September 2020

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September 2020








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Editor’s Note In this issue, As many children go back to school around the world against the backdrop of a global pandemic, and parents embrace the relative peace and tranquillity that comes with that, landscape professionals are seeing a rise in demand for their services, particularly among property owners who want to create their own outdoor sanctuary now that we are entering into the cooler months. UAE based architect/designer Leiyah Magay shares his advice on why social distancing and good hygiene practices can easily be achieved in the Landscape industry without affecting productivity levels. (Page 8) Don’t miss our regular contributor John. A. Davies who writes about the beautification process that is underway on the streets of Bahrain and provides a detailed look at the various plants and fauna that will be included in the project. (Page 14) Internationally, we look at projects in Lebanon and South American not forgetting the recent atrocity in Beirut as its still at the forefront of our minds, we include a project that continues the good fight against climate change despite the chaos that’s happening around the capital, theOtherForest, planted Beirut’s RiverLESS Forest, Lebanon’s first Miyawaki urban forest in a bid to improve air quality for generations to come using mass planting of trees. Hear more on page 26 Staying with urban regeneration, we feature a project by the renowned Brazilian urban planner Jaime Lerner who has injected new life into a riverfront project in Porto Alegre, the largest metropolis in Southern Brazil. (see page 22) for the transformation. Another waterfront project closer to home and set to transform Abu Dhabi into the world’s most livable city is the Al Qana waterfront destination, find out more about one of the first post covid proposed projects on page 20. We hope you enjoy the issue!

The opinions and views contained in the articles in this publication are those of the contributors and not necessarily of the publishers. The publishers cannot be held liable for any mistake or omission enclosed in the publication.

Managing Partner: Ziad Maarouf Amine Copy Editor: John Hampton Sales Manager: Boushra Dinnawi Administrative Assistance: Sarry Gan Art Director: Ramon Andaya Contributors: Dr. Rim Meziani, Jimena Martignoni, Adib Dada, Leiyah Mangay, Raghad Elassi, Tanh of Creative Architects, John Arthur Davies, Mria Azzura Rossi Printed by: Al Nisr Publishing LLC Webmaster: For free subscription and to view the magazine please visit our website: The First Specialised Landscape magazine in the Middle East

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4 contents 8 September 2020 - Issue 159


Regenerating Abu Dhabi’s Al Nahyan district

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A new reason to work Buy yourself some breathing space Bahrain streets set to be beautified Transforming Abu Dhabi’s Lifestyle Orla do Guaíba Urban Park theOtherForest Mobility meets architecture


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I urban development

Regenerating Abu Dhabi’s Al Nahyan district By: Faisal Ahmed, Nader Alaa, Abbas Fadhl. Supervised by: Dr. Rim Meziani.

An urban design project to enhance the existing urban setting of Al Nahyan E25, in the heart of Abu Dhabi city. 4

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Extensive research on well-reputed urban spaces was carried out before the project commenced, after which an outline was created on the functions and activities that the site required. Most buildings around the site are residential, with some hotel apartments. A program was mapped out, but the area available on site was scarce and all the required functions could not be placed. Hence, some functions were placed underground and others on the raised platform that was created out of necessity. The remainder of the functions were placed on the ground floor; this level was also designed for uninterrupted circulation of users. Walkability is a high priority for a designer, especially while working at an urban scale. The designer should consider the ease with which the space can be accessed by visitors and residents. Furthermore, how users access the functions


I urban development The entertainment space is a dynamic area which is transformed based on national holidays, seasons, and events. An integrated stairs and ramp system at one end and additional stairs and elevator at the other end are provided as modes of circulation to functions such as commercial shops, plaza and toilets. Openings are created on the ground floor for visitors to catch a glimpse of the activities taking place in the plaza. Raised Level: The raised platform towers 10 m above some of the functions on the ground, which helps in shading them and providing a 360-degree view to the site due to its height. This structure is supported using V-shaped columns following the design patterns on the site. Stairs are present on both ends, making access easier for people. While elevators serve a more wheelchair friendly option along with being useful to the old and unwell. There are openings present on platform’s roof and floor, allowing day light to reach the activities present above and below the present on the site should also be considered. The area around the circulation path is also enhanced by introducing landscape elements, the space in between the buildings acts as shaded circulation path between the functions placed on either side. The functions placed underground, on the raised function and in the area below the raised function are shaded from the harsh UAE climate. The functions are carefully distributed according to the type of activity. For instance, outdoor activities, relaxation area, cycling and running track, kids play area and the amphitheater are all placed on the ground floor, as these are high intensity and readily utilized activities. The exhibition area along with some gift shops is located underground as these are medium intensity functions. Finally, the raised function consists of low intensity activities that require semi indoor enclosure such as cafes, commercial shops and teaching center. Underground: The ground has been excavated at two separate locations, the first one being entertainment space which is situated 4.5m below ground and the other being parking space which is 3.5 m underground.


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platform. The floor to ceiling facades is made up of clear glazing, allowing sufficient light to enter the space. The entry of light is controlled by white aluminum deign panels inspired by the modern Arabic mashrabiya. Research was an integral part of this project, data acquired from the site analysis guided the design. For instance, the information relating sun path and shadow casted on the site at different times of the day and year, helped in designing and placing the shading device. This data was also used in the development of integrated seating and shading system placed in several locations based on requirements. A study on the flow of people and traffic in the area assisted in the placement of functions at the desired location. Additional streetlights have been placed based on standards, improving the overall lighting condition in the area. Pedestrian and vehicular circulation has been improved by introducing required signage. Enhancements to the area has not only made it more provoking to visit, but has also made movement from one part of E25 to the other easier and convenient.



