ONE PRIZE: Water as the 6th Borough – Winners Announced

Terreform ONE has announced the winners of ONE PRIZE: Water as the 6th Borough, the open international design competition to envision the sixth borough of New York City.
ONE PRIZE is an annual design and science award to promote green design in cities. The 2011 edition turned its focus to New York and its waterways, re-imagining recreational space, public transportation, local industry, and native environment in the city. Contestants proposed designs for the NYC BLUE NETWORK and the E3NYC CLEAN TECH WORLD EXPO by expanding waterborne transportation and linking the five boroughs with a series of green transit hubs as well as providing in-water recreation, water-oriented educational, cultural and commercial activities, and demonstrations of clean technology and renewable energy.

Detail from the submission board of the competition-winning concept NY Parallel Networks

Click above image to view slideshow
Detail from the submission board of the competition-winning concept NY Parallel Networks

The jury panel included Amanda Burden, New York City Planning Commissioner; Charles McKinney, Principal Urban Designer NYC Parks Department; Michael Colgrove of New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA); Helena Durst of the Durst Organization; Matthias Hollwich of Architizer;  Bjarke Ingels of BIG; Roland Lewis of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance; Roberta Weisbrod of Sustainable Ports; Kate Ascher of Buro Happold Consulting; James Corner of Field Operations; David Gouverneur of the University of Pennsylvania; and Victoria Marshall of Parsons School of Design.

Prizes were given to many young architects and designers who submitted the four selected entries. The grand prize winners, Ali Fard and Ghazal Jafari are both recent graduates of the University of Toronto. The three honorable mention teams are the Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design led by Kevin Bone, an entrepreneurial design practice RUX Design, New York, and a group of recent graduates from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

WINNER: NY PARALLEL NETWORKS – Board (PDF)
Ali Fard and Ghazal Jafari, Canada

NY Parallel Networks, stood out to the jury with a synthesis of economy, environment, transportation, and recreation in a versatile, attractive proposal. A scaleable, flexible design, Parallel Networks remained compellingly feasible with an exciting public space integrated with energy production, water cleansing, and habitat creation.

Commissioner Burden praised NY Parallel Networks with these words, “The winning entry, NY Parallel Networks, is very rich proposal that takes on all of the major themes of the City’s new waterfront plan, Vision 2020. The design includes an exciting public recreational space in the Bronx integrated with energy production, water cleansing, and enhancement of natural habitats. In addition, the proposal referenced the needs of the maritime industry, and included boat tie up and maritime services on an artificial reef.”

WINNER: NY PARALLEL NETWORKS by Ali Fard and Ghazal Jafari, Canada

WINNER: NY PARALLEL NETWORKS by Ali Fard and Ghazal Jafari, Canada

WINNER: NY PARALLEL NETWORKS by Ali Fard and Ghazal Jafari, Canada

WINNER: NY PARALLEL NETWORKS by Ali Fard and Ghazal Jafari, Canada

ONE PRIZE’s multifaceted design brief brought in a wide variety of proposals, and the jury selected three honorable mentions to represent the three general groups of entries: Developing water-borne culture; Envisioning a comprehensive transportation system; and addressing intensifying environmental challenges.

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Connecting Seattle to the Bay | Seattle USA | James Corner Field Operations

Further details of this Field Operations project – I wonder if this could ever happen here in Cape TOwn extending the use and reinstating Woodstock beach along Marine drive? From World Landscape Architecture by Damian Holmes

Waterfront Seattle-James Corner Field OperationsAerial overview of conceptual ideas for the new Waterfront, looking North

We reported back in September 2010James Corner Field Operations has been selected to design Waterfront Seattle by the Seattle Parks, DPD and SDOT after beating out Wallace Roberts and Todd, Michael Van Valkenburgh and Associates, and Gustafson Guthrie Nichol. Recently the first designs for the Waterfront Seattle have been unveiled which creates an unparalleled opportunity to reorientconnect Seattle with Elliott Bay, and reclaim our waterfront as a public space for the entire city.

