green streets
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green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
Curated by Lauren Moss
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Protecting Ecosystems + Providing for A New Urban Community: Qunli Stormwater Wetland Park

Protecting Ecosystems + Providing for A New Urban Community: Qunli Stormwater Wetland Park | green streets | Scoop.it

From the architect. Turenscape was commissioned to design a wetland park of 34.2 hectares in the middle of a new town, which is listed as a protected regional wetland. The site is surrounded on four sides by roads and dense development. As such, water sources into this former wetland were being cut, and the wetland was under the threat. Turenscape’s strategy was to transform the dying wetland into a ‘green sponge’ – an urban stormwater park, which will not only rescue the disappearing wetland, but will also provide multiple ecosystems services for the new urban community.


The challenges are obvious: How can a disappearing wetland be preserved when its ecological and biological processes have been cut off by the urban context? How can such a wetland ecosystem be designed to provide multiple ecosystems for the city? And what is the economic way to deal with such a landscape? The solution was to transform the wetland into a multi-functional stormwater park that will collect, filtrate, store stormwater and infiltrate to the aquifer, whilst being productive and life supporting, providing new recreational and aesthetic experiences for the city.

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LA Parking Lot becomes Urban Oasis

LA Parking Lot becomes Urban Oasis | green streets | Scoop.it

What’s the best place to build a wetland? How about at the site of an old MTA bus lot in South Los Angeles? It took more than $26 million and nearly three years to complete the transformation from parking lot to urban wetland. Open to the public as of February 9, the new South Los Angeles Wetland Park that doesn’t only efficiently process storm water runoff–it also provides crucial community green space.

As with many industrial environments, polluted storm water runs nearly unchecked to local water bodies, damaging habitats and freshwater supplies with the incursion of urban toxins. Before it was settled, South Los Angeles teemed with wildlife, oak forests, and dendritic streams feeding the Los Angeles River, but now that land has evolved into an impenetrable concrete cap. The new park will reactivate the area’s natural functions with storm water pools, deep cleaning retention basins, and banks of native plants chosen for their ability to clean water. The nine-acre site will also provide meandering boardwalks and promenades that traverse the wetland and create an urban oasis for an area of Los Angeles that sorely lacks green space.

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SANAA Meanders Through What Could Have Been a Subdivision

SANAA Meanders Through What Could Have Been a Subdivision | green streets | Scoop.it

Tokyo-based SANAA has unveiled its next U.S. project, a meandering structure called The River for the Grace Farms Foundation a non-profit in New Canaan, CT. Situated on an acre of the 75-acre Grace Farms, the building is defined by its flowing roof that hovers ten feet above the landscape on slender metal posts. Interior spaces are formed by increasing the building’s width and enclosing spaces in floor-to-ceiling glass, creating a seamless transition between interior spaces and a landscape designed by Philadelphia-based OLIN.

 

The River descends from a sanctuary space for the Community Church atop a hill and includes a library, meeting space, dining room, gymnasium, and children’s spaces along its route.

“Our goal with the River is to make the architecture become part of the landscape without drawing attention to itself, or even feeling like a building,” said Kazuyo Sejima, principal at SANAA, in a statement. “We hope that those who are on the property will have a greater enjoyment of the beautiful environment and changing seasons through the spaces and experience created by the River.”

 

The landscape of meadows, wetlands, lakes, and woods at Grace Farms was preserved from development in 2008 when a 10-house subdivision was once proposed.

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