A new reason to work Landscape architects and designers are ideally placed to work under the ‘new normal’ circumstances, will clients take advantage? By: Leiyah Mendoza Magay Landscape Architect

During the global pandemic, people were largely stuck at home for months on end. Fortunately for the landscape industry, property owners and residents quickly realized the value of their gardens and outdoor areas as they spent extended family time at home.


Most property owners are taking advantage of this situation to create inspirational design changes to their homes to create entertainment areas and kids play zones as most of us now spend large chunks of the week at home. Clients want a space in their homes where they switch off

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after work hours and for their kids to play, everything from camping sites to an outdoor movie theatre or mini park. People want their yard to be a sanctuary that can deliver a sense of calm, regardless of what is happening outside their front door. Even before coronavirus was a threat, landscape was an industry that worked in isolation of team members, so it was fairly easy to put a contactless service in place and observe social distancing while carrying out

projects. We work individually since projects do not require massive manpower on site, elements were built in phases and less marketing is needed because the finished product speaks for itself. Landscaping companies are now overwhelmed with demand for their services. Landscape designers can conduct meetings conveniently in the client’s yard observing physical distancing and safety precautions. Design presentations can be done through selected video conference platforms; drawings and quotations can be shared by email; permits and approvals can be done online; workers can keep at least two meters’ distance from each other and sanitize their tools before and after work and payments can be done online via bank transfers. When considering a project, the first point of discussion is to know why the client is opting to change the space. Do they want an active space or a spot where they can observe? Do they enjoy sound and movement or just a quiet sanctuary? Any favorite colour, furniture or garden elements? Any requirement for special mobility? Most of our clients would love to have interactive elements in their properties. It is recommended to gather information from the client to consider the design such as the age range of the users, activities they love to do, plant preference and in most cases, we need to ask for the budget. These are essential items that we need to know to save time and maximize our design conceptualization. Designing a 6ft deep pool will not satisfy the client if they have toddlers or planting bright, flowering plants when someone in the household is allergic to flowers would be disastrous. Overall, the future looks bright for our industry if we put our client’s needs first and continue to innovate.



By: CTA|Creative Architects

Buy yourself some breathing space A uniquely designed home that keeps the toxins from the outdoors away


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According to recently published scientific research, indoor air quality is more polluted than the air outside. Therefore, most of our discussions with clients focus on the idea of a house which is capable of ‘breathing’ throughout the day and night. The Wall House is an example of this breathable solution.

Throughout the design process, the Wall house was shaped gradually: the house is made up of eight separate spaces surrounded by ordinary walls. These eight blocks are interspersed and intersect at a common space, which is formed by the ‘breathing walls’.



The ‘breathing wall’ consists of two elements. The open wall system is the first layer to prevent pollution entering from the outside environment. This protection shell is made of hollow bricks that are lined up in the opposite direction of the conventional method of construction. With such an arrangement, these hollow bricks afford a circulation of fresh air and natural light into the house. With their unique features and unconventional colours, burnt-defective bricks are reused in a new, harmonious and more environmentally friendly form.


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The garden space is a second layer to prevent the negative impact of the external environment on the living space inside. The abundance of greenery helps to clean the air and creates an effective buffer zone. Together, these two protective layers are equivalent to a normal wall but the important difference being they ensure the circulation of air and light, resulting in a healthier living space.



Bahrain streets set to be beautified By John A. Davies It was heartening to learn recently that the Kingdom of Bahrain intends to enhance its commitment to the environment by ensuring that streets, particularly in new residential areas, are planted with trees. The Ministry of Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning is also implementing a programme of general beautification, focusing on the planting of shade trees and evergreens suitable for the local climate.

Trees and other plants with their various shapes, different shades of green, leaf forms and textures, and most importantly their floral displays represent the paint for the picture of any landscape scheme, all of which combine to create a visual feast and provide the human spirit with sustenance – food for the soul! Also, we have a symbiotic relationship with trees in so far as we breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide, while trees breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen; like us each tree is unique and beautiful. Moreover, trees provide shade – a critical factor in the Middle East; also, trees are an essential source of medicine and in addition to nourishing the human psyche, trees feed the body - the date palm being a prime example.

Date palm laden with fruit Road Side Planting in Bahrain


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(One of the most sought after foods) Planting trees in an urban space can be problematic owing to the presence of underground utility services; electricity and water authorities are always fearful that tree roots will be disruptive. Recalling a project where underground utilities were extensive and threatened the planting of any trees, a satisfactory solution was achieved through the introduction of root barriers consisting of an impermeable geo-textile membrane, as shown in the accompanying drawings; these also show how utilities can be accessed in case of repair works without damaging the tree. Avoiding Conflict with Underground Utilities Section showing underground service corridors

Accessing cooling pipes in the event of repair works

Location of tree in relation to underground services corridors. Severing fibrous roots

Replanting the tree after repair work Replant tree

Lifting the tree

Backfill planting medium, compacting same and finish to a fine tilth Water copiously


