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
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
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 @ GroovyGreen.com – Green Roof Proposed For Stretch Of California Highway
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.
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’
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
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.