Gulf rail projects could exceed $60b(Dh220 billion)

Construction of the long-awaited rail network that will link the six members of the GCC is expected to start in 2010 or 2011. The cost will be shared among the six Gulf states — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The first section is the UAE National Railway. Also there will be toutes to Saudi Arabia and also to Oman from the Kuwait-Iraq border.

Projects will be awarded in 2010 with the first track to be completed by 2013-2014. The trains will run at speeds between 80 and 120 kilometres per hour for freight transport and between 160 and 200 kilometres per hour for passenger transport.

read more VIA: gulfnews : Gulf rail projects could exceed $60b .

Beijing CBD expansion plan to be chosen this year

Beijing CBD - Guomao
Beijing City government has placed seven alternative design for the Beijing CBD public display. Beginning yesterday they were opened for public comment as apart of a six-day CBD International Business Festival.  A plan will be selected by the end of this year for planning and implementation.

The masterplans were submitted by the SOM, KFP, ADPi, China Academy of Urban Planning & Design, along with three design firms.

The plans calls for a 3 square kilometre expansion of the CBD which  doubles the size of the current Beijing CBD. The city government has requested that all new buildings in the new area have a low carbon footprint.

The expansion includes the area from East Third Ring Road near Guomao to the Fourth Ring Road near Sihui Bridge, and will be completed in the next six to eight years. The existing CBD took ten years to complete.

via China Daily – CBD set to double by 2017

via China Daily – Beijing CBD expansion plan to be chosen this year.

IMAGE SOURCE: Flickr – peoloq

Professor Bernard Lassus awarded IFLA Gold Medal 2009

Professor Bernard LassusThe International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) has much pleasure in announcing the winner of the IFLA Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Gold Medal 2009.

The winner is Professor Bernard Lassus of France. Professor Lassus was nominated by UNESCO under whose auspices the award is presented. The recipient is a practitioner whose merit, talent and actions are respected internationally. The Medal is presented once every four years and this is the second time of its presentation.

Professor Bernard Lassus was selected as the prize winner from an international jury of three – from Sweden, the UK, and Canada. The IFLA Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Gold Medal is the highest honour that the International Federation of Landscape Architects may bestow upon a landscape architect. The medal recognises a living landscape architect whose lifetime achievements and contributions have had a unique and lasting impact on the welfare of society and the environment, and the promotion of the profession of landscape architecture.

The medal is presented in recognition of projects of outstanding quality and originality. The quadrennial competition is open to landscape architects throughout the world.

Professor Bernard Lassus gained a reputation as an artist in France from the late 1950’s and then explored social uses of paintings and sculptures in industrial environments. At that time he was also Professor of Drawing at the School of Architecture at the Beaux-Arts in Paris and from there helped to found the Landscape School at Versailles. In 1982 he won a significant public project for the ‘Gardens of Return’ in Rochefort which has continued into 2000. He helped to develop a national Landscape Policy for Motorways in France and since then his influence in landscape design through his work and teaching at various universities in Europe and the USA has grown. He has also written 15 books.

Continue reading Professor Bernard Lassus awarded IFLA Gold Medal 2009

How cities drive plants extinct

BBC reports

How towns and cities cause the extinction of local plants has been revealed for the first time.
An international team of botanists has compared extinction rates of plants within 22 cities around the world.

The categorise the cities into groups and looked at future threats. The findings are very interesting and you can read more at SOURCE: BBC – Earth News – How cities drive plants extinct

As Ash Borer Claims More Trees, Researcher Works For Species Survival

Science Daily reports

As the devastating insect emerald ash borer is working its way across North America destroying almost all the native ash trees it encounters, Widrlechner is rapidly collecting and storing ash tree seeds.

Like the legendary Appleseed who planted apple trees across the country, Widrlechner’s seed stocks can serve as a national source for reintroducing ash trees once the devastation can be controlled.

read more at the SOURCE: Science Daily: As Ash Borer Claims More Trees, Researcher Works For Species Survival

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