“Indian cities are undergoing an inequality trend as a result of economic liberalisation and globalisation, says the State of the World’s Cities Report 2008/9: Harmonious Cities.
Read more @ the SOURCE: The Hindu : Front Page : Inequality rising in Indian cities.
Anecdotal reports are starting to trickle out that the current crisis is starting to bite into architectural and multi-discipline firms around the world from USA, Europe and Australia. It’s not just the multi-nationals who are hurting but local firms also.
Many of the large multi-national firms are starting to lay off staff as projects are being put on hold or starting to dry up. This is due to the financial crises with credit being hard to obtain for starting new projects and many development companies having their market capitilisation slashed by the falling stockmarkets.
The housing bubbles in USA, Europe and China are starting to burst with housing prices dropping, auction clearances heading into single figures and consumer confidence down as access to credit gets tighter with many people are putting off buying new property.
When will the crisis end? Many are saying that it is merely a 6–8 month pause in booming countries such as China where developers from Hong Kong have placed projects on hold until mid-2009. Others say this is the just the start of the bottom and the final outcome won’t be known until mid-late 2009 when the market will fully know the issues and problems and that the credit card and car loan defaults are yet to come in the next few months.
Some seem certain that the market will contract, there will be lay offs and competition will get harder for all who are looking for new projects.
So what is the ‘silver lining’ of the crisis?
Clients of current projects will be the winners as the levels of service will increase and projects will have the design and detail resolution that is often lack in boom periods.
Many architecture and multi-discipline firms are starting to look for other sources of revenue income and use some of their cash reserves to head to China and UAE(as visits to existing companies by newcomers to the market are up). However they could be in for a rude surprise by some accounts that staff in major developing cities in China and UAE are also seeing a slowdown due to the crisis.
Those firms who only lay off small numbers and then take this slow time to start training key staff to be better prepared and ready for when the market turns up. Many firms complain about the lack project managment and people management skills in by their upper and middle management well here is the opportune time to train key staff and up and comers to prepare your firm for the future.
How is the crisis hitting your firm or employer? Leave comments below.
Irish firm Grafton Architects have won the first ever World Building of the Year award for their new faculty building for the Luigi Bocconi University in Milan.
SOURCE: Propertywire.com – Irish architects win World Building of the Year for Milan development
Christopher Hawthorne of L.A. Times looks at “Amid a period in which bolder has meant bigger, the economic slowdown could help push architects to imagine, identify and define new paths.”
Looking at the current financial crisis and how architecture could benefit in the long term.
SOURCE: Los Angeles Times – Architecture can focus on L.A.’s shared spaces
Emirates Business 24/7 reports that “Abu Dhabi plans to create a second city centre to accommodate a projected threefold growth in population.
“We are creating the Capital City District, with a population of 350,000 to 380,000 residents,” Falah Al Ahbabi, General Manager of the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council told Bloomberg. “It will form a second centre for Abu Dhabi, located on the mainland in the area that has been known up to now as Khalifa C.”
read more @ the SOURCE: Emirates Business 24/7 – Abu Dhabi plans a second city centre.
An interesting look at Urban Indian culture from Aakar Patel
SOURCE: The News – Observations about the urban Indian.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Sunday called for more cooperation between Asian and European nations to promote sustainable development.
Wen made the remarks when addressing the behind-the-door meeting of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) to discuss issues concerning the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG), climate change, energy security and social harmony.
read more @ the SOURCE: Xinhua – China calls for Asia-Europe co-op to promote sustainable development