Friday, December 31, 2010

Toward Low Carbon Cities: Madrid and London

Judith Ryser and Teresa Franchini, Toward Low Carbon Cities: Madrid and London
45th ISOCARP Congress 2009

Why choose Madrid and London to discuss low carbon cities?
Madrid and London are both big cities for European conditions. Their metropolitan character, building stock, airports and motorway networks, and status as international hubs add considerably to their ecological footprint. If they manage to curb their CO2 emissions they will have a noticeable impact on climate change.
Could Madrid and London become low carbon cities?
Spain and the UK have set stringent targets to reduce CO2 emissions and have taken concrete actions to implement them. They have allocated fundsi, introduced changes to their own building and rolling stock and pledged to reduce their own wasteful energy use. Their campaigns have raised awareness among citizens and businesses to change their behaviour toward energy consumption,iii and they have launched actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change in all key sectors.iv Madrid and London have adopted similar targets and measures. Will they suffice though to transform them into genuine low carbon cities or ‘eco-cities’ in the long term.
 
1. The Critical Path toward ‘Eco-Cities’
 
In answer to the questions of this paper, it is necessary to define first what is meant by ‘low carbon’ or ‘zero carbon’ city or, more generally, by an ‘eco-city’.
 
1.1 Defining Eco-Cities

What is an ‘eco-city’ and where does the notion come from? Early settlements in Mesopotamiavi may be their precursors as they serve the collective needs of their communities with local natural, renewable materials. Such vernacular architecturevii remains an inspiration for ‘eco-design’.viii Is living in sustainable symbiosis with nature feasible in an urbanised world? In the developed world, Jane Jacobsix considered that cities which are integrated with their immediate hinterland are drivers of prosperity and capable of revitalising nature in overloaded rural areas. The American eco-city movement proposed alternative solutions for city planning.x Richard Registerxi coined the term ecocity in 1987. His ‘Ecocity Builders’xii defined an ecocity as ecologically healthy: “an ecocity is a human settlement that enables its residents to live a good quality of life while using minimal natural resources”. They perceive Paolo Soleri’s Arcosanti in Arizona as the prototype of such an ideal ecocity. The European Union ecocity project on “urban development towards appropriate structures for sustainable transport” incorporated the sustainability visions of the participant cities, while the ecological cities movement produced international manifestos.The ecocity concept is gathering momentum in the developing world. For Akhtar Chauhanxiv a sustainable living environment is “based on climate responsiveness, appropriate use of technologies, and innovation of sustainable environmental design”. China is committed to realising ecocities, the most publicised among them Dongtan in the Shanghai conurbation and Tianjin ecocity, planned in cooperation with Singapore on a salt pan near China’s third largest city. Curitiba is Brazil’s avant-garde ecological capital with its ecological public transport system and university of the environment. Porto Allegre follows participatory ecoprinciples from the bottom up. African countries are starting to adopt ecocity principles; and the Middle East is preparing an “eco-friendly future after oil” with ecocities like Masdar in AbuDhabi.
At a more abstract level, the concept of eco-cities draws on analogies with biology and the notion that successful ecosystems are driven by innovation and shaped by human intervention. Ecocities constitute a context in which human beings can adapt and evolve. At a large scale, ecocities constitute whole Ecosystems of Innovation.


Ecocity, image by AnnaDiamantopoulou

related posts about the urbanism and urban planning in Spain and England:

skyline photos of Madrid 1

Anglo-American town planning theory since 1945: three significant developments but no paradigm shifts

Devastation of the historic city of Bath, England by the Germans During the WWII

Howard Park and Howard Garden, Letchworth Garden City, Herts: Archaeological Desk Based Assessment

Cycling to Sustainability in Amsterdam

By Ralph Buehler, 
Assistant Professor,Virginia Tech and John Pucher, Professor, Rutgers University

