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The following news articles are geared toward students and other professionals.
Landscape Architecture
Bottière Chênaie Eco-district by Atelier des Paysages Bruel-Delmar Print E-mail
Monday, 24 September 2012 03:09

Landscape architecture: Atelier des paysages Bruel-Delmar ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )
Location: Nantes, Loire Atlantique (44), France.
Commissioned by: … ...Read the rest

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Great News from DC! Sen. Hagan Introduces Urban Parks Bill! Print E-mail
Monday, 24 September 2012 00:00

Sen. Kay Hagan (NC) introduced S. 3583 the Community Parks  Revitalization Act, which would provide opportunities for communities to build new and rehabilitate existing parks and outdoor recreational spaces. 

"This legislation will not only provide for the rehabilitation of neglected recreation facilities and green spaces in our city centers, but it will also promote job creation and opportunities for safe and healthy activities in urban public sites," Hagan said. "Investment in parks and recreation attracts business, promotes conservation in a non-regulatory fashion and enhances quality of life for hard-working North Carolinians and their families."

The Community Parks Revitalization Act (CPRA) would authorize matching federal grants to create new and rehabilitate existing parks and recreation infrastructure in communities across the country.  This measure will help revitalize neighborhoods, create jobs, enhance local and state economies, protect the health and well-being of our citizens, and contribute to a higher quality of life for hard-working Americans and their families.

As our nation works to find solutions for growing our economy and creating jobs, we must continuously examine additional ways to help sustain long-term economic growth and put Americans back to work. Grants provided through the Community Parks Revitalization Act would provide such a solution.  Research demonstrates that investments in parks and recreation projects positively affect our economy through the creation of jobs.  For instance, the Political Economy and Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts estimates that 20 jobs are created for every $1 million invested in park projects, a higher rate than many other sectors.  Additionally, the Outdoor Industry Association estimates that outdoor recreational activities annually yield about $646 billion in spending, and supports 6.1 million jobs.

Parks and recreational spaces also attract businesses to communities, and help increase commercial and residential property values.  Supporting public parks and recreation infrastructure is a smart, efficient way to leverage limited resources and provide for economic development in communities throughout the nation.

The Community Parks Revitalization Act will not only provide jobs and help grow our local economies, it would also help improve the health of our nation.  Chronic obesity has rapidly increased as Americans have become more sedentary.  Providing community parks and other recreation spaces encourage active living.  Studies have found that creating parks and recreational trails near where people live can lead to a 48% increase in physical activity.

S. 3583 bill is a companion to H.R. 709, the Urban Revitialization and Livable Communities Act introduced in 2011 in the U.S. House of Representative by Rep. Albio Sires, (NJ). As a member of the Urban Parks Coalition, ASLA has worked with Senator Hagan, and Rep. Sires to promote these important bills that allow landscape architects to help create the parks and public spaces that stimulate economic development and provide valuable recreation spaces in their communities.

Take a moment and urge your Senators to join Sen. Hagan as a co-sponsor of this legislation.  

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This Week in Landscape | 23 September 2012 Print E-mail
Sunday, 23 September 2012 00:25
The weekly round-up of landscape and built-environment links from around the web Sydney’s headland honcho | Anthony Dennis | Sydney Morning Herald ”You think of an architect,” he says. ”He gets a building built and it’s very photogenic. You think of a landscape architect and 10 to 15 years later it’s ready to be photographed. [...] → READ MORE Add a comment
EXHIBITION | Hutopolis: City visions 2012.9.28-10.10 Print E-mail
Friday, 21 September 2012 22:54
5 Educational Institutions | 11 Projects As part of Beijing Design Week the “Hutopolis: city visions” is an exhibition that collects one year of research, experiments and events organized in Asia and Europe by the Hutopolis research program with the goal of creating feasible solutions for urban planning in China. Soft and physical strategies, visions [...] → READ MORE Add a comment
Design the Waterfront Park Infrastructure of the Future Print E-mail
Friday, 21 September 2012 11:29

In an effort to deal with deterioriating infrastructure along its 560-mile shoreline, reduce the expense of new waterfront construction, and achieve its ambitious multi-billion-dollar waterfront redevelopment agenda, New York City’s government has just issued a request for expressions of interest for “Change the Course,” a new waterfront construction competition that seeks “innovative and cost-saving solutions for completing marine construction projects.” New York City’s Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), the Hudson River Park Trust, and a host of other government groups and experts will be evaluating submissions. 

NYCEDC President Seth W. Pinsky said: “We are as committed as ever to reclaiming and transforming the city’s hundreds of miles of waterfront. This innovative competition will allow us, in an era of limited resources, to uncover new methodologies and techniques for addressing the challenges associated with our aging infrastructure, thereby ensuring its long-term sustainability.”

The first phase of the competition will seek to unearth the many factors impacting cost and sustainability. All those old, crumbling piers and sea walls that double as pedestrian promenades are clearly expensive to maintain for a number of reasons. NYC identified a few likely suspects, including ”obsolete technologies, permitting processes, current regulations, environmental issues, outdated science studies, labor issues and efficiencies.”

Entrants will then provide creative solutions that are “cost effective, sustainable, and ethically sound,” addressing conditions at one of a few spots at the Lower Manhattan Waterfront: the deteriorating, expensive-to-maintain structures between Fulton Fish Market (at the South Street Seaport); Pier 35, along the East River in Manhattan; or the Hudson River Park Pier, at the substructure of Pier 40. As for using the Hudson River Park as a test-bed for cutting-edge structures, Madelyn Wils, President & CEO, Hudson River Park Trust, said: “We look forward to working together with NYCEDC to find financially sustainable solutions for the unique infrastructure challenges of waterfront parks.” 

There’s no reason why landscape architects shouldn’t partner with engineers and submit to this competition. As Michael Van Valkenburgh, FASLA, is now demonstrating with the Brooklyn Bridge Park (BBP), landscape architects are repurposing old marine pier infrastructure to create sustainable parks. Above, see his firm’s diagram for the BBP infrastructure.

The top prize winner will get $50,000, with 2nd and 3rd place getting $25,000 and $15,000. 

The first phase request for expressions of interest are due November 16, 2012. Winners will be announced in early 2013.

Image credit: Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates

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