Ecotowns: for and against – Times Online

The Times has published an insightful article about the ‘eco-towns’ proposed by the UK Government

Ten new clean, green ‘eco-towns’ will be built by 2020. And pigs might fly, say critics. They argue that the government is bulldozing through a programme that will create the slum estates of the future

This is how it will be. Across the fair face of Albion, to the ringing of bells and the soft murmur of doves, appears a leafy flush of eco-towns. They are sun-dappled utopias, urban dreamworlds in which no human need is unfulfilled. Wildlife romps through bird-loud glades. People work at home or in business parks to which they can stroll or cycle. Public transport is swift, efficient and free, so cars are not needed. Community sports hubs, leisure and cultural facilities are so abundant that nobody wants to leave the town anyway. Children walk safely to schools in which the most popular subject is environmentalism. There are superstores for convenience, and farmers’ markets for friends of the planet. Allotments, too, for those who want to grow their own. Energy is renewable, insulation total and the carbon footprint zero.

Read more @ the SOURCE: Times Online – Ecotowns: for and against – .

New green materials testing lab for Dubai – Xpress

Dubai Municipality has established a new laboratory for testing green materials. The new initiative will be used for assessing the characteristics of these materials as per the international approved standard specifications, said Eng. Hawa Abdullah Bastaki, Director of Dubai Central Laboratory Department.

She said the initiative is also in line with the Dubai Government’s directives on facing the current environmental challenges aimed at transforming Dubai to a hygienic and sustainable city adhering to all environment friendly standards, which will make it capable of providing safe and secure life for its citizens.

Read more at the SOURCE: Xpress: News – New green materials testing lab for Dubai.

Centre for Cities – New Centre for Cities Report: Big UK lessons for US cities

A new report from the Centre for Cities and Washington’s Brookings Institution has found that the USA has a lot to learn from Britain’s urban renaissance. But while British politicians and officials have always been keen to go on the hunt for policy ideas from the States, US politicians don’t always follow suit. US mayors – and the next US administration – should look more closely at British policy ideas, to help American cities compete in the future.

Smarter, Stronger Cities points to the following examples of UK innovations which could be exported Stateside:

Read more @ the SOURCE: Centre for Cities – New Centre for Cities Report: Big UK lessons for US cities.

Green design for buildings to become mandatory – The Jakarta Post

The Jakarta administration is taking a step toward creating more energy-efficient buildings by drafting green regulations for future and existing structures.

The regulations are being drafted by the Jakarta Property Management and Control Agency and will form the legal grounding for the green designs, agency head Hari Sasongko said Wednesday.

“Many cities in the world have applied the green building concept. We’re late in doing so and it’s time for us to follow suit as we face limited energy resources and fuel price increases,” he told The Jakarta Post at City Hall during a seminar on green buildings.

SOURCE: The Jakarta Post – Green design for buildings to become mandatory.

Creating a walkable environment is one solution – The Tennessean

Lack of transportation choices, long commutes and cheap electricity from coal-fired power plants have contributed to Tennessee’s four major cities being ranked in the Top 25 worst emitters of carbon dioxide.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, one-third of U.S. CO2 emissions come from transportation uses. Because most people live far away from their work in a city where adequate transportation alternatives are not entirely in place, auto dependency is naturally contributing to Nashville’s CO2 issue.
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What can be done about this? It is a complex issue, but the solution may be surprisingly simple.

The answer lies in better usage of land to create walkable, self-contained, sustainable environments.

Read more @ the SOURCE: The Tennessean – Creating a walkable environment is one solution .

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