A city in the mapping – Chennai

Gargi Gupta from Business Standard weighs the pros and cons of  the second master plan and MAP Chennai Region help the city overcome the problems of rapid urbanisation?
You know the truism about the best laid plans of mice and men? Nowhere does it apply more than in the area of urban planning, in India especially. But despite their plans going awry, architects, town-planners, civic officials, industry and citizens bodies continue to persist with the exercise.

The most recent one in this vein is the one floated by the Confederation of Indian Industries for the city of Chennai. Euphonically christened MAP Chennai Region, it proposes to develop a 5,000 square kilometre region around the southern metropolis, ringed by the cities of Marakkanam, Arakkonam and Pulicat

A city in the mapping – Business Standard – Gargi Gupta.

L.I. to address workplace shortages

The Landscape Institute is set to launch a major new campaign to promote the study of landscape architecture at university.

“I want to be a landscape architect” will raise awareness of the benefits of landscape architecture as a career option for young people at key decision-making points in their lives. At the heart of the campaign will be the launch of a new website, iwanttobealandscapearchitect.com, which will be unveiled in April.

Landscape architecture courses are currently offered at undergraduate and postgraduate levels at fourteen universities in the UK and although numbers are rising, it is not sufficient to meet demand in the workplace. A report published by the Academy for Sustainable Communities last year predicted a shortage in the profession of 91 percent by 2012, while a survey completed by Landscape Institute members in August 2007 revealed that 52 percent of respondents were turning away work because of staff shortages. These figures are set to worsen given the Government’s commitment to Crossrail and the proposal to develop three million new homes.

Landscape Institute President Nigel Thorne said: “There has never been a more important time to train as a landscape architect because of growing social, political and economic concern over the use of our natural resources and development of sustainable communities. Landscape architects are experts in place and space, planning, designing and managing open spaces in cities, towns and the countryside.

“The vital importance of the environment means that many public policy objectives will not be met successfully without the involvement of landscape professionals. This campaign will highlight the fact that landscape architecture is the environment and design profession for the 21st century.”

Landscape Institute will produce a leaflet describing the advantages of landscape architecture as a profession, a direct e-mail campaign designed to encourage exploration of the iwanttobealandscapearchitect.com website and toolkits for landscape architects visiting schools and teachers and careers advisors, downloadable from the website.

Landscape architects to launch major new campaign to address workplace shortages – Landscape Institute UK

IBI, Landplan team up in world of urban design

The Calgary office of IBI Group, a multi-disciplinary organization offering services in the areas of urban land, facilities, transportation and systems, has welcomed Landplan Associates in a merger that will operate as a unit of IBI under the name of IBI/Landplan.

The new unit will continue to be led by Garth Balls and the senior practitioners from Landplan, including Brian Baker, Ernie Webster and Julie King, together with IBI directors Stephen Shawcross and Elvin Karpovich.

IBI, Landplan team up in world of urban design.

Fifteen Group Unveils Vision for Model Community

Fifteen Group Land & Development LLC today announced a plan to redevelop the 1930s era-Wyvernwood Garden Apartments into a 21st century, sustainable community that increases the amount of rental and for-sale housing, retail and commercial space in Boyle Heights.

Los Angeles-based landscape architect Meléndrez to design a community that meets the standards for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Development (LEED ND).

Fifteen Group Land & Development LLC Unveils Vision for Model Community in East Los Angeles – Business Wire

Amsterdam neoliberal city?

Amsterdam is investing hundreds of millions of euros in the Zuidas, the new business district south of the city (corporations will also invest in the project, but if it fails, their losses will be compensated with taxpayers’ money). Despite the scale of the project, there has been almost no public debate. Decision-making is an opaque process dominated by government officials, banks and other potential investors.

Nieuws uit Amsterdam.

Face-lifting Beijing stops to retrieve its ancient flavor

How to protect Beijing as an ancient city, or is it necessary to protect it at all, has been under debate by officials and experts for over 60 years, during which fancy buildings mushroomed in the 62.5-square-kilometer area, while gray brick residential houses collapsed before bulldozers in a facelift frenzy, along with the memories they carried down through generations.

According to a report by the official People’s Daily in January2007, about 500 Hutongs still survived, in comparison to the more than 3,000 in early 1980s.

Local officials marked out 25 areas in the inner city in 2002 where traditional houses and alleys will be preserved, and later expanded to 33, accounting for 29 percent of the inner city.

Although real estate developers built some courtyard-styled houses, the sale goes very slow.

“Those ‘fake cultural heritages’ are too costly for local residents,” said Xu Pingfang, 77-year-old renowned professor of archaeology and director of the China Archaeological Society, “while Beijingers are forced out and the houses are purchased by new-riches, Beijing is losing its flavor.”

Feature: Face-lifting Beijing stops to retrieve its ancient flavor _English_Xinhua.

Creating Inspirational Spaces: A Guide to Quality Public Realm in the Northwest

Creating Inspirational Spaces: A Guide for Quality Public Realm in the Northwest has been produced by Gillespies on behalf of the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and RENEW Northwest, and forms part of the wider Places Matter! programme co-ordinated by RENEW Northwest.

Creating Inspirational Spaces: A Guide to Quality Public Realm in the Northwest – Landscape Institute– UK

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