Urban checkpoint – timesofmalta.com

“Contact with the natural environment can be an antidote to some of the unhealthy aspects of an urban environment.” This statement came out of a seminar on mental health organised by the Richmond Foundation.

Marking its 15th anniversary, while taking a leaf from this year’s theme for World Health Day, the foundation invited a psychiatrist and psychologist to speak on the effects of the environment on mental health.

In cities, mutual trust and the safety of neighbours, the glue that holds society together, can break down resulting in social isolation. The way urban areas are designed can sometimes contribute to this. The health effects of infra-noise (low-level noise) and vibration from building sites or machinery require more study.

Believing that cities should serve people and nature, visionary architects and activists in 1970s California created ‘Urban Ecology’. They used urban planning, ecology, and public participation to help design healthier cities together.

Read more @ the SOURCE: timesofmalta.com – Urban checkpoint – Anne Zammit.

Vision for Dudley Square seen anew by architects – The Boston Globe

Roxbury residents got a peek yesterday at several blueprints for a revitalized Dudley Square, from bold visions like erecting a gleaming new office tower to practical plans for easing congestion in its bus hub.

In the end, the designs with a more practical vision of what was possible for the 1.8-acre city-owned plot of land gained the favor of area residents who judged an architectural competition.

“This is just the beginning of thinking about how Dudley Square can improve,” said Kairos Shen, director of planning for the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

Read more @ the SOURCE: The Boston Globe – Vision for Dudley Square seen anew by architects .

Can the Middle East ever be green?

When you talk green in the Dubai, it’s can be assumed you mean golf courses. Conservation and ecotourism are not common parlance in the United Arab Emirates.

In four days at the Arabian Travel Market this week, I heard a slew of figures and superlatives to illustrate the UAE’s headlong goldrush to embrace tourism.

There’s the world’s tallest building still rising in Dubai, the biggest Guggenheim to open in Abu Dhabi and the world’s biggest stable of theme parks planned back in Dubai.
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But only very rarely did sustainability arise – unless it concerned oil. Dubai’s runs out in 2016, hence the stridency to diversify now and consider the ramifications later.

At a “Going Green” seminar, David can der Meulen of Arabian Traveller magazine pointed out that US hotel chains operating in the Middle East, like Fairmont, have inhouse policies to cover energy efficient lightbulbs, paper and water usage. None of the UAE hotel companies have, he said.

Read more @ the SOURCE: Times Online – Can the Middle East ever be green?

Destroying a neighborhood to save a city – The Boston Globe

FIFTY YEARS ago this spring the roar of heavy machinery echoed down the narrow streets of Boston’s old West End as bulldozers and cranes with wrecking balls began executing a desperate plan to revitalize the city by razing one of its oldest neighborhoods.
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Thousands of poor and elderly residents were evicted, many from the only home they had ever known. Veiled promises of relocation to comparable housing never materialized, and the West Enders were scattered throughout the metropolitan area. For many, their standard of living was severely reduced and they never recovered.

Destroying a neighborhood to save a city – The Boston Globe.

Winners of 2010 Design Competition to Be Announced

The City of Cape Town will on Thursday announce the winners of its 2010 Green Goal Mouille Point Student Landscape Design Competition.

As a one of the host cities of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the city will announce the winners of the competition on Thursday at the Cape Town Hotel.

This is the first ever student competition in Cape Town, linked to the Green Goal programme of the forthcoming world cup.

Landscape design and architectural students from both the University of Cape Town (UCT) and Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) were invited to submit entries on how the Mouille Point promenade area could be suitably transformed prior to the world cup event.

Source: allAfrica.com: South Africa: Winners of 2010 Design Competition to Be Announced (Page 1 of 1).

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