Report: Green > Brown (via Encountering Urbanization)

Are we able to use all the knowledge we have to actually do anything remarkable in our cities- or are we condemned to live wit hour fathers and their fathers choices and repeat their mistake – it is certainly sure we have all the information here is more ….

Report: Green > Brown As the U.S. Congress continues its attempt to slash-and-burn nearly anything environmental, a new report out by the  United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) tells us that – surprise – investments good for people and the environment won't kill our economy.  In fact, the  "green economy" they describe propels countries forward to a sustainable future and poverty reduction, while staying "brown" actually holds them back. For cities, check out th … Read More

via Encountering Urbanization

Bay East Gardens, Singapore – Gustafson Porter win award

Perennial Landscape Starchitects  Kathryn Gustafson and Neil Porter imagine and portray a wondrous world in tropical Singapore as features on World Landscape Architecture:

Gustafson Porter recently received a commendation in the category Big Urban Projectsat the MIPIM AR Future Projects Awards 2011 for the project Bay East, Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. Director Mary Bowman will attend the MIPIM Award ceremony on 9 March 2011 in Cannes”

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Giving it all away? Space Syntax & the future of urban planning software (via The power of the network)

An lucid introduction of why predictive urban modeling is the future of urban design interventions by Tim Stonor of Space Syntax

Notes for a lecture to be given at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 23rd March 2011   Themes With notable exceptions, the current use of technology in planning and, especially, urban design/architecture practice is medieval. More visual than analytic. More about the "Wow!" than the "Why?", the "Which?" or the "Will it?" Example of animation in traffic models – "Our clients like to see them move!"   Urban imperative – rapid scaling … Read More

via The power of the network

Mini-sanitation for Megacities (via Encountering Urbanization)

Local decentralized sanitation (i.e.) sewage and waste recycling -not disposal in centralized plants at distance which consume energy and pollute the water systems with effluent and leaking pipes, is a major stumbling block at present -especially in terms of the local authorities and entrenched engineering and health regulations.
This example from VIetnam could show the way for many developing countries especially in Africa which lack central facilities and are urbanizing rapidly

Mini-sanitation for Megacities The rapid growth patterns of megacities in developing countries are unpredictable. Sanitation infrastructure, on the other hand, is pretty rigid. It's usually reactionary as well – housing sprouts up, and sanitation is dealt with later, often when donor funding comes through for big, centralized infrastructure. But could  sanitation infrastructure be designed to grow along with the settlement patterns of fast-developing urban areas rather than co … Read More

via Encountering Urbanization

West8 – Video of Borneo-Sporenburg – example for V&A Cape Town?

This film of Landscape Architects West8′  shows their development in Amsterdam Docks: – could this be a future scenario for new equitable waterfront development in Cape Towns harbor now that the PIC ( Public Investment Corporation) is a major shareholder in the V&A Waterfront? Would it not be marvelous if we had housing like this right in the docks – not  for the rich but for everyday working people?

Film in opdracht van ‘West8 – Urban Design and Landscape Architecture’

Two peninsulas in the eastern part of the Amsterdam docks, were to be exploited for water-related activities, as well as 2500 low-rise dwelling units, with a density of 100 units per hectare. For a new interpretation of the traditional Dutch canal house, West 8 suggested new types of three-storey, ground-accessed houses deviating from the usual terraced house in being strongly oriented to the private realm by incorporating patios and roof gardens. By repeating this type in a great variety of dwelling modes and with maximum architectural variation, an animated street elevation emerges with a focus on the individual. At a larger scale, a delicately balanced relationship exists between the repetition of the individual dwellings, the roofscape and the great scale of the docks. Three immense sculptural blocks take their place as landmarks in the vast expanse of houses.

This short video reposted from LAND Reader

New York Metro – Is Hydrogen the energy future of our cities?

Posted by Nel Chambers on treehugger: update on tech status of hydrogen power in NYC Intriguing the idea of the hydrogen powered house – its still not clear to me how efficient it is to first produce hydrogen from water with solar power and then use that hydrogen to generate electricity? Maybe an engineer can enlighten us?

New York City is known for lots of things – but hydrogen is not one of them…until now. Since 2005, some of the most innovative and largest buildings powered by hydrogen have been built in the area. The two largest hydro-mixed-use buildings in the world are in the area, as well as the very first residential homes ever built. And there are more on the drawing board – a residential building just across the Hudson that will be the largest hydrogen powered residential tower on the planet. Gotham is proven that hydrogen power is not something far in the future, but a reality today. This is a survey of a few projects that are pointing the way for a new approach to energy, infrastructure and green buildings.”