I TREEs Date palms and Washingtonia palms were specified owing to their roots being fibrous and capable of forming a dense cluster, which is more appropriate than trees with diffuse root systems; also in the event of accessing underground utilities, because of their compact root systems, they could be lifted and replanted relatively easily with minimum damage to the tree. Irrigation for the greening of the kingdom will be provided by treated sewage effluent (TSE), which currently is being used for agricultural purposes and landscaping of highways, public parks and gardens. On a personal note, in the early 1980s when I became involved in Middle East landscape projects, I was subjected to much ridicule by colleagues who were convinced I was pursuing a lost cause, simply owing to the regions lack of water. Looking back over the years the progress of landscaping in the region has been nothing short of astonishing, much of it attributed to TSE, and with so much now available there is no reason why the metropolises of Arabia cannot be turned into garden cities, that is, urban oases! Living on a residential estate without trees can be like living in a concrete jungle. It’s to the credit of the Ministry of Works, Municipalities affairs and Urban Planning, that it has recognised the deep human need to connect with nature, we feel a sense of comfort in the company of trees and other members of the plant kingdom. In considering trees that would be suitable for streets in residential developments, the date palm Phoenix dactylifera obviously comes to mind to create an oasis setting. Other worthy palms include both Washingtonia palms; that is, W. filifera and W. robusta, which, from a design point of view, owing their tall growing, elegant habit, lend themselves to being planted as celebratory features at road junctions.

Phoenix dactylifera

Washingtonia filifera

Washingtonia robusta

With the oasis concept in mind and recalling the typical Bahrain date palm plantation, which includes several other types of fruit bearing trees; as mentioned in a previous article, this principle of variety could be extended to the urban landscape, for trees on the whole enjoy the company of other trees and a selection of different tree types can be visually pleasing and wholesome for the human soul.


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Some examples of trees, in addition to the palms already mentioned, as appropriate for residential developments, include the following: Acacia auriculiformis: Earleaf Acacia. An evergreen moderately salt tolerant tree native to Australia and Indonesia, and while relatively broad spreading it has an open habit thereby admitting sunlight which makes it a suitable subject for planting grass areas. The foliage is not comprised of leaves as such, being phyllodes which are modified petioles serving as leaves. The bright – yellow, fragrant flowers are borne on terminal spikes.

Acacia auriculiformis

Albizia lebbek (Lebbek Tree) A large, semi – evergreen tree bearing dark green bi-pinnate foliage, and sweetly scented white, puff – ball flowers. It is a handsome tree more suited to the broad roadside verge, roundabout, large garden or park. It is an extremely tough tree too; recalling a road widening scheme in Manama a couple of years ago when an entire row of mature specimens had been uprooted - had it not been for the timely intervention of a VVIP, they would have simply been discarded. In the event though, they were replanted and while this gave rise to concern, for the trees had been uprooted with little evidence of roots and their branches had been severely cut back, it was felt that such trauma would not be conducive to their survival. Although soon after being replanted green shoots began to appear, this was put down to sap already existing in the trunks and unless the tree’s feeble root systems could obtain sufficient nutrients, and the hydraulics of the trees were up to the task of transporting them, the young shoots would wither and die. However, it is very pleasing to report that most of the trees have survived.

An example of one of the surviving transplanted mature lebbeck trees referenced in the text

Albizzia lebbek

Hitherto, my only experience of mature trees lending themselves to being lifted and replanted with few roots had been with specimens of the fig tree family.


I TREEs Cordia sebestena (Geiger Tree) The geiger tree is a small, evergreen, moderately salt tolerant tree, producing scarlet flowers in spring and intermittently through the rest of the year. It is native to South Florida and the West Indies. As a street or avenue tree it lends itself to being grown with a single stem and rounded canopy, and when in full flower, while not spectacular, is a very pleasant sight.

Cordia sebestena

Delonix regia (Royal Poinciana) Native to Madagascar, it is arguably the most beautiful of tropical trees. I say arguably, for the Queen of the Forest, Amherstia nobilis is a close contender. However, leaving that aside, in the early 1980s during my first visit to Bahrain the capital city Manama was ablaze with the flame – red flowers of Delonix, an experience which has always remained a beautiful memory. Since then owing to urban development the tree, except in certain places, has all but vanished from the city scene. As regards the tree’s characteristics, it is semi-evergreen, except during relatively cold winters or exceptionally hot summers when it sheds all its foliage. It grows to a height of around 10 - 12 metres with an equal spread. Foliage is bi-pinnate and appears after the flowers, which usually cover the entire canopy of the tree. An interesting feature about delonix is that it allows grass to grow beneath it. The tree is eminently suitable for broad central reservations in roadways, also roundabouts at street junctions.

Delonix regia


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Ficus benghalensis (banyan tree) Native to India and Malaysia and the National tree of India, the banyan is a large moderately salt tolerant evergreen tree particularly suited to being planted in a roundabout, public park or large garden. As a means of supporting its broad canopy aerial roots eventually appear on the undersides of its branches and gradually descend to the ground giving the tree a striking appearance. There are forests in India the origins of which in each instance can be traced to one tree. Ficus benghalensiss with aerial roots

Moringa oleifera (Drumstick Tree) The moringa tree, native to India, is a fast growing, moderately salt tolerant, semi-evergreen tree, bearing intensely fragrant white flowers, the nectar of which being much favoured by birds. The foliage is tri-pinnate, light green in colour and of a slightly rubbery texture very pleasing to the touch. Somewhat ungainly in habit, nevertheless it can be trained to assume an attractive shape. On a personal note, in a previous flat I occupied there was a moringa tree growing outside the kitchen window and it gave me so much pleasure to see birds clinging to the drooping flower clusters as they attempted and indeed succeeded in sipping nectar. Over the years, I established a friendship with that tree, I got to know its spirit and now, whenever I see a moringa tree, my heart skips with joy.

