Jakarta, Manila, Vientiane and Bangkok have agreed to move towards becoming green cities and join forces to fight climate change.
Representatives from the four cities have also adopted the draft founding declaration of the “Cool Asean, Green Capitals Initiative” aimed at improving the urban landscape of Southeast Asia’s major cities to cope with the impact of climate change.
As Asian countries enjoy economic growth, many face problems that come with too-rapid urbanisation. City dwellers in many Asian countries are increasingly suffering from deteriorating environment conditions.
Many big Asian cities, including Bangkok, have seen their populations grow so fast that social services and infrastructure cannot cope. High density of population can also lead to the quick spread of communicable diseases such as swine flu. Besides this, rapidly growing cities tend to suffer the twin problems of an upsurge in crime and poverty in slum areas.
Clutter-free and aesthetic walking spaces are an important aspect of urban design. By redesigning the promenade along the Marina beach front, the Corporation of Chennai has taken a step in the right direction. Two years since it went on stream, the project is nearing completion. “Everything has been done. It is time for Nature to take over and make the lawns verdant,” says K. Raghuraman, the landscape architect who has given the promenade its unique contours and character (K. Raghuraman Landscape Architects has been engaged in the design of 10 other beach promenades around the coasts of South India).
Australia’s major new arts, theatre and ‘culture palaces’ from Canberra to Melbourne to New York, and the architects who designed them, are among major winners at this year’s top architecture awards.
The Australian Institute of Architects’ National Architecture Awards are the country’s most prestigious annual architecture prizes. The 2009 awards were presented to the nation’s most inspiring recent architectural projects and architects, at a special ceremony tonight (Thursday 29 October) in Melbourne. A total 32 awards and commendations across 12 categories were awarded to projects in Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, the ACT, NSW, Western Australia, South Australia, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.
Topping the list of winners, is the recipient of Australia’s top annual national architecture award – the 2009 Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Architecture, awarded this year to the National Portrait Gallery in the ACT by Sydney-based practice Johnson Pilton Walker (JPW). In a double win for the firm, the gallery also received a National Architecture Award for Interior Architecture. The gallery is the most recent in a long list of major arts facilities designed by JPW, including the New Asian Galleries at the AGNSW and the Museum of Sydney, and is their first Sir Zelman Cowen Award. For images of the other award winners and more go to The Age: Gallery gets gong, but could have been ‘grander’
Yesterday the Shanghai Daily reported that planners for Shanghai’s Minhang district plan to add 6,500 bikes over the next 5 years due to the popularity of the existing 3,500 free bike service. Since the service started 10,000 residents have applied for the service.
The article also quoted Wu Zhongquan, a Minhang construction commission official as saying
the free-bike program is meant to solve the problem of the final trip home after alighting from public transport.
Traffic planners call this stage “the very last 3 kilometers” from homes or schools to traffic hubs.