Abu Dhabi Builds Its Architectural Cred

The building boom in the capital of the United Arab Emirates rivals that of Dubai. But Abu Dhabi hopes to distinguish itself with ambitious green architecture

In recent weeks, the rivalry between neighboring United Arab Emirates Dubai and Abu Dhabi has been heating up on a world stage—most notably with the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority’s purchase of a $7.5 billion stake in Citigroup (C) (BusinessWeek.com, 11/27/07), which came on the heels of Dubai’s investment in Sony (SNE) in late November.

Abu Dhabi Builds Its Architectural Cred– Business Week – Reena Jana

The Biggest Mies Collection

On the edge of downtown Detroit, just east of the Chrysler Freeway and not far from Detroit’s still-troubled neighborhoods, lies Lafayette Park, one of the nation’s most beautiful — and most obscure — residential developments. Composed of three sections — a high-rise apartment building and 21 multiple-unit townhouses on the western border, 13 acres of landscaping down the center, and twin apartment towers on the east — Lafayette Park holds the largest collection of buildings in the world designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
[Mies]

Called “oft-overlooked” by the Harvard Design School and “a little-known jewel of modern urbanism” by Detlef Mertins, a professor of architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, it should be renowned, both for its loveliness and for its ability to thrive through Detroit’s dark times of riots, destruction and middle-class flight.

The Biggest Mies Collection – WSJ.com Wall Street Journal – Julia Vitullo-Martin

Hyde Park Plan Clears Hurdle

The Tampa City Council voted 4-2 on Thursday to rezone the 20-year-old outdoor shopping complex for a $100 million makeover that includes condominium towers and stores.

“This is the only true urban village in the city,” said Councilman Charlie Miranda, who also voted to approve the original village plans in the 1970s. “It will give the city the opportunity for a lot more walkers, a lot more activity and a lot more communication with people.”

Miranda said the project is another indication of a changing city.

“It’s becoming more and more likely that Hyde Park, if you take out Bayshore, is the centerpiece of this wonderful city,” he said.

Hyde Park Plan Clears Hurdle Tampa Bay Online

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.

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