Munthof Park | Antwerp Belgium | CLUSTER Landscape and Urbanism with ARA

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For years, square Munthof in the historical city center was an abandoned public garden, urgently in need of renovation. The place was known for its graffiti art works and was a favorite spot for drugs, junkies, vandalism. After a process of years with stakeholder participation from the neighborhood, the City of Antwerp organized a competition for a new park design.

Continue reading Munthof Park | Antwerp Belgium | CLUSTER Landscape and Urbanism with ARA

Rabindra Sarobar | Kolkata India

Rabindra Sarobar | Kolkata India | i-con

The design was a public service project to demonstrate a pilot landscape initiative on a small part of otherwise, a large lake named Rabindra Sarobar at Kolkata, India. The lake plaza was designed for an area spanning about 25,000 sq. mts. as a pilot project, which had to be further extended by the government. This being an ecological reserve it was imperative to develop an idea that was sustainable. The focus was to sensitively design a park with the use of natural and re-usable locally available materials, enhance the recreational areas, and provide manifold options for the young and old to sit, relax, play and be one with nature.

Continue reading Rabindra Sarobar | Kolkata India

Lisbon Architecture: Neglect, Conservation, Demolition, Renewal or Urban Art – what are the alternatives?

John Chamberlain at the Guardian writes that “Officially sanctioned graffiti artists are not the answer to revitalising a beautiful city” when responding to recent Guardian travel article by Rachel Dixon –  Urban splash: street art in Lisbon in which she tours Lisbon and looks at the recent move by Crono Project to transform derelict buildings into large urban art pieces with graffiti and stencilling.

So what to do with derelict buildings awaiting demolition or a new lease on life?

Improving Superblocks in cities through Redevelopment

Superblocks have their advantages – internal circulation is pedestrian friendly but also disadvantages – long distances between blocks and sometimes impervious as they become more private rather than public space. Recently Under One Roof posted an interesting read about how development of superblocks can improve cities. Read more at [Under One Roof]

Urban rail is a new engine for development – The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail reports

“With the Canada Line coming, it was not business as usual. We knew that,” says Terry Crowe, the manager of policy planning in the suburb of Richmond south of Vancouver, which launched an aggressive initiative five years ago to redesign its city around the five transit stations in preparation for new development.

Read the full article @ the SOURCE: The Globe and Mail – Urban rail is a new engine for development

Can a rail line reinvigorate a city?

Fair Park Station - SOURCE: DART.org

Fair Park Station - SOURCE: DART.org

The people in Dallas are hoping that the new Green Line with 4 stations opening on Monday will reinvigorate areas of the city that have fallen into neglect. According to the Dallas News

In South Dallas, there are ambitions for transforming the neighborhood – historically the home of many of the city’s black residents and businesses – into a point of pride.

Read the more about the green line at DART.org and the Dallas News

America’s urban parks renewal

Neal Peirce of the Seattle Times has written an op-ed piece about the reawakening of America’s urban parks stating that

if there were ever a bonanza decade for America’s parks, this is surely it. Add stunning new parks in Boston, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Denver and Santa Fe, plus the success of conservancies in revamping great old parks in such cities as Pittsburgh, Brooklyn and San Francisco.

Peirce reviews various new urban parks in America including the Citygarden in St.Louis, Highline in New York and he also cites Harnik(parks expert for the Trust for Public Land) as saying

the 2004 opening of the Millennium Park in Chicago had the biggest impact on the American parkland scene since New York’s great Central Park opened in 1873.

A great piece that gives some insight into America’s urban park renewal – read the opinion piece at the
SOURCE: Seattle Times – The human-scale reawakening of America’s urban parks


Highline in New York


Citygarden in St.Louis – Flickr Image: Stannate

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