EVENT | Airport Landscape – Urban Ecologies in the aerial age

GSD-AirportHarvard University GSD is hosting an Exhibition and Conference titled Airport Landscape – Urban Ecologies in the aerial age. The Exhibition opened on October 30 and continues through to December 19. Their is also a conference at the GSD on November 14-15. Both events are curated and convened by Charles Waldheim and Sonja Dümpelmann.

Airport Landscape claims the airport as a site of and for landscape. Airports have never been more central to the life of cities, yet they remain peripheral in design discourse. In spite of this, landscape architects have recently reasserted their historic claims on the airfield as a site of design through a range of practices. Airport Landscape presents these practices through projects for the ecological enhancement of operating airfields and the conversion of abandoned airfields.

The exhibition features work by a range of leading landscape architects and designers including Agence Ter, Gross.Max., Hargreaves Associates, James Corner Field Operations, Lateral Office, LCLA, Mosbach Paysagistes, Office of Landscape Morphology, OpSys, Stoss Landscape Urbanism, Topotek 1, West 8, and Workshop: Ken Smith Landscape Architect. The conference convenes a discussion of the airport as landscape with sessions on airport cultures, infrastructures, and ecologies.
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Seachange 2030+ Ideas Competition: Winners Announced

The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects [AILA] and its competition partners invited individuals and teams to participate in the Sea Change 2030+, an international ideas competition, which asked for innovative ideas for planning, designing and managing for adaptation to urban sea level rise.

There were many highly innovative ideas in most of the submissions. Three equal first prizes were awarded in the professional team category. The Jury felt that there were three outstanding submissions that covered different aspects of local, regional and global responses to climate change and adaptation to sea level rise. These entrants were not readily comparable as they dealt with responses required over different scales of space and time.

CATEGORY 1 : EQUAL FIRST PRIZE Global Solutions

Embassy of the Drowned Nations – OCULUS, Sydney – Bob Earl, Shahreen Alford, Simon Bond, Liam Butt, Katie Cooper, Daniel Firns, Ali Gaunt, Rosie Krauss,  Ben Nacard, Simon Trick

We propose a bold move at the heart of Sydney that is surprising and thought provoking to raise awareness among residents and visitors about the effects of Sea Level Rise, to promote understanding and compassion for the plight of those displaced people around the world, leading to anacceptance of those people as Sydney and Australia plays it’s part in working together to facilitate change.

The bold move is an Embassy of Drowned Nations centred on Fort Dennison.  A type of Ellis Island, a blend of Atlantis and Eden, a rebirth, an opportunity, a memorial.

CATEGORY 1 : EQUAL FIRST PRIZE Metropolitan Solutions

Subtropical Sydney – OPSYS, USA - Pierre Bélanger, Miho Mazereeuw, Christina Milos, Andrew tenBrink, Erik Prince, Sarah Thomas


This submission takes a regional metropolitan approach to Sydney focusing on the connections between Botany Bay, Sydney airport and the low-lying lands along the Alexandria Canal. They propose a strategic response to adapting to sea level rise and intrusion of salt water into the former estuaries of the Cooks River with a conceptual design for what South Sydney could look like in 2030.

The ideas are based on urban renewal, reintroducing ecology into the city through green arteries and waterways. They propose a vision for re-engineering the urban form for cleaner waterways, recreational areas food production in urban gardens and improved access, amenity and mobility along green arteries. Their design integrates scales of place and time while producing a high value corridor for desirable and sustainable living. What they propose is a transition of Sydney into a new climate future based on a different valuation of ecosystem services and urban land economics.

CATEGORY 1 : EQUAL FIRST PRIZE Local Solutions

Sea-Life – NMGS, Queensland, Australia and Chile - James Nash,  Michael Marriott,  Lydia Gibson, Bec Stephens

This is an immediate and local response to global climate change. James Nash and his team present tactical built environment responses to living, playing and building on the edge of Sydney Harbour. Their project based on the iconic Balmoral Beach, shows the value of typological analysis and performance responses for micro-scale harbour features such as beaches and rock platforms with an emphasis on access and amenity. This responds to the Sydney lifestyle and its focus on water-based amenity and also deals with the challenges of sea level rise alienating public space and access to safe recreational venues.

Their conceptual design solutions represent a ‘good start’ for a future design manual for local government with a set of edge treatments that are pragmatic, affordable, do-able and able to be further developed into simple guidelines. These typological responses can be implemented over time through a set of initiatives that are place-based and rely on on ‘learning by doing’ – a valid local adaptive response to the uncertainty of timing about inevitable sea level rise.

SOURCE: AILA

IMAGE SOURCE: AILA

IMAGE CREDIT: OCULUS, OPSYS, NMGS

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