CBI launches future construction leaders group

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The CBI has selected 18 up-and-coming talents from across the construction industry to take part in a Future Leaders’ Group to develop recommendations for improving collaboration and digitisation within the sector.

Participants are under 35 years old and drawn from across the supply chain, from design to subcontractors. Companies represented on the Future Leaders Group include BAM Nuttall, Carillion, Henry Boot, Kier Group, Mott MacDonald, J Murphy & Sons, NG Bailey, Pinsent Masons, Ryder Architecture, Saint Gobain and Wates.

Richard Howson, chief executive of Carillion and chair of the CBI Construction Council, said: ‘Convening the next generation of construction leaders, who will bring a fresh, young perspective to the challenges the industry faces has the potential to move the dial forward within the industry, delivering practical, implementable solutions that can ensure better collaboration across supply chains.

‘Their hands-on industry experience, alongside support from leading figures from within the industry and the CBI makes this a unique and exciting project.’

The group will complement UK-wide research already being undertaken by the Construction Leadership Council on collaboration and digitisation. It is expected to report to the CBI’s Construction Council in November.

LI announces Student Travel Award 2017 winners

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Ruth Chittock and Isabel Swift, winners of the Landscape Institute Student Travel Award 2017, 'Healthy Landscapes'

The LI has announced two recipients of its 2017 Student Travel Award. Ruth Chittock and Isabel Swift will both be awarded up to £750 for a single trip anywhere in the world where they can learn more about this year’s topic, ‘healthy landscapes’.

The night sky is ingrained in human culture … it has inspired generations of poets, philosophers, scientists, and writers alike

Both entrants impressed judges with their in-depth and unique proposals. Ruth, a Masters of Landscape Architecture student at Kingston University, chose to focus on the adverse effects on health and well-being of light pollution, and how landscape design can ameliorate these impacts. Ruth will visit the Great Basin National Park, a designated Dark Sky Park in Nevada, in September.

‘The night sky is ingrained in human culture,’ Ruth said. ‘It is a universal heritage which we share with millions of people across the globe and it has inspired generations of poets, philosophers, scientists, and writers alike. My aim is to investigate how light pollution is leading to the loss of our night skies and how this is affecting us both physically and mentally. I am really excited to meet with people who are working to protect this incredible natural heritage and try to understand what can be done in the future.’

I’m looking forward to experiencing the public realm spaces of a nation that values integrating nature into all areas of life

Isabel, a part-time Masters of Landscape Architecture student at Leeds Beckett University, is also a qualified social therapeutic horticulturalist. Alongside her studies, she runs a social enterprise that designs community gardens for therapeutic benefit. Isabel chose to travel to Sweden, a country renowned for interior – and, more recently, garden – design, and for valuing nature, outdoor life, and environmental sustainability.

‘What a great surprise to have been awarded a student travel bursary from the Landscape Institute,’ Isabel said. ‘I’m really looking forward to the summer when I’ll be visiting Sweden to observe and experience design in both gardens purpose built to improve health, and in the public realm spaces of a nation that values integrating nature into all areas of life.’

‘Decades’ publication celebrates Manchester modernism

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Royal Northern College of Music. Photo: Emily Marshall

Manchester Modernist Society has published a new pamphlet, Decades, covering the development of Manchester and its urban landscape from 1945-1984. Modern-day landmarks include the Arndale shopping centre, Royal Exchange Theatre, and the flyovers of the Mancunian Way (50 this May).

Jack Hale of the Manchester Modernist Society said: ‘Decades captures the uniquely Mancunian story behind the buildings we see on a daily basis. Those buildings act as a reminder of the optimistic vision of the past and the human endeavour behind Manchester’s ambitious regeneration.’

Decades is written by James Thorp, with photographs by Emily Marshall, and designed by Jonathan Hitchen. Chapters take the names of tracks by Manchester band Joy Division. It is the second publication in a Manchester trilogy, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Copies cost £7 and are available from the Modernist website.

Building the open city theme for Green-Sky Thinking week

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Green Wall at Edgeware Road, London

This year’s Open City Green-Sky Thinking week takes place from 15–19 May with more than 50 events across London on the theme of ‘building the open city’.

Talks, workshops, debates and walking tours look at subjects including sustainability and building for the future, green roofs and living walls, health and wellbeing and the benefits of green spaces, forest schools, Crossrail, and the potential for housebuilding in the suburbs. The week culminates with a pub quiz on the Friday evening.

For the full programme, visit the Open City website.

LI invites wider participation in diversity and inclusion group

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The LI has issued a second call out for members for its Diversity and Inclusion working group.

The first meeting of the new working group took place on Monday 27 February. Eleven members attended, discussing how the landscape profession could better recruit and retain individuals from diverse backgrounds.

One area of discussion was how the working group reflected the diversity it is keen to encourage. As a result, the Landscape Institute is issuing a further call out for members to join the working group. While all are welcome, those who fall within the following groups are particularly encouraged:

  • individuals from the devolved nations and north of England
  • individuals of minority ethnic backgrounds
  • non-British nationals
  • members with a disability

To ensure that wide participation in the Diversity and Inclusion working group is possible, the group decided that future meetings will include a video conferencing option. In addition, individuals who would prefer to participate as corresponding members are also welcome.