Moringa oleifera

On that joyful note, I shall bring this section on trees to a close and resume discussing the subject in future articles. In closing, I should just like to say that the initiative of the Ministry of Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning is very supportive, albeit in an indirect way, of Dubai based landscape architect Jeane-Claude Melone’s call, mentioned in my previous articles, to save mankind by planting trees. Also, the initiative offers great opportunities for the landscape industry in the Arabian Gulf as its significance is taken up by other government bodies in the region. Furthermore, it augers well for the Kingdom of Bahrain, as it represents the Spirit of Bahrain seeking to regain for the archipelago its former status as the Garden of the Gulf – the Garden of Eden no less!


I waterfront

Transforming Abu Dhabi’s Lifestyle

A unique waterfront project featuring seven anchor destinations spanning over 2.4km of landscaped walkways aims to transform Abu Dhabi into the most livable city in the world 20

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Al Qana, Abu Dhabi’s newest waterfront destination, is implementing innovative ways to interact with the community by bringing them together in open spaces while prioritizing the visitor’s wellbeing. The proposed project plans to shape memories and build a connection between people, nature, architecture and technology. With destinations ever evolving over the past decade, people are now seeking places that offer adventure and

rejuvenation especially open-air spaces with lavish landscape and water features. For this reason, Al Qana aims to transform Abu Dhabi into the most livable city in the world to meet the needs of new lifestyle trends. The experiences in Al Qana are rooted and uniquely inspired by post-pandemic demand for a healthier lifestyle. Guests have the opportunity to run and cycle through our designated paths and enjoy the lush outdoor spaces. They can also participate in our indoor and outdoor classes with activities such as group yoga, Pilates and more testing highintensity workout classes on the roster. For those who want to commit to a fit and healthy lifestyle, The Bridge, an integrated lifestyle wellness hub, has a total space area of over 8000 square meters. This hub features seven unique and seamless service tracks (Move – Pause – Taste – Seek – Choose – Expand – Learn), combined into an ethereal and customized individual journey. These varied collections of features are elegantly integrated across three floors and a roof garden lounge. “More than ever, Al Qana will be more relevant to the post-COVID 19 situation for people who seek safe outdoor spaces and healthier lifestyle choices,” explained Fouad Mashal, CEO of Al Barakah International Investment and the leader behind the project. He added: “Our objective is to create a vibrant ecosystem for businesses, whether they are F&B providers, recreational outlets or wellness hubs. As a multi-purpose destination and experience-driven entertainment attraction, Al Qana will create a dynamic and engaging experience for both residents and tourists. With the Middle East’s largest aquarium, the largest stand-alone cinema in the capital, a virtual reality zone, E-sports arena and Kids Adrenaline Zone, Al Qana is the must-visit destination for family and friends.” The project has a clear plan and timeline in place despite the pandemic. By following guidelines from the relevant authorities, we have successfully maintained very high health and safety measures for our office and construction site workers. We plan to expand our strategy to ensure visitors are staying safe when they arrive to Al Qana.


I riverfront park

Orla do Guaíba Urban Park A historical riverfront thrives again in the Brazilian City of Porto Alegre By: Jimena Martignoni Porto Alegre is the largest metropolis in Southern Brazil, with 4.3 million people living in the metropolitan area and 1.5 million in the city proper. The city is located at the northern end of the Lagoon of the Ducks, a large coastal lagoon adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean and connected to the junction of five different rivers. This junction forms the Guaíba River which is also referred to as Guaíba Lake by locals. The name Guaíba was given by the aboriginal Guaraní, the first inhabitants of this region, and means “bay of all waters” (baía de todas as águas in Portuguese).


Today, after the completion of the waterfront renovation’s first two stages, this urban green piece is the most visited and, especially, the most beloved by both locals and tourists. Since the early 1940s, when the city was hit by a devastating flood and a wall was built around most part of the natural waterfront as a potential solution, the close connection between the water surface and the green border with the city grid was erased. Locals kept visiting and spontaneously using the remaining natural areas in front of the water for gathering,

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resting and watching the sunset, something that Portoalegrenses (Porto Alegre’s citizens) consider like no other in Brazil. The City Government of Porto Alegre, with Mayor Fortunati (2010-2016), finally decided to work on a conversion plan which would overcome the state of stagnation and decay of the site; then, the key information for the project was the people’s instinctive behaviors over the decades. The idea for this new plan started in 2011 and in 2016 the government received the funds granted by the Development Bank of Latin America (Banco de Desarrollo de América Latina), which financed 100% of the plan. The completion of the project was under the next city administration, with Mayor Marchezan Júnior, still in office. In this way, two administrations have been responsible for the city waterfront’s turnaround.


I riverfront park

Key designers and design keys The project was commissioned to the world-renowned Brazilian urban planner Jaime Lerner. He was mayor of the City of Curitiba for three terms, where he implemented the first Integrated Mass Transport System and consolidated the city’s urban transformation. Awarded by the United Nations Environmental Program and listed among the 25 most influential thinkers in the world by the Time Magazine, Lerner was chosen by the City Government of Porto Alegre based on his prestige and knowledge. This methodology (“notório saber”) is used in Brazil for exceptional cases, replacing the typical call for entries or competitions. The Porto Alegre City Government created a local coordination base, in charge of architect Oscar Coelho, for all managing tasks and construction stages. “The project crystallized the natural vocation of the site which was that of walking, watching, drinking mate, practicing sports…” says Coelho while explaining the design process and final product – “And, especially, it defined a consistent and comfortable ambiance to watch the sunset: decks extending over the water and linear ergonomic benches in front of it, floating walkways, concrete spectator stands which delineate sitting areas and negotiate the existing elevation changes…, a formal invitation to live the waterfront.” Site and landscape modeling The site’s topography and the existing grading were essential pieces of information in the project and made possible the creation of a range of spaces and areas extending along the 1.3 kilometers of the first phase. The total length of the waterfront renovation project is approximately 8 kilometers.


