Bigger cities means more poverty says UN

Urbanisation in the Asia-Pacific region has driven up poverty, says the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (Escap).

The agency’s latest yearbook showed that with an increase in urbanisation and growth, urban poverty had also worsened.

This year represented a turning point in human geography. For the first time in history, more people now live in cities than in rural areas.

Although the Asia-Pacific region, along with Africa, was still one of the least urbanised regions of the world, its urban population had grown at the fastest pace in the last 15 years, said the yearbook, which describes economic, social and environmental trends in Asia and the Pacific.

Source: Bangkok Post : General news.

The triumph of ugliness – National – smh.com.au

Are Australians visually illiterate? That’s the question that architects, designers and their critics have been pondering since the first convict staggered ashore, whacked up a bark humpy on the edge of Sydney Harbour, hung an emoh ruo sign on the front door and stuck a gnome in the garden.

The Pritzker Prize-winning architect Glenn Murcutt is in no doubt.

Read more @ The triumph of ugliness – smh.com.au.

Source: Syndey MOrning Herald

ESCAP TO LAUNCH KEY ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL SURVEY ON ASIA-PACIFIC REGION

United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) addresses in the latest issue of its flagship publication, the Economic and Social Survey for Asia and the Pacific 2008.

The Survey will be launched on Thursday, 27 March, 2008, at 0500 GMT, in more than 20 capitals in the region, and in New York and Geneva.

This year’s Survey, entitled “Sustaining Growth and Sharing Prosperity,” says 218 million – a third of the region’s poor, largely living in rural areas – could be lifted out of poverty by raising agricultural productivity if governments address decades of policy neglect and failure in the agricultural sector. The Survey also calls for a comprehensive liberalization of global trade in agriculture, as this would take a further 48 million people out of poverty in the region.

Source: ESCAP Press Release: ESCAP TO LAUNCH KEY ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL SURVEY ON ASIA-PACIFIC REGION.

Kleihues + Kleihues win Wertheim Design competition at Leipziger Platz in Berlin

The jury unanimously declares the firm Kleihues + Kleihues to be the winner of the urban design competition. In addition to this evaluation by the jury, the following recommendation is made as regards the further work on the design:

The objective is to guarantee that, to the greatest degree possible, people will enjoy spending time in the area demarcated by the frontage of the Bundesrat building, Vossstrasse and Leipziger Strasse, and this also during bad weather. This means that the task of the institutions involved in further planning the site consists of realizing these planning objectives to the greatest degree possible. In this context, it is to be investigated whether covering the area with a filigree glass roof, or by other means, will be suitable for achieving these planning objectives without destroying the public nature of the road area.

In addition, it is to be ensured that along this axis, the set-off distances between the residential towers is increased significantly and that the entrances to the apartment buildings in the publicly accessible area are given a premium design to represent their top-quality address.

The jury advises the initiator of this competition to follow up on this recommendation by the jury and award a contract to Kleihues + Kleihues to work on a qualified master plan.

Source: ORCO Germany – Press Release

America’s cleanest cities

Want to live where the air is sweet, the water is pure and the streets are clean? Try the country. But what if you don’t like the sticks? Then try Florida.

Source Financial Post – America’s cleanest cities.

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