Cities on the edge of chaos

It is one of the most seismic changes the world has ever seen. Across the globe there is an unstoppable march to the cities, powered by new economic realities. But what kind of lives are we creating? And will citizens – and cities – cope with the fierce pressures of this new urban age? Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum and author of a major new report, asks if the city of the future will be a vision of hell or a force for civilised living?
Read more @ guardian.co.uk

Source : guardian.co.uk – Cities on the edge of chaos – Deyan Sudjic

An opportunity to create a truly sustainable future for Wales

The Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) and the Design Commission for Wales are holding a meeting on 10 March.

Key stakeholders, including the Landscape Institute Wales, have been convened in a process that will create momentum in efforts to tackle climate change through changes to the built environment and to develop the agenda for action including policy and practical measures.

Read more @ L.I. – An opportunity to create a truly sustainable future for Wales.

Melbourne 2030 – no longer a true vision

Victorian Premier John Brumby freed-up land today for 90,000 new homes in the councils of Wyndham, Melton, Hume, Whittlesea and Casey. The land will be zoned residential.

The governments actions are as a result of research and calls from various social and government department research stating that this is a shortage of housing for low-income earners. The governments actions condradict its own Melbourne 2030 vision.

The release of land is merely a short term cure for low income earners as soon as they have moved into there new fringe houses they will become city residents who will experience high transport costs and will be time poor due to lack of efficient and fast public transport in fringe areas of Melbourne. These fringe-dwellers will also create a larger environmental impact due the large amount of resources required to supply basic infrastructure to these new inefficient housing estates.

The government would be better injecting a sufficient amount of funds and resources into reducing the planning approval process for high density developments and also fastrack more development zones for high density residential housing around inner city transport hubs such as Hawthorn, South Yarra, Collingwood, Clifton Hill and Footscray.

The government would also be wise to redevelop some existing low-income housing in the inner city to have a greater a density.

The governments actions show that is out of touch with the growing trends in the rest of the world to create higher denisty cities with efficient transportation which in turn reduce the environmental and carbon footprint of its residents.

Green roof for green buildings

Imagine picking blueberries on your roof, collecting rain and runoff water from your property and using it to flush toilets, heating and cooling your building using heat trapped beneath the Earth’s surface and having an electricity bill less than a quarter of the amount you usually pay. These are all features of a LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, building.

The proposed new Living with Lakes Centre on the shores of Ramsey Lake will be the first LEED building in Greater Sudbury and one of only five LEED buildings in the world to have a platinum certification, the highest rating attainable. The recently announced $4.5 million donation by Vale Inco will help to make this dream a reality.

Read more @ The Sudbury Star – Ontario, CA.

UK PM to get tough on plastic bags

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Friday warned retailers they had to start charging shoppers for the 13 billion plastic bags they currently get for free each year or the government would step in to force them.
Most bags end as landfill waste or being blown across the countryside, littering the landscape and harming wildlife.

Read more @ Business – Guardian.co.uk|.

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