Trend Watch June 2020

Mural designed and painted by students. Photo: Matluba Khan.

“The Children Got Better Grades Learning Outside”

Matluba Khan, Lecturer in Urban Design at Cardiff University, redesigned a school in Bangladesh to include outdoor learning elements requested by the students and teachers – and studied the results.

Her research showed that the children’s maths and science improved with teaching and learning outdoors.

“The Grade IV children performed significantly better in maths and science compared to a comparable school which had had no change in the environment,” she writes.

“Hands-on learning outdoors made learning fun and engaging for everyone, but particularly benefited underachievers. We found that children who didn’t interact much in the classroom setting were more pro-active and participated more in their outdoor sessions.”

Read about the project in The Conversation.

Hundreds of Bus Stops Turned Into Bee Sanctuaries:

The Netherlands city of Utrecht has transformed 316 bus stops into ‘bee stops’ to support endangered bee species and biodiversity, improve air quality by capturing fine dust, store rainwater and provide cooling in summer.

The planted roofs are mainly composed of sedum plants, a favourite of pollinators like the honey bees and bumblebees the city is aiming to attract.

Sedum requires little water to survive. The plants are cared for by municipal workers who drive around the city in electric vehicles.

Read more on Bright Vibes.

Sedum plants on Utrecht bee stop. Photo: Bright Vibes.

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7 Ways to Activate Streets

As the value of public spaces comes into focus, this article shares seven case studies of street furniture being used to help improve community wellbeing. Both tactical pop-ups and permanent installations are featured below, with examples of projects that foster community engagement and measure social impact. Street Furniture Australia products have been tried-and-tested to activate spaces and deliver results. Select from our range to bring life, joy and comfort to your community. Case 1. Creating Millions of Smiles Woden Experiment was a six-month prototype installation by the ACT Government that aimed to bring life, joy and comfort to Canberra’s Woden Town Square. Brightly coloured seats and tables were configured in random positions to create a casual and welcoming vibe. Community interviews, observations and workshops were at the heart of this …

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Wood Without Worry

Aluminium woodgrain, also known as ‘Wood Without Worry,’ provides the warm look of timber – retained over time – with the minimal maintenance requirements of powder coated aluminium. Where timber requires oiling every three months to keep it at its best, simply wipe down woodgrain aluminium with a clean, damp cloth every few months as required. See the new Wood Without Worry brochure. Enquire Now Select from five beautiful shades of wood: dark to light and cool to warm. Some Wood Without Worry battens require end caps. If this is the case, you may choose to match the end cap with the colour of the frame or batten. case studies Warm Tones Helping clients achieve a low maintenance, warm colour palette. Moore Street, Canberra by NettleonTribe.Aria Seat (CMA1) and Simple …

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Trend Watch August 2020

Designing streets for kids: Released in August by the Global Designing Cities Initiative, “Designing Streets for Kids,” offers strategies and solutions to redesign urban streets and public spaces by focusing on the needs of kids and caregivers, with the goal of making streets beautiful, fun – and safe. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for young people ages 5-29 globally, and traffic congestion and vehicles contribute to high levels of air pollution, which is responsible for the death of 127,000 children under the age of five each year, the guide’s authors said. Many of these deaths, they said, can be dramatically reduced through kid-friendly street design. Read the Forbes article, How to Make Streets Kid-Friendly by Tanya Mohn. Image: A street in Fortaleza, Brazil, designed according to ‘Designing Streets …

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Trend Watch May 2020

Podcast by Two Urban Designers – From Shopping Malls to Coronavirus: Adelaide (un)Planned is a slick and engaging podcast exploring design and planning in Adelaide, South Australia – the good, bad and (sometimes) ugly. What is it that makes this city one of the most liveable in the world? Presented by Michael McKeown, Director and Urban Designer at Jensen PLUS, and Daniel Bennett, Urban Design Strategy Lead with Architectus, the podcast has recently celebrated its tenth episode. Each instalment features conversations with some of Adelaide’s leading thinkers, planners and design professionals, selected for their opinions, insights, stories and good humour. Expect discussion about well-known and changing places, streets and developments, and topical chats about landscape, transport, the environment and civic leadership. We recommend starting with episode seven, Coronavirus and the …

  • 25 may 2020
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Trend Watch April 2020

Is Play a Cure for Loneliness? Communities that connect through play are well-placed to support each other in times of crisis writes Alison Stenning, Professor of Geography at Newcastle University and play streets activist, for The Developer. Stenning has published a report looking at the benefits of organised neighbourhood play sessions in the UK grassroots movement Playing Out, where streets are temporarily closed for games and chalk drawing. “Playing out’ is not just about play and not just for children,” she writes, as neighbours of all ages are encouraged to participate and form new relationships with others who live on their street. “These new connections enable and are reinforced by a proliferation of contact between neighbours outside of street play sessions. Neighbours lend and borrow equipment, ingredients, and occasionally money. …

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Trend Watch March 2020

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