Urban Update 18th June 2013

Download the edition here

 

International Urban Design News

 

China

Sustainable Urban Prototype - Green Health City in Hainan

http://www.talkitect.com/2013/06/sustainable-urban-prototype-green.html

 

Preview of the 2013 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (Shenzhen)

http://www.e-flux.com/announcements/preview-of-the-2013-biennale/

 

Jiaxing-Shaoxing Sea Bridge completed

With a span of 10 kilometres over the Hangzhou Bay, it is the world's longest and widest multi-pylon cable-stayed bridge

http://www.china.org.cn/photos/2013-06/18/content_29155299.htm

 

Denmark

Copenhagen Ranked No1 as world’s most livable city

http://www.copcap.com/Newslist/2013/Copenhagen-ranked-no-1-as-the-most-livable-city

 

India

Walking and Cycling Linked to Health Benefits in India

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-06/icl-woc061013.php

 

New Zealand

Fresh designs to revitalise neighbourhood centres by Massey University Planning Students

http://www.massey.ac.nz/massey/about-massey/news/article.cfm?mnarticle_uuid=190F3B42-07AA-B80E-DCEC-76E4A7BD126F

Some people may think these designs look highway-heavy, with wide corner radii and wide carriageways.

 

Pavilion part of Basin plan to lessen impact of major fly-over

http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/8809858/Pavilion-part-of-Basin-plan

 

Wellington Mayor calls for rapid progress on Public Transport

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK1306/S00415/mayor-calls-for-rapid-progr...

 

UK

Stirling winner Accordia protected from ‘ramshackle’ changes by Conservation Area status

http://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/daily-news/stirling-winner-accordia-protected-from-ramshackle-changes/8649415.article

 

RIBA Awards debate: What is being built today, and is it any good?

British Architecture Nowdebate on Tuesday 25 June

 

USA

Downtown needs to be designed for women first, men second.

Women are the biggest decision makers when it comes to the family money,

http://www.timesargus.com/article/20130610/THISJUSTIN/706109933

 

Vineyard forms part of residential development in Oregon

http://www.oregonlive.com/foodday/index.ssf/2013/06/singular_vision_put_vineyard_a.html

 

Hoosic River Revival – an "Emerald Necklace" of parks constructed along the Hoosic River

http://www.thetranscript.com/news/ci_23475074/north-adams-residents-give-input-access-flood-control

 

Baltimore residential tower described as “urban castle” that walled off the building from the rest of the community

http://www.bizjournals.com/baltimore/blog/real-estate/2013/06/proposed-washington-hill-apartment.html

 

 

What’s the best way to revitalize the downtown?

Winchester’s CBD zoning is outdated.  “It has no general vision or urban design guidelines to help developers understand what the community wants. The overly complex review and permit process discourages property owners and developers from investing in the center.”

http://homenewshere.com/daily_times_chronicle/news/winchester/article_c3af8b9a-d75f-11e2-8539-0019bb2963f4.html

 

 

California Cities, Drivers Want More Bike Lanes … Here’s Why : Bike lanes make everyone feel safer — even drivers. 

http://www.citywatchla.com/lead-stories-hidden/5251-in-california-cities-drivers-want-more-bike-lanes-here-s-why

 

“one of the most ludicrous urban design proposals in ages” seen off in San Francisco

http://blog.sfgate.com/johnking/2013/06/17/going-gopostal-on-market-street-not-a-good-thing/

 

Great Places Awards 2013 – Environmental Design and Research Association

http://www.edra.org/content/great-places-awards

Pop Up City: Temporary Use Strategies for a Shrinking City,” from the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, Kent State University

Northerly Island Park Framework Plan,” Chicago

http://www.cpdit01.com/resources/planning-and-development.home/pdf.frameworkplans/Northerly%20Island%20Framework%20Plan.pdf

WaterFire, Providence – (is what it says)

http://waterfire.org/

 

Research and Policy

 

Technology

IBM Advertising Meets Urban Design

http://www.itweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=64823:IBM-advertising-meets-urban-design&catid=129

 

 

Politics, Philosophy, Economics

 

Local, self-sufficient, optimistic: are Transition Towns the way forward?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jun/15/transition-towns-way-forward

 

Tesco wins planning approval on appeal for superstore in 'Portas Pilot' town of Margate

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/10120460/Tesco-gets-the-green-light-for-superstore-in-Portas-Pilot-town-of-Margate.html

 

Is it the end of the road for high street shops and pubs?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/lifestyle/reinvent-the-high-street/10122352/Is-it-the-end-of-the-road-for-high-street-shops-and-pubs.html

 

PBA propose Town Centre Investment Management to dynamise high streets

The concept is to consolidate fragmented ownership of freeholds under one single ownership (a REIT – Retail Investment Trust), by agreement or CPO.  And then to introduce an entrepreneurial approach for the whole high street, including a tenant mix strategy, better management, and other initiatives.

http://www.peterbrett.com/town-centre-investment-management-tools

 

Where next for Local Enterprise Partnerships? Smith Institute report

http://www.smith-institute.org.uk/file/Where%20next%20for%20Local%20Enterprise%20Partnerships%20.pdf

 

Future of E-commerce may lie in personal rapport or in Chinese, “swift guanxi,”

Guanxi is a Chinese concept “broadly defined as a close and pervasive interpersonal relationship” and “based on high-quality social interactions and the reciprocal exchange of mutual benefits,” 

Social technologies the report suggests, can transform online marketplaces from impersonal transactions among strangers to personal relationships among virtual friends.  “The future of electronic commerce lies in personal relationships virtually enabled by social technologies.”