 Via Sustainable Communities, issue 21, fall/winter 2010

Introduction: The many dimensions of cycling’s sustainability 

There are many good reasons to encourage more cycling. It causes virtually no noise or air pollution and consumes far less non-renewable resources than any motorized transport mode. The only energy cycling requires is provided directly by the traveler, and the very use of that energy offers valuable cardiovascular exercise. Cycling requires only a small fraction of the space needed for the use and parking of cars. Moreover, cycling is economical, costing far less than both the private car and public transport, both in direct user costs and public infrastructure costs. Because it is affordable by virtually everyone, cycling is among the most equitable of all transport modes. In short, it is hard to beat cycling when it comes to environmental, social and economic sustainability.
This article examines how Amsterdam has consistently improved cycling conditions over many decades and succeeded at raising even further the share of trips by bike. As a result, it has become one of Europe’s most sustainable cities, offering convenient, safe, and socially acceptable alternatives to car dependence.
Unlike cities in North America, all segments of society cycle in the Netherlands: women as much as men, all age groups, and all income groups. The universality of cycling in the Netherlands highlights the extraordinary degree of social sustainability that bicycling makes possible.
 
Amsterdam: Cycling Capital of Europe 

Bikes have shaped the image of Amsterdam to such an extent that, for many people throughout the world, Amsterdam is almost synonymous with cycling. In 2008, cycling accounted for 38% of all vehicle trips—a bike mode share unheard of in other European cities of comparable size (City of Amsterdam, 2009). With a population of 743,000, Amsterdam is the largest city in the Netherlands. The greater Amsterdam region has 1.5 million inhabitants and is situated at the northern end of the Randstad, the Netherlands’ largest urrban agglomeration.
Amsterdam’s city administration estimates that there were 600,000 bikes in Amsterdam in 2006, about 0.75 bikes per inhabitant (City of Amsterdam, 2007). Amsterdam’s topography and spatial development patterns are ideal for cycling. The city is mostly flat and densely built-up. Mixed use neighborhoods keep trip distances relatively short. Furthermore, many small bike bridges and bike short cuts make it easy to navigate the city center by bike. By comparison, car use is difficult in the central city. There are few car parking spaces, and many cul-de-sacs and one way streets hinder car travel.


Cycling in Amsterdam, image by Stephen Trainor
Bicycling in Amsterdam, image by poul.iversen

more posts about bicycle planning in Europe:

Sustainable Transport Ideas: Cycling in Amsterdam

500 Kilometers of Bicycle Routes in Cicycling Capital of Germany

Complete Streets Lessons from Copenhagen

Bike Parking: a Key Part of the Bicycle Planning Amenities

Anglo-American town planning theory since 1945: three significant developments but no paradigm shifts

by NIGE L TAYLOR
Planning Perspectives, 14 (1999) 327–345

In recent times it has become fashionable to describe major changes in the history of ideas as ‘paradigm’ shifts, and some have described changes in town planning thought since the end of the Second World War in these terms. In this article I offer an overview of the history of town planning thought since 1945, and suggest that there have been three outstanding changes in planning thought over this period. These are, first, the shift in the 1960s from the view of town planning as an exercise in physical planning and urban design to the systems and rational process views of planning; second, the shift from the view of town planning as an activity requiring some technical expertise to the view of planning as a political process of making value-judgements about environmental change in which the planner acts as a manager and facilitator of that process; and third, the shift from ‘modernist’ to ‘postmodernist’ planning theory. I argue that none of these changes represents a paradigm change in anything like the strong sense of that term. Rather, they are better viewed as significant developments which have ‘filled out’ and enriched the rather primitive town planning theory which existed half a century ago.
 
Introduction
 
Over the fifty-year period since the end of the Second World War there have been a number of important shifts in town planning theory. But what have been the most significant changes, and how significant have these changes been? In this paper I offer a retrospective overview of the evolution of town planning thought since 1945, and an interpretation of the most significant shifts in planning thought over this period. My geographical focus will be on planning theory as it has developed in Britain and North America, though the developments I describe here have been influential elsewhere. My conceptual focus will be on those ideas or theories that have been concerned with clarifying what kind of an activity town planning is (and hence what skills are appropriate to its practice). In other words, I shall concentrate on changing conceptions of town planning itself over the last fifty years. But I shall also examine the modernist–postmodernist debate and its bearing on changing views about the purposes (and hence normative theory) of town planning.


