Landscape Architect & Specifier News

JAN 2018

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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January 2018 85 London's WWII Stretcher Railings The Stretcher Railing Society is working to preserve the WWII stretcher railings at London housing estates, a vestige of the Blitz. When landscape architects (and LASN editors) walk along a city streetscape they can't help but notice details that other pedestrians may not give a second thought to. They observe the species of the trees and plantings along the way, but also note the type of benches or other seating available, the light poles and luminaires, the hardscape materials and patterns and even the waste receptacles. Next time you're in London, look for the historic vestiges of steel fencing that was installed in the early days of WWII. The fencing, easily identified by the curved railings on the four corners of each section, were stretchers fabricated to carry the injured during the German bombing raids of England in 1940 and 1941. The Blitz killed some 40,000 English citizens; about half of those deaths occurred in London. Today, the Stretcher Railing Society (SRS) is promoting the protection and preservation of these stretcher railings. The SRS says some 600,000 stretchers were built. They were made of steel to enable easier disinfected in case of gas attacks. Many London housing estates donated their railings to make the stretchers. When the war ended, many of those same London estates installed the stretcher railings. The SRS reports there are still many estates with stretcher railings, but they are generally in poor condition. Visit https://www.stretcherrailings.com/map/ for more info. Then came the complaints about "scaring the homeless." According to the latest city data the homeless population has grown to 7,500 people. (See p. 84.) "Knightscope was deployed to serve and protect the SPCA," said Stacy Dean Stephens, SPCA vice president of marketing and sales. "The SPCA has the right to protect its property, employees and visitors." On Dec. 14, however, the SPCA" pulled the plug, so to speak, on the robot surveillance, while noting the pilot program was successful in improving security and creating a safer atmosphere. I n f o r m a t i o n R e q u e s t # 6 7 4 Robbie the Robot to the Rescue continued from page 84 A Hospital's Holistic Landscaping continued from page 80 The inclusion of these natural elements not only help promote the healing process of patients, they also bring in natural wildlife, such as bees, birds and butterflies, as well as endorse environmentally sustainable practices. One report states that the hospital uses 30 percent less energy than other hospitals due to its cooling capabilities, which are bolstered by the large amount of foliage and wind tunnels.

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