Shanghai maglev rail route may detour to avoid residences- Xinhua

The planners of the Shanghai-Hangzhou magnetic levitation (maglev) rail project will design the proposed route to avoid residential buildings and lessen the impact of radiation upon people, according to a municipal government official.

“The maglev project has basically two environmental effects: noise and magnetic radiation,” said Zhang Quan, deputy director of the Shanghai Environmental Bureau.

A maglev train generates high levels of noise at speeds exceeding 200 kilometers per hour. “A possible solution for the noise problem may be slowing the train in downtown areas and speeding it up when it leaves urban districts,” said Zhang.

Approved by the central government in March 2006, the 175-km Shanghai-Hangzhou maglev rail project is estimated to cost 35 billion yuan (4.5 billion U.S. dollars). Trains will be able to reach a speed of 450 km per hour.

Shanghai maglev rail route may detour to avoid residences_English_Xinhua.

Rejuvenating one of Israel’s oldest urban centers

Compared to such ancient cities as Jerusalem, Acre, Safed and Jaffa, Petah Tikva is a foundling. In relation to the modern Zionist communities, however, it is one of the oldest urban centers in Israel.

PETAH TIKVA’S city center is undergoing a rehabilitation that is expected to result in a soaring real estate prices.

Rejuvenating one of Israel’s oldest urban centers | Jerusalem Post.

Development rules change in Mackenzie – Local News – The Timaru Herald

Proposed plan changes will make it harder to build in the basin’s rural areas. But, nearly 70 areas have been identified where small five to 10 house developments, called nodes, may be permitted.

Gaining Mackenzie District Council consent would require meeting appearance, placement, size and design criteria.

Approval to notify the plan change was not granted at yesterday’s meeting because extra survey data was needed. The meeting reconvenes on Friday with the intention to gain approval.

Development rules change in Mackenzie – Local News – The Timaru Herald.

Winners announced for Portland Courtyard Design Competition

The City of Portland invited designers to produce design possibilities of housing oriented to shared courtyards. Portland is promoting courtyard housing as an additional infill housing type that can provide a quality living environment at densities higher than conventional detached housing.

The winners of the Inner Site where Keith Rivera and Kristin Anderson of Santa Barbara, California and the winners of the Eastern Site where  Emory Baldwin, Shirley Tomita, Masumi Saito, Lara Normand, Jocelyn Freilinger, Shawna Sherman, and Clara Berridge of Seattle, Washington.

People can vote for their favorite design which will be close on December 28

The Winning Entries can be seen at the Competition Website


Portland Oregon’s Courtyard Housing Design Competition 

People’s Park – Competition or Design by committee

A debate over whether UC Berkeley should sponsor an open competition to choose a new design for the historic site erupted after People’s Park Community Advisory Board member and architect Sam Davis suggested holding a competition last week.

While some board members agreed that a competition would enhance plans to redevelop the park, others said the move was premature and called for more community involvement instead.

The competition would be based on the People’s Park Assessment and Planning Study that was prepared by San Francisco-based consultants MKThink over a nine-month period.

At an earlier meeting in November, park users and stakeholders had emphasized the need for open green space and had criticized plans in the consultant’s study that involved permanent structures.

Almost everyone involved stressed the importance of fighting crime and homelessness in the park and keeping the spirit of social service alive.

Berkeley Daily Planet.