World Water Day (Sunday 21 March) is a great time to remember the role that landscape architects play in managing water in the landscape. Over the last decade Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) has increased in importance as the world understands the importance of water in cities and the effects of climate change. The video above published by the Landscape Institute is a great example of the material available on the net in assisting landscape architects understand WSUD, but also use the video as a tool to educate the public on the importance of water in cities.
Over the last few months, the UK has seen continual flooding which has seen a great deal of discussion on how to deal with the water management in the UK. Recently, Sue IllmanPresident of the Landscape Institute has sent an open letter to Prime Minister, Rt Hon David Cameron MP. The letter signed by 12 organisations calls for a complete rethink of water management to prevent the effect of water on villages, towns and cities of the England and Wales.
The letter goes on to call for ” an immediate cross departmental conference with DECC, DEFRA, DCLG, the EA and NRW, in a similar manner to that which was convened to address the problem of ash-dieback.”. It also calls for proper exploration of the larger catchment management issues, and how forestry, land management and soft engineered flood alleviation schemes can hold back water in the upper reaches of rivers, and work alongside a dredging programme in the lower reaches.
The letter was also sent to the Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP, Anne McIntosh MP and Lord Smith, chairman of the Environment Agency.
Cities in developing countries are predominantly informal. Communities self‐construct their dwellings and adapt them to the needs quicker and better than any formal housing program. However, informal settlements are incomplete and unsustainable forms of urbanization, frequently lacking basic services, such as water supply, sanitation, accessibility, education, health, and amenities. This is the case of Hopley Farms in the city of Harare, Zimbabwe. Hopley Farms is a community of over 25,000 inhabitants which began to occupy an area of south Harare in 2007 after informal residents of the central city were forcefully evicted by the Zimbabwean Government. With the fear, anger and feeling of profound loss, they forcefully re‐initiated life in this new location. Continue reading STUDENT | Future Hopley: Hutano, Mvura, Miti | Leonardo Robleto Costante
Earlier this month Hélène Mandroux, Mayor of Montpellier announced that West 8 in collaboration with Montpellier architects, Boyer-Percheron-Assus, is the winner of the urban design competition for the conversion of the former School of Infantry site (EAI) (35 ha) in the city of Montpellier. Team West 8 beat fellow competitors BIG Agency and Bau-B. West 8’s proposal emphasizes rejuvenation of the pre-existing condition to “subtly transform the site from one state to another, without upsetting the heritage” explains Michaël Delafosse, Deputy Major and urbanism delegate. The proposed redevelopment of the EAI into a new district will be presented to the public in September. Development of the neighborhood will be led by Thierry Laget from SAAM (Development Company of the city of Montpellier).
Stormwater is important part of any landscape and even more so in cities. Cities are striving to understand water and stormwater management and implement water sustainable design principles. This 5 minute video recently posted on vimeo by DBA Inc. gives graphic information about a New Orleans water management study that was undertaken by a group of Architects, Landscape Architects, Engineers, and Planners.