Magazine article Landscape & Irrigation

Planning Ahead

Magazine article Landscape & Irrigation

Planning Ahead

Article excerpt

"The History Channel" is sponsoring a contest titled "The City of the Future: A Design and Engineering Challenge." Renowned architectural and urban planning firms each presented their concept of what New York, Chicago and Los Angeles will look like in the 22nd Century. The designs were all extremely interesting, but what stood out to me was the use of green space and the way the designs embraced the concept of sustainability.

When most people think of futuristic cities, they probably think of towering masses of steel, concrete and glass; technological advancements on every corner; and flying cars cruising past neon lights. Sure, the entrants in "The City of the Future" contained astounding visions of technological marvel. But they were also very aware of Earth's limited natural resources.

For example, the winning design for Chicago incorporates a "Green Infrastructure" through the use of "Living System Eco-Boulevards" such as forests, wetlands, prairies, walk and bike trails, savannahs, botanical gardens, preserves, vegetation corridors, marshes, open green space and much more. Within any plan for the future, green space not only provides aesthetic beauty, but also serves as a vital piece of overall urban sustainability.

"As cities become more dense and as the complexity of modern life transforms the very structure of them, the exploration of the future is no longer a luxury but a necessity;' said Daniel Libeskind, architect and "The History Channel" host in his posting on www.history.com. "The transformation of contemporary cities can take an unfortunate dystopian turn; the shrinking of public spaces, the lack of nature and fresh air, the nightmare of transportation and the separation of economic classes: an oppressive shadow unto the future. …

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