Saturday 30 July was a sunny day that encouraged a walk somewhere else in the city, besides the usual meander through the local streets.
A place to visit often
There were few people visiting the NGA’s Sculpture Garden when I visited to enjoy the garden’s well-designed spaces and to check out the artworks.
ACT Government not so environmental
In February, 2012, the then-ACT Labor Environment and Sustainable Development Minister, Simon Corbell, officially opened the Dickson Wetlands (completed in 2011). This marvellous water feature changed the neighbourhood.
Particular major urban developments in Canberra have been promoted to be in line with the plans of Marion Mahony Griffin and Walter Burley Griffin or somehow in the spirit of the Griffins.
Design leadership missing in action
The south side of Franklin Street, Manuka, was shut off during November for several clusters of seats and tables on fake grass. It was apparently another of this government’s pop-up experiments.
NCA challenged on suburban design
When you think of planning and development and who is making a mess of this city, attention usually turns to the dark arts as practised by the ACT Planning Directorate.
A pamphlet arrived in Dickson letterboxes that won’t bring much joy to the other areas of the city. It announced that $3 million is to be spent on Woolley Street, Dickson.
Commonwealth Park neglected by government
Attention to a significant piece of national land is being overlooked among the misinformation used to justify the demolition of West Basin.
Need for a new public art policy
Sometime during the last election, a candidate said something about revising the public sculpture program initiated by Jon Stanhope when he was chief minister.
It has been many years since I have wandered amongst the tulips of Floriade.
The Cultural Landscape Foundation wants to connect people to the places of culture around them. click here
There are many tales to be told about the design and the delivery of Australia’s Parliament House. There is one that involves a very clever person who realised he had the opportunity to use an everyday object as part of his own business branding.
There is talk in the art world about the National Gallery of Australia’s (NGA) changes to their permanent collection galleries and how this has included the movement of the famous Jackson Pollock painting, Blue Poles, from its long historic position downstairs to the upstairs galleries.
Review The Goods Line Sydney
The Bowen Place underpass has been a long time in coming — and is very welcomed. It is a job well done.
Barangaroo Reserve, opened to the public in August 2015. It was immediately greeted with much enthusiasm and was declared a success.
Good to see the work by locals, Harris Hobbs Landscapes, being recognised.
click on the image.
The high line just keeps on being a wonderful concept – click here for the latest developments.
Guilfoyle’s Volcano at Melbourne Botanic Gardens
This is a job well done. I saw an article about this and was determined to have a look. Now if only those promoting it had been sensible and given an address.
Review: Roma Street Parkland, Brisbane
Part One: It is about creative Garden Design
I first visited these gardens and parklands back in 2004 and was very impressed then. This parkland project was a major commitment by the then state government to re-develop a former industrial site and to join it to the existing Albert Park to form one larger parkland, the Roma Street Parklands. I highly recommend anyone and everyone visiting Brisbane to allocate at least an hour to wander about these parklands ten minutes or more away from the Brisbane CBD. (click on any image to enlarge it)
Review: Landscape Design/ Vertical Garden
A submission for the 2014 World Architecture Festival Awards
A-Mazing Vertical Garden, Da Nang City, Vietnam
I came across this garden when looking through the short listed projects for the World Architecture Awards to be announced in Singapore in early October 2014. At first I was very impressed with the technical qualities and that it was a form of the old fashioned maze, but done with plants in a more sustainable manner.
How can we work with the landscape to make liveable places?
How the liveability of our cities means designers and planners working with the landscape rather than against it.
A video, about six and half minutes, introducing the concept of valuing landscape and the link to liveable settlements.
Comment: on being True to the Planet can mean sometimes you have to just say no.
How are we being served by our professions in their provision of buildings and landscape projects? The highest priority for the future of the planet remains that every action be taken in the context of addressing climate change adaptation.
YouTube presentation – The Olympic Park: a Landscape Legacy
a presentation put online by the UK Landscape Institute. Enjoy!
Review: Gardens By The Bay, Singapore
This is a difficult review. I am not as enthusiastic about this major park project as all the reviews I can find online. I am very ware that it has been granted all sorts of awards. Please check award accolades here in the UK Telegraph, and again on this award site.
Advocacy: Edible City
A presentation: Turn your city to being an edible city
Developed by the American Society of Landscape Architects, this presentation will assist advocacy to deal with the forecasted food shortages as climate change kicks in. The presentation demonstrates how to turn a conventional community into an edible city. Learn how to transform unproductive spaces into agricultural landscapes that help fight obesity and reduce food deserts. Make sure you note the address and send it onto anyone in decision making roles.
