British Government unveils high-speed rail plan

Yesterday, The Guardian reported that the British Government is planning to build a north-south high speed train route.

The government has made the demise of domestic air travel an explicit policy target for the first time by aiming to replace short-haul flights with a new 250mph high-speed rail network.

The transport secretary, Lord Adonis, said switching 46 million domestic air passengers a year to a multibillion-pound north-south rail line was “manifestly in the public interest”. Marking a government shift against aviation, Adonis added that rail journeys should be preferred to plane trips. SOURCE: The Guardian – British Government unveils high-speed rail plan to ground short flights

Today, The Guardian reported that a budget airline predictably came out and called the idea ‘insane’ and rail as a high cost and inefficient.

The airline industry has dismissed a government pledge to replace domestic and short-haul aviation with high-speed rail with one leading carrier describing the move as an “insane” policy.

SOURCE: The Guardian – Airlines dismiss high-speed rail plan to replace short flights

On the same day as the airlines are calling this idea ‘insane’ the Environmental Audit Committee  published a report warning that the Government is not on track to meet targets for cutting its own emissions and could have to pay money to large private sector firms – who may have done more to reduce their emissions – in a new carbon trading scheme due to begin in April 2010.

Tomorrow(Aug 6), The Guardian will publish the 3rd Part of the series on Transport Policy

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons attrib – Dave Bushell

Vancouver BC Convention Centre Green Roof Video – Designspotter

Designspotter posted a video today of  2.5 hectares (6 acres) natural grassland roof on the Vancouver BC Convention Centre – Video Credit – Dave Budge

Vancouver’s 6 Acre Living Roof from Dave Budge on Vimeo.

SOURCE: Designspotter – Vancouver’s 6 Acre Living Roof by Dave Budge

New Orleans Mayor’s plan for Armstrong Park draws criticism

Mayor Ray Nagin’s Armstrong Park statue plan draws criticism –

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin’s $3 million vision for Armstrong Park is taking shape.

It includes seven large, new sculptures, one of which will be created by renowned artist Elizabeth Catlett, who also did the bronze sculpture of Louis Armstrong now in the park.

Detroit-based[with an office in New Orleans] architectural firm Hamilton Anderson Co. has been hired to help design the project.

SOURCE: – Mayor Ray Nagin’s Armstrong Park statue plan draws criticism

Newark Visitor’s Center International Design Competition

The International Design Competition for Newark Visitors Center is being held by AIA Newark, Suburban Emerging Professionals and the Young Architects Forum.

Competitors are asked to address the site on a variety of issues. Designers are asked to develop a strategy for receiving patrons and educating, entertaining, and directing them. Proposals should link the diverse historic and urban opportunities located within the area. Address the historical, present day, and future value of this new structure in Newark.

For more information and registation (deadline 31st August) go to the competition website


Urban gardens are changing the landscape of food

Rocky Mount Telegram reports

The most idealistic of advocates envision cities and towns that burst with food, be it from skyscraper roofs, apartment balconies, back alleys or repurposed plastic tubs. In this world, people plan their meals around what’s in season, relegating supermarket trips to coffee, wheat and other staples they can’t get within the region.

read more about the people converting grassy yards into thriving urban food gardens at the SOURCE: Rocky Mount Telegram – Urban gardens are changing the landscape of food

Wetlands remains a white elephant despite massive upgrade

TheStarOnline (malaysia) reports

MORE needs to be done to keep the Paya Indah Wetlands Sanctuary in Dengkil appealing and meet its objective of being a tourist attraction. The relaunches are not having the desired effect of drawing the crowd.

The park has opened and closed on three occasions since the Federal Government first launched it in October 2001. The RM160mil mega project meant for nature conservation has failed to attract visitors and is a forlorn sight.

SOURCE: [TheStarOnline] (Malaysia) – Wetlands remains a white elephant despite massive upgrade

In the News – 4 August

CALL FOR PAPERS: 48th International Making Cities Livable Conference – Charleston, SC October 17-21, 2010 [International Making Cities Livable] VIA [Building Design and Construction]

Don’t mess with the Master Plan []

Bernard Tschumi responds to Archinect Op-Ed: The Acropolis Museum; An Unhappy Fit [Archinect]

International architecture book fair kicks off in Pyongyang [XINHUA]

SD Gets Wetland Mitigation

Former mayor Powers gets last laugh on rooftop gardens – [

Palo Alto to hire consultants to review high-speed rail plans [Palo Alto Daily News]

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