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This year's award for the best landscape project at the World Architecture Festival has gone to a botanical garden at a former quarry in Australia, situated in a former sand quarry outside Melbourne.
The garden is laid out as a journey through Australian fauna, from the desert to the coast, set among buildings and beside artificial lakes, and showcases170,000 plants across 1700 species, and is used by both researchers and the public.
"This garden brilliantly summarises the great variety of Australian flora as well as the large part of the country which is arid desert," said the panel of judges. "Like a botanic garden, it is a collection of difference, but with a strong unifying set of journeys through the various landscapes.
See more images at the link.
A food store in Vermont, rezoning in Portsmouth, and five other neat efforts.
'The Environmental Protection Agency announced seven winners of its 2012 National Awards for Smart Growth Achievement recently. As I have noted in the past, the smart growth awards are given for creative, outstanding initiatives that protect the health and the environment of our communities while also strengthening local economies...'
Inspiration Kitchens in Chicago took home the Bruner Foundation’s Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence (RBA) gold medal, which comes with $50,000 in support for the project. Four other projects won silver medals and $10,000.
The biennial award celebrates “urban places distinguished by quality design and contributions to the social, economic, and communal vitality of our nation’s cities.” Since 1987, the Bruner Foundation has awarded 67 projects $1.2 million in support.
Inspiration Kitchens is an “entrepreneurial, nonprofit initiative” on Chicago’s west side. In an economically-challenged part of the city, this LEED Gold certified facility, with a 80-seat restaurant, serves free and affordable healthy meals.
Four other projects won silver medals and $10,000: read the complete article for more details.
In terms of ecological and cultural sustainability, only a rarified echelon matches the spectrum of excellence in a recent mixed-use redevelopment project in downtown Berkeley, California.
The project replaced a surface parking lot in a core urban area with two buildings: a 97-unit affordable-apartment building and a LEED Platinum office facility for environmental and social-justice organizations, with retail shops at street level and parking underground — sited together across the street from the University of California, Berkeley campus and within walking distance of numerous transit connections...