Public hold key to $25m city facelift – NZ Herald

Aucklanders have three weeks to comment on a $25 million plan to revitalise Aotea Square and turn it into the city’s premier civic open space, able to host events for 20,000 people.

Urban design professionals are divided over the draft plans for the square, which opened in 1979 and has been on the drawing board for a makeover since 2000.

SOURCE: NZ Herald – Public hold key to $25m city facelift (+photos) – 10 Jul 2008 –

State-of-the-art sustainable neighborhood- Columbian.com

A former industrial site on prime waterfront real estate in the city’s core sheds its working-class roots for a future as an urban neighborhood reconnecting people to the water.

Sound familiar? Except this isn’t Vancouver’s Columbia River waterfront, where developers envision a dense cluster of apartments, condos, offices, retail, restaurants and parks.

It’s in Victoria, B.C., and it’s a glimpse of what might be possible here. Called Dockside Green, this self-contained neighborhood is being built on 15 acres on the city’s Inner Harbor, and is hailed as one of the most environmentally advanced projects of its kind.

They intend to incorporate green principles in the build-out of the 32-acre site along the Columbia River that they call Columbia Waterfront. Gramor and the city of Vancouver have hired PWL Partnership, a landscape architect firm involved in Dockside Green, to work on the 10 acres of parks planned for the Boise site.

SOURCE: Columbian.com – State-of-the-art sustainable neighborhood

Design expert looks to continent to put risk back into playtime – Yorkshire Evening Post

FASHION guru turned urban design expert Wayne Hemingway is one of the most outspoken critics of British playgrounds.
He wants UK councils to follow the lead of other European countries like Germany and Denmark, which have a more imaginative approach to play and refuse to sacrifice risk and fun because of health and safety regulations.

Yorkshire Evening Post – Design expert looks to continent to put risk back into playtime –

Vibrant urban villages? Plans don’t fit reality

Stitched together by developers from fields and gravel pits, Apple Valley has worked for years to build the kind of downtown where residents can leave home in the morning and walk to the bus, their jobs or local stores.

New restaurants and a hotel, townhouses and a park with water fountains where kids can play have already sprung up in the Central Village, but right next door, there are still empty fields.

The housing market slump caused a slowdown in development that forced city leaders to plead earlier this summer to hang onto public funding that is key to their vision: a $2.3 million Livable Communities grant from the Metropolitan Council to build underground parking below an as-yet-unbuilt complex of housing and businesses on Galaxie Avenue.

SOURCE: Star Tribune – Vibrant urban villages? Plans don’t fit reality.

Eco-towns should be near urban sprawl, say planning chief – Birmingham Post

The Government should drop proposals for eco-towns in rural locations and concentrate instead on developing sustainable communities in urban areas, according to the chairman of Birmingham’s planning committee.

Councillor Peter Douglas Osborn said the council would be pushing ahead with its own plans to build five eco-towns within the Birmingham city boundary.

He said locations favoured by the Government for eco-towns including Long Marston, near Stratford-upon-Avon, and Curborough, near Lichfield, Staffordshire, made “no sense” because they were isolated from transport links and nowhere near urban centres.

Birmingham PostEco-towns should be near urban sprawl, say planning chief

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