Design visionary to present futuristic ‘building for today’ at Abu Dhabi World Future Energy Summit | World Future Energy Summit (WFES)

A conceptual design for a skyscraper that can do ‘everything a tree can do except replicate’ will be one of the highlights of the inaugural World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi next month.

William McDonough – recognised by Time magazine as a ‘Hero for the Planet’ – was commissioned by Fortune magazine to come up with a design for a skyscraper office tower that would anticipate a 100 percent positive impact on people and place. Since his firm of architects embarked on the project, he has been approached by numerous companies keen to turn the idea into reality.

‘We’re really excited,’ said McDonough in an interview, ‘because everyone in the building world that has seen it has said ‘can we do this together?’ So we are now looking for a patron to help us bring this to reality.’

Design visionary to present futuristic ‘building for today’ at Abu Dhabi World Future Energy Summit | World Future Energy Summit (WFES).

5 Hot Topics for Los Angeles Downtown Dwellers

Living in Downtown Los Angeles is full of highs and lows, excitement and frustration. With more than 30,000 residents already in the community and thousands more waiting to move in, issues are bound to arise. This year, expect these five topics to be discussed over the dinner table.

Social and Education Services
Pre-schools, Schools and Community services

Commercial Space and Events
City needs more shopping and large department stores especially a Target and a large bookstore.  Downtown also needs restaurants to bring dining into the city after hours. Also needed are festivals and weekly events such as markets.

Clean & Safe
LA Downtown needs to become cleaner and safer although the last 5 years have been an improvement.

Neighborhood Watch
Increase funding and community involvement in this powerful deterent to crime and making people feel safe in Downtown

Taxis and Transit
Freedom for taxi drivers to pick up in any area of Downtown not designated areas, increasing bus services and also the return of the Red Trolley.

Summary of Kathryn Maese article from Los Angeles Downtown News

Amsterdam neoliberal city?

Amsterdam is investing hundreds of millions of euros in the Zuidas, the new business district south of the city (corporations will also invest in the project, but if it fails, their losses will be compensated with taxpayers’ money). Despite the scale of the project, there has been almost no public debate. Decision-making is an opaque process dominated by government officials, banks and other potential investors.

Nieuws uit Amsterdam.

Face-lifting Beijing stops to retrieve its ancient flavor

How to protect Beijing as an ancient city, or is it necessary to protect it at all, has been under debate by officials and experts for over 60 years, during which fancy buildings mushroomed in the 62.5-square-kilometer area, while gray brick residential houses collapsed before bulldozers in a facelift frenzy, along with the memories they carried down through generations.

According to a report by the official People’s Daily in January2007, about 500 Hutongs still survived, in comparison to the more than 3,000 in early 1980s.

Local officials marked out 25 areas in the inner city in 2002 where traditional houses and alleys will be preserved, and later expanded to 33, accounting for 29 percent of the inner city.

Although real estate developers built some courtyard-styled houses, the sale goes very slow.

“Those ‘fake cultural heritages’ are too costly for local residents,” said Xu Pingfang, 77-year-old renowned professor of archaeology and director of the China Archaeological Society, “while Beijingers are forced out and the houses are purchased by new-riches, Beijing is losing its flavor.”

Feature: Face-lifting Beijing stops to retrieve its ancient flavor _English_Xinhua.

Creating Inspirational Spaces: A Guide to Quality Public Realm in the Northwest

Creating Inspirational Spaces: A Guide for Quality Public Realm in the Northwest has been produced by Gillespies on behalf of the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and RENEW Northwest, and forms part of the wider Places Matter! programme co-ordinated by RENEW Northwest.

Creating Inspirational Spaces: A Guide to Quality Public Realm in the Northwest – Landscape Institute– UK

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