The existing elevation change between the street and the water levels is 4.70 meters; this difference was used in favor of a diverse and dynamic project and, more importantly, with many different perspectives and views towards the river. Halfway between the street level and that of the water and as part of the flood protection works carried out by the City Government over the last decades, the site’s profile already presented a wellestablished platform which determines the official local flood stage. At 2.50 meters above water level, this stage was defined in the project as the site’s main pathway; the backslopes were stabilized with gabion retaining walls and when closer to the shore, for the consolidation of the natural soil, the gabions were built as horizontal structures and seeded with indigenous riparian plants. The landscape plan was differentiated in five areas which coincide with the site’s layout and levels. The first two correspond to the aquatic environment and water edge and focuses only on conservation and management of existing species; the third corresponds to the lower esplanade and incorporates one single kind of native grass (Axonopus repens or Carpet grass); the fourth focuses on the natural slopes and new stepped terraces and includes a series of native shrubs and grasses; finally, the fifth correspond to the sidewalk and bike path level (upper esplanade), and is the one space which incorporates a high amount of trees, all native, including fruit and flowering species. This upper esplanade makes up a green corridor which connects the fauna population, especially birds, between the city and the water edge. The halfway level is the one which offers cafes, vendors’ stands and restrooms. Housed in a series of

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semi-buried constructions with glassed facades facing the park and the waterfront, the commercial spaces and facilities punctuate the linear park and follow the organic forms of decks, paths and overwater walkways. Two walkways of organic lines get into the water and create fantastic aquatic belvederes. This part of the city is very close to the Historic Centre and some of the oldest and most stately buildings, such as the old gasometer which will be transformed into a cultural center, appear in the site as important landmarks. In turn, a very contemporary restaurant floats over the water and offers 360 degree-views of the area; visitors can get to this new building via a new pathway aligned with an existing traditional avenue of the city, establishing a clear dialogue between past and present times. A number of art works that comprised the outdoor exhibition of the 2005 Biennale of Architecture were restored and some of them relocated; reused as lookouts, playgrounds or open-air museum large objects and installations, these “folies” help to weave art into everyday life. Completing the proposal for the site, a series of sportive areas and fields were built at the very end of the first 1.3 kilometers. As part of the lighting plan, a very romantic and captivating effect is incorporated along the first 300 meters of the upper esplanade: as the sun sets over the horizon, thousands of tiny lights suddenly glow on the pavement, inviting visitors to stay at the site for night events and sky watching. This system, known as “star-filled floor” (piso estrelado in Portuguese), integrates fiber optic lights into the concrete and

turn on automatically when solar light decreases, at dusk. Adding a final touch of magic to the waterfront, these lights become a sign of the site, inspiring and shaping new local habits, at all hours. Location: Porto Alegre, Brazil Date of Completion First Stage: 2018 Project Size: 5.70 hectares / Length of First Stage: 1.3 kilometers Designers: Jaime Lerner Arquitetos Associados (Curitiba, Brazil) Project Manager and Construction Consultant: Fernando Canalli Landscape and Environment Consultant: Carlos Oliveira Perna Porto Alegre City Hall’s Coordination / Construction Management: Oscar Coelho Design Team: Architects Kawahara, Bechara, De Rossi, Daher, Guerra, Popp, Roorda. Client: Porto Alegre City Hall (Prefeitura Municipal de Porto Alegre) Construction works: Consórcio Orla Mais Alegre


I sustainability

theOtherForest A nature-based tool for ecological and social regeneration in cities By: ADIB DADA

Lead Architect / Founder Biomimicry Specialist at theOtherDada In 2019, theOtherDada [tOD] planted Beirut’s RiverLESS Forest Lebanon’s first Miyawaki urban forest. tOD is a regenerative consultancy firm developing urban design, architecture and landscaping projects. Its nature-based arm theOtherForest, designs and plants native urban forests to fight climate change and enhance livability in cities of the MENA region. In just 8 months, they have reclaimed five urban landfills in greater Beirut with sizes ranging from 1 sqm to 500 sqm, by planting 2,470 trees and shrubs. Basically, turning these forgotten spaces into vibrant native forests teeming with life. theOtherDada’s work promotes a symbiotic relationship between nature and the built environment by exploring new ways of creating generous and regenerative buildings and masterplans; in essence developing creative solutions that have a positive impact. Urban forests improve physical and mental health, filter air pollutants, cool cities, sequester carbon, regenerate biodiversity, provide habitat for birds and animals, manage urban floods, and restore the water cycle, hence making cities more resilient to climate change. From a technical perspective, the team adopted the Miyawaki method of forest-making, because it is scientifically proven to be the best way for cities to mitigate climate crisis. These forests are dense, fast-growing, native forests, which become completely maintenance-free in less than 3 years. ETH Zurich researchers have identified mass tree planting as a cheap and green way to lock carbon into the soil, while the ‘World Economic Forum’ refers to urban forests planted using the Miyawaki method as the ‘secret weapon’ against climate change and ‘the Guardian’ reports that fast-growing mini-forests are springing up to aid climate change in European cities. Urban afforestation also aligns with the ‘UN Sustainability Development Goals’ numbers 6, 11, 13 and 15. Nature-based solutions are an alternative to heavy and carbonintensive infrastructural projects, providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits by protecting, sustainably managing, and restoring natural or modified ecosystems. They address societal


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River stones used to create walkways

