Chongqing to spend $13b on housing

Chongqing municipality will spend 100 billion yuan ($13.8 billion) over the next five years on the demolition and renovation of all old and dangerous houses in its nine urban districts, officials have said.

The mammoth project aims to build affordable housing for low-income residents, officials from the municipal government said.

The city’s development and reform white paper revealed the ambitious plan. The 100 billion yuan investment is about a quarter of Chongqing’s estimated gross domestic product for last year.

Zhou Bo, a spokesman for the municipal government, said the city will this year complete building an additional 1.8 million sq m of affordable housing for 30,000 low-income families.

Chongqing to spend $13b on housing – China Daily – Xinhua – Huang Zhiling and Chen Hong

Minnesota Eco Group proves not only new houses can be green

Wayzata Minnesota-based environmental organization Live Green, Live Smart announces The Sustainable House™ received Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council™ (USGBC), for the remodeling of a 1948 rambler, located in Minnetonka, Minnesota. The award is the Council’s highest level certification for residential Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design™ (LEED). This is the first remodeled home to be certified Platinum by the USGBC, the most widely recognized green building standard-setting organization in the country.

The original house and landscape underwent major alterations focused on energy efficiency, water conservation, habitat protection, resource efficiency and healthy occupancy.

Eco-Pioneering Minnesota Group Earns First USGBC Platinum for Green Remodeled Home – businessnewswire.com

ADB to help China fight desert drift

China is getting outside help for a project to stop the alarming spread of deserts in its western interior that causes siltation of the Yellow River, the Asian Development Bank said Saturday.

Manila-based ADB said it will help Beijing design a project to restore the severely degraded drylands of Gansu and Shaanxi provinces, as well as Xinjiang autonomous region, which together cover 40 percent of the country.

“Land degradation is a critical environmental problem in all three project jurisdictions,” an area that once hosted the ancient Silk Road trading route between Asia and Europe, a bank statement said.

AFP: ADB to help China fight desert drift.

I just want to say one word to you: sustainability – SFGate.com

During six years writing about architecture for The Chronicle, I’ve seen trends come and go. Glass is the new stucco. Towers are taller and some of them twist. Celebrity architects spend as much time on self-promotion as serious design.

But here’s the trend that sticks, the one lasting change: Visual drama is no longer enough. Environmental sustainability counts for more than curb appeal.

That’s why San Francisco’s planned Public Utilities Commission building (KMD Architects) is so much a sign of the times. It’s conceived to be a showcase of “green” design, a departure from the bureaucratic norm. But by the time it opens in 2010, I’ll wager that even more adventurous buildings are close behind – because the world has changed, and architecture has to change with it.

read more at SFGate.com – I just want to say one word to you: sustainability. – Author: John King

Yale-Abu Dhabi Research Team Finds Evidence of Ancient Subtropical Environment in the Arid Emirate

New Haven, Conn.— Six to eight million years ago, the Western Region of the Abu Dhabi Emirate was a lush landscape teeming with subtropical wildlife, according to Andrew Hill, the Clayton Stephenson Class of 1954 Professor of Anthropology at Yale.

Before a meeting on January 8 in Abu Dhabi organized by the Abu Dhabi Authority on Culture and Heritage (ADACH) and the Emirates Natural History Group, Hill described the joint ADACH-Yale project leading to the startling discovery that the arid desert of the Emirate’s Western Region was once the river-fed habitat of crocodiles, hippos, turtles and elephants.

Yale-Abu Dhabi Research Team Finds Evidence of Ancient Subtropical Environment in the Arid Emirate pressmediawire.com

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