City’s creativity relies on affordability, author says

Vancouver is poised to become one of the creative cities of the world, but that success could be eroded if it can’t find a way to provide affordable housing, says the current guru of urban planning.

“You are in the proverbial catbird seat,” said Richard Florida, the hugely popular author of The Rise of the Creative Class, whose work has generated headlines around North America and even appearances on The Colbert Report.

For one, he says, Vancouver has developed a new kind of urbanism that combines a beautiful built environment with a beautiful natural environment

Read more @ the SOURCE: Vancouver Sun – City’s creativity relies on affordability, author says.

Urban crush drives traffic woes – Jamaica Gleaner News

The failure of the state to implement an uncompromising transportation policy has contributed to the traffic mayhem unfolding on Jamaica’s streets.

Add that to unstructured urban planning, and commuters face a Pandora’s box of woes.

This is the view of Jacqueline Douglas-Brown, programme director of the Urban and Regional Planning Programme at the Faculty of the Built Environment at the University of Technology, Jamaica.

“My feeling is that governments have successively not addressed this issue of how you move people from one town to the next, one city to the next, on a daily and weekly basis,” she told The Gleaner recently.

SOURCE: Jamaica Gleaner News – Urban crush drives traffic woes

Reconstruction of infrastructure priority in quake-hit areas

China’s Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MHURD) stressed in a circular on Tuesday that infrastructure restoration was a priority in reconstruction after the May 12 earthquake.

The MHURD ordered governments at all levels to draw up construction plans by June 8, including building locations and materials.

It instructed officials to better manage construction of interim housing in quake-hit areas to ensure its safety.

The government is to assess all school buildings in quake zones, said a statement from the earthquake relief headquarters of the State Council.

Local governments must organize personnel to conduct safety appraisals of all school buildings as soon as possible to ensure the safety of students as they return to school, according to the statement.

SOURCE: Xinhua – Reconstruction of infrastructure priority in quake-hit areas.

Urban Splash founders sell 24 per cent to managers

The founders of property developer Urban Splash are to sell off almost a quarter of the company’s equity to its management team and have agreed a refinancing deal with three banks worth £125m.

Chairman Tom Bloxham and chief executive Jonathan Falkingham are selling 24 per cent of the shares to seven of its most senior staff, who will be given the option of buying between one and five per cent for an undisclosed price.

SOURCE: Crain’s Manchester BusinessUrban Splash founders sell 24 per cent to managers –

A pedestrian-friendly city – Daily News & Analysis

Faizan Jawed, 22, is not too excited about the increase in the number of malls and multiplexes dotting the city’s landscape lately. Unlike people his age, he believes that the “horrid architecture of these places is killing the city.” But unlike many, he wants to do something about it; and his ideas have won him a prestigious prize.

Jawed has been awarded the 6000 pound (approximately Rs 5 lakhs) RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship, named after the internationally renowned architect and administered by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), which will help him study pioneering sustainable infrastructure projects across three continents. His prize winning research proposal was ‘The Role of Public Transport in Shaping Sustainable Human Habitats,’ in which, he suggests ways to make Mumbai a pedestrian and cycling friendly city.

Source: DNA – Daily News & Analysis – Mumbai – A pedestrian-friendly city

The urban farmer: One man’s crusade to plough up the inner city – Features, Food & Drink – The Independent

Fritz Haeg isn’t perhaps the obvious representative of a revolution in global farming. As an architecture and design academic and practitioner, the American has had his work exhibited at Tate Modern and the Whitney Museum of American Art, and has taught fine art at several US universities. Yet it is last year’s community-collaborative project on an inner-city council estate in south London that best showcases his current passion: the urban farm.

Read more @ the SOURCE: The IndependentThe urban farmer: One man’s crusade to plough up the inner city

Top 50 most expensive office spaces in the world – CBRE

According to CB Richard Ellis Group, Inc. (CBRE) Research’s semi-annual Global Market Rents survey cities came in the Top 10 most expensive cities in the world. 

London’s West End is once again the world’s most expensive office market, while rapidly-rising Moscow climbed to second place, according to CB Richard Ellis Group, Inc. (CBRE) Research’s semi-annual Global Market Rents survey. The report tracks world markets with the highest as well as fastest-growing occupancy costs for the 12 months ended March 31, 2008. Tokyo’s Inner Central Five Wards, Mumbai’s Nariman Point and Tokyo’s Outer Central Five Wards rounded out the top five most expensive markets.

“Office occupancy costs are continuing to defy sluggish economic conditions and the credit crunch, as they rise faster than global inflation,” said Dr. Raymond Torto, CBRE’s Global Chief Economist. “These cost increases are dominated by emerging markets, caused by both supply and demand imbalance and the depreciation of the dollar relative to local currencies. In some of these emerging markets, Class A office space is seriously lacking.”

Ho Chi Minh City had the fastest-growing occupancy costs during this period, up 94%. Moscow was not far behind at 93%, followed by Singapore at 86%. Overall, EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) dominated the list of markets with the fastest growing occupancy costs, accounting for five of the top 10 and 19 of the top 50 markets. Worldwide, 88% of the 173 office markets monitored posted higher occupancy costs.

Among the most expensive markets, Singapore and Dubai were newcomers to the top 10. Singapore ranked ninth with an occupancy cost of $139.31 (occupancy cost in US$/sq. ft./annum used throughout this release), while Dubai debuted at number 10 with an occupancy cost of $128.49. With a near-doubling of occupancy costs, Moscow rose four places to second at $232.37. Midtown Manhattan was still the priciest market in North America, at $103.43, and ranked number 13 worldwide.

The Top 10 most expensive cities are
1. London (West End), England
2. Moscow, Russia
3. Tokyo (Inner Central), Japan
4. Mumbai, India
5. Tokyo (Outer Central), Japan
6. London (City), England
7. New Delhi, India
8. Paris, France
9. Singapore
10. Dubai, United Arab Emirate

read more @ the SOURCE: CB Richard Ellis – CBRE Research

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