Balance ‘central’ to urban growth

Striking a balance between human development, resource allocation and environmental protection amid rapid urbanization is a grim and unavoidable challenge facing the country, experts said Thursday.

The unprecedented surge in urbanization has greatly improved the lives of city dwellers, but also resulted in pollution, widening income gaps, depleting resources and unbalanced regional development, Shan Jingjing, a senior researcher with the China Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), said at the launch of the Blue Book on China’s Urban Development.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the country’s urbanization rate rose from 19 percent in 1980, to 44 percent last year. CASS deputy head Chen Jiagui said the rate is about three times the world average over the period.

Balance ‘central’ to urban growth – China Daily

1,000-home Hawaii subdivision planned

A California partnership is moving ahead with plans to develop a nearly 1,000-home subdivision in south-central Maui despite opposition from the County Department of Planning and some nearby residents.

Ma’alaea Properties LLC recently filed a draft environmental impact statement for its estimated $400 million project called Ma’alaea Mauka proposed for 257 acres of former sugar-cane fields south of Wailuku.

The project envisions 949 residential units in a mix of single-family homes, multifamily units, senior housing and rental apartments plus a 15-acre park and 37 acres of open space.

1,000-home Hawaii subdivision planned – The Honolulu Advertiser.

Surprise from the streets: Art!

Shards of glass arranged randomly on a wooden utility pole. A jaunty human body carved out of a dead tree, wearing a tire as a hat. Ceramic benches in a vacant lot. The face of an elf painted on the base of a streetlight. Elaborate graffiti in countless places across the city.

Art is one of the last things outsiders associate with Detroit. But drive the streets and you quickly realize the city possesses an energetic, grassroots creative class that not only spreads color, whimsy and provocation across the landscape, but also serves as an engine of redevelopment.

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True, not everyone considers all of it art, especially when it comes to graffiti.

DRIVING DETROIT | PART 3 OF 5: Surprise from the streets: Art!.

Congress Centre to get NCC scrutiny

couple of weeks ago, the Congress Centre team met with NCC design advisers, including an architect and landscape architect who raised concerns about the design of the project. But the centre has received generally positive reviews from community leaders and has won commitments of $50 million each from the federal and Ontario governments, and $40 million from the city.

NCC approval is essential because the commission has authority over development changes in the core of the capital. As well, the building plan includes reducing the NCC’s scenic Colonel By Drive from four lanes to two at this location, to accommodate a bigger development footprint.

Congress Centre to get NCC scrutiny – Ottawa Citizen – Patrick Dare

Russian City Risks Its World Heritage Status Over new tower

Saint Petersburg, the imperial capital of Russia famed for its elegance and beauty, risks losing status as a world heritage site under plans by a Scottish company to build the highest tower in Europe there.

RMJM, Edinburgh-based co-architects of the contro-versial Holyrood building, have designed the £1bn-plus, 396m Okhta Tower as headquarters for state-controlled Gazprom – one of the world’s largest energy companies.

The proposals have promp-ted an outcry from heritage and conservation groups that it would ruin St Petersburg’s historic skyline.

Russian City Risks Its World Heritage Status Over Scotsdesigned Tower (from The Herald – UK ).

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