Good Design is Good Business – May 23 2008

BusinessWeek and Architectural Record will honor building and planning projects that are reshaping modern China at the second biannual “Good Design Is Good Business” China Awards in Shanghai on May 23, 2008. A jury of editors has selected 13 projects, as well as this year’s “Best Client,” innovative real-estate developer China Vanke Co., Ltd., from more than 100 entries from mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, based on their use of design to achieve strategic business and civic objectives.

“This year’s winning projects reflect the growing sophistication of architecture and construction in China,” said Robert Ivy, FAIA, vice president and editorial director for McGraw-Hill Construction and editor in chief of Architectural Record, “and this year’s business winners demonstrate that good design is changing the face of China in complex larger projects and individual buildings.”

“The degree to which design projects make sense from both a functional and aesthetic perspective dictates their success,” said David Rocks, international senior editor of BusinessWeek. “These architects and clients have developed innovative venues with measureable results, spaces that yield benefits beyond being useful, but that positively affect the businesses, organizations and visitors on a daily basis.”

Winners include the architects and clients of projects that range from major new additions to a city’s urban fabric (Shanghai South Station and Beijing Finance Street), to important cultural facilities (Liangzhu Culture Museum, Dafen Art Museum, Suzhou Museum, and the Sino-French Center at Tongji University).

Source: McGraw Hill Construction

IT to play bigger role in urban planning

Information technologies will play a more significant role in the country’s property industry, speakers at a real estate summit said.

During the Viet Nam Connected: Real Estate Summit 2008 organised by Cisco in HCM City last week, speakers said challenges facing urban planners – how to house a growing urban population in a safe and efficient manner – could be helped by using IT.

“The world’s built environment supports six billion people. Research shows that we currently possess only about 25 per cent of the real estate that is functional to support the world’s population by 2030,” said James Chia, general director of Cisco Viet Nam.

Source: Viet Nam News.

Melbourne 2030 – no longer a true vision

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 to Reconsider One-Child Limit – New York Times

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.

Mongolia to build landscape sensitive highway

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.

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