How to protect and maintain sidewalk and boulevard trees in your community

When was the last time you went for a walk in the “concrete jungle” in your city? Add a bit more of the “jungle” into your community by planting some community trees. These trees need a little support to grow and thrive in urban landscapes.

When choosing how to protect trees on sidewalks, boulevards, and plazas you have a choice: tree pits vs tree grates. Which should you choose? Which is easier to maintain? Which is more cost-effective?

Support for urban forests

Greenery in urban centers goes way behind aesthetics. A study from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that regular access to natural…

Cast iron is a traditional material known for longevity and strength-it’s not generally associated with the information age. However, in a smart city, traditional castings can become the vehicle for modern innovations. Traditional municipal castings can be transformed into internet-of-things (IoT) devices. A smart manhole, trash bin, or bollard watches its environment and reports. Is trash piling up? Is the storm sewer overflowing? Are construction sites active after hours? Armed with this information, cities can optimize maintenance schedules. Real time alerts mean they can dispatch teams when the sensors detect user-programmed threshold events, before emergencies occur. As a response to…

Smart infrastructure spending to restart the economy

by Shane Kramps, VP Reliance Foundry

A bustling urban square in Antigua with fountains, flowers, and benches
A bustling urban square in Antigua with fountains, flowers, and benches
Vibrant, human-oriented spaces support local business and economy

People, information, and things flow through the economy via public infrastructure. We all rely on it, and we generally agree on its importance, even if our ideas are different about what types of infrastructure to prioritize.

Human history is full of stories of growth and plenty brought through trade. Many important events and advances can be traced to roads and shipping routes that opened new trade. Alliances rise and fall, but underneath all trade lies infrastructure.

Infrastructure is also a lever in the economy. Governments traditionally use shovels-in-ground work to restart after disruption. Such…

“Trench drain” refers to any narrow, long carved channel used to move water. The trough may be formed out of concrete by hand, be made out of concrete using a pre-formed mold, or be made of another material like plastic, PVC, or metal. Trench drains often have a grating on top to strain debris and prevent tripping. Many different terms are used to describe trench drains, including line drain, strip drain, linear drain, slot drain, and channel drain. These largely refer to the same thing though there are slight differences in connotation. Trench drain could be curved (although it usually…

Modern streets are designed to facilitate a complex transportation system that includes pedestrians, cyclists, transit users, and — predominantly — vehicles. As autonomous cars are developed, they’re being taught to work in the street design of today. Yet the speed of their development begs the question: if they become the major form of vehicle traffic on the road, will they change the design elements of urban streets?

Should we be investing in different types of infrastructure? Traffic signals, speed humps, curbs, bike lanes, and bollards are all installed with human drivers in mind, offering visual or environmental cues as to…

The presence of rust, which contains iron oxide III, suggests a metal contains iron.

As manufacturers of cast iron and steel, we think a lot about preventing rust. Our bollards and bike racks are outdoors year-round, and we often weather-proof them through powder-coating or plastic covering. However, iron and steel are used in many different applications. The protection appropriate to our outdoor furniture might not be appropriate for utensils, engines, or marine applications. Happily, there are many strategies available.

First, a short primer on rust.

Many metals corrode, but when people talk about “rust,” they’re usually referring to the corrosion of “ferrous,” or iron-containing, metals. Rust is the flaky red oxide that appears on ferrous metals in the presence of…

An unvarying string of security hardened planters looks incongruous and does not enhance the streetscape.

Queries coming into our company show that terrorism is on the minds of architects, building owners, and urban planners. 2017 saw a rise in terror attacks in which drivers deliberately ran people over, and planners are rushing to protect outdoor spaces. Cost considerations weigh heavily: money that goes to security is not available for other things.

Consumers are often confused about the difference between anti-ram barriers and security barriers. Understanding the distinction between these two important offerings can help create the most effective and safe site plans.

Independent testing agencies rate crash-rated or anti-ram barriers. The ratings describe how quickly…

The use of wrought iron has propelled humans throughout history. Whether it be used for historic structures, decorative signs, or railways, wrought iron has shaped and been shaped to create our civilization as we know it.

What is wrought iron?

Wrought iron is iron that has been heated and worked with a hammer or rolling machine. It can be heated, worked, and re-heated and re-worked — growing stronger each time. The word “wrought” derives from the word “work.”

Wrought iron has been used as early as 2000 BC in Anatolia (Turkey), and is the. “iron” referenced in Western history. It was most popular in…

Lessons from 5 of the most walkable cities in North America

What is a walkable city?

In a walkable urban center, people don’t need their cars for every trip. All the daily necessities are nearby: the grocery store, a park, a school, a few cafes and restaurants, and maybe even the bank are all within easy walking distance. Though some still might need to grab the car keys to head to work, they can often leave the car at home over the weekend. People who walk more will save on gas (keeping more money in the local economy), and their stress levels will be lower.

Walkability is valuable to the neighborhoods that have it, but hard…

Here’s how.

Speed humps: rachaelvoorhees, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr

We like to think of our homes and neighborhoods as safe havens, but the streets just outside can be dangerous: almost a quarter of car accidents occur within one mile of the driver’s home.

Complacency, distracted and reckless behavior, weather conditions, compromised visibility, and traffic congestion all contribute to accidents — but the biggest factor is speed.

The faster a vehicle goes, the less likely it is to be able to stop or avoid the accident. When an accident occurs, the greater the speed, the greater the impact.

Slowing down is the simplest and most effective way to…

Reliance Foundry

Landscape Architecture | Metallurgy | Industrial Manufacturing — Sharing a variety of thoughts & ideas

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