News Archive

[shared on 19.01.2019]

Urban rooms: where people get to design their city’s future

Source: theconversation.com. Please click here to visit the source.

...An urban room can act as an exhibition hall, a community centre and a learning space, while giving people opportunities to help redesign and reimagine their city’s future. Urban rooms are already commonplace in countries such as China and Singapore, in the form of urban planning museums, city galleries or exhibition centres. These are all places where the public can directly engage with a physical space dedicated to understanding the past, present and future of the city.

Many of these spaces not only incorporate very large physical models, but also have space dedicated to understanding the urban planning stories and future paths of these cities. Models are a useful tool to help people visualise key public spaces, and the impact that new design proposals will have on the cityscape.

For example, Singapore’s mega model is located in the Singapore city gallery, which first opened in 1999 to tell the story of the nation’s planning efforts, including its intensive social housing programme. It is important these spaces are open, so members of the public can easily access planning information... [read more]

Copyrights: theconversation.com
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[shared on 18.01.2019]

How Urban Planning Can Help Us Cope With Climate Change

Source: www.archdaily.com. Please click here to visit the source.

...Led by scientist Rolan Pellenq from MIT and the National Centre for Scientific Research, the study found that cities like New York were built with a precise grid-like structure and are, as a result, far hotter than cities with a more chaotic arrangement such as London. By studying over 50 cities, the researchers found that the straight, horizontal streets trap more heat.

They believe this could give city planners an edge: “If you’re planning a new section of Phoenix,” Pellenq says, “you don’t want to build on a grid, since it’s already a very hot place. But somewhere in Canada, a mayor may say no, we’ll choose to use the grid, to keep the city warmer.”

Understanding its effects can also change the materials used in our cities as well as lessen the costs incurred. It's already known that materials like concrete absorb heat during the day and release heat at night. Concrete buildings and asphalt roads generate much more heat than an area covered in vegetation. Knowing this will hopefully encourage investigation into alternatives, say researchers.

Further, the study found that in the state of Florida alone urban heat island effects cause an estimated $400 million in excess costs for air conditioning. According to Pellenq, this can be avoided if city planners invested in smarter city design such as placing utility lines, sewer and water pipes, and transportation systems in areas where heat is not as concentrated... [read more]

Copyrights: www.archdaily.com
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[shared on 17.01.2019]

Govt assures seamless connectivity to Port City

Source: www.dailynews.lk. Please click here to visit the source.

The World Economic Forum website estimated that the broad market for smart cities’ products and services will be worth over $2.57 trillion by 2025, growing at a rate of 18.4 percent per year on average.

The Port City is going to be a smart city and it will be taking a share of that market ,said Minister of Megapolis and Western Development, Patali Champika Ranawaka during a vist to the Port city yesterday.

Port City is a technological marvel and without doubt, one of the most spectacular development projects this country will ever see. “The way it has been developed and reclaimed from the sea, the way the marina seawall has been developed, the way ground improvement, artificial beaches, and numerous other aspects of construction are being managed - the complexities of developing this new city are so many.”

How CHEC is handling this iconic project is commendable and we are very happy to have partnered with them to build Sri Lanka’s first modern planned city that is slated to become an attraction for the entire region.

China’s technological advancement has definitely come of age - just two weeks ago, we got to hear that China became the first country to land a spacecraft on the Moon’s far side. This is the true capacity of China and we are proud as an Asian nation... [read more]

Copyrights: www.dailynews.lk
Only for information purpose. Under no circumstances will the ITPSL be responsible or liable in any way for any content of the materials shared in this section.

[shared on 16.01.2019]

Can we trust the government to judge what's beautiful?

Source: www.theguardian.com. Please click here to visit the source.

...The long-dead Le Corbusier was attacked as a man “who is responsible for many bad things”, planners were accused of having “not learned their lesson” since the war, and it was brazenly asserted that “where modern design does succeed, that is largely by accident”. Some reached for the words of Philip Larkin, while others clutched at scientific research on how the “specialised cells in the hippocampal region of our brains” are attuned to beautiful geometry.

Matters weren’t helped when Malthouse tweeted a photo of a glazed commercial building on Oxford Street and a neoclassical stone courthouse in Alabama with the caption: “Both built in the last 10 years. One will stand for centuries, one won’t.” If the comment was intended to troll the architecture profession, it worked. The minister was slammed for being out of touch, anti-progress and “pandering to rightwing populist nostalgia”

It’s easy to dismiss the endeavour as a distraction from the real issues at stake, such as developers’ monopolies on land or the absence of a mass council house-building programme. But might there be something in it? John Hayes, the Conservative MP who called the parliamentary debate, might have had a point when he said: “Whereas people once anticipated development with joy, they now very often look on it with despair.” Ed Vaizey put it more succinctly: “The quality of building is shockingly bad.”... [read more]

Copyrights: www.theguardian.com
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[shared on 15.01.2019]

Japan has so many vacant homes it's giving them away

Source: kywnewsradio.radio.com. Please click here to visit the source.