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A brief look: UN says Nigerian oil pollution worse than first thought

MORE ON OIL COMPANIES WOES AND THE CONTINUING LEGACY OF OIL FROM THE DAILY MAVERICK  By SIMON ALLISON

It’s been a bad week for Shell’s Nigerian operations. Forced on Tuesday to accept responsibility for a huge oil spill, the release of a UN report into oil pollution in Nigeria has revealed the situation is far worse than anyone’s been prepared to admit. The report’s rather diplomatic – not surprising given Shell paid for it – but its conclusions are a devastating indictment of the oil giant’s reckless Nigerian adventure.  

Thursday’s report by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) into the state of oil pollution in Nigeria’s Ogoniland region revealed that the situation is much, much worse than Nigeria or the oil industry has ever acknowledged. The report was a monster, involving 4,000 samples analysed, 142 groundwater monitoring wells drilled, 264 formal community meetings conducted, and 780 boreholes monitored. Its headline conclusion was sobering -cleaning up the mess will take 25-30 years and require an initial investment of $1 billion (the word “initial” was actually underlined in the report).

It noted: “Oil contamination in Ogoniland is widespread and severely impacting (on) the environment. Even though the oil industry is no longer active in Ogoniland, oil spills continue to occur with alarming regularity. The Ogoni population live with this every day.”

The report discovered extensive contamination of soil and groundwater, extraordinarily high levels of dangerous chemicals in some areas and a devastating impact on aquatic life. The drinking water of one community contained 900 times the recommended level of benzene, a known carcinogen.

Ogoniland’s natural geography has exacerbated the situation. Its high rainfall sends any spilled oil coursing through farmland and eventually ending up in the mangroves and creeks. The region’s soil lacks a continuous clay layer, meaning oil is able to seep directly into the water table.

The report lays the blame for this on Nigeria’s muddled regulations and regulatory bodies which interpret the rules differently. The oil industry has taken advantage of this to put the bare minimum of effort into clean-up operations. The report slammed Shell’s clean-up policies, which were intended to improve what came before, saying they “still do not meet the local regulatory requirements or international best practices”.

Given the cost of the clean-up operation, for which Shell, as the primary company operating in the delta, is likely to bear the brunt, and the spectre of paying out huge compensation claims, it might start making financial sense for the oil giant to take its environmental responsibilities more seriously.

Entire Infill Development Seminar Series from UC Berkeley Posted Online with A/V Resources (via TownhouseCenter.org)

Not quite the same as all our problems here in South Africa, although driving through Johannesburg the last three days its has distinct similarities to American suburbia – and just as empty and pointless!

Entire Infill Development Seminar Series from UC Berkeley Posted Online with A/V Resources From UC Berkeley, a seminar series entitled "Infilling California: Tools and Strategies for Infill Development", sponsored by the Center for a Sustainable California and IURD, and co-sponsored by the Urban Land Institute of San Francisco, the Association of Bay Area Governments, the California Infill Builders Association, and the Center for Law, Energy, and the Environment at BerkeleyLaw.  This seminar-lecture series sheds light on how to advance … Read More

via TownhouseCenter.org

Entire Infill Development Seminar Series from UC Berkeley Posted Online with A/V Resources (via TownhouseCenter.org)

Not quite the same as all our problems here in South Africa, although driving through Johannesburg the last three days its has distinct similarities to American suburbia – and just as empty and pointless!

Entire Infill Development Seminar Series from UC Berkeley Posted Online with A/V Resources From UC Berkeley, a seminar series entitled "Infilling California: Tools and Strategies for Infill Development", sponsored by the Center for a Sustainable California and IURD, and co-sponsored by the Urban Land Institute of San Francisco, the Association of Bay Area Governments, the California Infill Builders Association, and the Center for Law, Energy, and the Environment at BerkeleyLaw.  This seminar-lecture series sheds light on how to advance … Read More

via TownhouseCenter.org

Moses Mabhida Stadium Precinct | Durban South Africa | Iyer Urban Design Studio

A post on World Landscape Architecture of the ILASA Award Winning Landscape Project:

