The Father of LEED Takes on China and India

Robert Watson is often hailed as the father of LEED, the nationally recognized gold standard for green buildings. As a founding member of the U.S. Green Building Council in the early 1990s, Watson, formerly senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council, helped devise the now-popular rating system. But Watson has bigger aspirations yet: He is determined to turn LEED into a worldwide benchmark.

These days the New Yorker is busy bringing his green-building experience to China and India with his recently-founded enterprise, EcoTech International, a consultancy that provides green technology and project development expertise. He believes that market push, combined with government mandates, will spur sustainable development. Violet Law of Plenty magazine caught up with Watson in Hong Kong during his recent business trip to China.

Read more @ Greener Buildings | News & Columns | The Father of LEED Takes on China and India.

Oases in the sky are a growing trend in our concrete jungles

Scientists and property developers say green roofs on commercial buildings are good for the environment and good for the soul.

“Green roofs reduce energy through insulation, reduce stormwater run off and benefit individuals and communities,” says Green Roofs Australia president Geoff Wilson. “But Australia is behind the rest of the world. We have to act soon. Climate change is a fact.”

read more @ theage.com.au – Oases in the sky are a growing trend in our concrete jungles | .

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

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