Vietnam – Coastal tourism taking off

In late 2007, the Vietnam Import-Export and Construction Corporation (Vinaconex) kicked started its project at the Cai Gia – Cat Ba – Hai Phong Tourism and Urban Area by developing the infrastructure for Tung Thu artificial beach.

Tran Ngoc Quang, Director of the Management Board, said the project covers an area of 171 ha within Ha Long Bay. It is estimated to cost $600mil and will take 8-10 years to be completed.

Speaking on Vinaconex’s ambitious plan, Mr. Quang said this will become the new tourism center in the North and give Cat Ba Island both regional and global recognition and fame.

Read more @ VietNamNet – Coastal tourism taking off.

Hands off Greenbelt, urban planner says

Ottawa needs to redevelop to improve the lives of city residents but growth should not be in the Greenbelt, says Larry Beasley, one of Canada’s top urban planners and a senior adviser to the National Capital Commission.

The chairman of the NCC, Russell Mills, recently sparked controversy by saying that the city might want to build on some of the less vital parts of the Greenbelt, a 20,000-hectare ribbon of land owned by the federal government that encircles central Ottawa.

Read more @ Ottawa Citizen – Hands off Greenbelt, urban planner says.

Boston, Cambridge recognized as green cities

Two Massachusetts cities made the top 10 list in the March issue of Popular Science’s 50 most innovative cities in the U.S.

Boston was ranked third — behind San Francisco and Portland, Ore. — and Cambridge sixth on the list of “greenest” cities based on criteria such as electricity use, transportation habits, air quality and recycling programs. Popular Science used raw data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Geographic Society’s Green Guide which collected survey data and government statistics for American cities of over 100,000 people in more than 30 categories.

Out of a possible 30 points cities could score based on the criteria Boston scored 22.7 and Cambridge scored 22.2 points.

Read more @ Boston Business Journal: Boston, Cambridge recognized as green cities –

ULI Asks: ‘Can Stand-Alone Malls Survive?’

The stand-alone mall isn’t dead. It’s just dysfunctional. That was one of the sentiments expressed at an Urban Land Institute panel that tackled the question, “Can stand-alone malls survive?” The question was posed Thursday, during ULI’s annual Reinventing Retail conference at the Wilshire Grand Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles.

The comment about the dysfunctional nature of traditional stand-alone malls came from panelist Shaheen Sadeghi, founder of Costa Mesa, CA-based LAB Holding, a firm that eschews traditional malls in favor of projects like its youth-oriented “the Lab” in Costa Mesa, a center that the developer describes as an “anti-mall.”

Read more @ GlobeSt.com – ULI Asks: ‘Can Stand-Alone Malls Survive?’.

High density plan for Midrand

GAUTRAIN station precinct, complete with a housing development similar to Cosmo City, is to be developed in Midrand. Located parallel to the K11 road and close to Grand Central Airport, the precinct will comprise of a rapid rail station and a high-density development made up of a range of housing and community facilities.

The Gautrain development strategy envisages that densification plans be implemented around all stations along the rapid-rail route. It is believed that this will curb urban spread and reduce road congestion as people will live, work and play close to public transport, specifically the Gautrain rapid rail system. It will link Johannesburg, Tshwane and OR Tambo International Airport.

Read more @ city of johannesburg – High density plan for Midrand.

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