This Week In Landscape | 11 November 2012

This Weeks landscape links from around the world

Employment Plans Bump Up, & 2/3 of Landscape Architecture Firm Respondents Predict an Improved Economy in 2013
ASLA’s Q3 Business Quarterly survey shows the USA economy looking up

New York’s Wet Future: How the City Could Live With the Sea Rather Than Fighting It | Justin Davidson | New York Magazine
The waters that tore up New York behaved like invading barbarians, smashing into seawalls, vaulting over bulkheads, hurtling along gutters, rushing towards clogged storm drains, and overwhelming sewage-treatment plants.

Windfarms: is community ownership the way ahead? | Patrick Kingsley | Guardian 
On the Danish island of Samsø many of the wind turbines are owned by the residents. Is that the way around nimbyism?

Honoring a sustainability champion who ‘repairs the fabric of communities’ | Kaid Benfield | Switchboard
Jonathan’s introduction to NRDC was not exactly a smooth one:  we sued him.

Tel Aviv, urban planning must be focused on the future | Luca Zevi | ANSAMED
”Tel Aviv is a metropolis that arose triumphantly from its consumerist phase,”

IMAGE: Illustration Purposes Only

Light at end of tunnel – AIA Billings highest in two years

For the third straight month the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has gone up. As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the April ABI rating was 48.4, up from a reading of 46.1 the previous month. Although this score reflects a continued decline in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings), it is the highest score since January 2008 when revenue at architecture firms headed into recession. The new projects inquiry index was 59.6.

“It appears that the design and construction industry may be nearing an actual recovery phase,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “The economic landscape is improving, although not across the board, but doing so at a gradual pace. It is quite possible that we will finally see positive business conditions in the foreseeable future.”

Key April ABI highlights:

    • Regional averages: Northeast (51.0), Midwest (49.2), South (46.5), West (44.7)
    • Sector index breakdown: commercial / industrial (48.5), mixed practice (48.4), institutional (46.8), multi-family residential (45.8)
    • Project inquiries index: 59.6

SOURCE: AIA

The new urban India

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article – Re-Imagining a New Urban India (subscription) written by Jaydeep Mody and Divya Dwivedi. The article looks at how urbanisation and economic growth go hand in hand and require macro and integrate planning.

Jaydeep Mody writes

Urban centers have the advantage of economies of scale and scope in offering a range of services to the citizenry that are simply uneconomical to provide in the vast rural hinterland……

Divya Dwivedi wrote

The concept of urbanization in India has been mostly oriented towards major cities, leading to the evolution of ‘two Indias’ – the rich urban India and the poor rural India…..

Read more at the [SOURCE: Wall Street Journal - Re-Imagining a New Urban India] (subscription)

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