Landscape Institute announces 2009 Awards

Landscape Institute announced the 2009 Landscape Institute Awards recently with Gillespies winning the President’s Award for St Andrew Square in Edinburgh. The Peter Youngman Award which is awarded each year for outstanding contribution to landscape was awarded to the Olympic Delivery Authority for their visionary plans for a new London park.

For the Full list of awards
Continue reading Landscape Institute announces 2009 Awards

Lecture – UBC – Moshe Safdie

Date: 21 Nov 2009, 8:15 PM
Location: UBC Woodward Instructional Resources Centre, Lecture Hall No. 2, 2194 Health Sciences Mall

Arthur Erickson Memorial Lecture in Architectural Excellence

“Megascale, order and Complexity”

Mr. Moshe Safdie is an architect and urban designer who has won numerous awards including the Companion Order of Canada and the Gold Medal of the Royal Canadian Institute of Architects.

Admission to lecture is free.

http://www.psg.com/~ted/vaninst/VbSafdie.html

SOURCE: UBC

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Could Detroit become the City of Urban Agriculture?

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The idea of returning Detroit to farm land is an interesting idea that was recently covered in New Geography(DETROIT: URBAN LABORATORY AND THE NEW AMERICAN FRONTIER, Nov. 4) and New York Times(Plowing Detroit Into Farmland blog post Nov. 9 based on New Geography article).

The New Geography article reviews the size and scale of Detroit in comparison to other cities and the extent of urban decay since the 1950’s and that Detroit could become farmland.

In my opinion, Detroit could become a city of urban agriculture; it has the land, water & infrastructure(roads, rail) and lots of deserted industrial space that could be converted to markets and storage/logistics.  However it would require a either a grass roots movement which gets financial backing (after initial results) from investors or a federal incentive as the city of Detroit is shrinking and resources are already stretched.

Urban agriculture could supply the people of Detroit and other cities in region with food. Large areas of housing could be converted to open fields where the blocks are large or rows of green houses where the blocks are narrow. The agricultural areas could also grow crops for ethanol(although resource intensive) to supply raw materials for fuel(refined in Detroit) for the farm machinery and cars.

Urban agriculture combined with alternative energy such as wind and solar could convert Detroit from a city to a urban core with villages (see New Geography for diagram). The city could become self-sufficient and a possible testing ground for urban design that could be used for other North Americans cities going through the same changes in size and urban form.

New Orleans is currently a hot bed for Urban Design experiments for the South, which came about from a natural disaster maybe Detroit can come back as the hot bed of Urban Design for Northern climates.

Detroit has the opportunity and basic resources but does it have the will to change?

Read more information used as background for this post at [New Geography] & [New York Times]

By Damian Holmes

City an ‘obese parody’

The Age reports

FEDERAL Labor MP Kelvin Thomson has savaged the Victorian Government’s handling of urban planning in a blistering newsletter to constituents.

Mr Thomson said the State Government’s planning blueprint Melbourne 2030, which aimed to reduce urban sprawl, had failed badly. He attacked State Government plans to increase Melbourne’s boundary by 41,000 hectares.

SOURCE: The Age – City an ‘obese parody’

China’s cities to receive massive influx

An article in China Daily today reports that over the next 15 to 20 years there will be an influx of 300 million people into cities across China. This will create 1 trillion yauan in annual investment in infrastructure and facilities across China. The rate of urbanisation will be 1% per year. This urbanisation is occuring at the same time as the government takes measures to protect farming land. The urbanisation will require a balance between density and lifestyle in large cities. Many cities in China exceed 10 million such as Shanghai, Chongqing, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Xian, however most of the urbanisation will occur in tier 2 cities especially in the west of China.

SOURCE: China Daily

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