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Found 5 results

  1. Je ne peux que sourire quand je vois ce building... WestAust pourrait changer sa paire de culottes!
  2. Record heat forces closure of Canada Arctic park David Ljunggren, Reuters Published: 3 minutes ago OTTAWA (Reuters) - A major national park in Canada's Arctic has been largely closed after record high temperatures caused flooding that washed away hiking trails and forced the evacuation of tourists, an official said on Friday. Every year around 500 people visit Auyuittuq National Park, which covers over 19,000 square km (7,340 square miles) on Baffin Island and is dominated by the giant Penny ice cap. The park is popular with hikers and skiers. The combination of floods, melting permafrost and erosion means that the southern part of the park will remain shut until geologists can examine the damage, said Pauline Scott, a spokeswoman for Parks Canada. "We've lost huge proportions of what was formerly the trail in the park. It's disappeared -- gone," Scott said by phone from Iqaluit, capital of the Arctic territory of Nunavut. Most visitors walk through the park -- which is slightly smaller in area than Israel -- starting from the southern edge, near the town of Pangnirtung. The problems started last month with two weeks of record temperatures on Baffin Island that reached as high as 27 Celsius (81 Fahrenheit), well above the July average of 12 C (54 F). This, Scott said, triggered massive melting which sent "a huge pulse of water through the park," washing away 60 km (37 miles) of a trail used by hikers and destroying a bridge over a river that is otherwise impassable. Earlier this week, once the extent of the damage had become clear, 21 visitors had to be evacuated by helicopter. "We're not as worried about the flash flooding as we are about the instability of the ground and the slumping and the cracks appearing all along that entire 60 km length (of the trail)," said Scott. Temperatures in large parts of the Arctic have risen far faster than the global average in recent decades, a development that experts say is linked to climate change. Last week, giant sheets of ice totaling almost 20 square km (8 square miles) broke off an ice shelf in the Canadian Arctic and more might follow later this year, scientists said. Scott said more problems could be in store for the park. "We've had lots of hard rain in the south part of Baffin Island in the last five days so we don't know what this is doing to further destabilize melting permafrost, because this is what is causing the erosion," she said. In June, Pangnirtung declared a state of emergency for three weeks after flash flooding cut off the town's water supply and sewage system. (Reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by Rob Wilson)
  3. plannersweb.com/2014/02/walmart-stores-go-small-urban/ <header style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'Minion W01 Regular', Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 21px;"> Taking a Closer Look Walmart Stores Go Small and Urban by Edward McMahon </header>Can big box retailers think outside the box? A few years ago the idea of a pedestrian friendly big box store would have been laughable, but as urban living has become more popular the major chain retailers are paying attention and beginning to build urban format stores. On December 4, 2013 Walmart opened its first two stores in Washington, DC and the new stores illustrate the lengths to which brick and mortar retailers will go to get into rapidly growing urban markets. Compared to the old “grey-blue battleship box” that has saturated suburban and small town America, the new urban Walmart on H Street, NW in Washington is a remarkable departure. <figure id="attachment_13030" class="thumbnail wp-caption aligncenter" style="padding: 0px; line-height: 20px; border: none; border-top-left-radius: 0px; border-top-right-radius: 0px; border-bottom-right-radius: 0px; border-bottom-left-radius: 0px; -webkit-box-shadow: none; box-shadow: none; -webkit-transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; margin: 0px auto; width: 520px;"><figcaption class="caption wp-caption-text" style="font-style: italic; font-size: 14px; padding: 9px; color: rgb(85, 85, 85);">View of Walmart on H Street, NW in Washington, DC. Photo by Edward McMahon.</figcaption></figure> Whether you love them or loathe them, this building proves that Walmart — one of the most recognizable symbols of modern suburbia — is going urban. Who ever thought that Walmart shoppers could sleep upstairs and shop downstairs, but that is exactly what residents of the new Walmart near downtown Washington will be able to do. The 83,000 square ft. store built in partnership with JBG Rosenfeld is in a mixed use building topped by four stories of apartments. Instead of acres of asphalt, the parking is underground. In addition to the Walmart, there is another 10,000 square ft. of retail space wrapped around the outside of the retail giant. Retail tenants currently include a Starbucks and a bank, with more to follow. The residential portion of the building contains 303 apartments, a fitness center, a lounge area, a roof deck, and a swimming pool. <figure id="attachment_13034" class="thumbnail wp-caption aligncenter" style="padding: 0px; line-height: 20px; border: none; border-top-left-radius: 0px; border-top-right-radius: 0px; border-bottom-right-radius: 0px; border-bottom-left-radius: 0px; -webkit-box-shadow: none; box-shadow: none; -webkit-transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; margin: 0px auto; width: 520px;"><figcaption class="caption wp-caption-text" style="font-style: italic; font-size: 14px; padding: 9px; color: rgb(85, 85, 85);">View of roof deck and pool on top of the H Street Walmart in Washington, DC. Photo courtesy of JBG Companies.