Olympic Park construction gets early start – London 2012

Construction officially started on the London 2012 Olympic Park today as the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) began work on the Olympic Stadium – three months earlier than originally planned.
The work to create the permanent foundations for the Stadium was witnessed by Prime Minister Gordon Brown who had an opportunity to meet workers on site. In the next few years over a thousand workers will help build the venue.

The Stadium will be the centre-piece for the London 2012 Games with over 4bn people across the world watching the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and the track and field events.

SOURCE: London2012.com – News: Olympic Park construction gets early start.

LandDesign team wins 10K for green design – Nashville Business Journal

One of LandDesign Inc.’s Nashville office team won an internal competition on green design.

Human Element, a Nashville team, tied for first place in the company-wide sustainable design competition and shared in the $10,000 first place award.

Fourteen teams competed across the company to reduce the carbon footprint of Birkdale Village, a 52-acre mixed use project with residential over retail located in Huntersville, N.C.

SOURCE: Nashville Business JournalLandDesign team wins 10K for green design.

Critics say new green rating hurts affordable housing – Mlive.com

The U.S. Green Building Council’s new rating system for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design in neighborhood development, known as LEED-ND, is coming under fire for not putting a greater emphasis on affordable housing.

Critics say LEED-ND, in its current draft, discourages participating developers from alloting dollars into expensive energy-efficient affordable housing if their payback is, at most, four points out of a possible 106. They worry the point system, and any resulting developer disincentives, will get ingrained in municipal law books if local governments continue to adopt LEED standards at unprecedented rates — all at a time, they add, when the growing gap between wages and mortgages is creating an affordable housing crisis regionally and nationally. 

In a recent study by Cambridge, Mass.-based New Ecology Inc., the cost of building green affordable housing held a nearly 3 percent premium, ranging up to 9 percent on some projects.

read more @ the SOURCE: Mlive.com – Critics say new green rating hurts affordable housing.

Ed: Although an interesting article however the article doesn’t mention the savings that low-income families will gain with lower energy bills.
More education of the public in relation to LEED is needed (eg initial construction cost vs long-term running costs and reduced environmental costs). Urban Planning also becomes more important including density of housing.

UAE prepares for theme park boom – AMEinfo.com

The UAE may soon be the world’s premiere home for theme parks as an increasing number of entertainment giants such as Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment are teaming up with local developers to build mega resorts in the country. However, as billions of dollars are being poured into these projects, some experts are raising concerns about whether these parks will be as successful as hoped.

SOURCE: AMEinfor.com – UAE prepares for theme park boom – UAE Focus.

India’s politicians pay the price for ignoring booming urban economy – Scotsman.com News

IT HAS been a frustrating time for many businesses in India’s IT hub of Bangalore. Endless traffic jams, sporadic power, a chaotic airport and many politicians who just couldn’t give a damn.
For four years, Karnataka state, home to India’s “silicon valley”, was ruled by a chaotic coalition with a regional party. Janata Dal (S)’s support base was among farmers, and politicians were criticised for ignoring Bangalore’s IT “elites”.

The result: more decrepit public transport, four-hour commutes, packed roads and blackouts that have taken some gleam off this city as it faces increasing competition for foreign investment from rival cities such as Shanghai and Manila.

Read more @ the SOURCE – Scotsman.com News – India’s politicians pay the price for ignoring booming urban economy – .

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