Reconstruction of infrastructure priority in quake-hit areas

China’s Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MHURD) stressed in a circular on Tuesday that infrastructure restoration was a priority in reconstruction after the May 12 earthquake.

The MHURD ordered governments at all levels to draw up construction plans by June 8, including building locations and materials.

It instructed officials to better manage construction of interim housing in quake-hit areas to ensure its safety.

The government is to assess all school buildings in quake zones, said a statement from the earthquake relief headquarters of the State Council.

Local governments must organize personnel to conduct safety appraisals of all school buildings as soon as possible to ensure the safety of students as they return to school, according to the statement.

SOURCE: Xinhua – Reconstruction of infrastructure priority in quake-hit areas.

Dwell on Design Los Angeles to start on June 5

What happens when Dwell editors drive the agenda? A roster of more than 50 incredibly talented and diverse speakers ranging from legislators to practitioners to activists, discussing everything from urban gardening to a mandated LEED program for LA. The conference follows two parallel tracks but we encourage you to veer from the linear and sign up for any panel that sparks your interest.  

An exciting and different event will be the Monrovia Design Challenge allows party attendees to create an instant, eye-catching landscape within a small space. Three teams at a time have just 10 minutes to create a design using a wide palette of stylish Monrovia plants. When all sets of teams are finished, the judges, including Monrovia CEO Miles Rosedale, will award the winning team a living trophy from Monrovia. Every party attendee will receive a Monrovia plant to take home.

Dwell on Design – Los Angeles starts on June 5 to June 8

SOURCE: dwell.comDwell on Design Los Angeles Home Page – Dwell Conferences – .

Mud Lick Creek Project Fights Erosion, Pollution – Science – redOrbit

A half-million-dollar plan to re-engineer and protect Mud Lick Creek is designed to enhance what is one of Roanoke County’s most popular parks.

County Engineer George Simpson led a discussion Monday morning with 30 to 40 people at Garst Mill Park on a project to fight erosion and pollution of the creek there.

Approximately 3,000 linear feet of Mud Lick Creek run through the park, making it one of the park’s most prominent features and one that’s especially popular with children, who wade in it.

The project, which the county is calling a “restoration,” is a pilot, Simpson said, attempting to re-create the natural contours of the stream. Similar programs may be attempted in other watersheds threatened by pollution and erosion if this one is successful.

SOURCE: redOrbitMud Lick Creek Project Fights Erosion, Pollution – Science –

State’s wildflowers rise to new role – OrlandoSentinel.com

A new grant is helping a budding industry in Florida take root. The $50,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will pay for new equipment and marketing for wildflower growers, who are currently harvesting and cleaning tiny seeds as they build their young industry.

Now, with rising gas prices and shrinking water supplies, wildflowers provide a low-impact alternative for landscaping lawns. State transportation officials are gunning for the locally produced seeds to replace grass along highways — mowing is expensive.

For years the state has planted wildflowers along highways, but they usually don’t grow back so they’re replanted annually. Now the focus is on getting wildflowers to reseed themselves — something locally produced seeds help with — and preserving existing stands along the roadways. Areas with flowers require less mowing and can save money — it costs about $250 to mow a mile of highway.

State’s wildflowers rise to new role — OrlandoSentinel.com.

Urban Splash founders sell 24 per cent to managers

The founders of property developer Urban Splash are to sell off almost a quarter of the company’s equity to its management team and have agreed a refinancing deal with three banks worth £125m.

Chairman Tom Bloxham and chief executive Jonathan Falkingham are selling 24 per cent of the shares to seven of its most senior staff, who will be given the option of buying between one and five per cent for an undisclosed price.

SOURCE: Crain’s Manchester BusinessUrban Splash founders sell 24 per cent to managers –

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