“Yeah, Chicago has green roofsPortland and Seattle that have lots of LEED rated projects…but nobody is keeping up with the Big Apple when it comes to hydrogen! More residential, mixed-use and commercial square footage has been constructed in the NYC Metro Area since 2005 than anywhere else in the world!” Continue reading

Get Urbanized – Gary Hustwick’s Work in Progress on Cities

Reposted from Protein Feed:

Click here to see the video promo Urbanised

Gary Hustwit‘s first two documentaries Helvetica and Objectified looked into typography, industrial design and product design…both right up our alley. His third film Urbanized is equally awesome, all about the design of cities Urbanized features some of the world’s foremost architects, planners, policymakers, builders, and thinkers…and it needs a little help getting off the ground.

Click here to donate a few bucks towards the last in Hustwit’s ‘design trilogy’, it’ll be worth it just to see the results of his global investigations of urban design projects that represent the issues facing our cities. There’ll also be rewards for your buck, downloads and DVDs of the finished film, t-shirts designed by Build, limited edition Design Trilogy box set and even private screenings of Urbanized hosted by director Gary Hustwit. Deadline for donations is 23rd Marc”


Rise of the Bloggers – Death of the Celebrity Endorsement?

Protein Feed reporting on statistics gleaned from London Fashion Week seem to indicate that celeb endorsements are in decline – my own take is this might be true in the world of on-line/cyber – but in the “real” world of TV/Billboards and Print Celeb’s are King or Queen- I can vouch for this with the number of hits drawn by posts about U2 and Bono when I was really commenting on the urban issues of the Fan Walk and the influence of celebrities (even misquoted ones) in the media!

Still the graphic is interesting and the concept of trends are generated by street and bloggers is interesting for the future with growing penetration of social media to handhelds even more influence is on  its way!

“With London Fashion Week almost over, what better way to round up the week than some good ol’ data talk and a nice visualization. We had a look into how new fashion trends are discovered and made some intriguing and perhaps surprising finds.

Blogs came out on top with 53% of our audience citing them as influencing their wardrobes, and street style second with 39%. Interestingly celebrity style was the least mentioned with only 8% of those asked saying they were a source for inspiration. With this research the idea that a celebrity endorsement can influence a trend seems to be thrown into some dispute. It will be interesting to see how this pattern of the inspiring blogger changes in the next year.”

Our first Protein Audience Survey is at the printers now getting prepped for the press. If you are interested in learning more click here and we will get in touch with more info.”

Image by Sarah Khamisi.

Do large cities reverse climate change/ reduce population explosion?

Commentary in Treehugger from various sources how ambivalent attitudes are to intensive urban living and densification, with one contingent of such as the New Urbanists” extolling the virtues of city life and the prevailing ethos of commercialized “Urban Sprawl” holding onto each ones little patch of suburbia – despite the criticism of its heavy carbon footprint and lack of “urban buzz”. On the other hand we have the specter of Eastern style high-rise Ghettos and culture shock such in Shenzen, Hong Kong and Shanghai: As described  out by Architect Rem Koolhaas:

What this city does to people:

“If the transition from the English slum to the estate was traumatic, the leap from Chinese shop-house … to Singapore’s high-rise containers is even more merciless, not only in terms of material difference – from the Asian to the Western – but because the new inhabitants, cut off from connective networks of family relationships, traditions, habits, are abruptly forced into another civilization: the slab as time machine. (S,M,L,XL Koolhaas, 1995 ) How we deal with this is the challenge: DENSE _CITY WITH DIGNITY!

“Sarah Barmak writes in Corporate Knights, “the Magazine for Clean Capitalism”, about the Metabolic Metropolis. She reiterates the argument we have discussed before, that Cities burn less energy per capita than other urban forms, Green Metropolis: If You Want To Be Green, Live In New York City and Do We Really All Have To Live Like New Yorkers? Does Density Matter?) but also that urbanism puts a brake on population” growth.

Big Cities of the Future: Coruscant in Star Wars

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Dutch “Garden” Genius Piet Oudolf’s 2010 Venice Biennial Garden

Piet Oudolf is a master plantsman and “gardener” and an acknowledged expert at the art of creating perennial gardens hence his plantings for James Corner’s award winning “High Line” in New York and Kathryn Gustafsons “Lurie Garden” in Chigago and numerous other famous plantings  in pubic and private gardens all over the world. Having been a disciple of his combinations of perennial plantings, his use of   grasses and favoring a “natural” approach to allowing the plants to reflect all the seasons not only the flowering time. Many of these principals and techniques we have over the last 10 years striven to translate ito native (indigenous) planting with South African species.

So it is with great delight we see his talents and artistry acknowledged by being invited to install a garden at the Venice 2010 Bienniel:

This short video reposted from LAND Reader reposted from The Institute of the 21st Century on Vimeo