Entire forest to be built in Singapore high-rise apartment atrium

singapore high rise apartment

Entire forest to be built in Singapore high-rise apartment atrium:

Green Heart, in Singapore’s Marina One, is set to be a green space like never before. Including a multi-level public garden, calming waterfalls, reflecting pools, and a dense web of lush trees, this massive 376,000-square-foot project will be a one-of-a-kind green urban space when it’s officially launched in 2016.

The brainchild of German studio Ingenhoven Architects and Singapore A61, construction of Marina One began in 2012. The work has since been handed over to landscape architecture firm Gustafson Porter, which is now converting the space into Singapore’s largest green urban sanctuary – with four high-rise apartments already surrounding the space.

Pathways and ponds will blend seamlessly into the surrounding business district as a way to complement the existing green spaces of Gardens by the Bay, a 101-hectare park of reclaimed land that sits beside Singapore’s Marina Reservoir.

Curving balconies will resemble traditional Asian rice terraces, with additional plant beds scaling the facade, culminating in lofty “cloud forests” above.

A triumph in green urban design, Green Heart will set the standard on a scale never seen before. “The planting is designed to create inspiring and multifunctional urban spaces to be enjoyed by all in Singapore,” Gustafson Porter told De Zeen magazine.

Image courtesy of M+S Pte Ltd.

Independent groups take action in light of Auckland’s urban forest crisis

Citygreen - Independent groups take action in light of Auckland’s urban forest crisis

Independent groups take action in light of Auckland’s urban forest crisis:

A recent study has found that Auckland has just 6 per cent of its urban forest left, with over half situated on private land. Only 15 per cent is protected by Auckland Council’s ‘Schedule of Notable Trees’, which is the only remaining tool for tree protection since changes to the Resource Management Act in 2012. Study Co-Author, Dr Margaret Stanley, of the University of Auckland, said the city’s urban forest is in, “…a really urgent state of play.”

The benefits of urban forests are clear, with Auckland lagging behind the rest of the world in protecting them. “The study shows the schedule is failing to adequately protect unique native tree species and we need to do much better if we are to protect what is left of the city’s urban forest,” Dr Stanley said.

Charmaine Wiapo overseas a Ngati Whatua-led project to return an area of land at Bastion Point back to native bush. She says Auckland’s urban forest has become, “very fragmented.” In response, 200,000 trees have been planted to link up to tree corridors elsewhere in the city, providing food stock for native birds that fly between them.

Forest and Bird is another group taking action in the face of the crisis. As, “New Zealand’s largest independent conservation organisation that works to preserve natural heritage and native species,” the group is working on a wildlife network to connect urban habitats in the Waitakere and Hunua Ranges and Hauraki Gulf Islands. The group is also aiming to have trees with ecological value added to the proposed Auckland Unitary Plan.

Deputy Mayor, Penny Hulse, agreed tree protection rules had taken, “…a bit of a hammering” over recent years. Thankfully, there a numerous independent groups stepping up to the plate – both to protect what remains and to create much-needed new urban forests.

photo credit . Albert Park, Auckland . Michael Zimmer

Coles Hallam becomes Australia’s first Green Star Rated Supermarket

Citygreen - Coles Hallam becomes Australia’s first Green Star Rated Supermarket

Coles Hallam becomes Australia’s first Green Star Rated Supermarket:

Coles has achieved the first Green Star rating for a supermarket, awarded by The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA). Coles in Hallam (situated in outer-south-east Melbourne) achieved the 4 Star Green Star rating. Designed by Michael Carr Architect, key achievements at the Hallam store include:

  • 50% more fresh air compared to minimum standards through high-performance heating, ventilation, and air conditioning 
  • 15% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions with highly-efficient chillers and heat reclaimed from refrigeration cases used to supply heating in other parts of the supermarket 
  • LED lighting to reduce energy consumption and internal heating loads 
  • 70% reduction in water consumption compared to traditional supermarkets with water-efficient fixtures and fittings, and 150,000-litre capacity water tanks 

Coles Hallam is also the first supermarket to undergo a, “Life Cycle Assessment, allowing Coles to make comparisons between different materials and products to select healthy, efficient and sustainable options.”

