Time to stop building cities without souls – China Daily

At his first sight of Las Vegas, a Chinese student of community participation in urban development remarked, “I feel as if I am back in Beijing’s second ring road!”

Indeed, the shadow of the American casino capital looms large over Beijing and many other Chinese cities, which vie with one another in copying the model of Las Vegas to become a mixture of something of everything.

With a messy combination of bits from New York City, Paris, Italy, Egypt and others, Las Vegas could satisfy a fancy of the wonderland.

Yet the city in the wild desert is a nightmare for urban planners, as it has developed with little planning. Even though Las Vegas hosted the centennial convention of the American Planning Association (APA) in late April, many American planners dismiss it as a good example of urban development.

To their regret, however, Las Vegas becomes a role model for too many Chinese cities in their drive for urban development. Like Las Vegas, these cities with entirely different cultural and socioeconomic contexts are sprawling ever wider with ever more and taller high-rises, until they become jungles of cement.

Perhaps the decision-makers and designers of Chinese cities should come to such a consensus. They should learn from the culture and traditions of their own cities before they set out to borrow others’ experiences. If they fail to develop a taste for the treasures under their eyes, it is doubtful that they can pick out something valuable elsewhere.

Read more at the Source: China Daily – to stop building cities without souls by Xiong Lei

Bay State Bike Week

May is National Bike Month and here in Massachusetts we’re doing our part to celebrate this great event with Bay State Bike Week, May 12th -18th, 2008. It’s your chance to join thousands of other bikers across the country by doing something for the environment and having a great time while you’re at it. It’s a win/win proposition.

Boston Sample Drop Shop

Architects and design professionals will have the opportunity to drop off outdated and unneeded samples as part of the Boston Sample Drop/Shop to be held May 8th-10th at the Boston Design Center. The event, organized by Burt Hill in association with Herman Miller, greenGoat, and Creative Office Pavilion, is intended to encourage local designers, manufacturers, retailers and the community to join together to exchange resources and divert waste from landfills.

Design firms will drop off separated materials in storage containers on May 8th and 9th from 11:30am-1:30 pm and from 4pm- 7pm at the Boston Design Center Loading Dock. The center is open to the public to shop on May 9th from 4-7pm and May 10th from 9am-4pm. There will be a wide variety of materials available at no cost. Materials will be sorted into the following categories: mixed paper, vinyl, carpet, aggregates, textiles, and miscellaneous. “The purpose of this event is to show designers that there is an alternative to throwing materials out. Both the design community and the greater local community can benefit from recycling materials,” said event organizer and Burt Hill architect Jenna Beltram.

At the end of the event, there will be a barbeque with free food and drinks for all those who participated. The Boston Sample Drop Shop was inspired by the success of the city of Cleveland’s ZeroLandfill Celebration which originated in 2006. For more information, please visit www.greengoat.org/dropshop.

Boston Sample Drop Shop

Architects and design professionals will have the opportunity to drop off outdated and unneeded samples as part of the Boston Sample Drop/Shop to be held May 8th-10th at the Boston Design Center. The event, organized by Burt Hill in association with Herman Miller, greenGoat, and Creative Office Pavilion, is intended to encourage local designers, manufacturers, retailers and the community to join together to exchange resources and divert waste from landfills.

Design firms will drop off separated materials in storage containers on May 8th and 9th from 11:30am-1:30 pm and from 4pm- 7pm at the Boston Design Center Loading Dock. The center is open to the public to shop on May 9th from 4-7pm and May 10th from 9am-4pm. There will be a wide variety of materials available at no cost. Materials will be sorted into the following categories: mixed paper, vinyl, carpet, aggregates, textiles, and miscellaneous. “The purpose of this event is to show designers that there is an alternative to throwing materials out. Both the design community and the greater local community can benefit from recycling materials,” said event organizer and Burt Hill architect Jenna Beltram.

At the end of the event, there will be a barbeque with free food and drinks for all those who participated. The Boston Sample Drop Shop was inspired by the success of the city of Cleveland’s ZeroLandfill Celebration which originated in 2006. For more information, please visit www.greengoat.org/dropshop.

Location Boston Design Center
Starting Time
Duration May 8th-10th
Contact Name Megan Gill
Contact Email mgill@brownsteingroup.com

Urban Land Institute will have program on green financing

he Northern New Jersey District Council of the Urban Land Institute will hold a program tiitled “Financing Green: How To Pay For and Incentivize Sustainable Investment In the Garden State.”

The program will be held from 3 to 6 p. m. on Thursday, April 24, at the Woodbridge Hilton.

The panel will consist of two members of the appraisal/financing industry, William Lashbrook III, senior vice president of PNC Bank, and Mario Silvestri, senior real estate evaluator at Wachovia Bank, and two developer/owners, Brian Cohen, vice president of Navy Yard Development & Marketing for Liberty Property Trust and David Welch, chief financial officer of SJP Properties. A representative from PSE&G, Fred Lynk, will also participate to discuss its new financing program for solar energy projects.

Source: Courier News Online – Urban Land Institute will have program on green financing.

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