In year-end reviews, writers and pundits on urban affairs often missed a very important transformation that occurred in 2007, one that will have reverberations possibly for generations to come. This change has come in the politics of public transit.
Fast forward to 2007 when the City of Toronto announced an ambitious Transit City plan costing billions of dollars. Some critics decried the plan a pie in the sky as it had no funding commitments.
Within a few months, however, Premier Dalton McGuinty announced his government’s commitment not only to fund the TTC plan, but to include ambitious targets for GO Transit and other municipal transit authorities. The commitment was to fund $11 billion of the $17 billion required for the plan, and advocate to the federal government for the remainder.
TheStar.com | comment | Green light for transit after years of stagnation.
Comparing old and new aerial photographs, state environmental officials last year spotted a suspicious-looking change in the landscape in Methuen, near the Dracut line. In July, they visited a horse stable on Tyler Street and confirmed that the owner had graded and filled wetlands without a permit, in violation of state environmental laws and regulations.
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As a result, the Department of Environmental Protection fined Lisa M. Pappalardo $10,225 and ordered her to restore the damaged wetlands, in a clear example of how detailed aerial images today can be used to help a government regulatory agency do its job.
Read more at – The Boston Globe – Improper development spied from sky Eric Moskowitz
PHASE one of a new transport centre in downtown Kingston, somewhat similar to the one opened in Half-Way-Tree on the weekend, is expected to be completed and ready for use in another five months
New transport centre for downtown Kingston in five months – JAMAICAOBSERVER.COM.
MACAO, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) — A delegation of Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) government flew to Beijing Wednesday to discuss with the central government urban planning issues concerning the construction controversy over the Guia Lighthouse, Macao’s world heritage site.
The delegation led by Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Chu Sai On will meet with leaders of China’s State Administration of Cultural Heritage and National Committee for UNESCO, and submit a proposal for modifying urban planning around Mt. Guia, where a world heritage site locates.
Macao officials to consult central authorities on urban planning -_Xinhua Gao Ying
The 2008 NZILA SHIFT Conference will highlight and discuss these emerging modes of design practice in the context of the fluid and unpredictable nature of urban change.
A diverse range of speakers will consider legal and planning implications, contemporary design initiatives, changing technologies and the challenges of serving the needs and interests of society as a whole.
3-5 April 2008 Auckland New Zealand
Register now at NZILA
Chongqing municipality will spend 100 billion yuan ($13.8 billion) over the next five years on the demolition and renovation of all old and dangerous houses in its nine urban districts, officials have said.
The mammoth project aims to build affordable housing for low-income residents, officials from the municipal government said.
The city’s development and reform white paper revealed the ambitious plan. The 100 billion yuan investment is about a quarter of Chongqing’s estimated gross domestic product for last year.
Zhou Bo, a spokesman for the municipal government, said the city will this year complete building an additional 1.8 million sq m of affordable housing for 30,000 low-income families.
Chongqing to spend $13b on housing – China Daily – Xinhua – Huang Zhiling and Chen Hong
Ottawa Developers scorn city claims about residential land supply, while some suggest it’s time to tighten Greenbelt
Developers are calling on the city to expand Ottawa’s urban boundary, vehemently disagreeing with “preliminary” estimates that the city has more than 20 years worth of vacant residential land for future development.
“Who knows whether the city will bring in additional lands,” said John Herbert of the local homebuilders association. “What they are doing now is artificially driving up the price of land, through the roof.”
But calls to expand the urban boundary may have to wait until the spring for an answer, when the city will release a white paper with survey results on residents’ opinions about developing the city’s Greenbelt.
read more at Ottawa Business Journal