NZILA Conference registrations open

The 2008 NZILA SHIFT Conference will highlight and discuss these emerging modes of design practice in the context of the fluid and unpredictable nature of urban change.

A diverse range of speakers will consider legal and planning implications, contemporary design initiatives, changing technologies and the challenges of serving the needs and interests of society as a whole.

 3-5 April 2008 Auckland New Zealand

Register now at NZILA

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

Mouchel wins £10m Liverpool school

Liverpool City Council’s Children’s Services Directorate has commissioned 2020 Liverpool, a joint venture between consultant Mouchel and Liverpool City Council, to design a new school and residential buildings worth £10m.

Following a feasibility study and options appraisal, carried out by 2020 Liverpool’s building team, the council has opted to construct a new-build special school, Lower Lee School, and associated residential accommodation for young adults with special learning needs on a brownfield site currently occupied by single and two-storey buildings.

Builder & Engineer – Mouchel wins £10m Liverpool school.

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