Critics say new green rating hurts affordable housing – Mlive.com

The U.S. Green Building Council’s new rating system for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design in neighborhood development, known as LEED-ND, is coming under fire for not putting a greater emphasis on affordable housing.

Critics say LEED-ND, in its current draft, discourages participating developers from alloting dollars into expensive energy-efficient affordable housing if their payback is, at most, four points out of a possible 106. They worry the point system, and any resulting developer disincentives, will get ingrained in municipal law books if local governments continue to adopt LEED standards at unprecedented rates — all at a time, they add, when the growing gap between wages and mortgages is creating an affordable housing crisis regionally and nationally. 

In a recent study by Cambridge, Mass.-based New Ecology Inc., the cost of building green affordable housing held a nearly 3 percent premium, ranging up to 9 percent on some projects.

read more @ the SOURCE: Mlive.com – Critics say new green rating hurts affordable housing.

Ed: Although an interesting article however the article doesn’t mention the savings that low-income families will gain with lower energy bills.
More education of the public in relation to LEED is needed (eg initial construction cost vs long-term running costs and reduced environmental costs). Urban Planning also becomes more important including density of housing.

Wild orchids taking hold in city : Express & Star

It is hard to believe that under this carpet of stunning purple orchids lies a landfill site.

His desire to spruce up neglected plots of land came following a trip to Holland in 1981, where he was taught the skill of sowing hay to produce orchids. And back home, the former professor of plant ecology at Wolverhampton University set about sprucing up pieces of land which had been left to rot as eyesores.

After talks with Wolverhampton City Council’s landscape architect Peter Millett, the pair decided that a former landfill site in Kitchen Lane, Wednesfield, would be the perfect spot to create a stunning meadow.

SOURCE: Express & StarWild orchids taking hold in city .

Landscaping wait grows – Leader Post

Reginans who want their yards landscaped can thank the current boom in the housing industry for longer-than-normal wait times.

Landscaping architects and contractors alike are struggling to keep up with a higher-than-normal demand for their services.

“Like all the other aspects of the construction industry, the landscape side is certainly booming,” agreed Cam Patterson, senior landscape architect for Stantec Consulting Ltd. and past-president of the Saskatchewan Association of Landscape Architects.

The increase in demand for landscaping services is translating into longer wait times for customers. “Projects are definitely taking longer to get built,” Patterson said. “Our biggest problem is finding people to do the work from the design side. We’re looking to hire,” Patterson said.

SOURCE: LeaderPost – easier.com – Landscaping wait grows 

India’s politicians pay the price for ignoring booming urban economy – Scotsman.com News

IT HAS been a frustrating time for many businesses in India’s IT hub of Bangalore. Endless traffic jams, sporadic power, a chaotic airport and many politicians who just couldn’t give a damn.
For four years, Karnataka state, home to India’s “silicon valley”, was ruled by a chaotic coalition with a regional party. Janata Dal (S)’s support base was among farmers, and politicians were criticised for ignoring Bangalore’s IT “elites”.

The result: more decrepit public transport, four-hour commutes, packed roads and blackouts that have taken some gleam off this city as it faces increasing competition for foreign investment from rival cities such as Shanghai and Manila.

Read more @ the SOURCE – Scotsman.com News – India’s politicians pay the price for ignoring booming urban economy – .

PA to invest $2b in urban projects – Israel Money, Ynetnews.com

PA to invest $2b in urban projects

Some 1,400 businessmen attend Palestinian Authority’s financial conference in Bethlehem, pledge investments, discuss future of Palestinian economy.

The Palestinian Authority held a financial investors conference last week in Bethlehem. The conference, hailed a great success was led by Tarik Abbas – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ son.

The goal: To show the world the Palestinians have rehabilitated their economy and that the West Bank should not be considered a safe bet for overseas investors.

Read more @ the SOURCE: Ynetnews.com – PA to invest $2b in urban projects – Israel Money, .

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