Boris takes on Ken’s Legacy

Day one, gaffe one. Even before he officially signed on as the new London Mayor on Saturday 3 May, Boris Johnson had managed to confuse Norman Foster with Richard Rogers.

Stumbling up to the podium, he mistakenly praised Rogers for designing the Greater London Authority HQ in Southwark.

But at least he noticed the architecture. In urban design terms the Conservative candidate has a lot to live up to when compared with his predecessor Ken Livingstone, who commissioned the London Plan and launched the 100 Public Spaces drive. Islington-based architect Chris Roche says Livingstone has ‘done more for London, and for architecture, than any other politician in recent history’.

Read more @ the Source: Architect’s Journal – Boris picks up Ken’s urban design legacy.


Urban Splash makes a splash at awards – Yorkshire Evening Post

URBAN regeneration specialist Urban Splash has picked up the Best Residential Marketing Campaign award for its Saxton development in Leeds at this year’s Property Marketing Awards.

Urban Splash accepted the award at a ceremony organised by trade magazine Estates Gazette in partnership with The Chartered Surveyors Company in London. The award recognises the innovative marketing campaign employed by the company to raise awareness of the Urban Splash brand in Leeds and to promote Saxton, its first development in the city during the run up to the first public sales launch.

Source: Yorkshire Evening PostUrban Splash makes a splash at awards –

Councils face tight rules on planning –

COUNCILS will be policed to ensure they consider planning laws and policies such as the Melbourne 2030 planning blueprint when dealing with new building projects.

This follows a scathing report on the state’s planning approvals process by the Victorian Auditor-General’s office.

Read more @ the Source: – Councils face tight rules on planning

Green proposals for downtown Columbia —

Solar arrays, “green” roofs and storm-water management that doubles as civic art and takes place only when it’s raining are among the ideas for improving the environment in the redevelopment of downtown Columbia, a consultant told residents this week.

Town Center could be a “city within a garden,” said Keith Bowers, a landscape architect on General Growth Properties’ design team — a vibrant place that makes use of renewable energy and is built with local materials so that little energy is expended to bring supplies here. Bowers’ ecological restoration design, planning and assessment business is leading the sustainability and environmental component of GGP’s efforts to re-create downtown

Read more @ the Source: baltimoresun.comGreen proposals for downtown Columbia 

Time to stop building cities without souls – China Daily

At his first sight of Las Vegas, a Chinese student of community participation in urban development remarked, “I feel as if I am back in Beijing’s second ring road!”

Indeed, the shadow of the American casino capital looms large over Beijing and many other Chinese cities, which vie with one another in copying the model of Las Vegas to become a mixture of something of everything.

With a messy combination of bits from New York City, Paris, Italy, Egypt and others, Las Vegas could satisfy a fancy of the wonderland.

Yet the city in the wild desert is a nightmare for urban planners, as it has developed with little planning. Even though Las Vegas hosted the centennial convention of the American Planning Association (APA) in late April, many American planners dismiss it as a good example of urban development.

To their regret, however, Las Vegas becomes a role model for too many Chinese cities in their drive for urban development. Like Las Vegas, these cities with entirely different cultural and socioeconomic contexts are sprawling ever wider with ever more and taller high-rises, until they become jungles of cement.

Perhaps the decision-makers and designers of Chinese cities should come to such a consensus. They should learn from the culture and traditions of their own cities before they set out to borrow others’ experiences. If they fail to develop a taste for the treasures under their eyes, it is doubtful that they can pick out something valuable elsewhere.

Read more at the Source: China Daily – to stop building cities without souls by Xiong Lei

For Urban Tree Planters, Concrete Is the Easy Part – New York Times

“It’s not unusual for people to say they don’t want it,” said Mr. Simpson, the “it” referring to whatever tree the city has resolved to plant in a swatch of sidewalk or other public space. Mr. Simpson is privy to some of those objections because he works for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, one of 40 or so foresters helping to execute Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s million-tree initiative, a plan the mayor announced (one year ago this week) to blitz the city’s five boroughs with a million trees by the year 2017.

Sometimes the residents or homeowners are worried about their allergies (though the trees are intended to help alleviate asthma and allergy rates citywide); sometimes they’re worried that a branch will fall on their car (a call to 311 will procure a free pruning). Sometimes they’re worried about the extensive construction required to plant a tree in a patch of concrete.

Read more at the SOURCE: New York Times – For Urban Tree Planters, Concrete Is the Easy Part – .

Hungry Mile wasteland warning

THE man advising New York on how to revamp its public spaces has slammed the NSW Government’s plan for the former Hungry Mile site, warning it will become “fearsome at night” and a “wasteland” on weekends and public holidays.

The Government wants to transform the historic wharves at East Darling Harbour in what it describes as the biggest urban renewal project in a generation.

Half of the 22-hectare site would become a waterside wedge of parkland and public open space. The other half would consist of residential and commercial buildings.

But the Danish urban planner Jan Gehl, who is visiting Sydney, said a lack of nearby residents, a parkland too large for its own good and a location too difficult to reach, would make the area, known as Barangaroo, dangerous and deserted.

Read more @ the Source: Hungry Mile wasteland warning

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