... A free house may sound like a scam. But Japan faces an unusual property problem: it has more homes than people to live in them.

In 2013, there were 61 million houses and 52 million households, according to the Japan Policy Forum. And the situation is poised to get worse.

Japan's population is expected to decline from 127 million to about 88 million by 2065, according to the National Institute of Population and Social Security, meaning even fewer people will need houses. As young people leave rural areas for city jobs, Japan's countryside has become haunted by deserted "ghost" houses, known as "akiya."

It's predicted that by 2040, nearly 900 towns and villages across Japan will face a risk of extinction, according to a 2014 report entitled 'Local Extinctions' published by Hiroya Masuda. And Okutama is one of them. In that context, giving away property is a bid for survival.

"In 2014, we discovered that Okutama was one of three Tokyo (prefecture) towns expected to vanish by 2040," says Kazutaka Niijima, an official with the Okutama Youth Revitalization (OYR) department, a government body set up to repopulate the town... [read more]

Copyrights: kywnewsradio.radio.com
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[shared on 14.01.2019]

Sarasota’s walkability report card

Source: www.heraldtribune.com. Please click here to visit the source.

...We mostly fail to create comfort barriers for sidewalks with parallel, on street parking; we’re too fixated on roundabouts and infatuated with palm trees; we “plop” rather than integrate our public art; we focus on reducing congestion instead of increasing density and we’ve done little to create streets that are compatible with and friendly to cyclists, “the No. 1 thing the millennial workforce wants,” Speck said.

“And then there’s Fruitville ... ” he sighed, before laying into a critique of the major east/west artery, a street with too many lanes that are too wide; too many cars going too fast; sidewalks too slim for comfort; and a dearth of pleasing aesthetics and diverse retail opportunities.

Speck, who now heads his own D.C.-based firm, took a walking tour of the downtown core last Thursday, then spent nearly 90 minutes going over the pluses and minuses of what he’d observed during an evening presentation in the City Commission chambers. While his comments were often favorable — he especially praised the amount of residential units that have been added (even if they aren’t affordable) — but made clear that if Sarasota is truly committed to walkability, “You’re not done yet.”

And, as for the urban sprawl across much of the rest of the county, Speck didn’t offer much hope. “In Sarasota, you have a great downtown core,” he said, “but further out, the structure is lost. The majority of the region will remain auto-centric for a long time.”

In order for people to choose walking rather than driving — particularly in a country where driving is relatively easy and cheap — you have to offer streets that feel safe and comfortable, are interesting and diverse and provide useful destinations and reasons to stroll. Shorter blocks (200 feet is ideal; 600 is pushing it), narrower vehicle lanes (nine feet is best); and ample sidewalks bounded by cars parked at the curb can help walkers feel protected and enclosed. A diversity of shops, a lack of repetition in design and a plethora of shady, canopy trees provide visual interest, creature comfort and utility... [read more]
 

Copyrights: www.heraldtribune.com
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[shared on 13.01.2019]

‘45-minute city, 20-minute towns’: Advisory panel outlines vision for Land Transport Master Plan 2040

Source: www.channelnewsasia.com. Please click here to visit the source.

SINGAPORE: A 45-minute commute to work, and 20 minutes to reach amenities within residential towns.

These are some of the goals proposed for the Land Transport Master Plan 2040 – and they were shared by several members of its advisory panel at a focus group discussion on Saturday (Jan 12).

In August 2018, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) launched a public engagement exercise to canvass feedback on the masterplan.

The LTA sought feedback on three broad themes: How to encourage commuters to use public transport as a preferred mode of travel; how to create more inclusive commutes; and how to improve quality of life through public transport.

In the masterplan, public transport is envisioned as a transport mix termed as Walk-Cycle-Ride. This would include buses, rail, taxis and private hire cars, and active mobility devices such as bicycles and e-scooters.

On Saturday, advisory panel member Mr Melvin Yong presented a vision for residents to have access to a variety of options that will be fast, convenient and well-connected to get to their destination... [read more]

Copyrights: www.channelnewsasia.com
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[shared on 12.01.2019]

Failure of Mumbai's Monorail Holds Lessons for Urban Planners Everywhere

Source: thewire.in. Please click here to visit the source.

...Experts had warned even then that it was a foolhardy idea, which would have no practical or substantive impact on the city’s transportation since monorail rakes have low carrying capacity, the planned route is unnecessary and expensive and the technology untested – it hasn’t been used as a mode of mass transportation anywhere in the world – and will have low cost-recovery rate.

Additionally, cheaper modes, such as the bus rapid transit system – which could achieve the same ridership and speed at a lower cost – were not considered.

“Monorail is a new experiment, one that has hardly any use for the city,” said Ashok Datar, chairman of the Mumbai Environmental Social Network.

MMRDA first conceptualised monorail in 2005 and approved its implementation in a meeting conducted on September 28, 2007. A Consortium of Larsen & Toubro with Malaysian partner Scomi Engineering Bhd was awarded the contract On November 11, 2008, to build and operate the monorail.

