Many national and international organizations have instituted valuable competitions to recognize and reward innovative examples of best urban development and planning. Rectification of decades of neglect has elevated many bedraggled districts into thriving new communities. The London Docklands Development in the UK, conveniently supplemented by the massive 2012 London Olympics Construction and upgraded transport links, is a great example of how urban redevelopment can completely shift a community’s centre of gravity.

The following projects are a compilation of award-winning urban developments that GreenBlue Urban and its overseas partners have been privileged to support. Within these projects, we have provided urban tree planting systems to ensure healthy tree growth, stormwater management to sustainably control surface runoff, and street furnishings to beautifully accent streetscapes of all kinds.

Lansdowne Park – Ottawa, Canada

  • CSLA Jury’s Award of Excellence (2016)

Lansdowne Park in Ottawa was selected for the Jury’s Award of Excellence, given to one project per year which best demonstrates the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects’ vision of advancing the practice of landscape architecture. Thanks to the GreenBlue ArborSystem – including StrataCells, RootRain ArborVent, ReRoot, and PavingStone Tree Grate – the trees on this project are healthy and reaching maturity at a rapid pace!

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ArborSystem tree pits shown in front of the Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne Park

The revitalization of Lansdowne Park was part of a city-wide redevelopment initiative planned in 2009. The national capital attraction, known for blending modern amenities with heritage buildings and courtyards, is in the heart of Ottawa.

The initial plan included the renovation of the TD Place stadium, a mixed-use area with shops, residences and offices, and an 18-acre urban park. The goal of the restored stadium was to integrate the sports field into the new urban setting. The proposed mixed-use area created a unique urban village that includes commercial and residential buildings, open spaces and corridors that will serve a variety of purposes.

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Aerial view of the newly developed stadium and park

Jeffrey Staates, partner at PFS Studio and project landscape architect for Lansdowne Park, has been involved with the project since 2010 and led the team for the international design competition. They were tasked with the redevelopment of the urban park in June 2010 and started design in July 2010.

The StrataCell system was included in the recommendation to achieve the largest possible soil volume. The major installation of soil cells was in the centre of Aberdeen Square, named after the heritage structure in the site. “There were concerns about the longevity of trees, so given the soil volumes we wanted to achieve and the time frame, the StrataCell seemed like a reasonable product to accept as an alternative,” Staates said.

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StrataCells being installed at Lansdowne Park on a cold winter day in early March

The Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne Park is a city landmark, and home to the Ottawa Farmer’s Market. The park features more than 800 trees, including an orchard of heirloom apple trees.

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A busy day at the Ottawa Farmers’ Market in Lansdowne Park, where GreenBlue ArborSystem is providing healthy growing conditions for the trees in this completely paved area

The design of Lansdowne Park also allowed for the collection of stormwater from the roof of the horticulture building and recycling water from the water play area in the urban park for use as irrigation at night.

Canary Wharf Station – London, UK

  • Gold Green Apple Award for Environmental Best Practice (2015)

In the United Kingdom, Canary Wharf Contractors Limited (CWCL), part of Canary Wharf Group PLC, has been awarded, among numerous other accolades, a rare and prestigious Gold Green Apple Award for Environmental Best Practice on the Canary Wharf Crossrail Station project. The award was presented by The Green Organization to the CWCL Project Team and client representatives at an international awards ceremony at the House of Commons on November 15, 2015.

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The Canary Wharf project won a rare and prestigious environmental best practice award

For Norman Foster, the redevelopment of the Docklands commenced back in 1967, nearly 50 years ago, with his designs for new headquarters for Fred Olsen Lines in Millwall Dock. He was first regarded as a yuppyfying-job-threatening intruder in the run-down East End, and before it even opened protesters smashed the windows.

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StrataCells installation at Canary Wharf Crossrail Station
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A completed project photo shows the true beauty accomplished by the award-winning rail station

On the opening of the striking, semi-open roof structure containing leisure facilities and garden, Lord Foster said: “Crossrail is an important investment in infrastructure that will have benefits not only in the short term, but also for future generations. The social magnets of shopping, bars, restaurant and a public garden are also part of an enlightened partnership between the public and private domains.” GreenBlue Urban were delighted that their products, especially the modular structural StrataCells affording optimum load bearing and root welfare environments, were selected along with their ribbed ReRoot root training systems to provide the needed soil volumes and controls for many years of potential growth and environmental benefit coupled with low maintenance requirements.

