architecture · design · environment · happiness · health · Nature

Singapore Opens New Garden Airport

Singapore is famous for its greenery, dedication to parks and green spaces, and impressive architecture. They have combined all of that into their new international airport.

REPOST from ASLA blog The Dirt:

The new Jewel Changi airport features a 6-acre indoor forest, walking trails, and the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. This restorative mecca filled with 2,500 trees and 100,000 shrubs not only revitalizes weary international travelers but is also open to the public.

This includes an inside bamboo forest, canopy-level train system, and an incredible water feature that also recycles rain water.

Jewel Changi provides that nearby natural respite with a 5-story-tall forest encased in a 144,000-square-foot steel and glass donut structure. During rain storms, water pours through an oculus in the roof — creating the 130-foot-tall Rain Vortex, a mesmerizing waterfall sculpture that can accommodate up to 10,000 gallons per minute at peak flow. Stormwater is then recycled throughout the building.

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As anyone who experienced the stress of air travel can attest, the onslaught of digital signs, loud speakers announcing departures, shops blaring music, and carts flying by quickly leads to draining sensory overload. Now imagine if there was a natural place to take a break amid the cacophony. As many studies have shown, just 10 minutes of immersion in nature can reduce stress, restore cognitive ability, and improve mood.

With Jewel Changi, Singapore has reinvented what an airport can be, just as they re-imagined what a hospital can be with Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, which is not only a medical facility but also a green hub open to the community. Now let’s hope Singapore’s biophilic design culture spreads around the world. International airports are in fierce competition for passengers and regularly one-up each other with new wow-factor amenities, shops, and restaurants.

I realize that Singapore has a lot more support, both culturally and financially, than other places in the world to implement this kind of space. However, hopefully the value from a cultural, health, and tourism dollar standpoint will make it worth it for other countries to invest in adding even small elements of this to their public spaces like hospitals, airports, and other spaces.

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anthropology · architecture · design · happiness · health · play

superkilen urban park by BIG architects, topotek1 + superflex

Happy Friday! I hope you have plans to go out and play. I totally want to play here!

Superkilen

the “black square” at night

superkilen‘ is a kilometer long park situated through the nørrebro area just north of copenhagen’s city centre, considered one of the most ethnically diverse and socially challenged neighborhoods in the danish capital as it is home to more than 60 nationalities. the large-scale project comes as a result of an invited competition initiated by the city of copenhagen and the realdania foundation as a means of creating an urban space with a strong identity on a local and global scale.

more via superkilen urban park by BIG architects, topotek1 + superflex.

anthropology · behavior · community · creativity · design · Social

Lucerne’s Clever Street Decals Make Taking Out the Trash Fun | Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World

More ways to make social responsibility fun! I love the idea of turning the act of throwing away your trash into a game.

To discourage residents tossing their empty cups and wrappers on the streets and sidewalks, the city of Lucerne launched its “Lucerne Shines” program, which rolled out mazes, hopscotch boxes, and three point lines to make the act of trash disposal more fun. The project appeals to kids and is a great nostalgic throwback for adults alike — kudos to the Swiss town for this creative idea!

check out more games, like hop-scotch and puzzles, via Lucerne’s Clever Street Decals Make Taking Out the Trash Fun | Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World.

environment · Nature

Last Tourist in the Woods – Health and Financial Benefits of Outdoor Tourism | LandLopers

I’m dreaming of warm sandy beaches, or high mountain meadows, and realized it’s been awhile since I’ve gone on a good, solid, outdoors-focused vacation. Apparently I’m not the only one. From the magazine Landlopers, introduced to me by the non-profit environment-and-culture group Izilwane

For more than a decade, visitation numbers at America’s National Parks have been dropping steadily. At first glance, the numbers are encouraging, around 280 million visitations in 2010. Impressive until you peel back the numbers and realize that this includes everything from people driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway to the annual Cherry Blossom Festival attendees. The actual number of people who hike, boat, fish or paddle is much lower, and that number is not increasing.I’m not sure for the drop in numbers, but it’s disheartening. I’m just as guilty as anyone about not visiting our common inheritance nearly as often as I should.

Night sky while camping from Landlopers

more via Last Tourist in the Woods – Health and Financial Benefits of Outdoor Tourism | LandLopers.

More and more people are discovering the importance of interacting with the outdoors, even in small doses like walking down a tree-line street. And now, the one plus-side of our current Federal and State funding in a crisis is that a lot of national and state parks are offering deals to entice visitors; so aside from supporting your parks and the economy, it’s a good time to think about vacationing in the great outdoors.