Urban, social and ecological master plan for Cagliari, Italy

The Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) has presented its concept Masterplan of Saint’Elia, a fishing port in the south of Cagliari, the capital of the Italian island of Sardinia. With an initial foreseen investment of €30 million, OMA’s masterplan aims to address the complex social and environmental issues in the neglected area.

The concept Masterplan was presented by OMA partner, Floris Alkemade, to the president of the region of Sardinia Renato Soru, and Francesco Licheri the president of the social housing agency AREA, responsible for the existing homes in the area. This follows an agreement signed last week between the city of Cagliari and the region of Sardinia to redevelop St. Elia, a 73 hectare area on prime location on the waterfront in the south of Cagliari.

The Cagliari project is lead by OMA Partners Floris Alkemade and Rem Koolhaas with project leader Cristina Murphy.

Source: OMA – Urban, social and ecological master plan for Cagliari.

West Lake urban area scheme announced – Vietnam

The Ha Noi Department of Planning and Architecture late last week announced details of the West Lake urban area project.

The urban area, which has a total investment capital of US$314-mil in its first phase, will cover an area of more than 200ha and can accommodate around 20,000 people.

The new urban area will consist of housing, office buildings, high-end hotels, parks, banks and commercial centres.

The project is expected to have the land clearance phase completed in 2009 and basic building completed in 2011

Source: VietNamNet – West Lake urban area scheme announced.

Korea to help out with Hanoi’s new urban center

Seoul, the capital of the Republic of Korea, will contribute 90 percent of the cost of mapping out a new urban center along Hanoi’s Hong (Red) River, the Hanoi Planning and Architecture Department said Saturday.

After the project plan is drawn up, it will be submitted for approval to the National Assembly in April 2009 and the Prime Minister two months later.

Once approved, authorities will call for bids to carry out the construction of the project.

It is estimated that construction of the new urban center by the Red River will cost about US$7 billion.

Source: Vietnam latest news – Thanh Nien Daily.

15 locations shortlisted for next stage of eco-towns programme – UK

The country’s first eco-towns took a step closer to becoming reality today as Housing Minister Caroline Flint today announced 15 potential locations will go forward to the next stage, providing the opportunity for a major boost in affordable housing across the country whilst tackling climate change.

Housing Minister Caroline Flint stated that “We have a major shortfall of housing and with so many buyers struggling to find suitable homes, more affordable housing is a huge priority. To face up to the threat of climate change, we must also cut the carbon emissions from our housing. Eco-towns will help solve both of these challenges.

57 initial proposals were received from local authorities and developers across the country. The 15 shortlisted locations are:

  • Pennbury, Leicestershire: 12-15,000 homes

  • Manby and Strubby, Lincolnshire: 5,000 homes

  • Curborough, Staffordshire: 5,000 homes

  • Middle Quinton, Warwickshire: 6,000 homes

  • Bordon-Whitehill, Hampshire: 5-8,000 homes

  • Weston Otmoor, Oxfordshire: 10-15,000 homes

  • Ford, West Sussex: 5,000 homes
    Imerys China Clay Community, Cornwall: around 5,000 homes

  • Rossington, South Yorkshire: Up to 15,000 homes

  • Coltishall, Norfolk: 5,000 homes

  • Hanley Grange, Cambridgeshire: 8,000 homes

  • Marston Vale and New Marston, Bedfordshire: Up to 15,400 homes

  • Elsenham, Essex: A minimum of 5,000 homes

  • Rushcliffe, Nottinghamshire: Possible sites still under review

  • Leeds City Region, Yorkshire: Possible sites still under review

Read more at the Source: Communities and Local Government(UK Gov’t) – 15 locations shortlisted for next stage of eco-towns programme

Can eco-density be beautiful? – Crosscut Seattle

Can eco-density be beautiful? By Adele Weder

Vancouver, B.C. wrestles with how to make new buildings and greater density produce better, less uniform architecture. It turns out nobody has a very clear image of what that would look like.

…..Nobody has a clue what an eco-dense city will actually look like — or even what we want it to look like. New York? Shanghai? Disneyland?

At this and other eco-density public hearings, presenter and star eco-densifier Peter Busby has brandished a freshly produced, beautiful little booklet entitled mdash; what else? mdash; “Busby on Eco-Density,” as he offered an impassioned manifesto. The booklet contains clear and attractive illustrations of what Vancouver might “look like” under varying degrees of eco-density mdash; but in the abstract.

Source: Crosscut Seattle – Can eco-density be beautiful?.

Editors Note: The article is well written and well worth the read

China urged to shift urban growth to supercities

Reuters reports that Shifting China’s model of urbanization to favor huge supercities could boost per capita output, improve energy efficiency and help contain the loss of arable land, the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) said on Monday.

Rapid urbanization has been a major driver of Chinese growth over the past two decades and will become more so over the next 20 years; cities will account for 95 percent of China’s gross domestic product by 2025, up from 75 percent today, MGI said.

But the institute, the economics research arm of consultants McKinsey & Co, said in a report that China could reap even greater economic benefits by adopting a more concentrated pattern of urban growth.

China urged to shift urban growth to supercities

Source: Reuters.

Bigger cities means more poverty says UN

Urbanisation in the Asia-Pacific region has driven up poverty, says the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (Escap).

The agency’s latest yearbook showed that with an increase in urbanisation and growth, urban poverty had also worsened.

This year represented a turning point in human geography. For the first time in history, more people now live in cities than in rural areas.

Although the Asia-Pacific region, along with Africa, was still one of the least urbanised regions of the world, its urban population had grown at the fastest pace in the last 15 years, said the yearbook, which describes economic, social and environmental trends in Asia and the Pacific.

Source: Bangkok Post : General news.

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