Moses Mabhida Stadium Precinct  | Durban South Africa | Iyer Urban Design Studio

Already a celebrated icon in the Kwa-Zulu Natal landscape, the Moses Madiba Stadium and precinct, built for the Soccer World Cup 2010, in the words of the jury “is commended because of its multi-disciplinary design approach that has made the most of urban design, architectural and landscape architectural skills, driven by a visionary client. “

“The urban and landscape design at Moses Mabhida Stadium Precinct allows for ongoing integration with the broader city and coastal corridor. The design is focused on the creation of an accessible, well-made and generous public-space system. The landscape design is contemporary and executed on a bold scale with continuity of approach, aesthetic appeal and response to local place and function clearly visible.”

“The stadium precinct comprises many remarkable spaces and places. These include the uncluttered concourse level surrounding the stadium and the polished concrete podium that serves as a raised plinth with planted embankments resembling a dune. This podium defines public and semi-public movement with the base assigned highest levels of being open to the public. (“publicness”.)

Moses Mabhida Stadium Precinct  | Durban South Africa | Iyer Urban Design StudioSite context to Durban city

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Dear (Landscape) Architecture Criticism: Evolve Already!

A post from The Cultural Landscape Foundation than investigates the superficial nature of popular coverage of Architecture and the almost complete lack of coverage of Landscape Architecture, if this is the case in advanced economies, what hope of coverage and publicity in our ‘developing country’ scenario, exemplified by the recent Institute of Landscape Architecture of South Africa’s (ILASA )Awards of Merits ‘s complete lack of coverage in any popular press, is it any wonder that the public and even clients are confused as to what Landscape Architects do? 

There’s good news and bad news for landscape architecture. On the positive side, employment prospects look very strong for the next few years. The National Endowment for the Arts reportArtist Employment Projections through 2018 projects a 20% growth rate for the profession (compared with a 10% overall increase in the labor force) – more than for interior designers, architects, graphic designers or the fine arts. Unfortunately, major daily newspaper critical analysis of landscape architecture doesn’t appear to be following suit. I discussed this problem last December in Redesigning Designing to Make Room for Landscape, but this new NEA study, notable staff changes at The New York Times and The Washington Post, and recent conversations with well-respected architecture critics Paul Goldberger and James Russell prompted another look at the issue.

A quick bit of context: in City Shaping II: Will Architecture Go Horizontal? I noted that landscape architects are increasingly leaders of systems-based urban planning; and, architects feeling threatened/seeing opportunities are trying to grab that market share. This is where significant long term planning is taking place and the public needs/deserves critics who can provide comprehensive and learned assessments.

High Line
The High Line, Section 1, photo courtesy The Cultural
Landscape FoundationBack in April, the The Washington Post added chief art critic to Philip Kennicott’s job description (as culture critic, he also covers architecture). Over at the Times, art critic Michael Kimmelman is taking over from Nicolai Ouroussoff as the paper’s architecture critic. I can understand how a former art critic may transition to looking at objects (and vice versa), but what about the systems that underpin the aesthetics – from James Corner Field Operations’ innovative use of native plants at the High Line (roughly 80% of the 210 species used in Section 1), to various sustainable landscape features incorporated by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates into the design of Brooklyn Bridge Park?

Kennicott and Kimmelman are smart and able, but can or will they transcend the object-ness of architecture to understand and then write about the complexity of landscape architecture? Or, am I asking for too much here?

Former New York Times architecture critic Paul Goldberger said both yes and no to the latter. “I don’t think that a separate job is called for. If they are doing a good job they are writing about urban design, landscape design and public space. I prefer to define architecture broadly than to define it narrowly … A good architecture critic is paying attention,” says Goldberger. When pressed about the need to understand the natural and ecological systems that underpin a complex landscape, Goldberger does relent: “I think that is true. I think that it is unfortunate that those things are acknowledged rather than fully explained. They should be afforded greater attention.” He also suggests other facets slip below the radar of most critical reviews, such as, “how something was paid for, how it moved through the political arena, or the impact on a neighborhood.” He added, “if you do it well you embrace those things … certainly in the case of Brooklyn Bridge Park it would make sense for the Times to commission a separate piece on its ecological aspects — either a critic or a knowledgeable reporter — that would do fine.”

