New plan to give middle class cheap home loans

Kenyans who earn at least Sh40, 000 a month, who are also considered to be the majority of the emerging middle class, could soon have the chance to get a loan to buy a house in a decent part of Nairobi.

The Government has over the decades failed to make good housing plans to cater for the majority of the residents, who are middle and low-income earners but several urban renewal projects underway could help reduce the acute housing shortage in Nairobi.

The shortage has been caused by poor urban planning by both the Government and the City Council, which have neglected to maintain houses and develop new ones.

SOURCE: Business Daily Africa – the international window into East African business opportunities – New plan to give middle class cheap home loans.

The rise of the urban shepherd – Society – The Guardian

It’s not often you go from your day job to turning a sheep over and inspecting its hooves,” says Brigitta Richards. A nursery nurse, Richards is one of a growing number of volunteer shepherds recruited by Brighton and Hove city council as part of an initiative to reintroduce grazing to its urban parks, after an absence of more than 50 years. “It gets me out and about, and you’re doing something to protect and conserve the environment as well.”


SOURCE: The rise of the urban shepherd – Society – The Guardian.

Green roofs improving

In the past 10 years, green roofs in Portland have come a long way. Jason King, a landscape architect with GreenWorks PC, said constant sharing among those in the design community helps him and others learn from mistakes and advance green roof designs.

“It’s amazing to see how much better they’ve gotten and more refined they are,” said King. “The mistakes aren’t really mistakes. They’re just ways of experimenting and being able to improve. Everybody is willing to share information.”

King said green roofs can satisfy a number of requirements: they can be low-maintenance ways of providing insulation, they can manage storm water and they can be a “beautiful amenity.”

SOURCE: Daily Journal of Commerce.

The Landscape Institute and the Trees and Design Action Group

Championing the value of large trees in the urban environment

The environmental, economic and social benefits of trees are well documented. Members of The Landscape Institute routinely work to ensure that trees form an integral part of the urban landscape and public realm. However, the valuable contribution made by large-growing trees in particular is often compromised or precluded by negative perceptions relating to maintenance, nuisance or safety and associated costs.

The Role of the TDAG
The Landscape Institute is a member of the Trees and Design Action Group (TDAG) – a multi-disciplinary group of individual professionals and organisations from both the private and public sectors who have come together under The London Tree and Woodland Framework to collaborate in achieving an increased awareness of the role of trees in the built environment. Its other members include representatives from the GLA, Design for London, Urban Design London, Transport for London, the City of London and other London boroughs, the London Trees and Woodland Framework, the Forestry Commission, Royal Parks, the Tree Council, Trees for Cities, various leading developers, representatives of the insurance and utilities industries and design consultants.

SOURCE: LI – The Landscape Institute and the Trees and Design Action Group.

Don’t let green roofs be victims of the crunch – Building Design

Phil Clark of Building Design asks Why bother specifying a green roof when it adds extra costs, consultants, hassle and work? This attitude seems common when it comes to deciding whether to add vegetation to your scheme’s structure. And in the credit crunch, any part of a project that could be considered an added expense is likely to be first for the chop. So does this spell a decline for the green roof, which has emerged as a significant sustainable design addition in the past few years?

Read more @ the SOURCE: Building Design(bdonline.co.uk) – Don’t let green roofs be victims of the crunch –

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