MANY INDIAN cities do not have public spaces worth their names. Most of the open grounds in urban areas have been converted into stadiums, corporate blocks etc. Space should be such where citizens can gather for conviviality without being bothered by honking of horns.
It is a distressing reality of urban India that open public spaces are being converted into enclosed stadiums, sporting arena or shopping plazas. Earlier, these places were available as neighborhood grounds in till few years ago but have shrunk at an alarming speed.
While in developed countries these spaces are converted into urban settlements for citizenry, the haphazard urban growth in our country has put so much pressure on land that not a small piece of land seems left for any other purpose than commercial or exclusive uses.
Read more @ the SOURCE: merinews.com – Shrinking public spaces in cities.
Solar arrays, “green” roofs and storm-water management that doubles as civic art and takes place only when it’s raining are among the ideas for improving the environment in the redevelopment of downtown Columbia, a consultant told residents this week.
Town Center could be a “city within a garden,” said Keith Bowers, a landscape architect on General Growth Properties’ design team — a vibrant place that makes use of renewable energy and is built with local materials so that little energy is expended to bring supplies here. Bowers’ ecological restoration design, planning and assessment business is leading the sustainability and environmental component of GGP’s efforts to re-create downtown
Read more @ the Source: baltimoresun.com – Green proposals for downtown Columbia
Countries from Asia and the Pacific, both developed and developing, are gathering in Bangkok to share experiences on “co-benefits approach to climate change” – win-win actions which cut greenhouse gas emissions while alleviating poverty.
The meeting today (23 April) is organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in cooperation with the Japanese Ministry of the Environment and the Japanese Overseas Environmental Cooperation Centre.
About 50 participants are sharing good practices on “co-benefits”. The use of landfill gas is an example. Decaying rubbish creates large amounts of greenhouse gasses. Other examples of co-benefits projects are springing up across the region.
In the Philippines, enhanced public transportation services are reducing commute times and carbon emissions at the same time. A project in Malaysia introduced innovative strategies for waste management which lower emission while at the same time reducing the build up of waste.
The meeting was opened by the Deputy Executive Secretary of ESCAP, Mr. Shigeru Mochida, and Japan’s Vice-Minister for Global Environmental Affairs, Mr. Toshiro Kojima. Presentations are given by participants from China, Indonesia, Japan, the United States, Thailand, and from ESCAP and OECD, among others.
SOURCE: Bangkok (United Nations Information Services)
The target is to plant 200 000 trees in dry and dusty Soweto by the end of the year. Already well on the way, City Parks has a number of tree-planting projects on the go.
WITH thousands more trees being planted in the dusty, denuded areas of Soweto, this area may reach its urban forest status sooner than expected.
The next big tree planting event planned by Johannesburg City Parks is on 22 April, when the world celebrates International Earth Day. Some 15 000 trees will be planted by the utility in Bram Fischerville and Meadowlands as part of the City’s drive to green Soweto and other marginalised areas.
City Parks has a target of planting 200 000 trees by the end of this year, says Jenny Moodley, its marketing and communications manager. With the Earth Day project and the 24-hour extreme park make-over planned in May for Diepkloof, the tally of trees planted since 2006 will grow to over 78 000.
Source: city of johannesburg – Urban forest grows in Soweto.
Most streets in this country are failing pedestrians, and need to become destinations again, and not simply ways of getting traffic from A to B.
Radical new thinking in urban street design may point the way forward. Civilised streets, a new report from CABE, sets out the opportunities and challenges of new design approaches. It argues that the car still dominates and our streets will only become more civilised places if the needs of pedestrians are prioritised over cars.
CABE argues that streets which are designed to give all users more freedom of movement are ultimately slower, safer and more social places. These civilised streets are places where people of all ages can walk, cycle, play, talk and shop more easily. Civilised streets explores the contentious concept of shared space, which advocates removing signs and guard rails, obliging drivers and pedestrians to become more alert to each other, which in turn leads to more responsible driving.
Shared space is one way of rescuing our streets from the car. Director of CABE Space, Sarah Gaventa, highlights New Road in Brighton as one example of how redesigning a street can reinvent it. If the country is to get more streets of such quality, local authorities, highway engineers and planners must both understand and consider shared spaces as a means of delivering more civilised streets.
Go to CABE.org.uk now to download the series of publications
Source: CABE – Designing streets for people – not traffic | News | .