http://www.fox.temple.edu/posts/2013/06/e-commerces-future-is-in-creating-swift-guanxi-or-personal-and-social-rapport/

 

Great entrepreneurs divide: 90% of self-employed hotspots are in the North - and it's more creative than the South

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/smallbusiness/article-2335247/The-North-South-divide-90-self-employed-hotspots-northern.html

 

 

How Napoleon's semaphore telegraph changed the world

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22909590

 

Bringing repair to the waste management cycle - Restart parties

Not bring and buy sales, but bring and repair.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-22796798

 

A New Humanism: Part 23

http://www.metropolismag.com/Point-of-View/June-2013/A-New-Humanism-Part-23/

 

 

Humans, Health and Society

World population projected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050 and may near 11 million by the end of the century according to UN report

http://www.washington.edu/news/2013/06/13/uw-research-world-population-could-be-nearly-11-billion-by-2100/

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=45165&Cr=population&Cr1=#.UboXgfnVB8E

 

Living in urban areas could have major impact on biological clocks of humans and animals

In constant laboratory conditions, urban birds' circadian (daily) rhythms were clearly altered, running faster by 50 minutes than forest birds and being clearly less robust.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/feeling-tired-blame-city-living-living-in-urban-areas-could-have-major-impact-on-biological-clocks-of-humans-and-animals-say-researchers-8645292.html

 

The adults who suffer extreme homesickness

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22764986

This is the study into attachment to place that for some people is so strong that it can lead to emotional distress when they are in a distant land.

 

People with social phobias can be helped with computer “coach”

http://web.mit.edu/press/2013/automated-coach-could-help-with-social-interactions.html

One can assume that it is not enough to provide welcoming social spaces.  Some people will need to be encouraged and helped to make use of them.

 

Frequent posting to social media associated with narcissism

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-06/uom-ysv061113.php

 

People Anticipate Others’ Genuine Smiles, But Not Polite Smiles

http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/releases/people-anticipate-others-genuine-smiles-but-not-polite-smiles.html

 

What motivates people to attempt suicide? – a sense of hopelessness and extreme emotional pain

“It may be surprising to some, but focusing on motivations is a new approach in the field of suicide research.

http://news.ubc.ca/2013/06/13/first-major-study-of-suicide-motivations-to-advance-prevention/

 

No evidence that over/underpronation in the foot leads to an increased risk of running injury if you run in a neutral pair of running shoes

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-06/au-ret061413.php

 

 

Built Environment

 

How the self-driving car might make our cities better and greener

http://www.treehugger.com/urban-design/how-self-driving-car-might-make-our-cities-better-and-greener.html

 

Millionaire homeowners in world's tallest block of flats forced to walk 97 floors to top after lift breaks down

http://tinyurl.com/k7jt9pj

 

The secret life of the domestic cat

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22567526

And the technology used to track them

http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/newsevents/news/2013/Pages/housecats.aspx

And a reminder that cats and dogs inhabit towns and cities alongside us, and are important urban design and architectural considerations – although as far as we know no built environment course addresses urban pets, and some fail even to address humans.

 

The 8 best ways to stamp out dog’s mess

Fines, DNA tracing, surveillance, scooter collection, humour etc

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22853270

 

Self cleaning surfaces generate air pollution

Titanium dioxide is used in self-cleaning" paints and building surfaces, and is also claimed as being capable of reducing pollution by breaking down air pollutants such as ammonia and nitrogen oxides in the presence of sunlight to nitrogen and oxygen.  Experiments in real-word conditions have shown that the breakdown is incomplete, and ammonia (NH3) breaks into nitrogen oxide and nitrogen dioxide.   In areas where the titanium dioxide technology is used, ammonia degradation could account for up to 13 percent of the nitrogen oxides in the immediate vicinity.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130613092346.htm

 

London exploding pavements surge prompts death fears

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-22934155

Further reasons here for introducing efficient design to the layout of street utilities.

 

 

Movement

BAE reveal what the future of transport is – or rather, how it was perceived in the 1960s

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/aviation/10123406/Futuristic-transport-ideas-of-the-1960s-revealed.html?placement=rhs2

The future will be 95 percent like the present with 5 percent weirdness

 

Free Bus Travel for teenagers  curbs road traffic injuries and benefits environment

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-06/bmj-fbt061013.php

 

15-minute walks taken after meals helped curb risky rise in blood sugar, new study says

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-06/gwus-mwt060613.php

 

Urban Design & above/below ground Automated parking systems  (or car elevators)

http://www.parking-net.com/parking-news/skyline-parking-ag/sustainable

Rather than It’s a video presentation intended to sell a product – but an interesting one.

http://www.parking-net.com/parking-industry/skyline-parking-ag

and an alternative perspective. “A wretched excess”

http://www.treehugger.com/urban-design/wretched-excess-or-future-housing-design-another-look-car-elevator.html

 

Row over Tyneside alleyway  “obstructed” with residents’ planters and flower pots

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2343340/How-glorious-alleyway-deemed-health-safety-risk-Council-bans-pot-plants-despite-handing-gardening-neighbours-award-work.html

The local authority may have confused “obstruction” with “material obstruction”  which are two different things.  “Psychological obstruction” has been an issue accepted by the courts.  Material obstruction of footways by council wheely bins is a subject that is ripe for legal action and challenge, especially under the Equality Act 2010

 

Energy

Impact of logging releasing carbon dioxide stored in soils militates against environmental benefits of wood energy

http://www.biofueldaily.com/reports/Wood_not_so_green_a_biofuel_999.html