The dark side of this surreality is that the places far from these hallowed urban cores are experiencing unprecedented decline and, according to some experts, threaten to become tomorrow’s slums.
We’re not talking about mean inner city streets getting meaner, we’re talking about the pristine, newly built developments of four-bedroom, three-bath dream homes produced in the last housing boom becoming ghettos for the poor and the disenfranchised.
Slumburbia? After decades of middle class flight from the cities in search of safe neighborhoods and good schools — a flight that continues today even from gentrified cities like San Francisco — it’s hard to conjure the image of a truly derelict suburbia. Will all those manicured lawns sprout weeds and broken bottles like a Baltimore back alley? Will drug dealers take over the local cul-de-sac? Will squatters set up camp in the neighbor’s McMansion?
Source: SFgate.com – Is Suburbia Turning Into Slumburbia?.
Urban planning a factor in rising obesity rates, says new report
By Isabela C. Varela, ExpressNews Staff
Kim Raine, director of the University of Alberta’s Centre for Health Promotion Studies
March 13, 2008 – Edmonton – If you and your family are fighting the battle of the bulge, look around you: your environment may be partly to blame. Research led by the University of Alberta and funded by the Canadian Institute for Health Information confirms there are links between our urban surroundings and how likely we are to struggle with overweight or obesity
Source: ExpressNews – University of Alberta – Urban planning a factor in rising obesity rates, says new report –
Imagine picking blueberries on your roof, collecting rain and runoff water from your property and using it to flush toilets, heating and cooling your building using heat trapped beneath the Earth’s surface and having an electricity bill less than a quarter of the amount you usually pay. These are all features of a LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, building.
The proposed new Living with Lakes Centre on the shores of Ramsey Lake will be the first LEED building in Greater Sudbury and one of only five LEED buildings in the world to have a platinum certification, the highest rating attainable. The recently announced $4.5 million donation by Vale Inco will help to make this dream a reality.
Read more @ The Sudbury Star – Ontario, CA.
The first laneway house in Toronto. The first sculptural gateway to a Toronto ravine. The work of Jeff Stinson and Adrian DiCastri, two architects who defined architecture in very different ways, stands as a testament to their imagination, their urban grit and their tenacity. Both men recently died of cancer, surrounded by their respective families, on the very same day. Yet their architecture – their belief in the making of a triumphant city – lives on.
Read more @ globeandmail.com: Hard architecture and urban grit will be missed.
The first building in a new Stanford University science and engineering quadrangle will open Tuesday, complete with a long list of features intended to minimize energy use and maximize interaction among scholars. The 166,000-square-foot structure, which will house environmental-science researchers, was designed to the university’s own Stanford Performance Criteria for High Performance Buildings. It is being referred to as “LEED platinum-equivalent.”
Buildings & Grounds: New Stanford Environmental-Science Building Uses Its Own Standards, Not LEED’s – Chronicle.com.
A New Education And Research Facility For Humber College Performs As A Living Laboratory Of Sustainable Building, Fostering Environmental Stewardship And The Creation Of A Greener City.
canadianarchitect.com – Canadian Architect – 2/28/2008.
It’s time to shake up and rearrange Greater Toronto.
At Queen’s Park, the City of Toronto hardly exists. It’s being absorbed into the “Greater Golden Horseshoe,” an urban mass that sprawls from Brighton up through Orillia and down through the Niagara Peninsula.
Read more @ TheStar.com – No way to run a modern city.