Smell buffer urged for condo plan near Stampede

Underpass Park unveiled

Before-after-Underpass-Park_West-screen-res

A derelict area beneath a series of overpasses in the West Don Lands is going to be transformed into the most extensive park to ever be built under an overpass in Canada, and the first in Toronto.

Located within the West Don Lands – home to the 2015 Pan American Games Athletes’ Village – Underpass Park will cover a total of 1.05 hectares (2.5 acres) under and around the Eastern Avenue and Richmond/Adelaide overpasses, between Cherry Street and Bayview Avenue.

Designed by renowned landscape architects Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg in association with The Planning Partnership, Underpass Park embodies design excellence and is the epitome of innovative urban park design.  The design creates a socially-engaging park for community members of all ages and abilities by incorporating public art, recreational space, playful climbing structures and play areas, flexible community space, community gardens, and public gathering places.

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[IMAGE SOURCE: Waterfront Toronto]

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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Winners Announced in Surrey’s Town Centres Design Competition

1st Prize & Overall prize for Guildford: Return of Ritual;Team: Renante Go-Soco Solivar

“TownShift: Suburb Into City” sponsored by the City of Surrey was a sustainable design competition to provide vision for Surrey’s five growing town centres – Cloverdale, Fleetwood, Guildford, Newton and Semiahmoo.

The competition attracted 138 submissions from 20 countries, and 27 finalists were selected by the five-member TownShift jury.

Renate Solivar of Vancouver took the overall top prize of $15,000 for his entry “Return of Ritual” which proposes structuring a new bold, brightly coloured construction along 152nd Street in front of Guildford Mall. In addition to the $15,000 first prize, his entry also won $10,000 for first prize in the Guildford category, for total winnings of $25,000.

All 27 have been on public display at Simon Fraser University (SFU) Surrey Central City for the past three weeks, and will remain on display until Feb 28th, the closing day of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

The next steps in taking new ideas and making them into reality will be explored at a special panel discussion entitled “Where Do We Go From Here?” at Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s main Surrey Campus on Monday, March 29, 2010 at 7:00PM.

Cloverdale Winning Design: Surrey Crossing — Crossing Surrey; Team: Fang Liu; Tracey Mactavish; Henning Knoetzele; Peeroj Thakr

SOURCE: Townshift
IMAGES SOURCE: Townshift

For the full list of winners

Continue reading Winners Announced in Surrey’s Town Centres Design Competition

Architects resign from Ottawa Urban Design Review Panel

Earlier this week, Councillor Peter Hume, Chair of the Planning and Environment Committee was informed by letter that all of the architects that were members of the Downtown Ottawa Urban Design Review Panel had resigned. The panel was established in 2005 to peer review design of new developments in the downtown area.

Metro quoted Rick MacEwen, a resigning member of the panel as saying

Councillors have consistently ignored the city’s official plan by accepting cheap and easy designs for new buildings……

To read more about why the panel resigned go to the [SOURCE: Metro - Design lost on city says architect]

RELATED ARTICLES:
CBC News – 7 architects resign from city’s design review panel

Ottawa Citizen – Frustrated architects dump review panel

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