Eco-towns should be near urban sprawl, say planning chief – Birmingham Post

The Government should drop proposals for eco-towns in rural locations and concentrate instead on developing sustainable communities in urban areas, according to the chairman of Birmingham’s planning committee.

Councillor Peter Douglas Osborn said the council would be pushing ahead with its own plans to build five eco-towns within the Birmingham city boundary.

He said locations favoured by the Government for eco-towns including Long Marston, near Stratford-upon-Avon, and Curborough, near Lichfield, Staffordshire, made “no sense” because they were isolated from transport links and nowhere near urban centres.

Birmingham PostEco-towns should be near urban sprawl, say planning chief

Climate Change top of the Agenda @ G8

Numerous news sources have reported on the G8 summit with Climate Change seen as the one of the top issues that needs to be addressed. The other critical issues are being referred to as the 3F Crisis – Food, Fuel, Finance. With many countries heading into slow down and some a recession with high inflation and the skyrocketing price of oil.

Reuters reports that The G8 has gone green with this summit with Carbon Offsetting of all attendees and reporters of flights, hotel accomodation. Also the car fleet being a mix of plug ins, hybrids and hydrogen vehicles including the Honda FCX Clarity recently announced to be leased to Californians. Read more at Reuters

SOURCE: Xinhua, Reuters, Guardian

Going up – Vertical gardens catch on – Vancouver Sun

Vancouver is in the middle of a green wall revolution. A record number of these environmentally friendly sustainable “living” walls – also called vertical gardens – are being built here at the moment.

One of the first ones went up a couple of years ago at the aquarium’s Aquawest Learning Centre. Measuring 3 metre by 15.2 metre (10 by 50 feet), it was filled with 7,000 plants, mostly native species of fern, bleedingheart, huckleberry and wintergreen.

read more @ Vancouver Sun – Going up – Vertical gardens catch on.

Landscape failed in eco-town plans, says Landscape Institute

The importance of landscape is neglected in the Government’s eco-towns plans, the Landscape Institute said this week.

Chair of the Landscape Institute Policy Committee Jon Lovell said eco-towns provided “an outstanding opportunity” but warned that the sustainability of the proposed eco-towns depended on the integration of landscape planning, design and management. He said that green space needed to be viewed as essential infrastructure – as equally as important as roads, services and other ‘grey’ infrastructure’ components.

SOURCE: Landscape Institute – Landscape failed in eco-town plans, says Landscape Institute.

Auckland students win by sustainable design

Open to University of Auckland Civil and Environmental Engineering students, the competition brief was to re-design a system that reduces stormwater runoff and pollution in new housing developments, while contributing to good urban design.

The competition was jointly sponsored by the Auckland Regional Council, the Hobsonville Land Company – a subsidiary of Housing New Zealand Corporation – with support from The University of Auckland.

The proposed re-design area covered 25 hectares of land in north-west Auckland currently being developed by the Hobsonville Land Company, and was to “set new benchmarks for sustainable development” using a Low Impact Design (LID) approach.

The winning team were Alex Cheah, Jonathan Church and Andrew Hope. They received a prize of $1,500. Runners up were Jade Gibson, Rachel Kelly and Julia Wells, who received $1,000. The third place went to Nick Hohaia, Sam Reed and Leon West, who received $500.

SOURCE Scoop.com.nz: Auckland students win by sustainable design.

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