RIBA - Royal Institute of British Architects 1934: London art deco, image by mermaid99

related posts:

Howard Park and Howard Garden, Letchworth Garden City, Herts: Archaeological Desk Based Assessment

RACE, SPACE, AND PLACE: THE RELATION BETWEEN ARCHITECTURAL MODERNISM, POST-MODERNISM, URBAN PLANNING, AND GENTRIFICATION

Devastation of the historic city of Bath, England by the Germans During the WWII

RACE, SPACE, AND PLACE: THE RELATION BETWEEN ARCHITECTURAL MODERNISM, POST-MODERNISM, URBAN PLANNING, AND GENTRIFICATION

by Keith Aoki 

Introduction 

Gentrification in United States urban housing markets of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s continues to be a controversial and complex phenomenon. [FN1] During the past twenty years, gentrification's effects on the core cities of the U.S. have been analyzed and evaluated many times over. [FN2] Descriptions of gentrification have spanned the ideological *700 spectrum, from laudatory embraces of gentrification as the solution to urban decline to denunciatory critiques of gentrification as another symptom of the widening gulf between the haves and the havenots in America. [FN3] This Article critiques gentrification, adding an additional explanatory element to the ongoing account of the dynamics of American cities in the 1990s. The additional element is the relevance of a major aesthetic realignment in architecture and urban planning from a modernist to a post-modernist ideology in the 1970s and 1980s. This shift involved an aesthetic and economic revaluation of historical elements in older central city buildings, which accelerated the rate of gentrification, displacement, and abandonment. This Article describes how certain shifts in the aesthetic ideology [FN4] of urban planners and architects affected suburban and urban spatial distribution in the United States during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. These ideological shifts arose from deeply embedded American attitudes toward city and rural life that had emerged in American town planning and architectural theory and practice by the mid-nineteenth century. Part I of this Article examines the emergence of an anti-urban Arcadian strand in nineteenth century American town planning rhetoric. [FN5] This anti-urban Arcadian strand was one of many factors behind the late nineteenth to the early twentieth century expansion of the suburbs beyond the urban core. Part II traces the parallel rise of a utilitarian efficiency-based 701 strand [FN6] in urban planning, examining the impact of new early twentieth century technological and engineering developments, such as automobiles, highways, electricity, and skyscrapers, on U.S. urban and suburban spatial distribution. Ironically, these new developments combined with the anti-urban Arcadian strand of American town planning to begin producing spatial distributions which were strictly segregated along economic, social, cultural, and racial lines. Part III examines the role of the massive and continuous twentieth century northward migration of displaced southern black agricultural workers as yet another factor with major consequences on spatial arrangements in U.S. urban and suburban areas. The pervasive rise of various land use controls, zoning, and urban renewal programs exemplifies the response of both suburban and urban planners to this steady northward migration. Zoning and urban renewal became vehicles for maintaining homogeneity in the face of strong countervailing social pressures for change. Both were premised on deep-rooted, value-laden nineteenth century assumptions, which favored the Arcadian ideal, as embodied by the single family suburban house, over urban pathology. Part IV discusses the paradoxical synthesis of the Arcadian and utilitarian strands in the theory and practice of twentieth century architectural modernism. The widespread effects of the adoption of modernism as the "official style" of the midcentury bureaucratic/corporate state is also discussed in this Section. [FN7] Part IV also discusses the concomitant rise of the post-World War II suburban tracts, insofar as their rise represented a synthesis of the Arcadian and the utilitarian approaches. Additionally, the effects of massive government interventions in post war housing markets are discussed. These interventions were partially based on implicit, but powerful, assumptions by planners and bureaucrats, [FN8] which privileged the semi-pastoral ideology of the middle-class suburban tract house over what had come to be perceived as the dangerous urban pathology of the core cities. These simultaneous and sometimes contradictory trends produced pervasive homogeneity and segregation on virtually all levels of the urban and suburban environment.


Urban sprawl, image by millicent_bystander

related posts:

Howard Park and Howard Garden, Letchworth Garden City, Herts: Archaeological Desk Based Assessment

Top 20 Urban Planning Successes of All Time

 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Skyline photos of Calgary 1

Calgary skyline, image by adam79
Calgary skyline, image by Stephen Desroches
Calgary skyline, image by Vlastula
Calgary skyline, image by Randy Peters
Calgary skyline, image by Randy Peters
Calgary skyline, image by Refrozen Seabass

Integration of landscape fragmentation analysis into regional planning: A statewide multi-scale case study from California, USA

by Evan H. Girvetza, James H. Thorneb, Alison M. Berrya, Jochen A.G. Jaegera

Abstract:

Landscape fragmentation due to urban development, transportation infrastructure, and agriculture poses a threat to environmental integrity. There is a need to quantify the level of landscape fragmentation in an ecologically meaningful way for inclusion in planning and decision-making. Effective mesh size (meff) is an ecologically relevant metric that quantifies landscape fragmentation based on the probability that two randomly chosen points in a region are located in the same non-fragmented patch.We investigated variation in meff measured by transportation districts, municipal counties, and six spatial levels of watersheds within the state of California. Four fragmentation geometries were developed by overlaying highways, roads, urbanized areas, agricultural areas, and natural fragmenting features. Twomeff calculation methods were compared: one where planning unit boundaries fragment the landscape (CUT), the other allowing for cross-boundary connections (CBC). The CUT procedure always produced lower meff values than CBC, with greater differences occurring in smaller planning units, confirming the bias introduced using boundaries with landscape metrics. Calculatedmeff values varied from0 to 20 885km2 across 6994 units in California. Roads contributed the most to fragmentation, while agriculture contributed little, as California’s agricultural areas are already heavily fragmented by roads. This paper provides a systematic, quantitative, and intuitive method for transportation, land use and environmental planners to analyze cumulative impacts of multiple fragmenting features across a range of spatial scales within a variety of planning units. This approach could be used for analyzing the impact of future land development scenarios, and integrated into regional planning processes.


related articles about the Californian cities:

San Francisco’s Big Plan: The Eastern Neighborhoods

Are pedestrian malls the future or the relic of antiquated thinking?

Different Sprawl Patterns in the U.S. Cities

San Francisco’s Big Plan: The Eastern Neighborhoods

by John Petro


San Francisco is in the midst of rezoning a huge swath of the eastern portion of the city, a whopping 2,200 acres of land. That’s the size of two Central Parks plus one Prospect Park. That’s seven percent of the City’s 47 square miles of land. That’s a pretty big deal – enormous, some might say.
The San Francisco Planning Department recently passed the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan which will guide land use and new development in four neighborhoods – The Mission, Showplace Square/Portero Hill, East SoMa, and the Central Waterfront – for the next 20 years. The Plan will now head to the City’s Board of Supervisors for approval in what is anticipated to be an all-out battle over conflicting interests and priorities for the area and its future.
In order for the Plan to be successful it must achieve a delicate balance between competing priorities. First, the Plan must balance the city’s dire need for housing with the need to preserve jobs.
A majority of the City’s industrial land is located in the Eastern Neighborhoods. These areas are zoned for light-industrial uses, or what is known as Production, Distribution, and Repair (PDR) services. PDR land covers a wide range of uses, from auto-repair, printing, storage, shipping, and transportation to other “hybrid” uses such as furniture manufacturing, food production and catering, floral design, performance spaces for the arts, audio/visual production, and digital media.


San Fransisco, image by faz the persian


more posts about the cities of California:

The Pedestrianization Fever Moves South

Are pedestrian malls the future or the relic of antiquated thinking?

Different Sprawl Patterns in the U.S. Cities

The Production of Urban Space in Vietnam’s Metropolis in the course of Transition: Internationalization, Polarization and Newly Emerging Lifestyles in Vietnamese Society

by Michael Waibel

Vietnam’s transitional development since the introduction of market-economy reforms in the late 1980s can certainly be described as a success story. The adoption of export-orientated growth and integration into economic globalization has opened the way for a modern consumer society. In accordance with most regional transition theories, the metropoles of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi have derived the most benefit from the successive opening-up of the economy to global capital. These urban agglomerations are Vietnam’s most outstanding motor of innovation, growth, and globalisation and represent main target regions for flows of foreign direct investment (FDI). Here, the urban population can enjoy the highest overall living standard. However, it is also here that the most extreme income disparities are to be found. Furthermore, the metropoles suffer from increasing migration pressure, environmental problems such as air pollution, and rising crime rates. Moreover, the transition of Vietnamese urban society has also led to increasing social differentiation in terms of income, education, family size, consumption patterns, etc. to produce hitherto unknown class divisions. In terms of urban spaces, the commodification of urban development through several land use reforms allowing land use rights to be traded led to a transfer of state resources to private hands and consequently to a marketization of housing and land. Similar as in China, the state gave up its unique control on urban space and allowed the new actors, such as trans-national corporations, household enterprises or individuals. As a result, Vietnam’s metropoles have been witnessing the production of new urban spatial forms and elements driven by multiple forces.
 