The GBCA’s Chief Executive Officer, Romilly Madew, said, “Coles, in their determination to develop a supermarket of the future, has set a new benchmark for sustainable supermarket design in Australia. Coles now has a framework for sustainable supermarkets that are not only more efficient and cost effective to run, but are also more comfortable places in which to work and shop.”

Madew added that the GBCA has compelling international researching confirming that, “…green retail buildings featuring good natural light and ventilation, high-performance heating and cooling systems, and materials low in harmful chemicals, are not only more efficient and cheaper to operate, but can also improve the experience for customers and return on investment for owners.”

Delhi Continues Efforts to Save the Ridge

Citygreen - Delhi Continues Efforts to Save the Ridge

Delhi Continues Efforts to Save the Ridge:

In Delhi, India, there’s been a recent re-emergence of a pro-active urban forestry culture, and for good reason. Boasting a population of over 16 million residents, Delhi is a growing capital city. Composed of a “series of low hills extending in two branches to cradle the city, the Ridge…serves many valuable ecological functions, protecting Delhi from the dust of nearby Rajasthan, lowering the ambient temperature, cleaning the air, sheltering flora and fauna, and – perhaps most importantly – filtering and preserving groundwater in a parched city.”

Historically, efforts to protect and preserve the lush dense forest cover have ebbed and flowed in public consciousness, beginning in 1979 with the founding of Kalpavriksh. “In 1992, Kalpavriksh joined with several other organizations to form the Joint NGO Forum to Save the Ridge, which included major groups like the WWF (World Wildlife Fund). The Forum helped mobilize school and neighborhood organizations, and publicized the cause…”

Within the past several years, a new generation have taken a foothold in the Save the Ridge” movement  to protect their valuable “green lung”, and the efforts are notable, but the struggle against developments, and governmental loopholes is real.

A plan developed by the Delhi forestry department stated, “There is a need for a young and passionate forestry consultant to study the soil and weather conditions, select plant species and monitor the restoration work. The department needs a technical expert for electronically mapping forest land and encroachment.”

Since then, the department has set up a conservation Education Centre to develop awareness and educate on the rich biodiversity of the Delhi Ridge. In order to conserve more areas of the ridge, the Delhi Govt in association with the DDA has developed the 692 acre Aravalli Biodiversity Park.

With 40% of the original forest footprint destroyed, more assertive, and effective action plans must be taken. Kalpavriksh’s present efforts include, “…working with the Delhi Government to streamline the tree helpline, to activate the tree authority and to suggest measures that can make the Delhi Preservation of Trees Act more meaningful.”

Community Stewardship of Urban Forest Futures

Citygreen - Community Stewardship of Urban Forest Futures

Community Stewardship of Urban Forest Futures:

Much focus is given to new city-scale projects to enhance and develop urban forestry, and utilize the most cutting edge designs in green infrastructure. Though the benefits reaped by the inhabitants and community members are often noted, there is a large opportunity to support what infrastructure has begun, and this opportunity starts at the individual level.

What needs to be developed just as much as the re-designing of past urban forestry projects is the sense of stewardship and personal ownership of the local forestry and environment we each inhabit.
Lindsay K Campbell, a research social scientist with the USDA Forest Service, recently stated in a personal blog, “How can we cultivate attachment and stewardship but also allow attachment to inform management, decision-making, and priority-setting? What would it look like to grow a forest that is rooted in these community relations all along the way?”

With this personal ownership, comes the challenge of finding ways to expand on what is presently placed into two categories: sparse individual experiences, like caring for the forestry outside an individual’s apartment, and far-reaching, but finite community volunteer events, usually lasting a day or weekend at most.

What happens after those trees or gardens are planted?

A beginning solution is the creation, participation, and effective momentum of local “greening communities”, as put by the Arbor Day Foundation.

Tree City USA is a framework created and monitored by the Arbor Day Foundation, which has created a framework for action from which communities can establish community forestry management.In order to achieve and maintain active status, these cities must be, “maintaining a tree board or department, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry and celebrating Arbor Day.”

