FIFTY YEARS ago this spring the roar of heavy machinery echoed down the narrow streets of Boston’s old West End as bulldozers and cranes with wrecking balls began executing a desperate plan to revitalize the city by razing one of its oldest neighborhoods.
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Thousands of poor and elderly residents were evicted, many from the only home they had ever known. Veiled promises of relocation to comparable housing never materialized, and the West Enders were scattered throughout the metropolitan area. For many, their standard of living was severely reduced and they never recovered.
Destroying a neighborhood to save a city – The Boston Globe.
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 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 Post – Urban Splash makes a splash at awards –
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: theage.com.au – Councils face tight rules on planning
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.com – Green proposals for downtown Columbia
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