Victorian Premier John Brumby freed-up land today for 90,000 new homes in the councils of Wyndham, Melton, Hume, Whittlesea and Casey. The land will be zoned residential.
The governments actions are as a result of research and calls from various social and government department research stating that this is a shortage of housing for low-income earners. The governments actions condradict its own Melbourne 2030 vision.
The release of land is merely a short term cure for low income earners as soon as they have moved into there new fringe houses they will become city residents who will experience high transport costs and will be time poor due to lack of efficient and fast public transport in fringe areas of Melbourne. These fringe-dwellers will also create a larger environmental impact due the large amount of resources required to supply basic infrastructure to these new inefficient housing estates.
The government would be better injecting a sufficient amount of funds and resources into reducing the planning approval process for high density developments and also fastrack more development zones for high density residential housing around inner city transport hubs such as Hawthorn, South Yarra, Collingwood, Clifton Hill and Footscray.
The government would also be wise to redevelop some existing low-income housing in the inner city to have a greater a density.
The governments actions show that is out of touch with the growing trends in the rest of the world to create higher denisty cities with efficient transportation which in turn reduce the environmental and carbon footprint of its residents.
China is studying how to move away from the country’s one-child-per-couple restriction, but any changes would come gradually and would not mean an elimination of family planning policies, a senior official said Thursday.
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Dot Earth: An End to One-Child Families in China?
The official, Zhao Baige, vice minister of the National Population and Family Planning Commission, told reporters at a news conference that government officials recognize that China must alter its current population-control policies.
“We want incrementally to have this change,” Ms. Zhao said, according to Reuters. “I cannot answer at what time or how, but this has become a big issue among decision makers.”
China to Reconsider One-Child Limit – New York Times.
A major road project started by the Government of Mongolia is be carried forward in six civil works packages to be funded by the Asian Development Bank and China.
Known as the Western Corridor development project, the road will span the 750km between the Chinese border at Yarant in the south of Mongolia’s western region, as far north as Ulaanbaishint at the Russian Federation border.
At an estimated cost of US$200 million, the road will become part of the Asian Highway Network, a 141,000 km road system traversing 32 Asian countries with links to European roadways.
Read more @ Icon Review – News Archive.
Concern over global warming has inspired many housing developers to use energy-saving as a selling point for new projects. Among 13 developers who received the 2007 energy-conserving housing awards from Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency is three-year-old Fine Home Housing Development Co Ltd, which adapts local knowledge to the design of its energy-saving homes.
The energy-saving concept starts with the location. Most projects are located near gardens or canals, says Fine Home managing director Sukit Triwanapong.
Bangkok Post : Business news.
Urban congestion: the problem is cars, not trucks
The congestion in Australia’s cities is mainly due to motorists in their cars, not truckies in their cabs, the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Anthony Albanese, told Parliament.
Read more @ Transport & Logistics News – Urban congestion: the problem is cars, not trucks.
Last year, the city undertook out major projects in transport infrastructure and water drainage, all of which will reduce traffic jams as well as contribute to the city’s socio-economic development.
To ease the burden caused by construction projects, the department is strictly fining investors. For example last year the department collected VND636 million (US$39,745) in fines from 225 violations in a water environment improvement project and VND157 million ($10,000) from the Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Canal project.
Read more @ Viet Nam News.
Last November, a southern Italian village of Torraca proclaimed itself as the world’s first “LED city.” The town installed 700 LED street lamps that are powered by photovoltaic panels, making it a self-sustainable system.
South Korean towns and regional governments are fast catching up. Along with many other towns, Bucheon city has replaced its old halogen street lamps on the city hall plaza with Fawoo’s LED bulbs. The new lamps have six times the life expectancy of halogen lamps, and consume about 28,000 won of electricity per year, compared to 85,000 won. Such a low maintenance cost, the firm says, is enough to offset the hefty price of 160,000 won per lamp in a few years, compared to 40,000 won of halogen lamps.
Read more @ The Korea Times Environmentalism Sheds Brighter Light on Low-Energy Lighting