Today’s suburbs, tomorrow’s slums? – globeandmail.com

According to some doomsday scenarios, spiking gas prices could turn the cul-de-sacs and two-car garages that surround North America’s cities – built over the past 60 years and designed for the convenience of people with cars – into tomorrow’s slums.

The predictions for the most part come from subscribers to the theory of “peak oil,” which holds that crude prices will shoot permanently upward as global demand outstrips dwindling supply, ruining the economy. But their predictions are getting a second look now, as suburbanites, especially in the United States, grumble at the rising price of a fill-up.

Read more @ the SOURCE: globeandmail.com: Today’s suburbs, tomorrow’s slums?.

A mastermind of green design – China Daily

This site in Sandao, Hainan province, has been recreated in the virtual online world of Second Life where the public will design an “Eco-friendly Community” that will later be built on the actual site.

When David Greenberg stumbled across a cluster of tree houses while trekking the jungles of Maui, he felt a sudden and mighty urge to rebel.

“That was the moment I knew I wouldn’t be an urban designer,” he says. The California native with a disdain for convention and an admiration of nature would instead reinvent himself as an “anti-architect” and “anti-designer”.

“Just like the architects went into the rundown parts of the cities in the US during the 1960s to remodel and revive, the landscape architects must go to China’s rural areas and do much the same thing,” he says. For that reason, he says: “I’m so lucky and so happy to be working for my last few years in China.”

SOURCE: Chinadaily – A mastermind of green design.

Envisioning a world of $200-a-barrel oil – Los Angeles Times

“Throughout our history, we have grown on the assumption that energy costs would be low,” said Michael Woo, a former Los Angeles city councilman and a current member of the city Planning Commission. “Now that those assumptions are shifting, it changes assumptions about housing, cars and how cities grow.”

Push prices up fast enough, he said, and “it would be the urban-planning equivalent of an earthquake.”

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times – Envisioning a world of $200-a-barrel oil

Build eco-towns in urban areas, not the countryside, say council chiefs – Telegraph

Eco-towns should be built in urban areas and not in the countryside to stop them becoming “dormitory towns” where people have to drive somewhere else to work, town hall chiefs say.

Eco-towns should be built in urban areas, council chiefs claim
Eco-towns ‘should be built in urban areas’

A new report from the Local Government Association also warned that plans to create 10 eco-towns across the country were “significantly flawed” and risked creating “eco-slums” without proper urban planning.

SOURCE: Telegraph.co.uk – Build eco-towns in urban areas, not the countryside, say council chiefs

‘A tidal wave of humanity’ – World Cities Summit – Singapore

Providing jobs and services for the 1,1-billion people expected to move to Asia’s cities over the next 20 years is a task of a magnitude “never before attempted by humanity,” Asian Development Board (ADB) President Haruhiko Kuroda warned on Wednesday.

Asian cities are growing by more than 100 000 people a day, he told the World Cities Summit in Singapore.

SOURCE: IOL: ‘A tidal wave of humanity’.

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