A city in the mapping – Chennai

Gargi Gupta from Business Standard weighs the pros and cons of  the second master plan and MAP Chennai Region help the city overcome the problems of rapid urbanisation?
You know the truism about the best laid plans of mice and men? Nowhere does it apply more than in the area of urban planning, in India especially. But despite their plans going awry, architects, town-planners, civic officials, industry and citizens bodies continue to persist with the exercise.

The most recent one in this vein is the one floated by the Confederation of Indian Industries for the city of Chennai. Euphonically christened MAP Chennai Region, it proposes to develop a 5,000 square kilometre region around the southern metropolis, ringed by the cities of Marakkanam, Arakkonam and Pulicat

A city in the mapping – Business Standard – Gargi Gupta.

New York’s Vacant Spaces

The words New York and Vacant Space seem like an phases rarely made in conjunction with the Big Apple. However Jeremy Miller’s article gives us a better insight into why there is Vacant Space in Manhattan and its neighbouring Boroughs.

It also is an article that gives many of us food for thought as urban planners and designers and how we look and design our cities. New York is grand metropolis in North America although it has had its problems over the years in terms of urban development, some of this linked to critical financial and cultural events in New York. New York is flourishing again with a vast amount of development in downtown especially around the Wall Street area. However, its in the streets above 96th street that development seems to have stagnated.

Jeremy gives us solutions to the problems of Vacant Spaces in cities and in particular the Boroughs of New York. An article that is well worth a read.

Filling New York’s ‘Vacancies’- Jeremy Miller – Gotham Gazette

Hammerson and Urban Splash selected in Swansea – Property Week

The developers, who last collaborated on the residential element of the Bullring in Birmingham city centre, were chosen for the scheme by the City and County of Swansea and the Welsh Assembly Government following a nine-month European-wide competition.

Hammerson and Urban Splash will now work on a phased development of the site, which encompasses the existing Quadrant shopping centre, and is bordered by Princess Way and Westway.
BDP undertook the Masterplan.

Hammerson and Urban Splash selected in Swansea – Property Week.
Developers chosed for 1billion redevelopment of Swansea – BBC

Kenya is the latest victim of poorly managed urban migration

The recent violence in Kenya is part of an increasingly chronic condition in a world that is cramming — without effective urban investment, planning and management — into its cities. From Nairobi to Paris, Guangzhou to La Paz, riots and political upheaval have been fuelled by a failure to manage the gold rush-like claims of hundreds of millions of rural, poor people upon the economic opportunities of cities. Though not commonly understood as such, mismanaged urban migrations have been a central part of political revolutions in our world since the 1960s.

globeandmail.com: Kenya is the latest victim of poorly managed urban migration.

Melbourne leads Australia in cleaning stormwater naturally

EVERY year, about 500 billion litres of stormwater washes off the roofs, roads and footpaths of Melbourne into our rivers and bays.

That’s about the same amount of water that Melburnians consume each year.

Often it comes in a thunderous rush, surging out of drains, damaging waterways, and pouring litter into Port Phillip and Western Port bays.

But a $20 million bid to use Melbourne’s stormwater on “rain gardens” across the metropolitan area has gathered speed since early last year.

Rain gardens are designed to absorb large volumes of water from downpipes, road surfaces and paved areas.

Melbourne leads Australia in cleaning stormwater naturally | Herald Sun.

5 Hot Topics for Los Angeles Downtown Dwellers

Living in Downtown Los Angeles is full of highs and lows, excitement and frustration. With more than 30,000 residents already in the community and thousands more waiting to move in, issues are bound to arise. This year, expect these five topics to be discussed over the dinner table.

Social and Education Services
Pre-schools, Schools and Community services

Commercial Space and Events
City needs more shopping and large department stores especially a Target and a large bookstore.  Downtown also needs restaurants to bring dining into the city after hours. Also needed are festivals and weekly events such as markets.

Clean & Safe
LA Downtown needs to become cleaner and safer although the last 5 years have been an improvement.

Neighborhood Watch
Increase funding and community involvement in this powerful deterent to crime and making people feel safe in Downtown

Taxis and Transit
Freedom for taxi drivers to pick up in any area of Downtown not designated areas, increasing bus services and also the return of the Red Trolley.

Summary of Kathryn Maese article from Los Angeles Downtown News

Amsterdam neoliberal city?

Amsterdam is investing hundreds of millions of euros in the Zuidas, the new business district south of the city (corporations will also invest in the project, but if it fails, their losses will be compensated with taxpayers’ money). Despite the scale of the project, there has been almost no public debate. Decision-making is an opaque process dominated by government officials, banks and other potential investors.

Nieuws uit Amsterdam.

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