GroupGSA expands into Landscape Architecture with John Holland merger

GroupGSA, a multi-discipline practice in Sydney, Australia with projects in Australia, Asia Pacific and the USA has expanded its services with the merger of GroupGSA and John Holland. John Holland Landscape Architects will now be apart of Group GSA and John Holland (Registered Landscape Architect) will now lead the Landscape Architecture section as Principal with his experience in open space planning, urban design, residential planning and infrastructure projects throughout the UK, Australia and Asia.

[SOURCE: BPN]

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Will there be a shortage of landscape architects after the Crisis is over?

Over the past two years with the Global Financial Crisis hit nearly every nation across the globe and as a result landscape architects where laid off in large numbers. This was hardest felt in the USA due to lack of work and collapse of the home building market.

Governments from USA, UK, Canada, Australia, China and many other countries kick-started their economies with Financial Stimulus packages which has given some firms more work but has created just enough work to sustain the staff they had kept on.

At World Landscape Architect, however I have noticed in recent weeks that results for tenders and competitions seems to appear on the web more and more frequently.

Will there be a shortage of landscape architect with economies picking up and more work coming into companies? Well if we go back to late 1990′s to mid 2000′s there were many reports of shortages of experience staff at landscape architecture firms in UK, Australia, New Zealand, UAE, North East Africa and some parts of Asia which was driving up salaries and as a recent article by Mark Smulian at Planning Resource raised the issue that CABE has fears that a shortage will occur again….

Like planning, landscape architecture has never really recovered from the 1990s recession. People left the profession or chose not to enter it, leaving a gap in experience. CABE fears a repeat in this recession and say a minimum of 550 new entrants a year are needed on landscape courses.
[SOURCE: Planning Resource]

Will there be a shortage remains to be seen but the outlook looks good for landscape architects currently unemployed with more work and projects appearing daily and the growth in sustainable design and trend of developments and cities incorporating ratings systems such as LEED ND and Sustainable Sites. Also there is a large amount of work that will be generated with the explosion on new cities in Asia and North Africa and the renewal of many towns and cities throughout the UK and USA. Therefore, if your unemployed there is hope yet and if your employed help push your local Universities and Professional Institutions to keep promoting the profession even more so during the current times of stagnant or slight growth to encourage more students to go into the profession and encourage those thinking of leaving to rethink their long term careers.

By Damian Holmes

SIDENOTE: The article by Mark Smulian at Planning Resource titled ‘Greening our cities is a great article that looks at the role of landscape architects, our strengths and weaknesses.

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Bond University to have new school of architecture

Bond University located on the Gold Coast of Australia is to introduce a new school of architecture due to the increasing demand for sustainably built environments. The new school will open in January 2011 in a newly built 6-star Green Star rated School of Sustainable Development building. The Soheil Abedian School of Architecture will offer 50 commencing places in 2011 for the six semester undergraduate program.

Professor George Earl, who will oversee the establishment of the School said, “The demand to design living environments that are sustainable and to address climate change issues are increasing exponentially.

“Climate change has required we evolve the way we design buildings.  Two years ago, the school undertook a survey of green rated building in Australia with 12 projects identified. The survey is currently being repeated but with 140 projects now participating.

Professor George Earl, who will oversee the establishment of the School said, “The demand to design living environments that are sustainable and to address climate change issues are increasing exponentially.

“Climate change has required we evolve the way we design buildings.  Two years ago, the school undertook a survey of green rated building in Australia with 12 projects identified. The survey is currently being repeated but with 140 projects now participating.

[SOURCE: Bond University]

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Wetlands restored after long term acid runoff

Australian scientists have announced the world’s first successful large-scale restoration of a coastal wetland being devastated by acid runoff.

The acid crisis at East Trinity began in the 1970s, when developers drained and cleared 800 hectares of tidal wetland to grow sugarcane. This dried out underlying acid sulfate soils causing them to release slugs of acid whenever they were soaked by rain, leading to fish kills and loss of wetlands which alarmed local residents.

A dramatic improvement in environmental conditions has been achieved by researchers working on the trial Hills Creek catchment at the East Trinity site near Cairns in Queensland, using a combination of natural tidal action and strategic treatment with lime.

Mangrove and wetlands are returning, birdlife is flocking to the area and fish abound in creeks that once ran so acid that nothing could survive in them.  Having first demonstrated success in the trial catchment, remediation is underway on the remainder of the site.

[SOURCE: CRCCARE -World-first clean-up of acid wetlands]

Continue reading Wetlands restored after long term acid runoff

Australian state government fastracks the rebuilding of Marysville

3 months after WLA reported in Marysville Moving On that the Marysville Urban Design Framework was released for public comment now comes news that the UDF has been fast-tracked and approved by Victorian State Planning Minister Justin Madden. Marysville was the township that was destroyed during the 2009 bushfires.

Mr Madden said that Murrindindi Shire Council had played a key role in the formulation and review of the UDF, working in partnership with the Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority (VBRRA) and with the community who had major input into the framework.

Minister for Regional and Rural Development Jacinta Allan, speaking from Marysville, said the new framework was designed to address the social and environmental needs of the community in the immediate and long term.

“The framework will build on the existing Marysville rebuilding projects such as the Gallipoli Park Masterplan, Marysville Motor Museum Shopping Centre, and the $7 million school and children’s hub.”

[SOURCE: Victorian State Government]

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