Reconstruction of infrastructure priority in quake-hit areas

China’s Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MHURD) stressed in a circular on Tuesday that infrastructure restoration was a priority in reconstruction after the May 12 earthquake.

The MHURD ordered governments at all levels to draw up construction plans by June 8, including building locations and materials.

It instructed officials to better manage construction of interim housing in quake-hit areas to ensure its safety.

The government is to assess all school buildings in quake zones, said a statement from the earthquake relief headquarters of the State Council.

Local governments must organize personnel to conduct safety appraisals of all school buildings as soon as possible to ensure the safety of students as they return to school, according to the statement.

SOURCE: Xinhua – Reconstruction of infrastructure priority in quake-hit areas.

Dwell on Design Los Angeles to start on June 5

What happens when Dwell editors drive the agenda? A roster of more than 50 incredibly talented and diverse speakers ranging from legislators to practitioners to activists, discussing everything from urban gardening to a mandated LEED program for LA. The conference follows two parallel tracks but we encourage you to veer from the linear and sign up for any panel that sparks your interest.  

An exciting and different event will be the Monrovia Design Challenge allows party attendees to create an instant, eye-catching landscape within a small space. Three teams at a time have just 10 minutes to create a design using a wide palette of stylish Monrovia plants. When all sets of teams are finished, the judges, including Monrovia CEO Miles Rosedale, will award the winning team a living trophy from Monrovia. Every party attendee will receive a Monrovia plant to take home.

Dwell on Design – Los Angeles starts on June 5 to June 8

SOURCE: dwell.comDwell on Design Los Angeles Home Page – Dwell Conferences – .

Athens’ deserted Games sites a warning to London Olympics – Telegraph.co.uk

The buildings constructed in Athens for the Olympic Games four years ago are fly blown, closed to the public and covered in graffiti, a forewarning of the possible aftermath of the London Games in 2012.

Of the 22 venues in the city, 21 are in a state of disrepair and under guard to prevent vandalism.

Athens spent more than £9 billion on staging the Olympics, slightly less than the current estimate for the London games.

The hangover from the games was tremendous. Greece was left with a national budget deficit of 6.1 per cent, more than twice the maximum allowed under European Union rules.
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The infrastructure, which was installed in such haste, has proven to be far too extravagant for the city. It is difficult to imagine there was ever much local interest in continuing to use the baseball, kayaking, fencing and handball facilities down the coast at Hellenikon.

A few miles outside the city centre, the sprawling Faliron complex that once hosted the beach volleyball and taekwondo competitions is deserted and a lone security guard has not been able to deter youths from spraying the walls with slogan

Telegraph.co.ukAthens’ deserted Games sites a warning to London Olympics.

Mud Lick Creek Project Fights Erosion, Pollution – Science – redOrbit

A half-million-dollar plan to re-engineer and protect Mud Lick Creek is designed to enhance what is one of Roanoke County’s most popular parks.

County Engineer George Simpson led a discussion Monday morning with 30 to 40 people at Garst Mill Park on a project to fight erosion and pollution of the creek there.

Approximately 3,000 linear feet of Mud Lick Creek run through the park, making it one of the park’s most prominent features and one that’s especially popular with children, who wade in it.

The project, which the county is calling a “restoration,” is a pilot, Simpson said, attempting to re-create the natural contours of the stream. Similar programs may be attempted in other watersheds threatened by pollution and erosion if this one is successful.

SOURCE: redOrbitMud Lick Creek Project Fights Erosion, Pollution – Science –

Los Altos looking for a new look

A new development, such as an office and retail building or landscaping enhancement, doesn’t suddenly appear by magic, although it may seem that way to citizens who are not paying attention. There’s often a long process, including planning, negotiating and compromising among developers and city officials, followed by city meetings and public hearings as builders struggle to meet city requirements. The first draft of a plan is rarely, if ever, the last.

Loyola Corners – This shopping district that traces back to Los Altos’ early days may receive a makeover. Responding to safety concerns and complaints of lack of aesthetics, the city has employed landscape architect David Gates to draft a Loyola Corners beautification plan – repairing and adding new sidewalks, adding landscaping and repainting streetlights black.

The project is in the “very early stages right now,” Assistant City Manager James Walgren said.

SOURCE: Los Altos Town Crier » Behind the scenes.

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