Community Planting Botanical Survey

Pilot Project Watering

Beirut RiverLESS Urban Forest Second Phase of Planting

challenges effectively and adaptively. Urban forests are scientifically proven as one of the most effective and cost-efficient solution for cities to fight climate change and the many local urban challenges we face on a daily basis. theOtherDada implements regenerative strategies that improve our environment and serve as catalysts for social change. Our practice strives to create a significant positive impact. We have chosen the Miyawaki multilayered afforestation method because it outperforms conventional landscaping because it grows 10x faster, 30x denser, sequesters 30x more CO2 and pollution, while being 100% organic and biodiverse. It is also very dense at 400 trees and shrubs in 100 sq. while requiring half the investment than conventional landscaping, thus providing a cost-effective, competitive advantage for public and private development projects. Being very versatile, the forests can be used as a fence for public spaces or private gardens to protect them from urban chaos and sand storms. Art installations can also be integrated within the forests, aligning with contemporary cities’ vision for arts and culture.


I sustainability

Miyawaki forests thrive in any environmental condition, from humid environments to harsh arid deserts. They are ideal solutions for cities in the MENA region as they can be grown fast in very small (1 sqm) to very big plots of lands, irrespective of soil and climatic conditions. Degraded leftover spaces, roundabouts, road medians and urban landfills can be reclaimed into valuable land such as private development landscapes and urban parks.


Community Planting

Within 3 years, the forests become completely selfsufficient and maintenance-free. theOtherDada has established a successful collaboration with the leading Miyawaki forest-makers Afforestt, as their official regional partners, and are currently raising funds through the innovative SUGi Project mobile app to afforest more lands in Lebanon and the MENA region at large. Urban challenges are on the rise, costing cities and governments millions every year in environmental

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Compost Tea Use

degradation and healthcare costs. Besides issues concerning increasing air and water pollution and temperatures while decreasing green spaces, we face more environmental challenges such as forests burning and urban areas flooding. According to the 2020 Greenpeace report, ‘Toxic air: The price of fossil fuels’: In the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA), Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates bear the highest costs from fossil fuel air pollution at an estimated US$6.9 billion, US$6 billion and US$5.9 billion per year, respectively. While Lebanon, Egypt, Syria and the UAE recorded the highest estimated premature death rates due to air pollution in the MENA region. Beirut’s RiverLESS Forest reconnects people with nature and empowers communities to reclaim urban landfills by planting dense native forests, recreating shared habitat for humans and other organisms. The site was chosen specifically for its location next to the river, which has been cut off from the local community and become a heavily polluted dumping ground since its enclosure in concrete in 1968. The forest restores the water cycle, provides habitat for critically endangered species and brings back the river’s lost ecosystem services. Other than providing mental and physical health benefits for human beings, urban forests have immense environmental qualities. They reduce urban flooding by allowing water infiltration, reduce urban heat island effect, and require zero resources after the

Beirut RiverLESS Urban Forest BEFORE

Beirut RiverLESS Urban Forest AFTER 2000 saplings

Beirut RiverLESS Urban Forest Barren

Beirut RiverLESS Urban Forest During Planting


I sustainability






Biodiversity combined; from microorganisms and fungi, to beneficial insects and birds.



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short maintenance period. They also provide habitat for insects and beneficial organisms in the city. The forest-making process started by locating a suitable area for planting, followed by identifying the native plant species during a natural forest survey with the assistance of a local botanist. The native trees and shrubs we identified are a part of the balance of nature that has developed over thousands of years. The degraded land was then excavated and the soil was mixed with organic compost and nourishing biomass as a final preparation for the planting. Before planting, the native species were dipped in compost tea, an organic brew we make out of ripe seasonal fruits, molasses and native forest soil. This tea boosts the saplings’ growth by returning life to the soil. After 6 months, the soil is already alive, with a rich smell, dark color, and a host of microorganisms and fungal networks. Throughout the entire forest-making process, communities have come together to reclaim the degraded land and turn it into a green public space. From the land preparation to the continuous maintenance sessions, our native forest has brought together artists, architects, students, teachers, families and kids, and many community members to reconnect with nature through positive action focused on learning and bonding.

Compost Tea Making

In the first 3 years of maintaining the forest, an opportunity to develop fun and healthy social practices arises. The planting of the forest and as well as its maintenance offer a fascinating opportunity to discover the community, the neighborhood and build on a sense of belonging. Collaboration with various players allows the urban forest to thrive on more levels than the environmental ones. Planting and maintaining an urban forest offer an opportunity for bonding, for physical activities and a mental health boost, especially in times of lockdown, where the forest can become safe and physically distant spaces for escape. Beirut has only 0.8 sqm of green space/capita, versus the WHO recommended 9 sqm/capita; the Beirut River Valley is also an Important Bird Area (IBA 4), it is undoubtedly one of the most important areas for bird migration in Lebanon, with important threatened species relying on the valley during the migration seasons between Africa and Europe. Beirut’s environmental degradation has left communities detached from nature and literally dying from pollution. There has been a major loss of wildlife and insect habitat downstream the river. After 6 months of planting Beirut’s RiverLESS Forest, native fauna has already started to come back to live in the newly established ecosystem. The young forest is already thriving, passing all the success indicators of rapid monthly growth, improvements in soil biology, presence of fungal networks, and a return of biodiversity. By implementing urban afforestation, we can regenerate leftover degraded lands into a shared space between humans and native fauna and flora, tackle urban flooding, reduce pollution and urban heat island effect. theOtherForest is one aspect of theOtherDada’s work in climate action. Along with environmental consultancy and architecture, we provide an alternative approach to sustainability through invoking new relationships between climate, landscape, and inhabitants. We ask the same question biomimicry expert Janine Benyus asked: ‘What if our cities were as effective and generous as forest?’ Providing not only for ourselves, but for other species as well, in perfect balance with Earth’s operating conditions. We can rewild our cities by planting a forest as a team building exercise, a CSR campaign, to set an example, as a new family tradition, a gift to a friend, for you, for your community, for your city, and for the planet. Essentially working with nature to transition our cities to healthy and resilient communities.