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Brooklyn Bridge Park, Kayak Launch, photo courtesy Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates

James Russell, Bloomberg’s U.S. architecture critic, says, “you can’t just do the object in a purely aesthetic mode … you have to give the audience context.”

The Post continues to cover architecture, but landscape architecture gets short shrift. Consider the recent competition, which involved some to the country’s top landscape architecture firms, to redesign President’s Park, located between the White House and the Washington Monument. Other than a short AP wire story on the Post’s Web site, nothing. If the fate of a major historic building had been in play, we’d have heard about it. Moving from sin of omission to sin of commission, Ouroussof’s swansong review for the Times, aboutBeijing’s CCTV building (which he claims “may be the greatest work of architecture built in this century”), may be the sloppiest of wet kisses I’ve encountered in a long time (get a room!). It’s all object all the time. And, he discusses none of the things Goldberger says get overlooked, such as “impact on the neighborhood” (and certainly none of the “political arena” stuff).

Dear Mr. Kimmelman, please do better.

Bloomberg’s Russell said, “I moved to New York when [then New York Times architecture critic] Ada Louise [Huxtable] was running the show. She was really talking about the city and always has. She brings in developers and what they do and what the city looks like. It is the skyline and the big picture that is at stake. Whether you agree or disagree, this was her big step.” He went on to say, “we remember architecture critics fondly because they wrote about the city and not objects. Today they need to write about how cities are changing from environmental design to architecture.”

To borrow a phrase from another contemporary debate, it’s time for this arena of criticism to “evolve already.”

Sustainable Design Still Not Mainstream Among Design Professions (via The Dirt)

Not surprisingly considering the recession, entrenched ideas, commercial consumerism and bottom line thinking- Architects and other design professionals and developers and the public have not taken to sustainable practice as quickly as we would like to see – heres some info from the USA

Sustainable Design Still Not Mainstream Among Design Professions DesignIntelligence, publishers of market intelligence for the architecture and design industry and creators of annual school rankings, released their 2011 Green & Sustainable Design Survey, which argues that despite all the talk, "sustainable design practices are not yet in the mainstream of architecture and design." How is this possible? DesignIntelligence points to "inertia" along with "denial and resistance." According to James Cramer, edi … Read More

via The Dirt

DAVID KERR: “FACEBOOK AFTER GOOGLE PLUS”

Digital Resistance and revolution – more about control of the digital power and manipulation from RebelArt – its worth following the link to David Kerr’s site to see more of this

Facebook After Google Plus” – eine Facebook-Aufklärungskampagne von David Kerr: “The project is based on some research I have been doing about search engines, operating systems, google, facebook, free software and open source technology.” Via: Mail

Thinking about how we think about landscapes (via Per Square Mile)

Touched on here on two critical factors in both urban and rural landscape intervention – how we perceive what we see is not at first intuitive and designers need to have a framework for referencing what others perceive who are not trained in visual literacy and secondly – how far is the “natural landscape” actually “natural” if as it now seems , even ancient landscapes were modified by their nomadic inhabitants through fire and clearing to facilitate hunting and to assure security of views to prevent ambush etc.
Also interesting reference to early cognitive perception research of landscapes

Thinking about how we think about landscapes Take a look at the painting above. It’s one of Thomas Cole’s most famous works, commonly known as The Oxbow.¹ It’s got a little something for everyone. A twisted old tree. A menacing thunderstorm. Soaring cumulonimbus clouds. A spot of sunlight. A meandering river. Well manicured farm fields. I could go on and on. Part of the genius behind Cole’s Oxbow is that it appeals to various cognitive processes that draw us into a landscape. There have bee … Read More

via Per Square Mile