Structural soil is a construction technology developed by landscape architects. The system is designed to improve conditions for urban tree planting. It is a fairly simple method using a specially designed mix of aggregate and planting medium. The aggregates form a structural matrix to support the pavement around trees, and the planting medium provides space and nutrients to the tree roots. Verdaus first used this technology on the Majlis Oman project. The follow photo gallery shows the sequence of construction.
“Walkable City” is an interesting book about urban design. The book promotes the idea that if you make a walkable city, you make a city which is good for people. The chapter, “Why Johnny Can’t Walk”, focusses on the health benefits of walkable cities, and conversely, the health risks of un-walkable places. There’s another book out there devoted entirely to this subject, “Urban Sprawl and Public Health”, written by Dr Richard Jackson in 2004.
Dr Jackson’s inspiration for writing came from observing a woman in her seventies, struggling in ninety-five degree heat (95F / 35C) with heavy shopping bags on the side of a seven lane motorway, with “no sidewalks and two miles between traffic lights”.
Here’s the interesting observation by Dr J., Continue Reading
Landscape Middle East Magazine recently covered a Verdaus project with a focus on integrated water resource management. The article, “SoharUniversity– Landscape Irrigation and Waste Water Treatment” is an interesting cover of how foresight, collaboration and innovation can offer environmental benefits and cost savings.
In 2007, Sohar University appointed a consultant team to prepare a new master plan. Verdaus Landscape Architects LLC was part of the consultant team. Later, during the detailed design stage, Sohar University commissioned Mizan Consult to prepare a Feasibility Study and then a design for a “Reed Bed” system for waste water treatment. This design offers considerable advantages over the present system of removing waste water by tanker. Intensive collaboration between Verdaus and Mizan identified ways to integrate the landscape irrigation and waste water treatment systems to provide further advantages. Continue Reading
The city of Isfahan is built around water in the centre of a vast desert plateau. The Zayandeh River, supplies water to the city from snow melt originating in the Zagros mountain range 200 kms to the west. Isfahan is famous for it’s bridges spanning the Zayandeh, most were built between the 12th and 18th Centuries. However the less publicised “rain gardens” of the old city are an equally impressive engineering achievement.
A pleasant dappled shade dominates the character of Isfahani streets. This is a striking and welcome contrast to the exposed expanse of surrounding desert. Environmental comfort on the Isfahani street far surpasses the hot and exposed streetscapes only a few hours flight away, in the cities on the southern side of the Gulf. The planners of Isfahan obviously had a clear vision of what makes a city street work in this harsh environment. These streets have some of the densest urban tree planting in the world. Continue Reading