</figcaption></figure>The main store entrance sits right on the sidewalk and shoppers will use an escalator to reach the store level. The store itself offers more groceries than a typical Walmart and the shopping floor is day lighted by real windows. Designed by MV+A Architects and the Preston Partnership, the H Street Walmart is a handsome urban building with traditional human scale details. It includes cornices, individual multi-pane windows, an interesting corner feature at the main entrance, and a separate entrance for residents. It is a fully urban, pedestrian friendly building. Whether you love them or loathe them, this building proves that Walmart — one of the most recognizable symbols of modern suburbia — is going urban. While the H Street store is by far the better of the two new urban Walmart’s in Washington, the other new store on Georgia Avenue, NW is also a significant departure from the typical suburban store design. Built on the site of an abandoned car dealership, the Georgia Avenue Walmart is a 102,000 square foot store on a four acre site. <figure id="attachment_13036" class="thumbnail wp-caption aligncenter" style="padding: 0px; line-height: 20px; border: none; border-top-left-radius: 0px; border-top-right-radius: 0px; border-bottom-right-radius: 0px; border-bottom-left-radius: 0px; -webkit-box-shadow: none; box-shadow: none; -webkit-transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; margin: 0px auto; width: 520px;"><figcaption class="caption wp-caption-text" style="font-style: italic; font-size: 14px; padding: 9px; color: rgb(85, 85, 85);">View of the new Walmart on Georgia Avenue in Washington, DC. Photo by Edward McMahon.</figcaption></figure>Given the small size of the property, the only way to build a large store was to eliminate surface parking and bring the store right up to the sidewalk. The parking is located in a garage located directly below the store. While the building is not mixed use, it does greet the street and represent a real evolution for Walmart. The lesson here is that cities that want good design are going to have to demand it. In addition to the two stores that opened in December, 2013, Walmart has announced plans for four additional stores in Washington. Based on a review of their plans, some will be walkable, urban format stores, others will not. Dan Malouff, a design critic with the Greater Greater Washington blog, says that one will be unquestionably urban, one will be a hybrid, and two will be almost completely suburban. 1 The lesson here is that cities that want good design are going to have to demand it. <figure id="attachment_13042" class="thumbnail wp-caption aligncenter" style="padding: 0px; line-height: 20px; border: none; border-top-left-radius: 0px; border-top-right-radius: 0px; border-bottom-right-radius: 0px; border-bottom-left-radius: 0px; -webkit-box-shadow: none; box-shadow: none; -webkit-transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; margin: 0px auto; width: 520px;"><figcaption class="caption wp-caption-text" style="font-style: italic; font-size: 14px; padding: 9px; color: rgb(85, 85, 85);">Design rendering of Walmart now under construction in Washington’s Fort Totten neighborhood. Graphic courtesy of JBG Companies.</figcaption></figure>Building an Urban Format Store Can Walmart build an urban format store? The answer appears to be yes, but it also appears that the only thing standard in an urban format big box store is its lack of standardization. Building suburban big box stores is simple. Buy a 20 acre suburban greenfield site. Build a large, free standing rectangular single floor building on a concrete slab. Plop the building in a sea of parking. A Walmart Supercenter in the suburbs of Atlanta, for example, is essentially identical to one in the suburbs of Chicago or Cincinnati. This model simply won’t work in a dense urban area. The two things that have kept Walmart out of cities were its inflexibility on design issues and opposition from labor unions and civic activists who oppose the company because of its low wages and negative impact on existing local businesses. Now that it appears that Walmart is willing (when pushed by local government) to adapt its stores to the urban environment, it is likely only a matter of time before the retail giant moves into cities all over the country. <figure id="attachment_13043" class="thumbnail wp-caption alignleft" style="padding: 0px; line-height: 20px; border: none; border-top-left-radius: 0px; border-top-right-radius: 0px; border-bottom-right-radius: 0px; border-bottom-left-radius: 0px; -webkit-box-shadow: none; box-shadow: none; -webkit-transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; float: left; margin: 0px 10px 10px 0px; width: 320px;"><figcaption class="caption wp-caption-text" style="font-style: italic; font-size: 14px; padding: 9px; color: rgb(85, 85, 85);">Walmart Neighborhood Market in Chicago’s Loop. photo by Eric Allix Rogers, Flickr Creative Commons license.