Government delays eco-town design competition – Building Design

Government plans for a competition to “set the design standards” for its eco-towns programme have been delayed by at least a year amid mounting hostility to the 10 proposed developments.

The contest, announced last October by then housing minister Yvette Cooper, was set to involve “leading creative thinkers” in architecture and landscape design, as well as a so-called citizens’ panel. It was due to name winning proposals early this year.

But the competition, run by Cabe, the RIBA and the Prince’s Foundation, has now been mothballed until this October.

SOURCE: Building DesignGovernment delays eco-town design competition –

China quake prompts call for back-up copies of urban files-Xinhua

The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development has urged cities across the country to keep extra copies of local urban planning files in other localities to preserve data against emergencies and disasters.

In the devastating May 12 earthquake in southwest China, such files in many regions, including Wenchuan, Beichuan and Pingwu, were either buried, destroyed or severely damaged.

SOURCE: XinhuaChina quake prompts call for back-up copies of urban files

Star architects bid to design new center for South Korean capital as 21st century model city – International Herald Tribune

An all-star group of international architects bidding for the chance to design a new urban center for the South Korean capital said Tuesday the vast site offered a rare chance to create a model for 21st century cities.

Five top architecture firms behind many of the world’s recent iconic structures are being given US$1 million each to propose a master plan for the 28 trillion won (US$27 billion) Yongsan business district.

SOURCE: International Herald TribuneStar architects bid to design new center for South Korean capital as 21st century model city 

Envisioning a world of $200-a-barrel oil – Los Angeles Times

“Throughout our history, we have grown on the assumption that energy costs would be low,” said Michael Woo, a former Los Angeles city councilman and a current member of the city Planning Commission. “Now that those assumptions are shifting, it changes assumptions about housing, cars and how cities grow.”

Push prices up fast enough, he said, and “it would be the urban-planning equivalent of an earthquake.”

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times – Envisioning a world of $200-a-barrel oil

Build eco-towns in urban areas, not the countryside, say council chiefs – Telegraph

Eco-towns should be built in urban areas and not in the countryside to stop them becoming “dormitory towns” where people have to drive somewhere else to work, town hall chiefs say.

Eco-towns should be built in urban areas, council chiefs claim
Eco-towns ‘should be built in urban areas’

A new report from the Local Government Association also warned that plans to create 10 eco-towns across the country were “significantly flawed” and risked creating “eco-slums” without proper urban planning.

SOURCE: Telegraph.co.uk – Build eco-towns in urban areas, not the countryside, say council chiefs

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