HASSELL, in collaboration with We Made That, has been appointed by London Borough of Croydon to deliver an important public realm project as part of the Connected Croydon programme. Supported by Engineers Buro Happold and graphic designers, Objectif, the team will deliver the South End Public Realm, part of a coordinated set of projects to enhance Croydon’s high streets.
The £2.8m South End scheme will transform the streetscape of a key gateway into central Croydon – and the heart of the Borough’s restaurant district – to create a coherent, high
quality and welcoming place. Works are expected to start on site in early 2014 following extensive engagement and consultation with stakeholders and community groups.
On January 20, the two finalist companies, AREP (France) and OMA (the Netherlands) made detailed presentations of their proposed urban development concepts and highlighted the key benefits of their respective projects.
Susan Szenasy posted on Metropolis an article titled “United We Stand” in which she recalls some government officials giving encouragement at a recent NeoCon East annual trade show that there is “a new day for government design”. Szeasy goes on to talk about the importance to design of the recent $5.5 billion allocation to General Services Administration and the Department of Defense’s $7.4 billion reconfiguration funding.
However the point I found most interesting in Szenasy’s article was the GSA signing of a new accord with AIA, ASLA, IIDA; in which they have pledged to collaborate to achieve design excellence. I find this encouraging that professional associations have come together.
Currently, there is change occurring not just in the short-term with the Global Financial Crisis, but it seems more and more that sustainability, the environment, and climate change is becoming more important to the world. I feel that we need to move forward with new ideas and be armed with new tools especially in the area of urban design where cities are shrinking in the USA, new eco-towns are being built in the UK and new mega-cities are being designed and constructed in China, India, and Africa. Now is the best time to seek out other disciplines for collaboration not just for the networking and possible work opportunities but for the greater good of the profession. As Landscape Architects I know we often seek collaboration with other disciplines whether they are internal or external of our companies, however I think that as we head towards a new decade we should make more of a commitment to further collaborate with other professions to improve your knowledge and their knowledge so that together we can create a better future.