</figcaption></figure>Big Boxes are Getting Smaller Another thing that is clear is that big boxes are getting smaller. The new 80,000 square ft. Walmart in Washington is half the size of many suburban Supercenters. What’s more, Walmart is creating new formats uniquely designed for cities. The new Walmart Neighborhood Market, for example, is only 40,000 square feet while the so-called Walmart Express stores are only 15,000 square feet. Walmart has even opened two college stores, at Georgia Tech in Atlanta 2 and at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. 3 Each of these stores is less than 5000 square feet in size. [TABLE=class: tg, width: 475] <tbody>[TR] [TH=class: tg-acmm, bgcolor: #F1C40F]Store Type[/TH] [TH=class: tg-acmm, bgcolor: #F1C40F]Square Footage[/TH] [TH=class: tg-acmm, bgcolor: #F1C40F]Date Initiated[/TH] [/TR] [TR] [TD=class: tg-031e]Discount Store[/TD] [TD=class: tg-031e]106,000 sq. ft.[/TD] [TD=class: tg-031e]1962[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD=class: tg-031e]Supercenter[/TD] [TD=class: tg-031e]182,000 sq. ft.[/TD] [TD=class: tg-031e]1982[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD=class: tg-031e]Neighborhood Market[/TD] [TD=class: tg-031e]38,000 sq. ft.[/TD] [TD=class: tg-031e]1998[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD=class: tg-031e]Express Store[/TD] [TD=class: tg-031e]15,000 sq. ft.[/TD] [TD=class: tg-031e]2011[/TD] [/TR] [TR] [TD=class: tg-031e]College Store[/TD] [TD=class: tg-031e]Under 5,000 sq. ft.[/TD] [TD=class: tg-031e]2013[/TD] [/TR] </tbody>[/TABLE] Times have changed. The country’s largest retailers have oversaturated rural and suburban communities. The only place left with more spending power than stores is in our cities. Walmart has made its urban debut. The outstanding question remaining is: what impact will Walmart have on local economies and wages? Washington, DC, City Councilman Phil Mendelson, a co-sponsor of unsuccessful legislation that would have required big box retailers to pay a living wage and benefits, expressed skepticism about the impact of Walmart on the local economy. “I would say, having the world’s largest retailer interested in locating in the city where we’ve lost almost every other department store over the last four decades — that’s a good thing. Having an economic competitor who underprices the market and causes a descent to the bottom, in terms of wages — that is not a good thing.”4 While Walmart is clearly evolving to fit into cities, there is also evidence that the retail giant is willing to break the mold in smaller towns and suburbs. What About Smaller Towns & Suburbs? While Walmart is clearly evolving to fit into cities, there is also evidence that the retail giant is willing to break the mold in smaller towns and suburbs. This is because retail store size is shrinking due to the growth of internet shopping and also because suburbs are changing to stay competitive. Target, Whole Foods, Safeway, Giant, and other chains are already breaking the rules by building smaller footprint stores in multi-story buildings and mixed use developments. Walmart has recently opened several small town stores with parking under the building or with solar installations on the roof. What impact Walmart and other big box retailers will have on cities and the neighborhoods where they locate remains to be seen. Harriet Tregoning, the planning Director in Washington, DC, says that “Walmart does not offer any meaningful shopping experience. It competes solely on price and convenience.” 5Her message to small businesses is that “if you are in direct competition with Walmart you are in the wrong business to begin with.” Instead she says “businesses that offer something Walmart can’t like bars, restaurants and stores selling specialty goods or offering personalized levels of service — will continue to thrive.” In some ways, the idea of national chains opening big new urban stores is a return to the way things once were. In 1960, we called it department store. Today we call it a Walmart. Ed McMahon is one of the country’s most incisive analysts of planning and land use issues and trends. He holds the Charles Fraser Chair on Sustainable Development and is a Senior Resident Fellow at the Urban Land Institute in Washington, DC. McMahon is a frequent speaker at conferences on planning and land development. Over the past 21 years, we’ve been pleased to have published more than two dozen articles by McMahon in the Planning Commissioners Journal, and now on PlannersWeb.com. Notes: Dan Maloutt, “Walmart’s 6 DC stores: Some will be urban, some won’t” (Greater Greater Washington blog, April 26, 2012) ↩ Allison Brooks, “The world’s tiniest Walmart opens in Atlanta” (Atlanta Magazine, Aug. 14, 2013 ↩ Todd Gill, “Now open: Walmart on Campus” (Fayetteville Flyer, Jan. 14, 2011).↩ Ryan Holeywell, “Walmart Makes Its Urban Debut” (Governing Magazine, June 2012) ↩ Id. ↩
