For the first time in the history of the Douala Urban Council, the council has entered urban transport business.
The council has bought 38 percent of the shares of ‘Sociéte Camerounaise de Transport Urbain’, SOCATUR, which is the lone authorised urban bus service in Douala. SOCATUR, it would be recalled, bought over the defunct state-owned urban bus service, SOTUC.
Speaking at a meeting in Douala mid last month on the sorry state of urban transportation in Douala, the Government Delegate to the Douala Urban Council, Dr. Fritz Ntone Ntone, announced that the situation would soon be ameliorated with modern buses.
Read more @ allAfrica.com: Cameroon: Douala Urban Council Enters Urban Transport
Some artists might take offense if their work were likened to a giant pickle, but the architect Ken Shuttleworth has no objection to the nickname that Londoners have bestowed on his most famous design, 30 St Mary Axe, aka the Gherkin.
A newer creation, which is to be erected this year on the Jubilee Campus of the University of Nottingham, has been officially christened Aspire. The red-and-orange steel sculpture is a gift from an anonymous donor who wanted a new symbol for the university and the city — something that the people of Nottingham can see from a long way away, says Sir Colin Campbell, the university’s vice chancellor.
Read more @ Buildings & Grounds: Ken Shuttleworth, Designer of the ‘Gherkin,’ Has a New Spire at University of Nottingham – Chronicle.com.
For more than two years, a team of architects, landscape architects and planners at Princeton University has labored to strike a perfect balance between the old and the new. They have balanced between centuries of tradition and plans for innovative new spaces where architects can continue to design buildings that are both of their time and timeless.
Read more @ Princeton University – Princeton unveils most comprehensive campus plan in its history.
Last year, the city undertook out major projects in transport infrastructure and water drainage, all of which will reduce traffic jams as well as contribute to the city’s socio-economic development.
To ease the burden caused by construction projects, the department is strictly fining investors. For example last year the department collected VND636 million (US$39,745) in fines from 225 violations in a water environment improvement project and VND157 million ($10,000) from the Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Canal project.
Read more @ Viet Nam News.
Residents of the city that gave birth to the Italian Renaissance voted against a plan to build a controversial tramline through the historic center, but they will probably get one anyway, officials said Monday.
Of about 120,000 residents who voted in the referendum over the weekend, 53.5 percent voted against the tram while about 46 percent voted in favor. Despite the rejection, after a campaign that brought out fewer than 40 percent of eligible voters for the nonbinding poll, city officials said they would proceed with construction of the €560 million, or $820 million, project as planned.
Read more @ International Herald Tribune – Florence says no to new tramline; city says it will be built anyway by Elisabetta Povoledo- .
Last November, a southern Italian village of Torraca proclaimed itself as the world’s first “LED city.” The town installed 700 LED street lamps that are powered by photovoltaic panels, making it a self-sustainable system.
South Korean towns and regional governments are fast catching up. Along with many other towns, Bucheon city has replaced its old halogen street lamps on the city hall plaza with Fawoo’s LED bulbs. The new lamps have six times the life expectancy of halogen lamps, and consume about 28,000 won of electricity per year, compared to 85,000 won. Such a low maintenance cost, the firm says, is enough to offset the hefty price of 160,000 won per lamp in a few years, compared to 40,000 won of halogen lamps.
Read more @ The Korea Times Environmentalism Sheds Brighter Light on Low-Energy Lighting
The City Council is considering a proposed ordinance that would curtail “mansionization.” If the measure passes, the maximum allowable size of a house on many residential lots would drop from about 7,000 square feet (excluding garage) to about 3,000.
The use of the word “mansion” here is not complimentary. It’s meant to conjure up a scenario in which a residential street of, say, 1920s cottages or 1950s ranch houses suddenly gets a new neighbor — a 3,500- or 4,000-square-foot house with two full stories. Though meeting the required setbacks, the building’s bulk makes it more visually prominent than the older houses on the street. What’s more, it may have an architectural style or features that some find ugly — or simply out of place on the block. The result: unhappy longtime homeowners bemoaning the changing character of their neighborhood — loss of privacy, sunlight, views or charm — and demanding that City Hall do something.
Read more @ Los Angeles Times – The monstrosity next door – Todd Gish.