Chongqing to spend $13b on housing

Chongqing municipality will spend 100 billion yuan ($13.8 billion) over the next five years on the demolition and renovation of all old and dangerous houses in its nine urban districts, officials have said.

The mammoth project aims to build affordable housing for low-income residents, officials from the municipal government said.

The city’s development and reform white paper revealed the ambitious plan. The 100 billion yuan investment is about a quarter of Chongqing’s estimated gross domestic product for last year.

Zhou Bo, a spokesman for the municipal government, said the city will this year complete building an additional 1.8 million sq m of affordable housing for 30,000 low-income families.

Chongqing to spend $13b on housing – China Daily – Xinhua – Huang Zhiling and Chen Hong

City bursting at the seams?

Ottawa Developers scorn city claims about residential land supply, while some suggest it’s time to tighten Greenbelt

Developers are calling on the city to expand Ottawa’s urban boundary, vehemently disagreeing with “preliminary” estimates that the city has more than 20 years worth of vacant residential land for future development.

“Who knows whether the city will bring in additional lands,” said John Herbert of the local homebuilders association. “What they are doing now is artificially driving up the price of land, through the roof.”

But calls to expand the urban boundary may have to wait until the spring for an answer, when the city will release a white paper with survey results on residents’ opinions about developing the city’s Greenbelt.

read more at Ottawa Business Journal

I just want to say one word to you: sustainability – SFGate.com

During six years writing about architecture for The Chronicle, I’ve seen trends come and go. Glass is the new stucco. Towers are taller and some of them twist. Celebrity architects spend as much time on self-promotion as serious design.

But here’s the trend that sticks, the one lasting change: Visual drama is no longer enough. Environmental sustainability counts for more than curb appeal.

That’s why San Francisco’s planned Public Utilities Commission building (KMD Architects) is so much a sign of the times. It’s conceived to be a showcase of “green” design, a departure from the bureaucratic norm. But by the time it opens in 2010, I’ll wager that even more adventurous buildings are close behind – because the world has changed, and architecture has to change with it.

read more at SFGate.com – I just want to say one word to you: sustainability. – Author: John King

Another museum that’s a work of art – The Boston Globe

All over the country – all over the world, in fact – cities are building new art museums, or enlarging the ones they have.
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A surge of new buildings like this, all of a single kind, doesn’t occur very often. What our blizzard of museums reminds you of is the Middle Ages in Western Europe, when every city and town seemed to be erecting a cathedral.

And indeed, it can be argued that the art museum, too, is a place where we gather with our neighbors to engage in something rather like worship. As the philosopher Nietzsche famously said, God is dead, and all we have left is art.

Museums now are like movies or celebrities. There’s a hot new performer every year. The current media darling is the Bloch Building, a new wing of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, which is the major art museum in Kansas City. The architect is Steven Holl, of New York, best known in Boston for his amazing, sometimes controversial Simmons Hall dormitory at MIT. The Bloch is amazing too, but it isn’t controversial. It’s been just about everybody’s pick as the best American building of 2007.

Another museum that’s a work of art – The Boston Globe.

Orlando approves $27.1M for performing-arts-center architects

Orlando approved a contract Monday with the Dallas company that will lead the team of architects designing the new downtown performing arts center.

The contract between HKS Architects Inc. and the Dr. P. Phillips Performing Arts Center is worth $27.1 million. The arts center will pay HKS a base fee of $4.5 million to serve as the production architect, with $4.3 million going to the company’s local partner, Baker Barrios Architects. Most of the rest will go to subcontractors.

HKS will work with the design architect already selected for the center, Barton Myers Associates of Los Angeles.

Orlando approves $27.1M for performing-arts-center architects — OrlandoSentinel.com.

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