwell on Design Los Angeles Home Page – Dwell Conferences – .

Athens’ deserted Games sites a warning to London Olympics – Telegraph.co.uk

The buildings constructed in Athens for the Olympic Games four years ago are fly blown, closed to the public and covered in graffiti, a forewarning of the possible aftermath of the London Games in 2012.

Of the 22 venues in the city, 21 are in a state of disrepair and under guard to prevent vandalism.

Athens spent more than £9 billion on staging the Olympics, slightly less than the current estimate for the London games.

The hangover from the games was tremendous. Greece was left with a national budget deficit of 6.1 per cent, more than twice the maximum allowed under European Union rules.
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The infrastructure, which was installed in such haste, has proven to be far too extravagant for the city. It is difficult to imagine there was ever much local interest in continuing to use the baseball, kayaking, fencing and handball facilities down the coast at Hellenikon.

A few miles outside the city centre, the sprawling Faliron complex that once hosted the beach volleyball and taekwondo competitions is deserted and a lone security guard has not been able to deter youths from spraying the walls with slogan

Telegraph.co.ukAthens’ deserted Games sites a warning to London Olympics.

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