Caught out by an urban time bomb

Rural towns – even places like Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Kalgoorlie and Wadeye – are urban time bombs. Their fast-growing indigenous communities represent the biggest challenge facing policymakers in Canberra, Sydney and Darwin.

They discovered that the influx of Aborigines into rural towns has been matched by an exodus of non-indigenous Australians who have moved out, taking skills, wealth and in some cases businesses with them.

In Broken Hill the non-indigenous population dropped 5.9 per cent. In South Australia’s Port Augusta the decline was 6.8 per cent………..

Source: smh.com.au – Caught out by an urban time bomb

Britain’s queen says global warming likely to hit hardest at most vulnerable nations – International Herald Tribune

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II on Monday called on the Commonwealth to help the most vulnerable nations deal with the impact of climate change.

The 53-nation Commonwealth of Britain and its former colonies includes some of the world’s wealthiest countries as well as some of the poorest.

“The impact of pollution falls unequally: it is often those who pollute the least — notably in the world’s least-developed nations — who are closest to the razor’s edge: most affected by the impact of climate change and least equipped to cope with it,” the monarch said in a Commonwealth Day message.

Source: International Herald Tribune – Britain’s queen says global warming likely to hit hardest at most vulnerable nations.

Good Design is Good Business – May 23 2008

BusinessWeek and Architectural Record will honor building and planning projects that are reshaping modern China at the second biannual “Good Design Is Good Business” China Awards in Shanghai on May 23, 2008. A jury of editors has selected 13 projects, as well as this year’s “Best Client,” innovative real-estate developer China Vanke Co., Ltd., from more than 100 entries from mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, based on their use of design to achieve strategic business and civic objectives.

“This year’s winning projects reflect the growing sophistication of architecture and construction in China,” said Robert Ivy, FAIA, vice president and editorial director for McGraw-Hill Construction and editor in chief of Architectural Record, “and this year’s business winners demonstrate that good design is changing the face of China in complex larger projects and individual buildings.”

“The degree to which design projects make sense from both a functional and aesthetic perspective dictates their success,” said David Rocks, international senior editor of BusinessWeek. “These architects and clients have developed innovative venues with measureable results, spaces that yield benefits beyond being useful, but that positively affect the businesses, organizations and visitors on a daily basis.”

Winners include the architects and clients of projects that range from major new additions to a city’s urban fabric (Shanghai South Station and Beijing Finance Street), to important cultural facilities (Liangzhu Culture Museum, Dafen Art Museum, Suzhou Museum, and the Sino-French Center at Tongji University).

Source: McGraw Hill Construction

IT to play bigger role in urban planning

Information technologies will play a more significant role in the country’s property industry, speakers at a real estate summit said.

During the Viet Nam Connected: Real Estate Summit 2008 organised by Cisco in HCM City last week, speakers said challenges facing urban planners – how to house a growing urban population in a safe and efficient manner – could be helped by using IT.

“The world’s built environment supports six billion people. Research shows that we currently possess only about 25 per cent of the real estate that is functional to support the world’s population by 2030,” said James Chia, general director of Cisco Viet Nam.

Source: Viet Nam News.

Designed in China – Not Made in China the new trend

It is the country that once invented gunpowder, wrought iron, the compass, paper, silk, and the toothbrush. These days it is the world’s biggest workshop, making everything from the contents of Wal-Mart’s bargain bins to lusciously designed objects like the iPhone.

That country is, of course, China. Given its frenzied growth, the next logical step is for the Chinese to revive their rich history of innovation to ensure that some of their future products are “Designed in China,” not just “Made in China.” Whether they succeed is one of the most contentious issues in design today, and a thorny challenge to all of the foreign companies that have been manufacturing there so profitably.

Source: International Herald Tribune – China’s new designers: Building on a rich heritage of innovation – International Herald Tribune.

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