Advocacy: Sustainable Landscapes – Revitalizing Cities with Parks
Developed by the American Society of Landscape Architects, this presentation should assist anyone with their advocacy for Revitalizing Cities with Parks. In these times of reactionary governments and tight budgets, it is important to maintain efforts to introduce the simple idea to create more parks.
Leadership in design of the built environment
I was attending a meeting of combined community council two years ago, when to members of the public who were in attendance made very similar appeals. Both were very upset with the quality of the redevelopments that had appeared within their street, despite the local communities objections about key aspects of the developments.
As far as I could ascertain, they were not necessarily opposed to the infill of their suburb. It was more about the nature of the apartments being built.
Advocacy: Urban Forests
A presentation: Urban Forests = Cleaner, Cooler Air
Developed by the American Society of Landscape Architects, this presentation will assist advocacy for more resource allocation for urban forests. Governments need to deal with climate change in the urban areas, and dealing with urban forests is a good place to concentrate some resources. The urban forest issues are linked to the population’s health and wellbeing and avoiding heat island effects.
Online Presentation: The Best Planned City: Olmsted, Vaux, and the Buffalo Park System
Despite all the evidence and all the advocacy, our political leaders are still not up to the challenge of dealing with something that is a threat to life as we have come to know it here on this planet. True leadership seems to be in short supply these days.
There are a host of professions that could be showing much greater leadership. Many have learnt to be spin doctors and have filled pages with their commitments and their policies. All this is very nice and very polite.
The Nature of Cities
Education in ecology and biodiversity
If cities look to stay within their boarders, there is the need to seek acceptable ways to intensify the number of residents within the older suburbs. This requires an intelligent engagement with the present residents of suburban areas on a case by case basis.
Given the need to address climate change within the suburbs as they are being redeveloped and upgraded throws up a host of requirements that should have by now have been built into legislation. Sadly this is not so as most of the re-development and intensification as been left to laissez-faire market forces.
Review: Urban Development
Sydney’s Central Park development, Chippendale, Sydney
The Central Park development of the old brewery site opposite UTS in Sydney, has attracted much attention in the last couple of years. Most of this was in the form of churnalism, being column space based on using the developer’s media releases. There has also been the expected paragraphs of praise by ‘industry’ experts in profession’s trade magazines.
Opinion: Northbourne Avenue re-development
I quote from the Canberra Times 10 December 2013: “Strong commercial demand is expected for ACT government-owned properties along Northbourne Avenue that will be sold for redevelopment.”
Review: Grand Hope Park Los Angeles
This is an opinion piece, not just on a particular park, but about the story behind the park. This park is run by a not-for-profit organization. Should there be more of these in Australia as local government budgets get squeezed and the green infrastructure, trees etc, are being placed low on the priority? Many parks and recreation managers, urban tree supervisors and/or landscape project officers tell the same tale that their resources are being reduced and even the day-to-day maintenance is falling behind.
Review: Landscape Architecture/Parks
Jack Ross Park, Kingston Foreshore, Canberra
This is a first venture into the new park within the slowly evolving foreshore development at Kingston , Canberra. First impressions are of lots of detail, very contemporary and any park besides the lake is to be a welcomed addition to local amenities.
Review: Landscape Architecture/ Park Design
Bishan Park Singapore
Question? Can a professional in a large bureaucracy bring about change?
The above image is of Bishan Park in Singapore until a senior landscape architect within the Parks Board had a great idea. Why not change this unattractive engineered solution back to being part of the river? Apparently he pushed hard for the idea to be taken up and eventually won the day. We visited this park in 2012 and were impressed by the difference a great idea and determination can deliver to the local population.
Anzac Parade: A mixed tale of Trees and Lights
Trees are important in our urban environments. They are part of our urban green infrastructure and perform important roles assisting in health and well-being as well as climate change adaptation.
And they are just beautiful. I like trees.
Turrell lands within new NGA garden
originally published September 2010
One quiet Saturday afternoon in mid August 2010, while visiting the National Gallery of Australia, I observed that the barriers were down on the new NGA forecourt garden and that the new James Turrell sculpture was open and awaiting a visitor.
A work in progress – reviewing the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra
The National Portrait Gallery of Australia opened in 2009 to much acclaim. This national cultural institution has become a very popular tourist destination. The gallery sits in amongst trees in the National Parliamentary Triangle alongside the National Gallery of Australia and the High Court of Australia.
While I have seen nothing but praise for the building, I beg to differ. Particularly when talking about the outside of the building and how it ‘sits in the landscape’. More on that later.