Liveability is hot these days. Cities around the world are competing for top rankings within an ever increasing number of liveability tables, like those put out by The Economist and Mercer. Key in the evaluation of cities is stability, health care, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure. The cities that score highest in the world have great environments and are constantly innovating and improving these environments.Read More
Recently 6 shortlisted teams were announced for the Crystal Palace competition. None included landscape architects.
The Crystal Palace was originally designed by Joseph Paxton, master garden designer, for the 1851 Great Exhibition in London’s Hyde Park. In 1852 the Crystal Palace was relocated to Sydenham Gardens, located in a large italianate park, also designed by Paxton.Read More
The last three days I was visiting the city of Vilnius. It’s a beautiful city: the old town UNESCO world heritage site, situated in an old river valley, surrounded by green hills. But from my experience, its the people that are Vilnius’ greatest asset. They are warm, welcoming, very intelligent and full of enthusiasm.
I was there to do a series of lectures on the value of good public realm, and how it contributes to the liveability of a city. Great environments make great cities, cities that people want to live in.
While preparing for the lecture I came across this quote from Vladas Drema that anticipates a potentially imminent loss: “Vilnius is beautiful, Vilnius was beautiful, Vilnius hopefully will always be beautiful.” Vilnius is facing many threats that are deteriorating quality of life. Among other things, the public realm needs planning and investment now to ensure it is protected, maintained and improved to serve the city’s best asset: its people.