Vietnam – Coastal tourism taking off

In late 2007, the Vietnam Import-Export and Construction Corporation (Vinaconex) kicked started its project at the Cai Gia – Cat Ba – Hai Phong Tourism and Urban Area by developing the infrastructure for Tung Thu artificial beach.

Tran Ngoc Quang, Director of the Management Board, said the project covers an area of 171 ha within Ha Long Bay. It is estimated to cost $600mil and will take 8-10 years to be completed.

Speaking on Vinaconex’s ambitious plan, Mr. Quang said this will become the new tourism center in the North and give Cat Ba Island both regional and global recognition and fame.

Read more @ VietNamNet – Coastal tourism taking off.

Cities join WWF to cut carbon use

Shanghai and Baoding have become the first cities to take part in a new WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) initiative to research less carbon-intensive paths to urban development in China, the international environmental organization said.

The Low Carbon City Initiative will initially focus on energy efficiency in buildings, renewable sources of energy and the manufacturing of energy-efficient products.

“Cities are an important part of China’s economic development, but many face problems such as low energy efficiency and degraded environmental quality,” Li Lin, head of conservation strategies at WWF-China, said.

Read more @ Chinadaily.com – Cities join WWF to cut carbon use by Sun Xiaohua (China Daily)

More green, less glitz will improve city life

We need more green, not glitz in the city. We need the soothing green, the trees and shade, the parks where we can amble for a bit of respite from the concrete jungle.

Lack of natural landscape for public recreation is a major weakness in our striving international metropolis. Trees take time and they don’t yield a profit, like high rises on valuable real estate. All the same, greenery is good city planning.

Dazzling neon lights, skyscrapers, hustle and bustle are all captivating, but without greenery one gets exhausted in the concrete jungle and longs for fresh air, space and peace.

Shanghai’s public green space per capita is now 12 square meters, nearly double the figure 20 years ago, according to 2007 statistics by the Shanghai Forestry Bureau.

Read more of the 3 page Special @ Shanghai Daily – More green, less glitz will improve city life

Builders of city parks

PARKS are the refreshing green patches in a concrete, gray dominated urban environment.

They provide the city’s denizens with fresh air to breathe. Unfortunately, there are not too many of them here in Cebu City.

Open spaces, like parks and plazas, compliment architecture. City parks afford its dwellers space, not just for a momentary dialogue with nature but also a spot where they can appreciate the beautiful buildings and vistas around.

This feature reveals the creative takes by Cebuano architects on two of the city’s parks (this week, we talk abuot Fuente Osmeña rotunda). With their knowledge, training and experience in site development and planning of buildings, they bring their ideas for the improvement of these spaces in pen and ink.

Sun.Star Cebu – Builders of city parks 

Trend: Creativity Made in China – MAD Architects

Over the last two decades China has become known as the factory of the world; “Made in China” has often come to symbolize cheapness, sub-standard quality and lack of originality. More recently however, thanks to a booming economy, political deregulation and social development, China has witnessed the gradual evolution of a free-thinking generation of creative individuals who have broken free from the system to express themselves in profound and innovative ways.

As part of this movement, growing numbers of Chinese architects, emboldened by the general fervor currently gripping China’s artistic community, are designing buildings which are slowly but surely imprinting a new identity on the Chinese built landscape.

At the forefront of this architectural revolution have been Ma Yansong, a young US-educated Chinese architect, and his Beijing-based architectural agency MAD, founded in 2002. MAD took the international architectural scene by storm in 2006, as the first Chinese studio ever to win an design competition outside China. The “Absolute Tower” in Toronto, Canada, is scheduled for completion in 2009.

Read more @ Trend: Creativity Made in China – MAD Architects | CScout TrendBlog.

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