Suburbs stop growing due to housing bust

USAToday reports

The recession and housing collapse have halted four decades of double-digit growth for nearly half of the nation’s biggest rapidly expanding suburbs.

Twenty-four of the 53 cities of 100,000 or more that grew by at least 10% every decade since 1970 lost population in the last two years.

SOURCE: USA Today – Housing bust halts growing suburbs

Ecological Agriculture: can it feed the world?

The latest edition of the Monthly Review (November 2009, Volume 61, Number 6) includes a paper from Jules Pretty is professor of environment and society at the University of Essex, UK. titled Can Ecological Agriculture Feed Nine Billion People?

Below is an extract from the paper

Something is wrong with our agricultural and food systems.Despite great progress in increasing productivity in the last century, hundreds of millions of people remain hungry and malnourished. Further hundreds of millions eat too much, or consume the wrong sorts of food, and it is making them ill. The health of the environment suffers too, as degradation of soil and water seems to accompany many of the agricultural systems we have developed in recent years. Can nothing be done, or is it time for the expansion of an agriculture founded more on ecological principles and in harmony with people, their societies, and cultures?

Read the full paper at the [SOURCE: MonthlyReview - Can Ecological Agriculture Feed Nine Billion People?]

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Hong Kong Building regulations under review

news.com.hk reports

The Council for Sustainable Development will recommend ways to deal with the problem of ‘inflated’ buildings in the first half of next year, Secretary for Development Carrie Lam says, adding the Government will review parking space proportions in buildings. As Hong Kong has a comprehensive railway system which will continue to develop, the Government needs to study parking space demand in buildings.

SOURCE: Hong Kong Government – news.com.hk – Building regulations under review

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Construction Week (Middle East) releases Salary survey

Construction Week (Middle East) have just published the results of a salary survey held from April to September this year. The main findings of the survey is that most people are experienced and the UAE is not a place for first-jobbers. People consistently worked longer than 40 hour per week and have salaries in construction(including Architects) on average between $4500-$6047 (USD) month across the six GCC countries. The results also outline expectations for pay rises, housing, current pressures and other interesting information.

For more information go to the two articles at the [SOURCE: Construction Week (Middle East)]

1. Survey Analysis – Construction Week (Middle East)
2. Detailed Results – Construction Week (Middle East)

The Rooftop Garden Climbs Down a Wall

Ken Belson of the New York Times has written an interesting piece about green walls which looks at the green wall as a source of food production. Belson talks to a varied number of designers, universities and manufacturers about the green walls as food production. He also states that at $500 a panel they aren’t for everyone.

Belson has a great quote he cites from Paul Mankiewicz, the executive director of the Gaia Institute in New York.

“We have 30 miles of rooftop in New York City and maybe 3,000 miles of walls,”

Read the article at the SOURCE: New York Times – The Rooftop Garden Climbs Down a Wall

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