Overview: New Urban Spaces 

The production of globally orientated spaces in the inner city cores can be seen in the massive and continuing construction of office and hotel space mostly by trans-national corporations. This contributes to the fast-track development of an internationalized Central Business District (CBD) (see Photo 1). In the urban periphery, export processing and industrial zones have been established to channel foreign direct investments, which initially also served as demarcated laboratory spaces for market economy conditions. In this context, the most important actors are companies from Japan and from the tiger economies of Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan, which in some cases have even taken over the operation of these zones. In Ho Chi Minh City alone, there are three export processing zones and ten industrial zones that have a total size of 2,354 ha and have attracted a cumulative of US$1.54 billion in FDI capital.


New residential quarters in Hanoi, Vietnam, image by E8Club

New residential quarters in Hanoi, Vietnam, image by E8Club
Kham Thien St. in Hanoi, Vietnam, image by adam79

more posts on urbanism of Vietnam:

A STUDY ON URBAN PLANNING /URBAN TRANSPORTATION ISSUES IN SOUTHEAST ASIAN COUNTRIES AND JAPAN’S TECHNICAL CORPORATIONINS

Master Planning Challenges for Ho Chi Minh City

TRANSFORMATION OF SOCIO-ECONOMIC STRUCTURE OF HO CHI MINH CITY UNDER THE DOI-MOI POLICY AND THE ACCOMPANYING GLOBALIZATION PROCESS

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Land Use Planning in Metro Manila and the Urban Fringe: Implications on the Land and Real Estate Market

Marife M. Ballesteros
Philippine Institute for Development Studies


Abstract
This paper examines land use planning in Metro Manila and the urban fringe and analyzes its effect on transactions in the urban land and real estate market. The analysis begins with a historical review of land use planning strategies in the metropolitan area and the attendant bureaucratic changes that occurred. The effects of these planning strategies on the urban land and real estate market are then analyzed using the transaction cost framework of the new institutional economics (NIE). It is argued that transaction costs in the land and real estate market in the Philippines has been significant due to the confusion brought about by unclear land use policies of the government. These costs have been noted to increase as government shifted from an interventionist and centralized system to a liberal and decentralized system of land use planning. The system of permits and licensing has become more complicated and inefficient overtime. To economize on transaction costs, real estate development companies engage in a lot of contracting and sub-contracting in the market. Relational contracting in the forms of “grease” money and procedural short-cuts has been common to obtain development approvals. The high transaction costs are reflected in the prices of urban real estate. While Metro Manila has the lowest per unit costs of construction among neighboring cities in Asia, the high transaction costs make housing more expensive in the country than elsewhere in Asia. Contradicting policies on Philippine land use have to be corrected. Moreover, stronger and more direct government presence in the land and real estate market through land use planning and urban management seems necessary.


Manila, image by Griff69


read more articles and reports about urban planning in south east Asia:

TRANSFORMATION OF SOCIO-ECONOMIC STRUCTURE OF HO CHI MINH CITY UNDER THE DOI-MOI POLICY AND THE ACCOMPANYING GLOBALIZATION PROCESS

Republic of the Philippines: Preparing the Philippines Basic Urban Services Sector Project

Republic of the Philippines: Preparing the Philippines Basic Urban Services Sector Project

Asian Development Bank

I. INTRODUCTION

1. At the request of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) fielded a Fact-Finding Mission during May–July 2007 to initiate a project preparatory technical assistance (PPTA)1 for preparing a basic urban services sector project for the Philippines. The Mission held discussions with Government officials representing the Department of Finance (DOF), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), and various government financial institutions, e.g., Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), and the Municipal Development Finance Office (MDFO). The Mission visited the cities of Cabucgayan, Biliran; Iriga, Camarines Sur; Legaspi and Ligao, Albay; Juban, Sorsogon, and Tacloban, Leyte,2 and held discussions with officials of local government units (LGUs). Follow-up meetings were held with DOF and an understanding was reached on the objectives, scope, cost estimates, and implementation arrangements for the TA.
2. The proposed Philippines Basic Urban Services Sector Project (PBUSSP) builds on the success and results of the ongoing Loan 1843-PHI: Mindanao Basic Urban Services Sector Project (MBUSSP),3 which is being implemented in 40 LGUs and has demonstrated good performance during the last 2 years.
II. ISSUES

