Latest News in Landscape Architecture
In this week’s Latest News in Landscape Architecture we keep it urban—the final section of the High Line is schedule to open September 21 and it’s inevitable that the designs for D.C.’s first elevated park were inspired by New York’s elevated park. Additionally, it appears that Seattle officials have assembled a plan for Seattle’s new waterfront—however don’t be surprised to see a watered down re-design as budget and schedule shortfalls loom.
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Just as the final section of New York’s High Line is nearing completion, the nation’s capital considers designs for the future 11th Street Bridge Park. This six-month interdisciplinary team competition seeks to reinvigorate a used freeway bridge into a 900-foot-long mixed-use space. From environmental education and urban agriculture to recreational activities—there won’t be a shortage of programming. The four shortlisted teams (Balmori Associates / Cooper, Robertson & Partners; OLIN / OMA; Wallace Roberts & Todd / NEXT Architects / Magnusson Klemencic Associates; and Stoss Landscape Urbanism / Höweler + Yoon Architecture) envision the park as a community hub rather than merely a tourist magnet. The jury is slated to choose the finalist in October and have invited the public to rank the designs.
On September 21st residents, tourists, and parkgoers will be able to stroll 22 city blocks, unflustered, 30 feet in the air while admiring breathtaking vistas of the New York City skyline and the Hudson River, according to Josh David . The Rail Yards section will be more “kid-friendly” than the previous sections and will feature a maze of girders and beams for the exploratory types. In addition, the planting will be slightly different. “It’s still lush, still natural, but we used different trees and other species, “ Piet Oudolf said. Perhaps the biggest question is how will New York’s second-most popular cultural attraction (attracting about 4 millions tourists per year) mesh with the planned 26-acre Hudson Yards district expected to open in 2018.
WATCH: Here’s What Section 3 of the High Line Looks Like By “Drone”
A few weeks ago top landscape architects and experts in royal palace research from Korea, China, and Japan gathered in Seoul for the International Symposium for Studies into Royal Gardens in Korea, China and Japan. Historically royal places have been viewed as flashy venues for the highest-ranking official of the land. With such lavish palaces—the royal gardens that accompanied them are regarded as a place of meditation. While there are similarities between Japanese and Korean royal gardens, a particular element that distinguishes Japanese gardens is there use of natural scenes instead of artificial elements.
Diverse active transportation options, majestic natural amenities, and innovative residents are just a few of the characteristics shared by some of the most environmentally friendly cities in the world according to Eluxe Magazine. Whether you’re fascinated by green energy solutions of Malmö, Sweden or the über hip, fashionable, and eco-progressive city of Portland, Oregon—this list offers up a series of cities worth knowing for any curious urbanite. Has anyone visited them all?
WATCH: Is Curitiba the world’s greenest city?
After more than 4 years of public meetings, design workshops, and presentations, Seattle leaders believe they’ve arranged a plan to pay for their new ambitious and sleek waterfront park designed by James Corner Field Operations (known for New York’s High Line). As the depressed viaduct is torn down over the next 2 years, the 26 blocks that once were disguised by cars and parking lots are slated to become a pedestrian mecca complete with parks, plazas, and plenty of views of one of the largest cities in the Pacific Northwest. While the $420 million price tag is a question mark, the biggest uncertainty is when. With its boring machine out of commission, the Highway 99 tunnel project is deadlocked. “The biggest challenge is delay,” says former Seattle Mayor Charles Royer and co-chair of the Central Waterfront Committee. “It gives people time to think up new ideas or different ideas. It’s easy to lose sight of the transformative impact this will have on the city.”
Cycling havens such as Copenhagen and Utrecht have become accustomed to a friendlier form of congestion—the type that is free of carbon dioxide emissions, free of road rage induced motorists, and most importantly yields happiness and healthy lifestyles. Several studies indicate that cycling is among the most jovial modes of transportation (only walking and train surpass it). As cycling continues to gain popularity it will be intriguing to see how cities respond to the increased infrastructure demand as well as if the cyclist behaviors shift as a result of overcrowding of bike facilities. As for now, Utrecht is successfully coping with their congestion problem and embracing it!
Check out Copenhagen’s quest to becoming the best cycling city in the world!
WATCH: Utrecht bicycle rush hour 2014
Launched as a means to provide a forum for discussion on wellbeing and public policy, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Wellbeing Economics is comprised of politicians from all major political parties. As a result of their year-long efforts, a report was released which explores how wellbeing can impact policy of planning and transport, mindfulness in health and education, arts and culture, and labor markets.
Download the report here.
News report by Brett Lezon
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