CABE – Designing streets for people – not traffic

Most streets in this country are failing pedestrians, and need to become destinations again, and not simply ways of getting traffic from A to B.

Radical new thinking in urban street design may point the way forward. Civilised streets, a new report from CABE, sets out the opportunities and challenges of new design approaches. It argues that the car still dominates and our streets will only become more civilised places if the needs of pedestrians are prioritised over cars.

CABE argues that streets which are designed to give all users more freedom of movement are ultimately slower, safer and more social places. These civilised streets are places where people of all ages can walk, cycle, play, talk and shop more easily. Civilised streets explores the contentious concept of shared space, which advocates removing signs and guard rails, obliging drivers and pedestrians to become more alert to each other, which in turn leads to more responsible driving.

Shared space is one way of rescuing our streets from the car. Director of CABE Space, Sarah Gaventa, highlights New Road in Brighton as one example of how redesigning a street can reinvent it. If the country is to get more streets of such quality, local authorities, highway engineers and planners must both understand and consider shared spaces as a means of delivering more civilised streets.

Go to CABE.org.uk now to download the series of publications

Source: CABE – Designing streets for people – not traffic | News | .

ADB invests US$4m for water projects in China

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is investing $4 million in a new company that will help promote public-private partnerships in water supply and sanitation in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The new company, Asia Infrastructure Project Development Company (AIPC), will help local governments develop projects in water supply, sanitation and wastewater treatment by providing feasibility assessments, planning, design and other services.

“AIPC will be an innovative one-stop shop that provides the necessary resources and expertise to identify and develop projects from the time they are being drawn up until they are completed and are being considered for public-private partnership undertakings,” said Seethapathy Chander, Deputy Director General of ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department.

Source: Asian Development Bank – ADB invests US$4m for water projects in China

Discovery Green, Houston opens

Downtown Houston celebrated the Grand Opening of Discovery Green and the start of the Spring/Summer programming season at the park. The Discovery Green Family Day opening featured 12 acres of urban green space including a one-acre lake, children’s playground, interactive water features, amphitheater stage and slope, small and large dog runs, public art works, HPL Express, open lawns and excellent restaurants..

Source: Hargreaves Associates

Conceptual gardens: It’s all in the mind – Telegraph

Conceptualism is the “next big thing” in garden design: there is an international conference on the topic in July at Tate Britain, a new book seeks to define it, and it has gone mainstream by dint of the conceptual gardens section at Hampton Court Flower Show.

But we can be forgiven for feeling sceptical about it. After all, some of these “gardens” don’t actually have any plants in them.

Among conceptualists, an ecologically sensitive approach to design is seen as a good idea, but that is no reason to make it the whole raison d’etre for a garden, particularly in an urban situation. A more honest attitude, they claim, is to create garden spaces that respond to the needs of human beings as opposed to, say, beetles or badgers.

Read more @ the Source: Telegraph.co.uk – Conceptual gardens: It’s all in the mind .

Views sought on HK harbourfront options

The Planning Department has launched the Stage 2 Public Engagement for the New Central Harbourfront Urban Design Study to seek views on the concepts for the re-assembly of Queen’s Pier and reconstruction of the old Star Ferry Clock Tower.

The department today said the urban design framework for the new Central harbourfront has been refined after considering views collected in the first stage public engagement exercise. Different design concepts for the eight key sites have been prepared. For details click here.

On the re-assembly of Queen’s Pier, alternative concepts have been prepared for the stage two public engagement. The first concept is to re-assemble Queen’s Pier at the harbourfront between Central Piers No.9 and 10 and to revive the public pier function. The second concept is to re-assemble Queen’s Pier at its original location.

For the clock tower the first concept is to reconstruct it as a focal point on the harbourfront with an axial relationship with City Hall and the re-assembled Queen’s Pier by the harbour. The second concept is to reconstruct the clock tower close to the original location. A clock tower gallery to exhibit the salvaged items is proposed under both concepts.

The design concepts are not exhaustive, the department said, adding alternative concepts can be mixed.

Source: Hong Kong Government – Views sought on harbourfront options.

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