Beijing air pollution ‘as bad as it can get,’ official says

Beijingers were warned to stay indoors on Thursday as pollution levels across the capital hit the top of the scale, despite repeated assurances by the government that air quality was improving.

“This is as bad as it can get,” a spokeswoman for the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau told AFP.

“Level five is the worst level of air pollution. This is as bad as it has been all year.”

According to the bureau’s website, 15 out of the 16 pollution monitoring stations in urban Beijing registered a “five” for air quality rating.

AFP: Beijing air pollution ‘as bad as it can get,’ official says.

Small-Scale Businesses Forestall a Green India

With one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, India is expected in the coming years to produce ever more of the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. But many business owners in small industries either fail to understand the relevance of climate change or are unable to afford the changes necessary to become more energy-efficient. According to a World Bank study, India’s 4.5 million small and medium enterprises, with their obsolete technology, produce 70 percent of India’s industrial pollution.

Small-Scale Businesses Forestall a Green India – washingtonpost.com.

Ho Chi Minh City University to open Urban Faculty

The Ho Chi Minh City University of Social Science and Humanities is about to open an Urban Faculty to meet increasing demand for urban management. Professor Dr Vo Van Sen, a deputy to HCM City People’s Council and Rector of the university, spoke to Thoi bao Kinh te Sai Gon (Sai Gon Economic Times).

Viet Nam News.

CABE Champions Design Competitions in New Exhibition

A CABE exhibition opening at New London Architecture in London on 17 January 2008 will show what design competitions can achieve – and that they are one of the best ways to procure well-designed buildings and places.

Competitions Work will feature the winning projects and runners-up for the three UK sites for Europan 9, Europe’s leading housing and urban design competition for young professionals. The sites in Milton Keynes, Sheffield and Stoke-on-Trent are actual developments and the winners will be announced on 16 January 2008.

Design News – CABE Champions Design Competitions in New Exhibition – TAXI Design Network.

American Institute of Architects – Illinois great places

 The members of six Illinois chapters of the American Institute of Architects selected the sites, which are all public spaces, to celebrate the AIA’s 150th anniversary, notes the Web site http://illinoisgreatplaces.com.

University architecture and landscaping recognized by American Institute of Architects.

Manhattan is Year of Building Furiously

Nicolai Ouroussoff of the New York Times looks at how New York and in particular Manhattan has turned a corner as it has unveiled many new architecture landmarks in the last year including the IAC Building, Renzo Piano’s Tower and how in the coming years more architectural marvels will grace the skies of one of world’s most renowned skylines.

Manhattan’s Year of Building Furiously – New York Times.

Saudi Arabia to invest in new cities to tap growth

Saudi Arabia, like other Gulf Cooperation Council countries, has decided to create “new cities” to accomplish growth in the real estate sector – a proven growth driver for other economies in the region. Six economic cities have been announced in the Kingdom to complement 14 industrial cities, some of which are already up and running successfully.

GCC to invest in new cities to tap growth – Emirates Business 24|7.

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