Ecotowns: for and against – Times Online

The Times has published an insightful article about the ‘eco-towns’ proposed by the UK Government

Ten new clean, green ‘eco-towns’ will be built by 2020. And pigs might fly, say critics. They argue that the government is bulldozing through a programme that will create the slum estates of the future

This is how it will be. Across the fair face of Albion, to the ringing of bells and the soft murmur of doves, appears a leafy flush of eco-towns. They are sun-dappled utopias, urban dreamworlds in which no human need is unfulfilled. Wildlife romps through bird-loud glades. People work at home or in business parks to which they can stroll or cycle. Public transport is swift, efficient and free, so cars are not needed. Community sports hubs, leisure and cultural facilities are so abundant that nobody wants to leave the town anyway. Children walk safely to schools in which the most popular subject is environmentalism. There are superstores for convenience, and farmers’ markets for friends of the planet. Allotments, too, for those who want to grow their own. Energy is renewable, insulation total and the carbon footprint zero.

Read more @ the SOURCE: Times Online – Ecotowns: for and against – .

Arup creates a gateway to Zaragoza Expo 2008

Two Arup buildings opened on June 13 forming central features for the Expo 2008 in Zaragoza, Spain. The Bridge Pavilion, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects and Arup is a pedestrian bridge and also serves as the main entrance to the Expo site. The bridge also provides one of the event’s main exhibition spaces.

Before reaching the Bridge Pavilion visitors to Zaragoza Expo 2008 will encounter another Arup collaboration, the Digital Water Pavilion. Created by the architect Carlo Ratti, the pavilion provides breathtaking views over the Expo site.

For more information refer to ARUP News

SOURCE: ARUP

Landscape architecture steals the show at Future Vision 08 awards

For the second year running, landscape architecture has stolen the show, with a student from Kingston University securing the top prize at Future Vision 08 – the national awards scheme for young people with bright ideas for improving places.

Regine Elmenthaler came up with an idea to inject life into the Royal Docks in East London. Her vision for the future – Revive the Docks – brings the community together by creating a series of floating docks that extend the existing landscape to make room for markets, gardens, homes, green space and even a beach.

SOURCE: Landscape Institute – Landscape architecture steals the show at Future Vision 08 awards.

Centre for Cities – New Centre for Cities Report: Big UK lessons for US cities

A new report from the Centre for Cities and Washington’s Brookings Institution has found that the USA has a lot to learn from Britain’s urban renaissance. But while British politicians and officials have always been keen to go on the hunt for policy ideas from the States, US politicians don’t always follow suit. US mayors – and the next US administration – should look more closely at British policy ideas, to help American cities compete in the future.

Smarter, Stronger Cities points to the following examples of UK innovations which could be exported Stateside:

Read more @ the SOURCE: Centre for Cities – New Centre for Cities Report: Big UK lessons for US cities.

Elephant House at Copenhagen Zoo opened

The new Elephant House at Copenhagen Zoo opened today following an official ceremony attended by His Royal Highness the Prince Consort of Denmark and his grandson, Prince Christian.

This new Elephant House provides these magnificent animals with a stimulating environment, including easily accessible spaces for the public to enjoy them, and restores the visual relationship between the zoo and the park.

The project has been driven by research into the behavioural patterns of elephants. The tendency for bull elephants in the wild to roam away from the main herd prompted a plan organised around two separate enclosures. Covered with lightweight, glazed domes to provide natural light. The spaces maintain a strong visual connection with the sky and changing patterns of daylight and the distinctive ‘fritting’ on the glazing simulates a canopy of trees. The glazed domes have opening windows to allow natural ventilation and there is a heat recovery system – further enhancing the environmental efficiency of the scheme.

SOURCE: Foster + Partners.

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