Melbourne 2030 – no longer a true vision

Victorian Premier John Brumby freed-up land today for 90,000 new homes in the councils of Wyndham, Melton, Hume, Whittlesea and Casey. The land will be zoned residential.

The governments actions are as a result of research and calls from various social and government department research stating that this is a shortage of housing for low-income earners. The governments actions condradict its own Melbourne 2030 vision.

The release of land is merely a short term cure for low income earners as soon as they have moved into there new fringe houses they will become city residents who will experience high transport costs and will be time poor due to lack of efficient and fast public transport in fringe areas of Melbourne. These fringe-dwellers will also create a larger environmental impact due the large amount of resources required to supply basic infrastructure to these new inefficient housing estates.

The government would be better injecting a sufficient amount of funds and resources into reducing the planning approval process for high density developments and also fastrack more development zones for high density residential housing around inner city transport hubs such as Hawthorn, South Yarra, Collingwood, Clifton Hill and Footscray.

The government would also be wise to redevelop some existing low-income housing in the inner city to have a greater a density.

The governments actions show that is out of touch with the growing trends in the rest of the world to create higher denisty cities with efficient transportation which in turn reduce the environmental and carbon footprint of its residents.

Landscape/Architecture Firms Growing Closer – Architectural Record

As architects attempt ever more ambitious feats with green projects, the collaborative relationship between members of a design team is becoming more important. Landscape architects, in particular, are codifying their role and taking on additional responsibilities. “It is not about just dressing something that the architect gives us,” Loomis says. “We would always like to be in there right at the same time the architect starts on the project, if possible.”

Read more @ Landscape/Architecture Firms Growing Closer | News | Architectural Record.

Green roof for green buildings

Imagine picking blueberries on your roof, collecting rain and runoff water from your property and using it to flush toilets, heating and cooling your building using heat trapped beneath the Earth’s surface and having an electricity bill less than a quarter of the amount you usually pay. These are all features of a LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, building.

The proposed new Living with Lakes Centre on the shores of Ramsey Lake will be the first LEED building in Greater Sudbury and one of only five LEED buildings in the world to have a platinum certification, the highest rating attainable. The recently announced $4.5 million donation by Vale Inco will help to make this dream a reality.

Read more @ The Sudbury Star – Ontario, CA.

Dirty Work

As reports of the subprime mortgage meltdown continue, an exhibition on view through March 16 in Gund Hall Gallery highlights a real estate crisis of an altogether different sort. A third of the world’s city dwellers — 1 billion people — live in shantytowns.

“Slums” is another term for these places, as is favelas. Yet another is “nonformal cities,” and that’s the one that has made its way into the title of the exhibition, “Dirty Work: Transforming the Landscape of Nonformal Cities in the Americas.”

Read more @ Dirty Work – The Harvard University Gazette.

Terminal lifts Beijing into the high-flying club

The dragon at Beijing Capital International Airport came to life on Friday. Everyone who walks into the dragon-shaped Terminal 3 (T3) will see the flattery heaped upon it before it opened was no deception.

The new terminal wasn’t even half as crowded as the two older ones around noon, when this reporter walked in. No lines in front of check-in desks, no passenger running down the passages, no arguments in hushed or loud tones, No strains, at all. That’s should be good news for those traveling to and from Beijing for the Olympic Games.

The building runs for 3.25km and covers 98 hectares of floor space, the equivalent to about 170 soccer pitches.

Architect – Norman Foster

Read more @ Terminal lifts Beijing into the high-flying club – China Daily

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