I infrastructures


Mobility meets architecture

A sculptural portal emerges as the new addition to MoDusArchitects’ ring road project in South Tyrol A new gateway to the centre of Bressanone, a small city in South Tyrol, Italy, is the latest addition to the BressanoneVarna Ring Road. The infrastructural landscape project designed by MoDusArchitects is composed of a series of connected, largely underground roads that reduce traffic volume and provide an alternate route around both city centres. The newly opened central juncture tract of the ring road is the section of the project that reconnects with the main thoroughfare of the SS12 in proximity to Bressanone city centre. Travelling from the ring road, motorists navigate a roundabout and pass through a short U-shaped tunnel along with its two, respective exposed concrete portals to arrive at a shifted axis with Via Roma – the main road leading directly into town. The sculptural mouth of the new portal facing east takes a sinuous form that contributes to the lexicon of curvilinear elements that characterize many of the design interventions of the original project, steering away from the strictly technical or functional vocabulary typically offered by infrastructural projects.


“Civil engineering projects provide a unique opportunity to bring together the different scales – and at times jarring specificities – of infrastructure, landscape, architecture and urban decorum. The Ring Road project underlines the reciprocity of these disciplines as a singular design challenge, not just given the environmental and economic impact of these projects, but also as a model for small cities grappling with questions of mobility, heritage and placemaking” – explained architect Sandy Attia, co-founder of MoDusArchitects. The other half of the founding duo, Matteo Scagnol continues: “The role

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calibrated to accommodate the particularities of the immediate site conditions. Lastly, the Bressanone and Varna tracts were pulled together into one continuum whereby the two townships are no longer conceived as distinct contexts but as two parts of a greater whole. The project presents an inventory of complementary elements integral to the system of tunnels—as new entries, the central junction tunnel portals have been conceived as expressive figures whose raised heads emerge from the buried, unseen networks of roads serving as mediators of the disparate speeds and scales of the stratified urban context.

architects play in large infrastructural projects has been increasingly marginalized over the past few decades in Italy: the country’s remarkable density and stratification of historical and natural contexts present unique and pressing challenges that the public administration needs to address.� First inaugurated in 2012 and completed in June 2020, the 5km-long ring road that bypasses the historic city centre of Bressanone, to reach the north of Varna, was planned in an effort to avoid congestion, to reduce pollution, and to facilitate access from the north to the southern light industrial of the town. The design brief called for a series of interventions (tunnel portals, retaining walls, acoustic barriers, service substations, mechanical structures, ventilation chimneys, and various signage elements) along its entire length, and is guided by three simple design decisions. Firstly, the architects sought to minimize the environmental impact of the elements above ground in order to express both an architectural and technical quality. Secondly, these elements and those below ground were conceptualized into a unified, consequential design approach, and were

The concrete work of the new addition is made of aggregates and excavation materials drawn from the ongoing construction site of the 64km Brenner Base Tunnel traversing below the Alps from Innsbruck (Austria) to Fortezza (Italy). Together with exposed concrete, larch wooden acoustic barrier walls and corten steel ventilation chimneys, the portals constitute important sites of architectural design: they lie at the intersection of landscape, infrastructure and mobility. These interventions mark the threshold between below ground and above ground, becoming part of the urban landscape of Bressanone and defining the fleeting, motorist experience. MoDusArchitects paid particular attention to noise emissions and many of the interventions, such as the Leca-beton walls, grappled with sound absorption solutions. Research into the reconfiguration of commonly used materials in the road-building industry unearthed solutions to better address these environmental concerns while exploring new ways to combine simple, low-cost materials that could bridge the gap in scale and overcome the difficulties inherent to building in close proximity to the small scale buildings of Bressanone. The next and final segment of the ring road, projected to be completed in 2025, will extend the intervention to its final trajectory past the city centre of Varna for a total length of 8km.


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I Book review

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Books of interest The Course of Landscape Architecture ISBN: 9780500342978 PUBLICATION DATE: May 31, 2016 HARDCOVER: 304 pages

BOOK DESCRIPTION: Christophe Girot sets out to chronicle this history, drawing on all aspects of mankind’s creativity and ingenuity. In twelve chapters, he brings together the key stories that have shaped our man-made landscapes. Each chapter consists of a thematic essay that ties together the central developments, as well as a case study illustrated with specially commissioned photographs and meticulously detailed 3D re–creations showing the featured site in its original context. The result of over two decades of teaching experience and academic research at one of the world’s leading universities, The Course of Landscape Architecture will reach international students and professionals. But its wealth of visual material, the wide range of its cultural references and the beauty of the landscapes it features will attract the interest of all who desire to enrich their understanding of how our landscapes have been formed, and how we relate to them.600 illustrations, 550 in color

Community Landscape Design ISBN: 9789881296887 PUBLICATION DATE: 1 Aug. 2014 HARDCOVER: 288 pages

BOOK DESCRIPTION: As the world is undergoing rapid urbanization and demands for good housing in cities soar, we are looking for residential environment where we can take refuge from our intense and hectic lifestyle. This enticing book is a window to a diverse range of community landscape design creating exceptional living environment across the globe addressing this need of high-quality housing. This stimulating book is divided into three sections high-rise residential tower landscape, mid-rise residential block landscape and low-rise villa landscape as each category has its unique landscape character. Included projects demonstrate how landscape architects integrate the key parameters; culture, context, sustainability and budget making it a useful reference to both landscape design professionals and enthusiast.