  4. I'm not sure if this is "urban tech", in that it probably isn't something that's applicable in a variety of scenarios, nor if it has already been talked about on this site, but regardless, i still think it's worth mentioning. -------------------- Solar City Tower for Rio Olympics is a Giant Energy Generating Waterfall by Bridgette Meinhold, 03/19/10 This renewable energy generating tower located on the coast of Rio is one of the first buildings we’ve seen designed for the 2016 Rio Olympics, and boy, is it crazy! (In case you didn’t notice, it’s also a waterfall.) The Solar City Tower is designed by Zurich-based RAFAA Architecture & Design, and features a large solar system to generate power during the day and a pumped water storage system to generate power at night. RAFAA’s goal is that a symbolic tower such as this can serve as a starting point for a global green movement and help make the 2016 Olympic Games more sustainable. The self-sustaining tower for the 2016 Olympic Games is designed to create renewable energy for use in the Olympic Village as well as the city of Rio. A large solar power plant generates energy during the day. Any excess power not used during the day is utilized to pump seawater into a storage tank within the tower. At night, the water is released to power turbines, which will provide nighttime power for the city. On special occasions water is pumped out to create a waterfall over the edges of the building, which RAFAA says will be, “a symbol for the forces of nature.” Info on the size of the solar and pumped water storage system is not available yet. Access to the eco tower is gained through an urban plaza and amphitheater 60 meters above sea level, which can be used for social gatherings. On the ocean side of the 105 meter tower (behind the waterfall) is a cafeteria and shop. An elevator takes visitors up to the top floor where an observation deck offers 360 views of the ocean and city. At level 90.5, a bungee platform is available for adventurous visitors. Link to article: http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/03/19/solar-city-tower-for-rio-olympics-giant-energy-generating-waterfall/ -------------------- if for nothing else, the renderings look kinda cool. wonder if you could have such a waterfall flowing off our own olympic tower ? or would that risk to bring in even more toilet jokes ? .. ..
  5. Stinson planning giant tower as part of Connaught development May 21, 2008 By WADE HEMSWORTH The Hamilton Spectator Harry Stinson is planning a soaring signature building that would become a symbol of Hamilton in the same way the Eiffel Tower is for Paris, or as the Empire State Building is for New York City. “Every city needs an icon,” Stinson said. The L-shaped Connaught Tower would rise to a sharp and dramatic point 1,000 feet over downtown Hamilton — making it about three times the height of the Niagara Escarpment, and dwarfing downtown’s current giant, the Century 21 tower virtually across the street. Stinson unveiled his plans at a reception Wednesday. But before he can build the tower at the southeast corner of the Connaught site — now a parking lot — he plans to refit the old hotel, turning it into a hybrid hotel operation and condominium residence, with amenities that include a lavish lobby bar, grand ballrooms, a 24-hour coffee shop and a 24-hour grocery store. Construction of the entire complex would cost about $180 million, the developer said, and would have an ultimate retail value of about $350 million. Stinson said he has bought the former Liaison College property on John Street South and plans to add it to the Connaught complex, which he has purchased for $9.5 million in a deal that closes at the end of June. Before then, he is planning to open a sales office near the property downtown to begin selling about 300 condo units in the historic hotel building. Those units in the upper floors of the hotel would range from $199,000 to $299,000, and would come fully furnished, he said. Meanwhile, the lower floors would operate as a boutique hotel. Completing the hotel building — which Stinson plans to do within he next two years — would pave the way to build the tower by generating income and proving there is a market for downtown Hamilton properties. “The elephant in the room is will anybody buy these? I can’t say that for sure,” he said. The tower project would reach a height equal to 100 storeys, with about 80 floors of usable space and the narrow top of the spike reserved for wind turbines and other mechanical elements. “It’s inefficient, but it gives the whole thing its punch,” he said. The top units of the building betwen the 70th and 80th floors would each be single units with stunning views of the city, said the developer -- and would sell for the equivalent of a nice house in Dundas, he said. About five storeys of the new tower would be reserved for the hotel operation, he said. The entire complex would feature underground parking space for 1,000 vehicles, divided between conventional spaces for short-term parking and mechanical parking slots for longer stays. http://www.thespec.com/News/BreakingNews/article/372668
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