The Shortlist for Toronto’s Waterfront $65 Mil Re-Development Announced

News this week from the Toronto Star; four landscape architecture teams have been selected as finalists for Toronto’s Lower Don Lands redevelopment project. The Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation’s website describes the Don River project as an attempt “to produce a bold and compelling concept for the Lower Don Lands that makes the river a central feature of the urban landscape providing the new waterfront development and new linkages to the rest of the city.” Click here [note: pdf link] to download the project site’s “Opportunities and Constraints” aerial map.

The following teams are short-listed:

  • Atelier GIROT/Office of Landscape Morphology/ReK Productions
  • STOSS INC./Brown + Storey Architects/ZAS Architects
  • Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates/Behnisch Architects/Greenberg Consultants/ Great Eastern Ecology
  • Weiss/Manfredi & du Toit Allsopp Hillier

The Dirt continues to be amazed at Toronto’s headlong push into urban renewal across the metropolitan area.

Hat tip to our friends at ArchNewsNow.

Bush Administration ’08 Budget Calls for Increased National Park Funding

As part of President Bush’s proposed 2008 $2.9 trillion dollar budget, AP reports the National Park Service would receive a large increase in funding in the amount of $230 million. This would bring the total budget for the Park Service to $2.4 billion and amounts to the largest-ever annual increase for the national parks.

The stated impetus behind the increase is the upcoming Park Service’s 100th birthday in 2016. The Office of Management and Budget has the budget broken down into sections online (with a nice website here) for your reading pleasure.

Update 02/13/07: ASLA’s Government Affairs department takes a closer look at the President’s budget in the latest LAND Online newsletter.]


“Why Don’t You Walk More?” DC Creates a Pedestrian Plan

Today’s Washington Post reports that the District is creating, for the first time, a master pedestrian plan. Over the next ten months the Department of Transportation will consider pedestrian safety, street lighting, and tree planting in an effort to encourage more people to walk to work. According to the article, 12 percent of D.C. workers walk to work, 33 percent ride Metro trains or buses, 2 percent bike, and 38 percent drive. The Dirt applauds DC’s move to improve the quality of life of the city’s streets and public spaces, and impudently suggests it check the ASLA Firm Finder for some expert local help.

Photo by flickr user Bien Stephenson.

Three Ways to Fight Climate Change’s Effect on Biodiversity

Nikita Lopoukhine, chairman of the IUCN’s Commission on Protected Areas, offers three strategies for combating global warming’s threats to biodiversity in last week’s International Herald Tribune Opinion page.

The article, “The World Will Need Our Help When It Gets Hot,” is a call for the recovery of damaged and degraded ecosystems, protection for parks and wilderness, and the creation of connectivity between these protected areas. “Just imagine a salamander trying to move to cooler northern regions faced with crossing an autobahn,” Lopoukhine writes.

Following last week’s release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change‘s report [NYT coverage here], The Dirt already hears its echoes reverberating through governments’ and private citizens’ outlook on global warming. Mr. Lopoukhine joins the chorus of possible plans and priorities moving forward.

Work on Olmsted’s Linear Park in Georgia Reaches Final Stage

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports today on the rehabilitation work on Frederick Law Olmsted’s Linear Park outside downtown Atlanta. The park, a narrow two-mile ribbon composed of six distinct areas, has been under the auspices of the Olmsted Linear Park Alliance since 1997. Spencer Tunnell, ASLA, is coordinating the restoration of the final section of the park, Deepdene. Improvements include repairing damage caused by water runoff, burying utility lines, and removing invasive plants. A new walking promenade is also to be built, along with more accessible trails. The park is scheduled to be completely rehabilitated by late 2008.