4 rivers project facing opposition from green groups

South Korea has recently had a ground breaking for a large scale remaking of the four major rivers known as the Han, Nakdong, Yeongsan and Geum. The project includes dredging of the rivers and construction of dikes, reservoirs and hydro-dams whilst creating parks, bikeways, and water recreation areas. This is a major undertaking by South Korea and its President Lee Myung-bak, Lee has a successful track record with rehabilitating rivers as it was during his term as Mayor of Seoul that the successful rehabilitation of 5.8km Cheonggyecheon River occurred.

The Four Rivers Project is expected to cost $19.2 billion USD and is expected to increase the water quality and flood control of the rivers which are somewhat polluted. 400 green groups have filed suit against the project to halt its progress based on environmental grounds including disruption to the ecosystem. The political opposition have joined with the green groups in opposing the project, however the government has countered that thorough environmental studies show minimal distrubance will occur and project will bring great economic benefits to the region.

SOURCES: The Chosun Ilbo – 4-Rivers Project Passes Nat’l Assembly Committee
Arirang – Groundbreaking Ceremony for 4 River Restoration Project Held
New York Times – River Project Fuels Competing Claims of Green

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The Chosun Ilbo – Historic Village to Be Spared in 4-Rivers Project
The Chosun Ilbo – Compensation under 4-Rivers Project to Start Next Month

Landscape architects help Australians keep an outdoor lifestyle

Southbank, Brisbane

Landscape architects will be among the leaders in the battle to keep Queenslanders cool – and outside – as the world deals with climate change, according to QUT’s Professor Gini Lee.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the first graduates in landscape architecture from Queensland University of Technology and Professor Lee is looking forward to the positive impact her students will have on the world over the next 40 years.

There are only seven university programs in landscape architecture in Australia and QUT’s Brisbane-based program is focused on the region’s subtropical climate.

“We want to encourage a more positive attitude to how people deal with climate change issues in Queensland, whether they are students, residents or planners,” she said.

“We have a great opportunity to improve the public urban spaces in south-east Queensland and look at how we live and exist in this climate.

“Everyone at the moment is finding it difficult in the heat. When it comes to public spaces, we do need shade and shelter and there’s still work to be done to provide adequate levels of this in all areas.”

Professor Lee cited Brisbane’s South Bank as an example of a public space that successfully provided various shelter options while still embracing an outdoor lifestyle.

“The challenge for landscape architects is to provide diverse and remarkable spaces that meet the needs of the wide group of people who come together in public areas,” she said.

“It will be interesting to see how development along other areas of the Brisbane River progresses – the city needs good landscape architecture that is an interface of infrastructure, design, art, ecology, practicality, and sustainability.”

Southbank, Brisbane

[SOURCE: Queensland University of Technology]

[IMAGES SOURCE: brisbaneishome.com]

‘Karachi needs to be connected to its hinterland’

The News reports

All mega cities were deeply connected with their hinterland and until we see Karachi in relation to its hinterland, we won’t be able to solve many of its problems, said Chairman, Department of Architecture and Planning, NED University of Engineering and Technology, Dr Noman Ahmed.

Read Dr Ahmed’s full presentation at the [SOURCE: The News - ‘Karachi needs to be connected to its hinterland’.]

Urban greening projects get green light

China Daily

Three remaining greening projects for three areas in Hong Kong Island will begin soon and, given expectations, be completed in the middle of 2011. Together with other ongoing and completed projects, these mark the completion of the Greening Master Plan Initiative for urban areas.

The three areas to be started now, in addition to another four in Kowloon that commenced in late August and early September this year belong to the third phase of the plan, said Kam Chak-wing, deputy head of the Civil Engineering Office.

Read more at the SOURCE: China Daily – Urban greening projects get green light

Businesses asked to sign up to Jakarta Charter

During the Convention for Biological Diversity being held in Jakarta from November 30 to December 2, representatives from about 200 companies worldwide in mining, fisheries, construction, forestry, tourism and cosmetics business released a draft charter called the Jakarta Charter which will requires companies to integrate biodiversity into their business strategies to reduce poverty and increase sustainable development.

Jakarta Post cited Ahmed Djoghlaf, executive secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) as saying

“The Jakarta Charter will be open for signatures to all companies in the world that adhere to its principle,”…..
He said the Jakarta Charter on Business and Biodiversity would be submitted for adoption at the convention’s meeting in Japan in Oct 2010.

Executive director of the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity, Rodrigo Fuentes, told reporters that biodiversity loss was a forgotten crisis in the region that received little attention in the media.

read more at the SOURCE: Jakarta Post

Also read more at the Convention for Biological Diversity

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