Now, eight years later, it has become apparent that the project has neither served the purpose of taking the load off the suburban train network nor act as an efficient feeder system. If anything, it has suffered from a string of accidents, maintenance issues and stagnant passenger load. Its services were shut for ten months after a coach caught fire in November 2017... [read more]

Copyrights: thewire.in
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[shared on 11.01.2019]

Disasters ‘waiting to happen’ in mushrooming high-rises

Source: www.sundaytimes.lk. Please click here to visit the source.

Fears have risen over safety compliance in high-rise buildings following the recent tragic elevator crash, with concerns spreading to whether inadequate firefighting ability for tall buildings have made them fire traps.

In Colombo, where 90 per cent of the buildings are residential apartments accommodating families, questions are being raised about elevator safety as investigations continue into why a lift plunged down one floor on December 29, injuring two people and crushing to death a man who tried to jump out of the lift.

Reports said that the 30-year-old elevator at the Green Lanka tower building failed due to a lack of maintenance. Theories are also rife that the lift gave way under the weight it was carrying as too many (12) people had got in.

Construction bodies are also concerned about firefighting capacity in case of a major fire in apartment blocks.

Chamber of Construction Industry Secretary Col. Nissanaka Wijeratne said the mushrooming buildings in greater Colombo were “a disaster waiting to happen”... [read more]

Copyrights: www.sundaytimes.lk
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[shared on 10.01.2019]

Govt. to gazette 30-year revised National Physical Plan this month

Source: www.dailymirror.lk. Please click here to visit the source.

Sri Lanka’s revised 30-year National Physical Plan (2019-2050), which had been delayed due to two months of political turmoil that prevailed in the country last year, is expected to be gazetted by end of this month, Mirror Business learns.

The key element of the draft plan is to develop Colombo-Trincomalee Economic Corridor, which consists one-third of the island’s population, as the main economic corridor by drawing private investments worth of US $ 4 billion from local and foreign investors.

The government plans to invest US $ 400 million for initial infrastructure developments over the 30-year period.

The future development initiatives in the corridor, such as industrial estates, cultural development and tourism zones and urban service centres will be concentrated on six major population centres in the corridor—Colombo Megapolis, Gampaha Metro Region, Negombo Metro Region, Kurunegala Metro Region, Dambulla Metro Region and Trincomalee Metro Region... [read more]

Copyrights: www.dailymirror.lk
Only for information purpose. Under no circumstances will the ITPSL be responsible or liable in any way for any content of the materials shared in this section.

[shared on 09.01.2019]

Urbanisation, not a panacea for all economic ills

Source: www.dailynews.lk. Please click here to visit the source.

Since mid-1970s, the professionals addressing the global forums brought into prominence three important global issues. The first was the worsening state of the earth’s bio-physical environment, the second was the process which we now refer to as ‘globalization’ and the third was the rapidity of urbanization taking place, particularly in the developing countries. Most of the developing countries have only little control over the first two issues but if they take due recognition to the third one, appropriate initiatives could be taken to mitigate its adverse effects.

Sri Lanka, too, has a visibly high rate of urbanisation although statistically it is less than the rest of the South Asian countries. According to the official statistics, only 18.2% of the population lives in urban areas. Analysts believe it does not reflect the true picture. Even the World Bank notes that ‘while urbanisation data in Sri Lanka are much debated, there is consensus that the country is urbanising faster than the statistical figures suggest’.

On the other hand, in many cities in Sri Lanka, the true extent of the city extends beyond its administrative boundaries, while as much as one-third of the population may be living in areas that ought to be classified as urban areas. Reinforcing these views, the Department of Census and Statistics confirms that the current figures seem to under-estimate urbanisation and that the urban population ‘would have been much higher if the definitional issues were resolved’... [read more]

Copyrights: www.dailynews.lk
Only for information purpose. Under no circumstances will the ITPSL be responsible or liable in any way for any content of the materials shared in this section.

[shared on 08.01.2019]

Laggala "Green Town" is handed over to the residents displaced by Kalu-Ganga Reservoir Project

Source: www.sundaytimes.lk. Please click here to visit the source.

President Maithripala Sirisena will vest the new Laggala town with the public on Tuesday (8). The old Laggala town was submerged by the Kalu Ganga Reservoir due to the construction of the Moragahakanda-Kalu Ganga Multi-Purpose Development Project.

The new Laggala town was built to meet the needs of 3,000 families of the old town who were displaced due to the Moragahakanda-Kalu Ganga project. The new town has been designed according to the modern urban park concept with a total investment of Rs4.5 billion.

The town is another benefit of the Moragahakanda-Kalu Ganga Multi-purpose Development Project, which is the brainchild of President Sirisena. The Moragahakanda-Kalu Ganga project is the largest multi-purpose development project in the country... [read more]

Copyrights: www.sundaytimes.lk
Only for information purpose. Under no circumstances will the ITPSL be responsible or liable in any way for any content of the materials shared in this section.