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Landscape / Public Space

City and Auto / Functional Ambience

Bauwelt 24:2014  Stadt und Auto – this June 27, 2014 issue of the German weekly Bauwelt has good articles about cars in cities.  Even if you’re German-language-challenged, it’s worth a look for the photos and illustrations of a variety of approaches to harmonizing the tangle of cars, buses, pedestrians, and bicyclists in …

Light, health, sleep, and the buildings you live in

      The Light Therapeutic – article on current research into the effects of light on health, with far-reaching implications for the design of buildings and cities, especially healing environments. What is most startling is the way our bodies respond to light. Gloomy winter days are known to trigger …

John Kormeling’s up and down bridge

            Up and down with John Kormeling – one-page article in Mark #46 (Oct/Nov 2013, page 32) about architect John Kormeling’s bridge in the Dutch city of Tilburg.  It’s designed with a small building that serves as counterweight.  Kormeling designed the building as both bridge master’s house and …

Year of Le Notre

  A year to celebrate Le Notre – 2013 marks 400 years since the birth of Andre Le Notre, the French landscaper who created the gardens of Versailles and whose influence on urban planners and landscape architects continues to this day.  In his honor, the Palace of Versailles has organized …

Designers + engineers = better products

      Why Designers and Engineers is a Match Made in Heaven – post about the benefits of designers and engineers collaborating on projects from their inception. Designers and engineers depend on each other to create innovative, trendsetting and sustainable solutions for humanity. Only a few decades ago, the …

Water strategy – what New Orleans can learn from Holland

How the Dutch are Helping New Orleans Stay Dry – excellent 8-min audio interview with New Orleans architect David Waggonner and Netherlands Honorary Consul General Connie Willems about water management and flood mitigation in New Orleans and in the Netherlands.  Even with substantial differences between the two locations – the amount …

Azure 2013 Awards of Merit

Announcing the AZ Awards of Merit – annual design awards in residential architecture (shown here), furniture design, residential interiors, temporary architecture, furniture systems, commercial architecture over and under 1,000 square meters, landscape architecture, commercial interiors, concepts, and student work.  Images for all the finalists are here.

EPA’s map of renewable energy potential

    RE-Powering Mapper – the U.S. EPA recently updated its RE-Powering Mapper, a map-based tool showing renewable energy potential on 66,000 contaminated lands, landfills, and mine sites across the country. Features include: Screening results for over 66,000 sites for solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal energy Search options by renewable energy …

Sustainable construction in the UK

      Best Practices for Sustainable Construction – post on SustainableCitiesCollective has good links, especially for those working in the UK.   Increased flood risk, increased risk of drought and more severe storms means making greater use of sustainable drainage systems such as: green roofs; rainwater harvesting; permeable pavements; infiltration …

The Codes Project

  The Codes Project – website is “an anthology of the codes, laws and related documents that have created, or sought to create, particular urban forms.”  This project, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, covers codes from “around the world, and from all time periods.” The Directory section …

Compare city characteristics using maps

                Prepare to Waste Your Day With This Fascinating City Comparison Tool – comparative mapping tool, Urban Observatory, was created by Richard Saul Wurman, geospatial firm Esri, and film company Radical Media.  Shown here are two maps showing land dedicated to commercial use in …

U.S. flood trends and Smart Irrigation Month

  Our Flooded Future, According To FEMA – “By 2100, the area of the U.S. at risk for inundation will increase 45%. These maps–from the guys who are going to have to deal with it–show where.”     5 Strategies to Maximize Smart Irrigation Month – the five strategies in this …

Active Design Guidelines

      Center for Active Design: Resources – links to design guidelines aimed at architects, urban designers, planners, policy makers, communities, developers, and educators wishing to promote health “through the design of buildings, streets, and neighborhoods.”  The original publication Active Design Guidelines has been followed with four supplements: Promoting Safety …

Sou Fujimoto’s Serpentine Gallery Pavillion

  Video: The making of Sou Fujimoto’s 2013 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion – Wallpaper has a 3:29 min video clip on this year’s pavilion, the result of Fujimoto’s desire to create an ‘architectural landscape’.   ‘The experience is more like a labyrinth but the space is very simple,’ says Fujimoto. Sized more …

Green walls “clear winner” in reducing pollution

  Living Walls Effectively Mitigate Air Pollution – investigators in Karlsruhe, Birmingham, and Lancaster have established that plantings like green walls or even trees, bushes, and creeping plants can improve air quality in cities by up to 30%. Biochemist Thomas Pugh and colleagues … conducted the street canyon study by utilising …

Living willow hedges

  Living Willow Hedges – post with photos of hedges, or hedgerows, made with live willow.  Living fences woven from the genus Salix work in the Northern Hemisphere where they are native and root easily. More on living fences:  Multifunctional Living Fences – includes benefits / disadvantages, suitable species, how …

A ‘darker green’ for tech campuses

  Silicon Valley Tech Giants Plan Super-Green Campuses – a number of high tech companies (Apple, Google, Facebook, Samsung, Nvidia) are planning corporate campuses in California that, in addition to being designed by big name architects, go beyond the standard requirements for sustainability in new buildings. Apple’s campus, designed by …

All about water conservation

  Links and Resources for Water Conservation Information Water – the website Water – Use It Wisely. has a great page of water-related resources.  It includes links to state, regional, and federal water conservation organizations in the U.S., general conservation organizations, research organizations, water conservation tips, drought info, landscaping and xeriscape, …