Sustainable Suburbs: Professor’s New Book Creates Checklist for ‘Green’ Residential Development

Barren landscapes of concrete and broken glass first inspired landscape architecture professor Carl Smith’s interest in sustainable residential design. “Pit houses” – cheap housing marooned in a sea of cement, built in the late 19th century for coalmine workers – helped him to appreciate the hedges, trees and plots of land that graced his own suburban neighborhood in Sheffield, England.

“Even as a small boy I could see that the design of housing has a pretty direct impact on people’s lives,” Carl Smith said. “We’ve got to provide a healthy environment where people can live and bring up their kids.”

Smith has made a major contribution towards that goal with the recent publication of his book, Residential Landscape Sustainability: A Checklist Tool (Blackwell Publishing, 2008). Coauthored with Andy Clayden and Nigel Dunnett, the book draws on extensive research to summarize a complex topic, and promises to be the go-to guide for landscape architects, architects and planners who want to design sustainable housing. The book’s clear prose, numerous charts and photographs make it an accessible text for students as well.

Source: University of Arkansas – Daily Headlines.

Image Source: University of Arkansas

Buy Carl Smith’s book @ Amazon

World Landscape Architecture Month – April 2008

April 1 will not only be another April Fool’s Day but also the start of Landscape Architecture Month with events being organised by Landscape Architecture organisations around the world.

Check with your local organisation about what is going on in your city or area.

 

Public Open Space becoming more of an issue in Hong Kong

The South China Morning Post had articles and editorial on Public Open Space provided by Developers.

The subtext to the controversy over the lack of public access to open space on private or commercial estates is a familiar one – suspicions of greedy developers, in collusion with the government, exploiting valuable public space for their own use. This is probably not the case, but the way developers have been able to camouflage these premises for private use is a clear sign that the system has not worked in the public interest. …

Also discussed in another article was the prohibitive cost of residents maintaining Public Open Space within their compounds. Discussion occurred about various developments in HK that had reduced access to Public Open Space in compounds due to high cost of maintenance and nuisance issues.

Source SCMP.com (Subscription ONLY) - the online edition of South China Morning Post, Hong Kong’s premier English-language newspaper.

Can eco-density be beautiful? – Crosscut Seattle

Can eco-density be beautiful? By Adele Weder

Vancouver, B.C. wrestles with how to make new buildings and greater density produce better, less uniform architecture. It turns out nobody has a very clear image of what that would look like.

…..Nobody has a clue what an eco-dense city will actually look like — or even what we want it to look like. New York? Shanghai? Disneyland?

At this and other eco-density public hearings, presenter and star eco-densifier Peter Busby has brandished a freshly produced, beautiful little booklet entitled mdash; what else? mdash; “Busby on Eco-Density,” as he offered an impassioned manifesto. The booklet contains clear and attractive illustrations of what Vancouver might “look like” under varying degrees of eco-density mdash; but in the abstract.

Source: Crosscut Seattle – Can eco-density be beautiful?.

Editors Note: The article is well written and well worth the read

Tishman Speyer selected for Hudson Railyards


Tishman Speyer, owner of such New York landmarks as Rockefeller Center and the Chrysler Center, will transform the West Side Yards into a vibrant neighborhood and commercial center on Manhattan’s Far West Side.

Founded and headquartered in New York, Tishman Speyer, along with the world’s leading architects, will convert a desolate rail yard into a thriving community complete with acres of green parks and gardens, distinctive residential buildings, striking commercial towers, and exciting retail shops, restaurants, and cultural venues.

Design Team includes:

Murphy/Jahn Architects
Master Plan Architect

PWP Landscape Architecture
Landscape Architect

Cooper-Robertson
Master Planner

Image Credits: Tishman Speyer
Source: Tishman Speyer –
Hudson Yards

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