In November 2015 Assoc. Prof. Pat Brown, who leads post-graduate Landscape Architecture courses here at Kingston University, traveled with a group of students to Paris for a 4 day study visit. This was shared with the Architecture Unit 4 group led by Pierre d'[Avoine. In the context of our shared study of London and the River Thames we explored Paris and its relationship with the River Seine.
We met with Alexandre Chemetoff, the French planner and landscape artist who was awarded the Grand Prix de l’urbanisme in 2000 and Vincent Piveteau, Director of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Paysage de Versailles (ENSP) in the Potager du Roi , Versailles.
The following is a personal account of the visit by Calila Ribeiro Da Ponte, who is studying on the MA Landscape + Urbansim course,
“Paris is a city full of surprises, very ‘petite’ but at the same time ‘grandiose’, we had the opportunity to explore it for 4 days and I wish I could go back tomorrow. It is very rich from a cultural and artistic point of view and in terms of urban composition you could get lost in its amazing streets and riverscapes. Staying in Rambouillet (Île de France) gave us the opportunity to understand the relationship between the city’s rural and urban boundaries.”
“In 1974, Georges Perec attempted to notate every person, object, event, action, and atmospheric modulation as they appeared from varying locations on Paris’s Place Saint-Sulpice. “What happens,” Perec asks, “when nothing happens other than the weather, people, cars, and clouds?” The response, ‘Tentative d’epuisement d’un lieu a Paris’, translated into English as ‘An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris’, is a surprising document of urban signage and ephemera recorded in Perec’s voice.
Our field trip was rich and inspiring as we wandered through the city with Georges Perec’s words ringing in our ears; from Montmartre in the 18th arrondisement to Parc de la Vilette, Canal St. Martin and Place de la Republique we tried to ‘soak up’ all the atmosphere and sights the city has to offer. We visit the exhibition “Ré-Inventer Paris” at Pavillion de L’Arsenal which gives us a chronological sense of the evolution of Paris and a global knowledge of the city.
We had the great privilege of visiting the Parc de Billancourt and Île Seguin as well as a private visit to Ecole nationale supérieure de paysage Versailles (ENSP-V) guided by Karin Helms.
This type of enriching trip is a very important component of our development as landscape architects and designers allowing us to learn through experience, observation and to broaden our horizons in order to make propositions that are aspirational and resilient for the landscape.”
Images: Calila Ribeiro Da Ponte
This article is the first in a series based on the project, ‘HULL GREEN AND BLUE INFRASTRUCTURE’ produced by MARJAN MASOUDI as part of a taught module on the MA LANDSCAPE + URBANISM here at Kingston University. This first section focuses on the initial project development carried out by Marjan using data and information from desk top research and on-site specific observations and research.
Marjan’s proposal recognises the value and benefits of green and blue infrastructure to local communities and the impact of them on Hull city as a place to live, work and visit. Here, Marjan sees his proposed Hull city green and blue infrastructure as being influential on a wide range of economic, social and environmental issues. The Accessible Natural Green Space Standard (ANGSt) recommends that everyone should have accessible natural green space of at least 2 hectares in size, no more than 300 meters from home.
Ref: Thompson, Guy(2010), Nature Nearby: Accessible Natural Green space Guidance, London: Natural England
“As the oceans warm, sea-levels expand. This has been the primary contributor to the historic sea-level rise which has recently accelerated from around 1.7mm per year over the 20th century to 3mm since the 1990s. The effect of an Antarctic or Greenland Ice-Sheet melt would be catastrophic and cause a much faster rise in sea-level. The recently published United Kingdom Climate Projections 09 (UKCP09) forecasts a range up to 76cm by 2095.”
Ref: (Environment Agency United Kingdom, 2010, p.12) http://geology.com/sea-level-rise/
Marjan states, “With a history as a trade port, Hull faced an uncertain situation after the Second World War. This is why sustainable development is so important to the town, as it will attract tourists to the city. Proposed water activities and sheltering spaces are located nearby Hull Marina, within walking distance of the city centre and are easily accessible from national railway station. As flood control is an essential part of the proposal, the wetland along the waterfront provides flood defense which affects soil structure and erosion and controls river sediment and filters water and storm-water runoff as well as increases ecological diversity over time as wetland develop.”
Further extracts from this project will be posted over the next few weeks.
News and information from Landscape Interface Studio, Kingston University, London.
Landscape Interface Studio; a unique studio environment at Kingston University where staff and students work on live proposals for real client communities in real sites, locally, across the UK and throughout Europe.
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Teaching: We deliver innovative programmes to support graduate engagement at the forefront of contemporary spatial design.