Author Archive

Guest post: Floods crisis: Government indecision and delay “must stop now”

07/12/2012

Alex Stephenson, Director of Hydro International UK’s Stormwater Divison, explains why the implementation of the Pitt Review needs an injection of urgency, and why that ought to draw upon engineered SuDS technologies.

Flood image

As Britain is gripped by a floods crisis, Government indecision and inertia is seriously delaying vital work to protect thousands of homes and properties in the UK.

Devastating flooding is causing millions of pounds worth of damage in scenes reminiscent of the 2007 floods that prompted a groundbreaking Government review by Sir Michael Pitt. Yet how much real progress has been made? (more…)

Finding specialist contractors via ESI.info and the External Works directory

19/11/2012

Adam White is a director of the landscape architecture practice, Davies White. In our latest video, he talks to Su Butcher about finding products and services for a public park development, centring on retaining the banks of a pond island. Adam explains how he used the new tools on ESI.info and the familiar form of the printed External Works directory hand in hand.

ESI.infoTV Episode 3 (more…)

Guest post: How LEDs are changing the entire concept of exterior lighting

04/10/2012

Guy Harding, Lighting Development Manager at Woodhouse, sums up the challenges and opportunities associated with LED technology and its adoption for use in external lighting.

(more…)

Guest post: autumn care tips

06/09/2012

Alex Edwards of Inturf offers a general guide to the upkeep and maintenance of established turf areas during the autumn months.

(more…)

Guest post: plants for natural playscapes

05/09/2012

Vince Edwards of James Coles & Sons (Nurseries) Ltd shares a list of species that meet the particular planting requirements of play areas. The plants provide a safe yet interesting backdrop and a floral complement to the various elements of a play scheme.

(more…)

Guest post: specifying and laying turf

05/09/2012

Adam Pounds of Tillers Turf runs through a simple guide to preparing areas for turf, for landscaping and sports situations, and getting the best results when laying it.

(more…)

Transport planning: Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors

27/07/2012

The latest publication by Inclusive Design for Getting Outdoors (I’DGO), ‘Why does the outdoor environment matter?’, has been added to the online Transport Advice Portal (TAP), a paper-free technical library available for everyone involved in planning, designing and operating road networks.

The four-page booklet summarises findings from both phases of the I’DGO project on older people’s mobility and well-being, and provides key messages for policy makers and professionals, including those working in highways and transportation.

I’DGO is a research project focused on identifying the most effective ways of shaping outdoor environments inclusively. It is run by three academic research centres in Edinburgh, Warwick and Salford, working as a multidisciplinary consortium, supported by partners in industry, government and advocacy.

Guest post: Localising playgrounds

07/06/2012

Paige Johnson is the author of the Playscapes blog, which at 80,000 page views per month is the most widely read source of playground design on the web.

Playgrounds can be one of the worst offenders in the struggle to make public spaces locally relevant. Following a standard recipe of ‘kit, fence and carpet’ ensures that a play space could be in Milton Keynes or Madagascar, Swindon or South LA. Without context, who’s to tell?

Adding local context to a playground installation increases community commitment to the space, involves local providers, and is just plain more fun. Localised elements can form the basis for new playground installations, or be added to improve existing ones. Here, examples from my four years of writing about playgrounds at Playscapes illustrate strategies for localising the playground.

1.  Consider topography

Whenever possible, playgrounds should make the ground plane itself part of the play, preserving or reflecting local topographies.

Retaining an existing pile of rubble at a reclaimed industrial site in France allowed this playground by Agence TER to fit into a familiar local site AND be more exciting by hanging off its steep side.

Topographies can be simpler constructions as well: this spiral mound in London, made of turf by Mortar and Pestle Studio, recalls similar Elizabethan garden features. (more…)

Guest post: Why play matters in design

06/06/2012

Today’s guest post comes from Cath Prisk, Director of Play England. Play England is the national organisation campaigning for children’s freedom to play. Design and engineering of the spaces and places children grow up have a key role in making sure we reverse the trend that is keeping 70% of our nation’s children locked inside.

“90% of adults played out regularly in their street as children. Nowadays 29% of children aged 7–14 say they don’t play or hang out in their street at all.”

Source: Playday 2010/ ICM Research

If you think about where you live, how often do you see children and young people outside enjoying themselves? Now think about when you were young – how often were you roaming your neighbourhood and playing outside?

There are many reasons why children are less visible in our neighbourhoods, but design of the spaces and travel routes around them is a critical part. (more…)

PlayFair mixing natural play with playground equipment

06/06/2012

The fifth annual PlayFair event is due to be held on 19-20 June at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire. It is free to attend and will run alongside the BALI landscaping show.

Set up for visitors working in local authorities, education, landscape design, leisure facilities and the private sector, PlayFair 2012 will look at balancing and mixing natural play and fixed playground equipment. (more…)


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,921 other followers