Paradise or purgatory: Urban sprawl in spotlight

A debate over city growth has emerged after a housing affordability survey released this week recommended freeing up more land for houses.

Demographia‘s fourth annual survey found New Zealand houses more unaffordable than those in the United States, Canada, Ireland, Britain and Australia.

Read more @ Paradise or purgatory: Urban sprawl in spotlight – NZ Herald

First green roof at Penn University nearing completion

After more than five months of clamorous work, the eco-roof atop English House in Kings Court/English House has been completed.

Well, almost.

According to Business Services, Penn’s first ‘green’ roof was finally completed during the winter recess.

Yet, there’s still time before students can walk through patio gardens and bask in eco-friendliness.

But when the bleak layer of sod on the roof of the building begins to bloom, residents will begin to reap the benefits.

First green roof at University nearing completion – News.

Hoku Solar Plan to Build Oahu’s Largest Solar Farm

Hoku Solar, Inc plan to build Kapolei Sustainable Energy Park which would be the largest photovoltaic (PV) facility on Oahu.

The Kapolei Sustainable Energy Park would be capable of generating approximately 1.5 megawatts of photovoltaic power. Over the life of the system, it would produce enough electricity to power approximately 6,700 homes for one year. This solar facility is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by eliminating 38,161 tons of carbon dioxide and saving 120,000 barrels of oil over 25 years. The solar facility will be located in the planned Kapolei Harborside industrial project on a 12-acre parcel owned by the Campbell Company next to the James Campbell Industrial Park.

Campbell Company and Hoku Solar Plan to Build Oahu’s Largest Solar Farm.

Dongtan Eco city shouldn’t be a marketing piece – Planners

Two countries will lead the world in eco-cities: China and Britain.” The words of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown lingered in the cold Shanghai winter air long after he had given tacit approval to the Dongtan ‘eco-city’, set to be constructed on the formerly preserved wetlands of Chongming Island, near Shanghai. Dongtan was initiated by Shanghai Industrial Investment Corp, which contracted British engineering firm Arup to work on the development.

The heavily hyped, and controversial, development is being marketed as the world’s first “self-sustaining eco city” – designed to house up to 90,000 people by 2010, with 90 per cent of all waste to be recovered, recycled or reused. Last November, it was recognised as one of the “most innovative and outstanding buildings in Asia” by the MIPIM Asia Awards in Hong Kong.

However, speculation persists about the yet-to-be-constructed Dongtan’s actual ecological credentials, and rumours have surfaced that its near-neighbour may be a Disneyland theme park (reported here).

China Business News and Business in China – BizChinaUpdate.

Landscape Institute competition set to regenerate Preston’s Winckley Square

A major project to regenerate Preston’s Winckley Square is now underway.

Preston City Council has teamed up with Preston Vision Board, the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), and the Landscape Institute to launch a scheme that will see the re-design of Winckley Square to make it a more attractive and better used area and encourage more people to use it as a link between Avenham Park and the city centre.

The first stage of the project involves finding a suitable consultant to draw up proposals for the regeneration scheme and the council has commissioned the Landscape Institute to run a design competition to search for an outstanding landscape architect.

Five landscape design practices have been chosen to take part, with the winner being announced in March.

Landscape Institute competition set to regenerate Preston’s Winckley Square.

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