Olympics reinvigorates Vancouver’s Granville Street

Granville Street, Vancouver 2010

Image by popejon2 via Flickr

During the Winter Olympics in Vancouver a newly updated Granville Street by PWL Partnership Landscape Architects has become a lively impromptu event space for buskers, street hockey, olympic pin sellers and more. The street has been closed to traffic for 30 years with only buses allowed back in the mid-1970’s. Retail groups have lobbied to have cars reintroduced to the space. However, the success of the space which is usually the domain of club-hopping group has caused planners and downtown businesses to rethink the future of the space post-Olympics.

Could this be the catalyst for a renaissance of pedestrian malls in cities?

Read more about Granville Street during the Olympics at the [SOURCE:Globe & Mail - Games reignite dream of a car-free Granville]

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Short list announced for Lansdowne Park competition *UPDATE*

The City of Ottawa released the names of the 5 firms that have been short listed from the 21 submissions received to  compete for the design of Lansdowne Park’s open space.

The short listed firms are

  • Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates – Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg – Vancouver, British Columbia
  • The SWA Group – Sausalito, California
    Partnered with: Corush Sunderland Wright Ltd. (Ottawa), The ARCOP Group, J.L. Richards & Associates (Ottawa), WESA (Ottawa), BuildGreen Solutions, CMS Collaboratie Inc., Professional Environmental Recreation Consultants Ltd. (PERC), PHA Lighting Design, Ned Kahn
  • West 8 Urban Design & Landscape Architecture – Toronto, Ontario
    Partnered with: Robertson Martin Architects Inc., The Municipal Infrastructure Group (TMIG), Halsall Associates (Ottawa office)
  • Williams, Asselin, Ackaoui & Associates Inc. (WAA) – Montreal, Quebec
    Partnered with: Éclairage Public Inc., Michel Dallaire Design Industriel Inc., Les Architectes FABG, Vinci Consultants, Linda Covit

With this selection, the work of the design firms will begin promptly with the gathering of information and ideas for the new open space. On Wednesday, February 24 and Thursday, February 25, the selected design firms will be meeting with the City, the National Capital Commission (NCC) and the Parks Canada Agency in a design symposium. Community groups and citizens will be able to learn about the design teams’ background and past projects, and provide comments about what they think should be built in the open space.

For more information go to the Lansdowne Park’s open space website.

[SOURCE: City of Ottawa]

RELATED STORY: Ottawa Citizen – Five firms compete for Lansdowne redesign

*UPDATE*

Joanne Chianello of the Ottawa Citizen wrote a follow up piece about the Lansdowne Park Competition reporting on the initial meeting between the City, NCC and the design teams.

Competitors where given some advice and on the designs for the site including

……. more than one presenter that proposals needed to be environmentally sustainable, “preserve the historic integrity” of the site (including the Aberdeen pavilion), with an emphasis on “soft over hard landscape.”

Later in the day the design teams presented their previous work to the City and NCC.

Read the full article at the [SOURCE: Ottawa Citizen - Designers told to ensure Lansdowne’s uniqueness]

Canada’s biggest green roof was technically challenging: LA

Journal of Commerce reports

The biggest living roof in Canada is surrounded by water on three sides, and the marine deck on which the building sits is supported by stilt-like piles. It also features slopes of up to 53 per cent.

Bruce Hemstock, of PWL Partnership, a Vancouver landscape architecture and consulting firm that worked on the project, said the roof portion of the job was one of the most technically challenging assignments his firm has taken on in its 35 years in the business.

Read the full article at the SOURCE: Journal of CommerceCreating Vancouver Convention Centre’s green roof no simple task

UBC students design pavilion for 2010 Olympics

Sarah Chung at the THEUBYSSEY.CA reports

The 24-hour design session, or 24-hour charette, consisted of interdisciplinary architecture student teams designing a rain-proof, bright, and lively pavilion to be erected in Downtown Vancouver for the 2010 Olympics. The event was held at the Lasserre Building and ended at 9am Monday morning.

“[The Olympics] are starting to get so close…this is a chance to have an effect and be involved in the Olympics, and the fact that [the pavilion] will actually be built, that’s really exciting,” said Jamie Johnson, a second-year Landscape Architecture student.

Winners will be announced on November 16 by a panel of multi-disciplinary judges.

read more of the article at the SOURCE: THEUBYSSEY.CA

Researchers discover links between city walkability and air pollution exposure

Researchers discover links between city walkability and air pollution exposure : UMNews : University of Minnesota

A new study compares neighborhoods’ walkability (degree of ease for walking) with local levels of air pollution and finds that some neighborhoods might be good for walking, but have poor air quality. Researchers involved in the study include University of Minnesota faculty member Julian Marshall and University of British Columbia faculty Michael Brauer and Lawrence Frank.

The findings highlight the need for urban design to consider both walkability and air pollution, recognizing that neighborhoods with high levels of one pollutant may have low levels of another pollutant.

The study, done for the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, is the first of its kind to compare the two environmental attributes, and suggests potential environmental health effects of neighborhood location, layout and design for cities around the globe.

The research study is published in the November 2009 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives, the peer-reviewed journal of the United States’ National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

[SOURCE: UMNews (University of Minnesota)]

1 2