The hills of the future – BBC News

Major construction projects produce hundreds of tons of rubble and spoil, but is there an environmentally-friendly alternative to landfill? Four hills which have sprung up on the outskirts of London provide the answer.

For years large quantities of it ended up simply being dumped in landfill sites.

But now, in a more environmentally-conscious age, imaginative solutions are being provided and one of the most innovative has taken shape beside the A40, the main road leading from London out towards Oxford and Birmingham.

Eight years ago Ealing Council wanted to redevelop a 45 acre (18.5 hectare) area of derelict parkland in Northolt, which had become an eyesore.

They recruited a firm of consultants, led by landscape architect Peter Fink, who came up with a solution which included the creation of four man-made hills on the south side of the carriageway. It would become part of a park called Northala Fields.

Source: BBC NEWS – UK – Magazine – The hills of the future – Chris Summers .

Shrinking public spaces in cities

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.

Green proposals for downtown Columbia — baltimoresun.com

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.comGreen proposals for downtown Columbia 

“Asia-Pacific Gateway for Climate Change” – UN ESCAP

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)

EU heads for climate and trade talks with China

The European Commission’s biggest-ever delegation to China heads for Beijing this week, hoping to progress from words to action on China’s soaring greenhouse gas emissions and its tense trade ties with Europe.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso will have to tread a careful line because he also intends to raise the handling of pro-independence unrest in Tibet and human rights in general in China in the meetings with the country’s leadership. “We want to get into more concrete action with China,” a European Union official said ahead of the April 24-25 visit by Barroso and nine commissioners which Brussels hopes will prove the start of a new, more fruitful phase in EU-China ties.

Source: Guardian.co.uk

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