NZILA Resene Pride of Place Landscape Awards 2010 announced

New Zealand’s prestigious Landscape Architecture Awards ceremony was held on Friday 16th April in Wellington.

‘NZILA Resene Pride of Place Landscape Architecture Awards 2010′ provided a record 127 entrants with tougher competition than ever before. Award-winners, who are chosen by the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects’ judges just once every two years, received Golds, Silvers and Bronzes, while a select few received a Gold or Silver plus additional titles of excellence.

Winner of the event’s most coveted title, the Supreme Award, was Aucklander John Potter of Boffa Miskell Ltd, for his design of St Patrick’s Square by St Patrick’s Cathedral of Wyndham Street, Auckland.

St Patrick's Square by Boffa Miskell Ltd wins the NZILA George Malcolm Supreme Award

For more information and all the winners of NZILA Awards goto the NZILA website

SOURCE: NZILA

IMAGE SOURCE: NZILA

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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 architects think about cities in 2050 and beyond

The Australian Institute of Architects has announced a shortlist of proposals for the Australia Pavillion at the Venice Biennale. The shortlist of 24 was selected from 129 submissions addressing urban spaces in 2050 and beyond.

Some of the proposals include:

  • New cities of 50,000-100,000 in desert areas
  • Cities which feature a ‘tartan-like texture of pure urban areas (or cells), pure rural cells, and cells which are a hybrid of rural and urban’, providing a ‘vital flexibility for a sustainable future’.
  • Cities hugging the coast from Noosa to Geelong to accommodate population growth and the preferred coastal climate; connected by a ‘very fast train running from North Qld to Victoria; pockets of vertical sprawl; new cities in pristine locations such as Botany Bay and the Royal National Park.
  • Cities in which ‘within tightly controlled boundaries exist Multiple Cities‘. Cities which address issues such as: what if a city grows not out, but up or down? What if a city’s growth boundary is not on its periphery but at its heart? What if new planning initiatives were introduced governing the use of air space? ‘A Green City, where the top plane provides wind and solar energy to power (and cool) the multiple cities below’, as well as all food production.
  • Cities ‘woven into the landscape’ – balancing dense human settlement with flora and fauna biodiversity, with major roadways converted into natural landscape corridors.

The competition fired the imagination of Australia’s architects and designers, resulting in inspired, possible solutions and imaginative proposals addressing the critical issue of Australian urbanism – examining possibilities across the terrestrial, underwater and airborne realms.

The two-part ‘NOW + WHEN Australian Urbanism‘ exhibition will highlight three of Australia’s most interesting urban regions as they are ‘NOW’, before dramatically representing around seven futuristic urban environments from the competition as they may be ‘WHEN’ we reach 2050 and beyond.

Co-Creative Director and well-known Melbourne-based photographer John Gollings said: “The large number of entries and range of approach and philosophy exceeded expectations. We felt that more than 50 per cent of the entries could have made an important contribution to the Venice Architecture Biennale, and narrowing the selection down to 24 was difficult.

“Of great interest now, is that these varied ideas must be turned into tangible 3D models which can be screened as virtual, built projects for exhibition in the Australian Pavilion in Venice. This process will challenge the normal speculative imaging often produced by architects, and lead to new presentation techniques benefiting the whole profession as the world embraces 3D, virtual, and holographic media. From the test results with our 3D projectors, now running in Melbourne, the Australian pavilion at the 2010 Venice Biennale will be a standout attraction.”

The Creative Directors said those shortlisted were far more than hypotheticals. Each uniquely responded to future challenges including population growth, environmental degradation, dwindling resources and climate change. Each entry reflected a highly creative diversity of possibilities fused with a diversity of design that mapped out possible cities of the future.

12th Venice Architecture Biennale:
Vernissage: 26, 27, 28 August 2010;
Exhibition: 29 August – 28 November 2010

SOURCE: Australian Institute of Architects

RELATED NEWS STORY: Sydney Morning Herald – Living in the future, with under-harbour views

Top scientists join calls to save threatened red gum forests

Sydney Morning Herald reports

MORE than 50 leading scientists from around Australia have written to the Premier, Nathan Rees, asking him to protect the iconic Riverina red gum forests by creating huge national parks in south-western NSW and increasing the flow of water to them from the Murray and Murrumbidgee rivers

The letter, signed by 57 scientists, warns that the red gum forests and their wetlands are in poor health. It says the Government needs to ”act swiftly to hasten the much-needed repair and protection of these precious river red gum wetland forests by protecting them in new parks and reserves”.

Read the full article at the SOURCE: Sydney Morning Herald – Top scientists join calls to save threatened red gum forests

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UWA Students design Moongazing platform

Landscape Architecture students from the University of Western Australia created concept plans Meelup Regional Park commissioned by the Shire of Busselton. The idea of a Moongazers platform arose from these plans as the beach is one of few beaches where the moon can be seen rising over the Indian Ocean Horizon. The platform would include an interpretative plaque that shows the 13 dates each year that a full moon rises over the ocean.

The council have taken the idea of a Moongazers platform to the next step by councillors submitting the plan at a formal meeting with an approximate budget of $100,000AUD.

SOURCE: WAtoday.com.au – Meelup Beach moon viewing deck Busselton

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