Rethink urban planning to build wisely, save open spaces, group says – Jerusalem Post

Israel has reached a tipping point where, if plans for higher-density cities are not created within the next two to five years, cities throughout the country will face financial problems in social and municipal services and there will be a loss of open agricultural lands, Irit Solzi, chairwoman of the board and founder of the Movement for Israeli Urbanism said Monday.

The State of Israel currently has 7.3 million people and is predicted to naturally grow to 11.5 million by 2030, Solzi said. It is currently listed as the ninth-densest country in the world – between India and Belgium – with the highest densities found in the central cities of Bnei Brak, Bat Yam and Givatayim, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics.

read more @ the SOURCE: Jerusalem Post – Rethink urban planning to build wisely, save open spaces, group says

Olympic Park construction gets early start – London 2012

Construction officially started on the London 2012 Olympic Park today as the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) began work on the Olympic Stadium – three months earlier than originally planned.
The work to create the permanent foundations for the Stadium was witnessed by Prime Minister Gordon Brown who had an opportunity to meet workers on site. In the next few years over a thousand workers will help build the venue.

The Stadium will be the centre-piece for the London 2012 Games with over 4bn people across the world watching the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and the track and field events.

SOURCE: London2012.com – News: Olympic Park construction gets early start.

LandDesign team wins 10K for green design – Nashville Business Journal

One of LandDesign Inc.’s Nashville office team won an internal competition on green design.

Human Element, a Nashville team, tied for first place in the company-wide sustainable design competition and shared in the $10,000 first place award.

Fourteen teams competed across the company to reduce the carbon footprint of Birkdale Village, a 52-acre mixed use project with residential over retail located in Huntersville, N.C.

SOURCE: Nashville Business JournalLandDesign team wins 10K for green design.

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 .

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