The City of Canterbury Bankstown transformed a section of North Terrace in Bankstown into an interactive experience for a week in June. The Future Street exhibit showcased how landscape, infrastructure and technology may advance the city to become more liveable, productive and sustainable. Future Street Canterbury-Bankstown also highlighted two of the city’s major projects under consultation: the ‘Smart CBCity Roadmap‘ and ‘Bankstown Complete Streets Transport and Place Plan‘. The 2019 pop-up follows the original 2017 Future Street activation, held in front of Customs House in Circular Quay – a project designed by Place Design Group with the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects, Smart Cities Council ANZ and the Internet of Things Alliance Australia. To help demonstrate these ideas, product vendors including Street Furniture Australia, Smart Sensor, Lime, Andreasen’s Green and …
Trend Watch December 2018
Emails to Melbourne’s Trees are Romantic, Funny and Strange:
The city gave 70,000 trees email addresses for the public to report issues. Instead, they sent love letters and existential queries.
Since the project began more than 4,000 emails have come from all over the world including from Russia, Germany, Britain, Hungary, Moldova, Singapore, Brazil, Denmark, Hong Kong and the US.
A selection of the emails can be found on the ABC website, including this example:
Dear Smooth-barked Apple Myrtle,
I am your biggest admirer. I have always wanted to meet you, but tragically, I’m stuck in New York.
I think you are the most handsome tree of them all, tall with an inviting open canopy. I love to just dream of you, the smell of your clusters of white flowers, the sight of your lush, dark green foliage, and feel of your patterned bark.
You inspire me to live life to the fullest, and pursue my dreams; you keep growing despite the terrible tragedies in this world. You are loved and deserve the world.
Love, some person in New York
Each tree has a unique ID number that can be found via Melbourne City Council’s Urban Forest Visual, an interactive map that provides information about each tree including its species (if known) and life expectancy.
Hassell’s Winning Panda Land masterplan:
A connected, immersive ‘panda trail’ across the southern Chinese city of Chengdu aims to invite visitors to explore and view the iconic animals in a new way, says Hassell of its competition-winning design.
The proposal draws on research into how people perceive and engage with wildlife, says the firm.
“By locating animal enclosures away from the main paths, limiting visibility to the exhibits through key openings and positioning animals at a higher level than the visitors, we dissolve the common idea of humans being dominant over nature,” said Andrew Wilkinson, Hassell principal and project leader.
The project is “highly rewarding,” he told ArchitectureAU.
The masterplan proposes to educate visitors about panda conservation and protection across three key sites.
At Dujiangyan to the north-west Hassell envisions visitors becoming “explorers rather than conventional tourists,” wandering through the valleys of a panda habitat parkland, observation station and eco resort.
At Beihu park and lake in the north-east, the focus is on surrounding communities joining conservation efforts, with scientific research and cultural innovation centres running local education programs.
A landscape restoration strategy would lead efforts at Longquan Mountain to revegetate degraded areas. Hassell plans for an international education and learning venue and nature park to “connect the mountain to the new eastern edge of the city and a global market.”
Tongji Urban Planning and Design Institute collaborated with Hassell on the project, with specialist advice provided by landscape architect and zoo designer Jon Coe.
Designing Cities to counter loneliness:
The way we design our cities can help or hinder social connection, writes Tanzil Shafique from the University of Melbourne for The Conversation.
We are currently experiencing epidemics of loneliness, he says, with half a mission Japanese suffering from social isolation, the UK appointing a minister for loneliness and an Australian MP calling for the same.
As well as the impact on mental health, researchers have found that loneliness can also increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, said to be as bad as smoking around 15 cigarettes a day.
The design of the built environment, Shafique says, does not ’cause’ interactions to happen that will alleviate loneliness, but it could work better to enable and encourage strangers to meet.
He proposed the question to his graduate design studio at the Melbourne School of Design: Can we think of different ways to be in the city, of a different architecture that can ‘cure’ loneliness?
Their responses range from transport solutions, pet share facilities, laneway activations, a restaurant with produce grown onsite, a kindergarten co-housed with a nursing home and gardening installation for cemeteries.
Australia’s first locally designed and made smart bench, with outdoor device charging and provision for WiFi and sensors, has received a prestigious Good Design Award Winner Accolade for outstanding design and innovation. The Aria Smart Bench is Street Furniture Australia’s first foray into the smart cities movement, says Head of Innovation June Lee Boxsell. “For us, smart cities has two aspects. First, human-centred: we aim to bring enjoyment to public spaces and create meaningful experiences for the community. One way Aria Smart Bench answers this need is through modularity,” says Boxsell. “Site specific solutions are important for activating public spaces. Each place has its own identity, community, history. Just as at Nike you can design your own shoe, with Aria you can design your own bench without having to build …
Street Furniture Australia has confirmed its ongoing six year partnership with the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA), signing on for a further two years. The company has been a national sponsor and supporting corporate partner since 2014. “AILA is proud to continue this relationship with our longer-term partner, Street Furniture Australia,” says Tim Arnold, AILA CEO. “Street Furniture Australia has been committed to research, innovation and supporting the landscape architecture profession. “We’ve previously joined forces on things like #BackyardExperiment and Future Street; more recently they lead a research project, Woden Experiment at the Woden Town Square in Canberra. I’m excited to see what the partnership will bring into the future.” Street Furniture Australia will be a sponsor of the 2019 International Festival of Landscape Architecture: The Square and the …
Muji’s driverless shuttle bus: Japanese brand Muji has unveiled designs for an autonomous all-weather shuttle bus, called Gacha, set to run in three cities in Finland by 2020. Muji provided the aesthetic design, wanting it to look “friendly” and inviting, with autonomous driving technology by Finnish company Sensible 4. “We are developing these vehicles so that they can become part of [the] daily transportation service chain,” says Harri Santamala, CEO of Sensible 4, in Fast Company. “Autonomous vehicles can’t become mainstream until their technology has been insured to work in all climates.” The bus features a curved, cubic externior, with no discernable distinction between its front and back. A band of LED lights act as headlights, and signal to pedestrians and other drivers. The bus is expected to be launched in Helsinki …
23% of people get their alone time out of home, Ikea Reports: The traditional idea of where we find a feeling of home is being disrupted, moving beyond four walls, according to a global research project by Ikea Group. The report found that 1 in 3 people of the 22,000 surveyed in 22 markets including Australia, the US, Europe and China, said there are places where they feel more at home than the space they live in. In cities Ikea tracks this as rising from 20% in 2016 to 35% in 2018. The Life at Home Report 2018 identifies five core emotional needs which capture the feeling of home – privacy, comfort, ownership, security and belonging. Ikea says many living situations do not answer these needs, hence people look to their community and local area, their work, and the homes of their families …
recycled Plastic Roads now on trial: Inventors are currently trialling recycled plastic road technology in the Netherlands, says The Economist, with a 30 metre bicycle track opened in early September. The first prefabricated PlasticRoad track in Zwolle consists of modular sections made in a factory from 70% recycled plastic and 30% polypropylene. Developers say it includes recycled plastic equivalent to more than 218,000 plastic cups or 500,000 bottle caps. Sensors to measure temperature, the number of bike passages, durability, flexing and the flow of water through drainage channels, are also fitted inside the path. Two Dutch firms – KWS, a road builder, and Wavin, a firm that makes plastic piping – are developing the product in partnership with Total, a French oil-and-gas firm. The trial follows an Australian test project installed in May, with a …