More green, less glitz will improve city life

We need more green, not glitz in the city. We need the soothing green, the trees and shade, the parks where we can amble for a bit of respite from the concrete jungle.

Lack of natural landscape for public recreation is a major weakness in our striving international metropolis. Trees take time and they don’t yield a profit, like high rises on valuable real estate. All the same, greenery is good city planning.

Dazzling neon lights, skyscrapers, hustle and bustle are all captivating, but without greenery one gets exhausted in the concrete jungle and longs for fresh air, space and peace.

Shanghai’s public green space per capita is now 12 square meters, nearly double the figure 20 years ago, according to 2007 statistics by the Shanghai Forestry Bureau.

Read more of the 3 page Special @ Shanghai Daily – More green, less glitz will improve city life

Green Roof Proposed For Stretch Of California Highway

A plan has been submitted to cover a stretch of California highway with a 24-acre park. It would be built on a deck constructed over the below-grade portion of the Hollywood Freeway (US-101). Organizers argue that by placing a “cap” over one of the world’s most congested freeway systems, the necessary ventilation system would clean the air before re-circulating it back into the environment — creating a positive improvement in air quality for LA. Additionally, the park would also provide a nexus between East Hollywood and Central Hollywood–”alleviating the strain on the community from the initial creation of the freeway through this section of Hollywood.”

Read more @ – Green Roof Proposed For Stretch Of California Highway

Green city only good for the rich :: The Gateway Online

Waste-free, energy-efficient, and carbon-neutral are all terms thrown about by environmentalists to describe ideal urban development, and the recently unveiled plans for Masdar City incorporate all of those buzzwords.

Read more @ Green city only good for the rich :: The Gateway Online – Mike Otto.

Design steps up in the fight against obesity

Two in three men and three in four women in England don’t get enough exercise, but the good news is that the answer lies on our doorstep. CABE has long argued that the design of your neighbourhood really does influence whether you’re fit in the long term or whether you’re going to gradually just put on weight.

That’s because it’s regular exercise which takes and keeps the pounds off – but you are only likely to take that exercise if local streets and open spaces are inviting.

The case for investing in decent design for streets and open spaces is getting stronger by the day. This week saw the publication of both new government strategy and independent public health guidance into how active lifestyles can be designed into streets, towns, and cities.

Read more @ CABE ‘Design steps up in the fight against obesity’

Paradise or purgatory: Urban sprawl in spotlight

A debate over city growth has emerged after a housing affordability survey released this week recommended freeing up more land for houses.

Demographia‘s fourth annual survey found New Zealand houses more unaffordable than those in the United States, Canada, Ireland, Britain and Australia.

Read more @ Paradise or purgatory: Urban sprawl in spotlight – NZ Herald

Developer’s vision is frightening, says mayor

Auckland mayor John Banks has attacked a city developer and his plans for five apartment blocks on the water’s edge at Orakei.

As resource consent hearings for the development started, Mr Banks took the unusual step of issuing a statement to the Herald criticising the proposal and developer Tony Gapes’ company, the Redwood Group.

“The visual aspect is frightening, and the developer’s assertion this will be a quality project is hard to believe, Mr Banks said.

“Artist impressions of these flash glass and concrete boxes ring hollow in the face of past buildings from Redwood Group.”

He was referring to the bulky Scene One, Scene Two and Scene Three apartments blocks in downtown Auckland and the leaky Eden One and Eden Two townhouse blocks in Mt Eden.

Developer’s vision is frightening, says mayor – 22 Jan 2008 – Residential property news – NZ Herald.

City builders to keep people in mind

Environmentalists, urban planners and experts at a seminar in the city said architecture and life are closely related with each other. While planning a city and designing any architecture, all should keep in mind the welfare of the people, socio-cultural environment and the cause of humanity.

People are becoming urbanised, which is making human life mechnaised, self-centred and detached from each other. For this reason, different social problems have been created in city life, which has influenced the urban lifestyle, they said.

This was said at the seminar on ‘Pro-People Urban Design: Learning from Copenhagen’ organised by WBB Trust at CIRDAP Auditorium yesterday.

Prof Dr Jan Gail, architect from Copenhagen of Denmark, presented a key-note paper, while Syed Mahbubul Alam Tahin, Programme Manager of WBB Trust, moderated the session.

The New Nation – Internet Edition.

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