The result as of 2015 is over 3,400 communities, and 135 million Americans living in these stewarded areas. With effective framework, education, and a sense of pride and ownership, successful urban landscapes are looking forward to a green, well cared for future in conjunction with the advancement in design and infrastructure provided by the governing and civic bodies.

Citygreen at the 2015 NSW/WSUD/IECA Conference

Citygreen at the 2015 NSW/WSUD/IECA Conference

Citygreen at the 2015 NSW/WSUD/IECA Conference:

With our ongoing support of the stormwater industry, Citygreen® is proud to announce it’s involvement in this year’s NSW/WSUD/IECA Conference, on the 19th-23rd of October at Dockside Darling Harbour, NSW.

For more information please visit: www.wsud2015.org

 

City of Melbourne Collaborates with Community Members on its Urban Forest Strategy

Citygreen - City of Melbourne Collaborates with Community Members on its Urban Forest Strategy

City of Melbourne Collaborates with Community Members on its Urban Forest Strategy:

“Participate Melbourne” was launched by the Melbourne City Council in 2013, as a means for members

of the community to understand and contribute to the decisions that shape Melbourne’s future. An

online, collaborative community, this initiative is the result of the council’s commitment to being a more

accessible, transparent, and responsive organization. Information is shared about the council’s decisions

and performance, with a particular focus on how the views of community members have influenced the

Key projects being shaped by Participate Melbourne include the Queen Victoria Market, 10 Year

Financial Plan, the Arts Strategy, and the Urban Forest Strategy.

 

According to its Urban Forest Strategy site, The City of Melbourne is, “facing three significant challenges:

climate change, urban heating, and population growth. These will place significant pressure on the built

fabric, services and people of the city. A healthy urban forest will play an important role in maintaining

Melbourne’s liveability.”

 

The Urban Forest Strategy provides a robust framework for the evolution and longevity of Melbourne’s

urban forest, with Participate Melbourne currently running a number of initiatives to inform how this

will look at an individual street level. Via Participate Melbourne, the council is working with community

members to develop tree planting plans for local areas.

 

Already in progress is the plan for a future urban forest in Parkville, with community members meeting

at a free breakfast to contribute and discuss ideas in March. Individuals can also share their ideas by

pinning them on an interactive map, and completing a photo questionnaire. Both tools, along with

regular updates, can be found on the Urban Forest Strategy site.

 

Next on the agenda for the 2015 program, two further free community breakfasts will take place:

 

To receive updates on urban forest projects and events in the City of Melbourne, individuals can email

urbanforest@melbourne.vic.gov.au.

 

Photo credit: Participate Melbourne

 

 

Advanced Tree Pit Design Enhances Urban Forestry

Citygreen - Advanced Tree Pit Design Enhances Urban Forestry

With increasing urbanization, and more highly concentrated populations within cities, strengthening the green infrastructure is becoming increasingly important. One of the largest opportunities for impact is maintaining and enhancing the urban canopy. This is addressed most readily by advanced tree pit design, which refers to the subterranean structures put in place during planting.

In Minneapolis, the local government conducted research that revealed well-planted trees provide a strong financial incentive in addition to the ecosystem benefits. The research found a $2 million savings between a storm water conveyance system, or subterranean cell systems.

Peter MacDonagh, a landscape architect, said in an ASLA interview, “larger, older trees are far more valuable than younger ones, so work needs to be done to preserve these and use new techniques to enable younger trees to stay in place longer.”

As trees were planted in the past, the soil they were placed in was compacted, causing a lack of nutrients, storm water management, and root establishment. As a result, the trees struggle to thrive and provide their benefits to the local environment and infrastructure. Often, these struggling trees will either die, stop growing, or begin to push through and ruin sidewalks and roads.

The Center for Urban Forest Research calculates that large-canopy trees …outperform small trees…and they do not start adding significant environmental performance until they reach 30 feet,” states Matthew Gordy, a landscape and urban design professional.

By utilizing cell systems, the strain put on the trees’ growth is almost completely eliminated, resulting in lower costs, and increased shade, stormwater management, and overall well being of the populaces and local infrastructure.

Get more information on advanced soil cell systems here.

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