NEW BOOK – The Concrete Dragon: China’s Urban Revolution

The Concrete Dragon: China’s Urban Revolution and What it Means for the World, by Visiting Professor Dr. Thomas Campanella of the GSD Department of Urban Planning and Design, was recently publishedby Princeton University Press.

The book surveys aspects of rapid urbanization in China during the post-Mao era, exploring the driving forces behind the great Chinese building boom. Concrete Dragon also traces the historical precedents and global flows of ideas and information that are fusing to create a bold new Chinese cityscape. Historian Jonathan Spence has called The Concrete Dragon “a fascinating and timely book that sets the scene for any further discussion of China’s explosive urban growth across the last twenty years.” British urbanist Sir Peter Hall writes, “Anyone interested in contemporary cities, anyone interested in contemporary China, has to read it.”

Thomas J. Campanella is associate professor of urban planning and design at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has also taught at MIT and Nanjing University in China, and was a Fulbright fellow at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His previous books include Cities from the Sky (2001) and Republic of Shade (2003), winner of the Spiro Kostof Award from the Society of Architectural Historians.

SOURCE: Harvard Graduate School of Design

Urban poor benefit from Las Piñas housing project

N LAS PIÑAS CITY, VACANT LOTS RANGING in size from a few hundred square meters to several hectares are slowly being turned into productive parcels of land where the poor are taught to become self-sufficient.

Since 1995, the city government, with the help of Habitat for Humanity, Gawad Kalinga and other nongovernment and government organizations, has been building houses for urban poor families.

The houses, however, do not come free. At the very least, owners must pay P500 a month to the city government for 25 years for the right to call the houses their homes.

Read more@ the
SOURCE: INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for
Filipinos –
Urban poor benefit from Las Piñas housing project

Premier leads delegation of green firms to Asia

Premier Gordon Campbell will board a plane bound for South Korea this morning, leading an Asian trade mission comprising British Columbia’s largest-ever delegation of green businesses.

The group of about 30 clean technology and green design companies will be in Seoul and Suwon in South Korea until Wednesday, and then in Beijing until next Saturday.

“Virtually every Asian economy is looking for opportunities to find clean technology and green design,” Campbell said in an interview Friday.

“We have literally dozens and dozens of companies coming to say, ‘Here’s what we have to offer.'”

Campbell said while in Korea he plans to open B.C.’s first trade and investment office in Seoul and to meet Korean Prime Minister Han Seung-Soo.

“One of the things we’re trying to do is diversify our markets so we don’t have the kind of dependency we’ve had on American trade,” said Campbell.

SOURCE: Vancouver Sun – Premier leads delegation of green firms to Asia.

Cityscape China 2008 featuring world renowned real estate projects

Shanghai and Singapore (ANTARA News/PRNewswire-AsiaNet) – Aside from featuring world-wide real estate developers from more than 15 countries, Cityscape China 2008 — the renowned international real estate investment and development event — will showcase numerous high profile projects including those of US-based MGM Mirage (NYSE: MGM), UAE’s ETA Star Property, Meydan LLC, and Dubai’s Fortune Group. Organised by the Institute for International Research (IIR), Cityscape China 2008 will be held at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre in Pudong, China from 25 to 27 June 2008.

Read more @ the SOURCE: ANTARA : Cityscape China 2008 featuring world renowned real estate projects.

Shrinking public spaces in cities

MANY INDIAN cities do not have public spaces worth their names. Most of the open grounds in urban areas have been converted into stadiums, corporate blocks etc. Space should be such where citizens can gather for conviviality without being bothered by honking of horns.

It is a distressing reality of urban India that open public spaces are being converted into enclosed stadiums, sporting arena or shopping plazas. Earlier, these places were available as neighborhood grounds in till few years ago but have shrunk at an alarming speed.

While in developed countries these spaces are converted into urban settlements for citizenry, the haphazard urban growth in our country has put so much pressure on land that not a small piece of land seems left for any other purpose than commercial or exclusive uses.

Read more @ the SOURCE: merinews.com – Shrinking public spaces in cities.

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