Landscape Architecture Documentation Standards: Principles, Guidelines and Best Practices ISBN: 9780470402177 PUBLICATION DATE: 18 Nov. 2015 PAPERBACK : 432 pages

BOOK DESCRIPTION: Construction Documentation Standards and Best Practices for Landscape Architectural Design offers guidelines, methods, and techniques for creating more robust project documents. Developed and authored by one of the world’s leading landscape architectural firms, this material has been field tested by Design Workshop’s ten offices and 150 designers to ensure completeness, practicality, and effectiveness. The book provides an overview of the entire design and construction process in the context of actual documentation, with best practice standards for design document content, format, and graphics. Readers learn how to apply these practices to serve the specific needs of different projects, gaining a comprehensive understanding of how complete documentation better serves the project as a whole. This book presents a set of standards that serve as a roadmap of the design process, helping designers provide the complete documentation that the most highly executed projects require. Discover how documentation ties into project performance Learn the best practices for documenting every stage of the process Study actual project documents serving various project needs Gain documentation insights from one of the world’s top firms With its headquarter in Tokyo, Japan and world class stores spread over countries like America, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, Taiwan and now in DUBAI – UAE, Kinokuniya is a globally known book seller of repute. The store in Dubai Mall is a massive 68,000 square feet wide paragon book gallery which stocks more than half a million books and thousand magazines in English, Arabic, Japanese, French, German and Chinese at any given time. The Store is also a distinct cross cultural hub wide range of time to time multicultural events such a comic art demonstrations, language learning workshops, book launches etc. The pleasant ambiance, stenographic design and add to it the impressive view of modern skyline – world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, Kinokuniya at The Dubai Mall is just the place to evoke emotions and add pleasure to your book shopping. You may like to visit our website for more information.


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Status : New Tender Trade Category : Agricultural, Landscaping and Irrigation





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Trees & Fences

Operation and Maintenance of Surfaces, Trees and Fences in Streets and Gardens in Separate Areas in Makkah

Holy Makkah Municipality (Saudi Arabia)

Saudi Arabia




Agricultural Machines & Equipment

Supply of Agricultural Machines and Equipment.

Ministry of Electricity & Water (Kuwait)




Research Stations Development

Research Stations Development Project (Agricultural Domain) - the Second Phase.

Abu Dhabi Agriculture & Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA)

Abu Dhabi



Gardens Maintenance Works

Maintenance and Irrigation of Gardens and Green Spaces.

Ministry of Municipal & Rural Affairs (Saudi Arabia)

Saudi Arabia




Agricultural Machine

Supply of Agricultural Machinery and Equipment for the Main Building of the Ministry.

Ministry of Electricity & Water (Kuwait)






Supply of Fertilizers and Chelates of Iron.

Ministry of Agriculture (Jordan)





Plantings Care

Provision of Care for Plantings for CAAJ Building.

Council of Administrative Affairs for the Judiciary (Oman)





Agricultural Tools

Supplying Agricultural Tools.

Tabuk Municipality (Saudi Arabia)

Saudi Arabia




Agriculture & Sustainable Permaculture

Create Two Entrepreneurs for Agriculture and Sustainable Permaculture in Jordan in the Northern Jordan Valley and the Area of Ghor Safi.

Ministry of Planning (Jordan)




Agricultural Supplies & Tools

Supplying Agricultural Supplies and Tools.

Hail Municipality (Saudi Arabia)

Saudi Arabia




Agricultural Tools

Supply of Trees, Annual Plants and Agricultural Tools.

German Jordanian University (Jordan)





Grass Maintenance Works

Maintenance of Grass Fields for a Group of Schools.

Taif University (Saudi Arabia)

Saudi Arabia




Parks, Green Spaces & Irrigation Systems

Maintenance of Parks, Green Spaces and Irrigation Systems.

Al Jouf Municipality (Saudi Arabia)

Saudi Arabia




Industrial Grass

Supplying Industrial Grass.

Tabuk Municipality (Saudi Arabia)

Saudi Arabia




Irrigation Networks Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation of Irrigation Networks.

Ministry of Municipal & Rural Affairs (Saudi Arabia)

Saudi Arabia




Grass Wordpress

Supply of Japanese Grass Wordpress Winka.

Tabuk Municipality (Saudi Arabia)

Saudi Arabia





Supply of Trees.

Tabuk Municipality (Saudi Arabia)

Saudi Arabia




Grassed Football Pitch Renovation Works

Renovation of Grassed Football Pitch with Automatic Irrigation for Muscat Sports Club.

Ministry of Sports Affairs (Oman)





Pastoral Resource Nursery Maintenance

Maintenance of the Pastoral Resource Nursery No.1 West.

Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries (Oman)




Parks Refurbishment Works

Design and Build for Refurbishment of 3 Parks in Ras Abu Aboud, Al Wakra & Al Shamal Project.

Public Works Authority - ASHGHAL (Qatar)





Modern Irrigation System

Installing a Modern Irrigation System from Al-Muldah Roundabout to the States Borders with Suwaiq.

Ministry of Regional Municipalities, Environment & Water Resources (Oman)





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Ministry of Health (Oman)






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