Hands off Greenbelt, urban planner says

Ottawa needs to redevelop to improve the lives of city residents but growth should not be in the Greenbelt, says Larry Beasley, one of Canada’s top urban planners and a senior adviser to the National Capital Commission.

The chairman of the NCC, Russell Mills, recently sparked controversy by saying that the city might want to build on some of the less vital parts of the Greenbelt, a 20,000-hectare ribbon of land owned by the federal government that encircles central Ottawa.

Read more @ Ottawa Citizen – Hands off Greenbelt, urban planner says.

ULI Asks: ‘Can Stand-Alone Malls Survive?’

The stand-alone mall isn’t dead. It’s just dysfunctional. That was one of the sentiments expressed at an Urban Land Institute panel that tackled the question, “Can stand-alone malls survive?” The question was posed Thursday, during ULI’s annual Reinventing Retail conference at the Wilshire Grand Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles.

The comment about the dysfunctional nature of traditional stand-alone malls came from panelist Shaheen Sadeghi, founder of Costa Mesa, CA-based LAB Holding, a firm that eschews traditional malls in favor of projects like its youth-oriented “the Lab” in Costa Mesa, a center that the developer describes as an “anti-mall.”

Read more @ GlobeSt.com – ULI Asks: ‘Can Stand-Alone Malls Survive?’.

High density plan for Midrand

GAUTRAIN station precinct, complete with a housing development similar to Cosmo City, is to be developed in Midrand. Located parallel to the K11 road and close to Grand Central Airport, the precinct will comprise of a rapid rail station and a high-density development made up of a range of housing and community facilities.

The Gautrain development strategy envisages that densification plans be implemented around all stations along the rapid-rail route. It is believed that this will curb urban spread and reduce road congestion as people will live, work and play close to public transport, specifically the Gautrain rapid rail system. It will link Johannesburg, Tshwane and OR Tambo International Airport.

Read more @ city of johannesburg – High density plan for Midrand.

Seaside the good the bad the ugly of New Urbanism

Seaside, Fla. might have been the backdrop town of Seahaven in the Oscar-nominated film “The Truman Show”, but some of the problems developers faced while creating the new-urbanist beachside community were anything but picturesque.

The Urban Land Institute heard about some of Seaside’s headaches and successes from Jacksonville attorney Doris Goldstein during its 2008 Breakfast Series kick-off Thursday. Goldstein specializes in the legal aspects of new towns, residential and mixed-use communities and condominiums and began working with Seaside’s developer in 1986.

Read more @ Jacksonville’s Financial News and Daily Record.

Urban Design Competition site choosen in Dallas

464-acre site south of downtown Dallas has been chosen as the study area for the sixth annual ULI (Urban Land Institute,USA) Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition, an ideas competition for university students created to honor the legacy of urban development pioneer Gerald D. Hines, chairman of the Hines real estate organization and a laureate of the Urban Land Institute J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development.

Read more at ULI: Testing a New Generation

Drought, sprawl, focus of architects’ concepts for Atlanta

A hundred years from now, Atlanta may look drastically different from the city it is today, as planners work to eliminate its 21st century problems of drought and urban sprawl with water collection centers, smaller highways and residents living in new urban areas.

Those aspects were revealed Tuesday as part of an architects’ competition called “City of the Future: A Design and Engineering Challenge,” a series filmed for The History Channel. Last year, futuristic designs of New York, Chicago and Los Angeles were examined. This year the show is focusing on Atlanta, Washington and San Francisco.

“The city at this point actually has to sustain itself,” said Bishop. “We have to create systems within the community itself to allow it to adapt.”

Read more @ Ledger-Enquirer.com – Drought, sprawl, focus of architects’ concepts for Atlanta by Daniel Yee of  Associated Press

Respekt: Landscape suffers from uncontrolled urban sprawl

Prague, (CTK) – Uncontrolled housing development around big cities in the Czech Republic since the 1990s has resulted in an “urban sprawl” devastating the landscape that has brought about more problems than benefits, the political weekly Respekt writes in its latest issue.

Czech cities are now surrounded by an ugly mixture of small family houses, large shopping centres and warehouses, built without any considerate zoning plan and regardless of logic.

Since the collapse of the communist regime in 1989, thousands and thousands of Czechs have fulfilled their dream about an own cosy house outside the urban tumult in the wild that is yet close to the “civilisation,” Respekt says.

Read more about the developing Czech Republic @ Respekt: Landscape suffers from uncontrolled urban sprawl – CTK

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