The working group is keen to partner with other professional bodies and organisations that have been doing valuable work on equality and diversity, and encourages members who are involved with this work with other organisations, or who are aware of work going on in this area, to share their knowledge and experience.

If you are interested in joining the group, or want to get in touch for any other reason, please contact Sabina Mohideen at the Landscape Institute at .

Defra offers grants for flood management projects

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River Rye in flood. Photo: Phil Catterall via Wikimedia

Applications are open for grants of up to £50,000 from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) for natural flood management projects in England.

Eligible projects must show that they reduce flood risk, or coastal erosion, to homes; improve habitats and increase biodiversity; contribute to research and development of natural flood management techniques and interventions; and support and develop partnerships working with and between communities.

Initial project construction should be completed by 31 March 2021.

The grants are part of the department’s catchment-based approach, which encourages collaboration and partnerships between organisations around river catchment areas. For further information on natural flood management, contact Defra at .

The deadline for natural flood management grant applications is 19 May. Download an application form here.

Mayor seeks Design Advocates from built environment professions

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London from above. Photograph by Rob Bye via Unsplash.com

The Mayor of London is looking to recruit leaders from the built environment professions to support the delivery of the Mayor’s vision of ‘a City for all Londoners’.

Up to 30 Design Advocates will assist staff at City Hall in ensuring the inclusiveness, quality and sustainability of development across London. They will uphold the principles of ‘good growth’ by delivering and developing the Good Growth by Design programme, sharing their expertise and providing guidance to ensure that all of London’s residents benefit from changes to the capital’s built environment. They will support City Hall and Transport for London by:

  • setting standards across London in the areas of architecture, urban design and place-making;
  • maintaining standards by reviewing designs across London and the GLA group, including attending a Good Growth by Design Review Panel;
  • building capacity, ensuring London can direct, invest in, and shape development, and that the built environment sector better reflects the community it serves;
  • commissioning quality, ensuring the Mayor and London’s public sector procure the best design services; and
  • championing good growth by supporting best practice and highlighting success across the sector

‘The need for inclusive and sustainable development in our capital is acute. This is an excellent opportunity for our members to demonstrate their leadership and collaborative skills and make a positive contribution to society’

Dan Cook, Chief Executive of the Landscape Institute, is actively encouraging LI members to apply for these roles.

‘The landscape profession has the expertise and breadth of specialisms needed to address a number of societal issues’, he said. ‘Among them is the need for inclusive and sustainable development, and in our capital, this need is particularly acute.

‘To fulfil our goal to transform places for the public benefit, we need a stronger landscape voice in many leadership and policy-making roles. This is an excellent opportunity for our most senior members, particularly those specialising in urban design and place-making, to make an important contribution.’

To find out more and apply, visit www.london.gov.uk. Applications must be submitted by 12pm on Wednesday 10 May.

Landscape ecology conference to be held in Manchester

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The conference will look at a wide range of landscape ecologies. 'Countryside' by Theophilos Papadpoulos on Flickr (published under the Creative Commons licence)

ialeUK (the UK branch of the International Association of Landscape Ecology) is to hold a conference at Manchester Metropolitan University, titled ’25 Years of Landscape Ecology’.

Celebrating the quarter century of the organisation, it will take place from 27-29 June, just a few days after the LI’s conference in the same venue, making a double visit a possibility for anybody interested in spending time in the area.

25 Years of Landscape Ecology will also look at upland ecology, lowland ecology and seascape ecology, and will include field visits. Find more details here.

Place completes gardens at new Australian hospital

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Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH). Photo: Carole Margand

Landscape architect and design expert Place Design Group has completed the landscape for a major new teaching hospital in Queensland, Australia.

Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH) has been designed by architectural practices HDR Rice Daubney and Architectus. At the heart of the outdoor landscape is a public courtyard with outdoor dining spaces, children’s play areas, open lawns, public artwork, seating and lush planting. More secluded spaces include herb gardens, sports courts, and barbecue areas for patients and their families.

Place Design Group’s design lead and project manager, Ben Stevens, said: ‘We hope patients, visitors and staff will notice the hospital’s Sunshine Coast flavour in its built and landscape architecture, and will take advantage of the many functional courtyards, rooftop gardens and rest areas that have been created to maximise comfort.

‘The hospital building and grounds have been designed to reflect a natural healing environment; careful consideration was made to ensure there was lots of shade, an abundance of flora and that patient rooms had a garden view, wherever possible.’

BuroHappold launches space analysis app

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Example of SmartSpaceAnalyser tool in use over Singapore

BuroHappold Engineering and tech entrepreneurs Flux have jointly launched an app that can extract city data via overlays on Google Maps.

The SmartSpaceAnalyser is a drag-and-draw interface on top of Google Maps to drop target points and receive visual data on aspects of the site such as connectivity and visibility, and tap into live data streams. Data can then be analysed and exported to a 3D modelling system.

The app is currently in its beta testing phase; future extensions will allow modelling of environmental and economic impacts.

Shrikant Sharma, SmartSpace director at BuroHappold, said, ‘Realtime analysis and simulation tools will go a long way in transforming how we design and operate the buildings and cities of the future, and this collaboration with flux.io is a major step in that direction.’

For more information and to download the beta version for free, visit www.burohappold.com.