Darby Street – Auckland, New Zealand

  • Sustainability Award of Excellence in Landscape Design (2013)
  • NZILA Award of Excellence for Urban Design (2013)
  • Excellence Award for a Medium Road Project (2012)

The open space project which included the Darby Street Shared Space in Auckland, New Zealand won more than half of awards offered by the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects.

John Potter from Boffa Miskell, lead supplier of design services for Auckland City Council, said that they decided to use the StrataCell load-bearing soil cell system, supplied by GreenBlue’s New Zealand partner MetroGreen. “This means that we can provide a below-ground environment for successful tree establishment whilst continuing to cater for vehicle movements – trees can return to our city streets and make a unique contribution to our public realm and sense of place.”

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The beautiful and unique trees planted in the multi award-winning Auckland Shared Space project

Auckland Mayor Len Brown said “These projects are shining examples of successful collaboration between industry experts and local council boards. It’s great to see such wide-ranging recognition in the awards.”

Lonsdale Street – Dandenong, Australia

  • AILA National Award for Excellence in Urban Design (2014)
  • Joseph Reed Urban Design Award (2013)
  • Walter Burley Griffin Award of Urban Design (2013)
  • AILA Victoria Design Excellence Award (2012)

Dandenong is a south-eastern suburb of Melbourne, Australia. It has received millions of dollars of state government money for the purpose of refreshing the expanding corridor. The “Revitalizing Central Dandenong” initiative, delivered in conjunction by the Victoria State Government and the City of Greater Dandenong, rejuvenated the city centre and created a fresh new future for the growing community.

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The Lonsdale Street project in Dandenong included innovative LID tree pit designs to sustainably manage stormwater onsite and reduce surface runoff

The beautification project included planting over 250 trees from August of 2010. Lonsdale Street has transformed into one of Melbourne’s great boulevards, with plentiful green space and pedestrian-friendly main street encompassing the city’s vibrant retail industry.

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StrataCell tree pits are being filled with soil to prepare for tree planting at the multi award-winning Dandenong project

Construction was completed in April 2011, as a response to the community feedback received during RCD’s 15 to 20 year Master Plan and Shared Vision consultation period. The Shared Vision included plans to provide easy and safer pedestrian connections around the city by improving traffic and public transport. It also wanted to implement attractive public spaces for people to relax with high standards of environmental sustainability, more life on the streets and more green across the city centre.

Click here for more information on the Dandenong Centre Revitalization.

 Pan Am Village – Toronto, Canada

  • BILD Community of the Year Award (2014)
  • NAHB The Nationals Gold Awards (2013)
  • Canadian Architect Award of Excellence (2012)
  • Excellence in Project Development (2011)

When Toronto was awarded the 2015 Pan Am Games, it necessitated the fast-tracking of an already started project to achieve a rapid completion of the Athletes Village which has been described as the best legacy of the Pan Am Games.

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The multi award-winning “Athletes Village” was described as the legacy of the 2015 Pan Am Games

“The uniqueness of this project was compounded by a mandate from the city to have highly mature trees with canopy cover over the street,” explained landscape architect Michael Ormston-Holloway of The Planning Partnership. Unlike most infrastructure development, this project was led by landscape in order to create a hierarchy of tree lined streets. Because of the high expectations for the area, most of the products used in the project were completely custom.

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PavingStone Tree Grates with Avon & Thames Infill Grates were used around the tree plantings at the Pan Am Village to maximize walking space around the trees

Brett Hoornaert of The Planning Partnership, the landscape architect responsible for managing the project, explained how GreenBlue Urban helped make this possible. “Normally, custom requirements to this extent would be very hard to accomplish, but with GreenBlue many of the custom aspects happened seamlessly. The team at GreenBlue was a pleasure to work with and keen to help provide solutions to achieve our design vision,” Brett also went on to say how much they appreciated the passion that GreenBlue offered to solving problems and helping with design challenges.

These well respected corporate awards are creating a very valuable virtual circle. They provoke a healthily competitive aspect into sustainable development project planning. They also ensure that both academic and commercial Research & Development, by such as GreenBlue Urban, will continue to be driven by both success and the ever-arising challenges in a fast developing industry.

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