Making San Francisco into a people-oriented city

Tim Holt of San Francisco Chronicle interviews urban planning guru, Jan Gehl about San Francisco and create urban spaces and a more pedestrain city(Ed– Maybe hard with those hills) and open air shopping.

Read more @ the SOURCE: SFGate.com – Making S.F. into a people-oriented city

Good design requires innovation – Seattlepi.com

GRAHAM BLACK AND BRAD KHOURI have written a comprehensive article about designing residential developments in Seattle.

Town homes don’t have to be ugly and dampen the human spirit. But so many of them are eyesores that town homes have become a lighting rod in the local debate over housing. They’ve been blamed for the decline of community and called a threat to single-family neighborhoods. Their rapid proliferation has even prompted recent City Council-led community forums.

Town homes aren’t the problem. A critical part of the housing stock, they allow the city to create more urban density, reduce our carbon footprint and provide an affordable housing option for local families.

Bad design and laziness are the real problem. Badly designed, shoddily built, cookie-cutter town homes that don’t fit or build the character of our city’s neighborhoods isolate residents from one another and discourage open space. Bad design is the result of a formula-driven approach, where generic plans are slapped onto every lot, regardless of site or neighborhood.

Seattle has an opportunity to shape neighborhoods for the future. The city needs to take charge of its permitting and design process, eliminate the loopholes that allow some builders to avoid design review and give an incentive for opting into that process. Design review, when done right, can ensure projects that make the city a more interesting place.

Read more @ the SOURCE: Seattlepi.com – Good design requires innovation.

Nine Global Winners Chosen for 2008 Urban Land Institute Financial Times Sustainable Cities Awards

Nine outstanding programs from organizations around the world representing both the public and private sectors have been selected as winners in the first annual Sustainable Cities Awards program, sponsored jointly by the Financial Times and the Urban Land Institute (ULI). The award winners were announced today in conjunction with a Financial Times ULI Sustainable Cities conference being held in London.

The Sustainable Cities Awards honor global examples of ongoing programs that exhibit new ideas and perspectives for best practices in sustainable land use. Each of the winners is incorporating initiatives that are making a significant contribution in highlighting the concept of sustainability in real estate. The nine were selected from 18 finalists chosen from a field of 86 entries submitted from 15 countries.

The 2008 Sustainable Cities Award winners are:

– The Cascade Land Conservancy for “The Cascade Agenda” — The Cascade
Agenda is a 100-year visioning exercise to preserve more than 1.3 million
acres (526,000 hectares) of forest and farmland

– The City of Chicago — The city of Chicago leads all cities in
incorporating preservation and sustainability practices into its own
operations.

– The City of Greensburg, Kansas — Ninety percent of the building stock
of Greensburg, Kansas, a farming town with a population 1,389, was
destroyed by a tornado in 2007. Instead of rebuilding the past, the
citizens of Greenburg voted to rebuild for a sustainable future.

– Enterprise Community Partners for “Green Communities” — Since 2004,
the Enterprise Green Communities program has invested more than $570
million to create more than 11,000 green affordable units across one-
hundred U.S. cities.

– Jones Lang LaSalle for “Portfolio Sustainability Management Program” –
Jones Lang LaSalle, with more than 1.2 billion square feet (111 square
kilometers) under management is setting influential standards for its
own portfolio and those of its clients.

– Kennedy Associates for “Responsible Property Investing” — Kennedy
Associates believes that buildings developed and managed according to
sustainability principles possess a competitive advantage over traditional
structures.

– New Songdo City Master Plan, master planned by Kohn Pedersen Fox and
developed by Gale International with POSCO E&C — The master plan for this
new city in South Korea is complete, and construction is underway. This
private-enterprise plan is a pilot project in LEED’s Neighborhood
Development program.

– PNC for “Greening PNC” — PNC has led all U.S. companies in LEED
certifications since 2000, when its corporate headquarters was the first
financial building to be LEED certified.

– Vulcan for “Creating a New Model for Sustainable, Mixed-Use Urban
Communities” — Vulcan’s strategic approach to the redevelopment of 60
acres (24 hectares) it owns in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood.

 More information about the awards program is at www.uli.org/sustainablecitiesaward.

Source: Marketwire.com – Nine Global Winners Chosen for 2008 Urban Land Institute Financial Times Sustainable Cities Awards.

Housing societies have no environment plans: EPD official – Daily Times

LAHORE: Housing societies of the city do not have an environment plan approved by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) and the agency has not made a law to induce these housing societies to quantify trees on their land to protect the city’s environment, an Environment Protection Department (EPD) official told Daily Times on Sunday.

He said the Defence Housing Authority (DHA), Model Town Society and many other societies did not have any scientific “Land Use Planning” (LUP) under an approved environment plan to ensure a specific number of trees on their land.

Read more @ the SOURCE: Daily Times – Leading News Resource of Pakistan – Housing societies have no environment plans: EPD official.

Tackling the Energy Monster – landscape architects in the news

Other companies are trying to save on gas by buying hybrids. Rana Creek Habitat Restoration, a Carmel Valley, Calif., landscape-architecture and ecological-design firm with 32 employees, traded in four of its 10-auto fleet for various hybrids. They altogether cost about $130,000, but each uses only about $25 a week in fuel, compared with $100 for the traditional autos — an annual savings of about $3,900 per hybrid.

SOURCE: Read more @ the Wall Street Journal – Tackling the Energy Monster

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