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.

Infrastructure to be top priority, says DPM – Malaysia

Although the country’s infrastructure is already top class, infrastructure development will continue to be a priority in the government’s agenda of nation building, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

“It is the Government’s responsibility to prepare the necessary infrastructure to be a catalyst for greater development, without which we cannot attract foreign investors and will see bottlenecks in our economic progress,” he said.

He also said that the Government could not plan infrastructure with expectations of getting high returns, as fees could not be charged for all projects.

From 1991 when Vision 2020 was first mooted until the end of last year, the Government had spent nearly RM100bil for infrastructure development, he said, adding that during the same period a total of 104,112km of roads and bridges had been successfully constructed nationwide.

Read more @ the Source: thestar.com.my – Infrastructure to be top priority, says DPM.

Time to stop building cities without souls – China Daily

At his first sight of Las Vegas, a Chinese student of community participation in urban development remarked, “I feel as if I am back in Beijing’s second ring road!”

Indeed, the shadow of the American casino capital looms large over Beijing and many other Chinese cities, which vie with one another in copying the model of Las Vegas to become a mixture of something of everything.

With a messy combination of bits from New York City, Paris, Italy, Egypt and others, Las Vegas could satisfy a fancy of the wonderland.

Yet the city in the wild desert is a nightmare for urban planners, as it has developed with little planning. Even though Las Vegas hosted the centennial convention of the American Planning Association (APA) in late April, many American planners dismiss it as a good example of urban development.

To their regret, however, Las Vegas becomes a role model for too many Chinese cities in their drive for urban development. Like Las Vegas, these cities with entirely different cultural and socioeconomic contexts are sprawling ever wider with ever more and taller high-rises, until they become jungles of cement.

Perhaps the decision-makers and designers of Chinese cities should come to such a consensus. They should learn from the culture and traditions of their own cities before they set out to borrow others’ experiences. If they fail to develop a taste for the treasures under their eyes, it is doubtful that they can pick out something valuable elsewhere.

Read more at the Source: China Daily – to stop building cities without souls by Xiong Lei

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