The State Rail Authority today announced the sale of the rail corridor land between Hamilton and Newcastle stations, freeing the way for Newcastle City Council and local developers to join the foreshore and the city at last. The Newcastle Rail Alliance and Hunter Rail Heritage groups have begun a joint legal challenge in the courts, but finding little support from the Novocastrians who travel into the city and harbour foreshore region for work and recreation.
A group of students from Dalhousie School of Architecture decided to remedy this problem with a street-ready grass-lined wheel. The wheel is of simple construction – just plywood, mesh, fishing line, and sod, but it’s loaded with meaning. On one hand, it’s a playful protest to the lack of public green space in Halifax. On the other hand, using sod for their material offers a deeper critique on urban greenery. (Photo by Andre Forget – Click on the image to see more of his work).
Universities have long been a source of activism, but this
Hardie Holdings is on of New South Wales’ largest land developers, and particularly in the region we live and work in, the Hunter Valley, it is the largest land holder. As such, it was of no surprise to me when the Sydney Morning Herald reported that Hardie Holdings was one of the first developers to embrace the State Government’s new land trading scheme.
This policy has obvious benefits to the government and the developer. The government can invest less time in costly environmental court battles over proposed developments, instead, the land value (from an environmental perspective) will have been declared well in advance, so it will be a simple hectare for hectare of same kind land trading.
The developer runs less risk in choosing land to develop, as the government will not require detailed environmental assessment.
UrbanWorkbench represents the intersection between Urban Planning, Design and Civil Engineering. True to its name, the site is intended to act as a workbench, an area where ideas are fleshed out, concepts are discussed and debated, and new technologies are reported on and reviewed.
Mike and Robyn are both Civil Engineers. Mike is the Engineer for the City of Rossland, and Robyn works as a consultant in the Urban Land and Municipal Design sectors as a design engineer and project manager. We have an interest in sustainable engineering design within urban areas, having worked on the design of large scale residential housing, road corridor and industrial sites where sustainability has been a driving design criteria. Other experience includes road and subdivision design, golf course subdivision, on-site sewer and stormwater treatment, waste transfer station design, sewer pressure main (rising main) design, and solutions for sustainable total water cycle management strategies.
Mike and Robyn contributed to the Australian Federal Government’s House of Representatives Standing Committee for the Environment, providing a paper on the role of green roof technology in the goal of developing sustainable cities in Australia.
Mike has also contributed articles at the following websites:
This is the first post at the new Urban Planning, Engineering and Design website called UrbanWorkBench.com. If you’re reading this, you’re one of the lucky ones to see a sneak peek beofre the site is truly unveiled to the world. Please be patient as we sort out software technoicalities and begin uploading content. I’m working on some graphics at the moment for the header and title.
Please sign up to stay up to date with the latest content and discussion. Any comments on the layout and navigation are appreciated.