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
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.
IT HAS been a frustrating time for many businesses in India’s IT hub of Bangalore. Endless traffic jams, sporadic power, a chaotic airport and many politicians who just couldn’t give a damn.
For four years, Karnataka state, home to India’s “silicon valley”, was ruled by a chaotic coalition with a regional party. Janata Dal (S)’s support base was among farmers, and politicians were criticised for ignoring Bangalore’s IT “elites”.
The result: more decrepit public transport, four-hour commutes, packed roads and blackouts that have taken some gleam off this city as it faces increasing competition for foreign investment from rival cities such as Shanghai and Manila.
Read more @ the SOURCE – Scotsman.com News – India’s politicians pay the price for ignoring booming urban economy – .
PA to invest $2b in urban projects
Some 1,400 businessmen attend Palestinian Authority’s financial conference in Bethlehem, pledge investments, discuss future of Palestinian economy.
The Palestinian Authority held a financial investors conference last week in Bethlehem. The conference, hailed a great success was led by Tarik Abbas – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ son.
The goal: To show the world the Palestinians have rehabilitated their economy and that the West Bank should not be considered a safe bet for overseas investors.
Read more @ the SOURCE: Ynetnews.com – PA to invest $2b in urban projects – Israel Money, .
CHENGDU, May 24 (Xinhua) — China will build 1.5 million make-shift houses in the quake-stricken Sichuan Province, which are expected to endure at least three years, Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development Jiang Weixin said Saturday.
The houses, offering 20 square meters floor space each, should be made of anti-quake and environment-friendly materials and equipped with lighting facilities, Jiang said at a meeting held by the State Council’s earthquake relief headquarters here in the provincial capital.
Supportive public facilities such as schools and medical service should also be set up, he added.
The unaffected provinces in the quake were required to provide aid to a designated stricken area in Sichuan. Jiang said the unaffected provinces or municipalities should appoint skilled builders and transport the makeshift houses to the quake-hit areas as soon as possible.
SOURCE: Xinhua News Agency – China to build 1.5 mln make-shift houses for quake-affected people_English