Langtree Mall Redevelopment | Mildura Australia | Hansen Partnership

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Mildura is located in far North‐Western Victoria and is one of Victoria’s fastest growing municipalities, despite being the most isolated regional city. Mildura is considered the ‘sponge city’ of the region and is the main service area for a vast part of Victoria’s regional community, representing a particularly socially complex landscape.

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Averbode Abbey Square | Scherpenheuvel-Zichem Belgium | OMGEVING

Averbode Abbey Square | Scherpenheuvel-Zichem Belgium | OMGEVING

Reflections on the Past and the Present in the Courtyard of Averbode Abbey 

In the summer of 2012 the recently rejuvenated courtyard of Averbode Abbey has opened its doors inviting everyone to enjoy its centuries-old architecture and Baroque church standing at its heart. These impressive buildings are literally reflected in the grand water mirror calmly sitting at the centre of the square. The large film of water, which is only a few centimetres deep, not only provides an alternative view of the surrounding buildings, but also welcomes the visitor to rest beside it on a nearby bench and enjoy its tranquil character or even walk in it during those rare hot Belgian days. Averbode Abbey’s historical role is thus recreated in its own courtyard by bringing together people of all ages from around the region.

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USA urban forests losing ground

Albuquerque Aerial 2006 (Flickr User kla4067)

National results indicate that tree cover in urban areas of the United States is declining at a rate of about 4 million trees per year, according to a U.S. Forest Service study published recently in Urban Forestry & Urban Greening.

Tree cover in 17 of the 20 cities analyzed in the study declined while 16 cities saw increases in impervious cover, which includes pavement and rooftops. Land that lost trees was for the most part converted to either grass or ground cover, impervious cover or bare soil.

Of the 20 cities analyzed, the greatest percentage of annual loss in tree cover occurred in New Orleans, Houston and Albuquerque. Researchers expected to find a dramatic loss of trees in New Orleans and said that it is most likely due to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Tree cover ranged from a high of 53.9 percent in Atlanta to a low of 9.6 percent in Denver while total impervious cover varied from 61.1 percent in New York City to 17.7 percent in Nashville. Cities with the greatest annual increase in impervious cover were Los Angeles, Houston and Albuquerque.

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