3. Growth and Importance of Urban Areas. The Philippines is one of the most rapidly urbanizing countries in Asia. In 1980, its total population was 48 million and 37.2% was urban. Twenty years later, in 2000, the population was 76.5 million with an urban population of 48.1%. The total population is projected to reach 94 million by 2010 and 128 million by 2030, with the urban population constituting 60% in 2010 and 75% in 2030.4 The regional distribution of the population is 56% in Luzon, 24% in Mindanao, and the remaining 20% in Central Philippines. Rapid urbanization, which contributes to 85% of the total gross national product (GNP), is putting constraints on the ability of the country to provide adequate infrastructure, social services, and suitable urban environmental infrastructure, particularly water supply, and sanitation and solid waste management services. While official data indicates that only about 20% of the 7.5 million urban households fall below the poverty income line, poverty data alone does not capture the dire situation of the urban poor, many whom live as informal settlers and suffer from lack of access to infrastructure services.

Read the report here

Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, image by Storm Crypt

read more posts about southeast Asia:

TRANSFORMATION OF SOCIO-ECONOMIC STRUCTURE OF HO CHI MINH CITY UNDER THE DOI-MOI POLICY AND THE ACCOMPANYING GLOBALIZATION PROCESS

Master Planning Challenges for Ho Chi Minh City

A STUDY ON URBAN PLANNING /URBAN TRANSPORTATION ISSUES IN SOUTHEAST ASIAN COUNTRIES AND JAPAN’S TECHNICAL CORPORATIONINS

A STUDY ON URBAN PLANNING /URBAN TRANSPORTATION ISSUES IN SOUTHEAST ASIAN COUNTRIES AND JAPAN’S TECHNICAL CORPORATIONINS

Tatsumi TOKUNAGA
Yoji TAKAHASHI

Abstract: 

In recent years, with the rapid economic growth and concentration of the population into urban areas, some unregulated developments have been conducted in urban areas in Southeast Asian countries, so that their governments are under the pressure of necessity to develop an adequate operation of urban planning systems. Not all of the Southeast Asian countries, however, always have appropriate technologies for the urban planning project. Therefore, in this context, Japan, with practical experience in urban planning, is expected to transfer its technology and know-how to such a planning. This paper analyzed the backgrounds and urban planning/urban transportation issues in the Southeast Asian countries and proposed a technical cooperation model in response to requests arising from those countries.

1. BACKGROUNDS AND OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

In Southeast Asian countries, urban areas have been developed unsystematically in recent years with their rapid economic growth and expansion of urban population, creating seriously aggravated living environments. Figure.1 shows a trend of urbanization process of industrialized countries and that of Southeast Asian countries. A negative impact of motorization, industrialization and economic growth in Southeast Asian countries accelerate urban service deterioration and accordingly generate serious urban issues, such as traffic congestion, Photo 1. Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand traffic accident, air/water pollution, and sprawl phenomenon in the central district of the city. These countries lack a well-established urban planning system and necessary technology and proper experience. To alleviate those of severe condition and improve their environment, Japan has dispatched technical experts (hereinafter referred to as “JICA experts”) to developing countries from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), of which sole Japanese governmental agency in charge of bilateral technical cooperation and grant aid projects, in the view of a part of international cooperation, widely known as definition of Official Development Assistance (ODA).
JICA conducts an extensive technical cooperation program covering such subjects as the institution of various legal systems, establishment of technical standards, human resources development through technology transfer, and planning of individual projects.


Thailand, image by Gary Wong Photography
Jakarta, image by Aktiv Phil

Manila, image by Andy*Enero

Related posts about urban planning in southeast Asia:

Master Planning Challenges for Ho Chi Minh City

Great distance between Bangkok and Thailand's second largest city, Nonthaburi

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, URBANIZATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGES IN HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM: RELATIONS AND POLICIES

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Devastation of the historic city of Bath, England by the Germans During the WWII

Despite the bombardments during the World War II, the city of Bath in south west of England (159 kilometers west of London) is still one of the historic tourist-attracting cities of Britain. It now has an approximate population of 84000 people. There are evidences of residence of Romans and Celts in the city and the surrounding region . The old church of the city was rebuilt in 1500 by Oliver King, the Bishop of Bath and Wells. However the main eye-catching monuments of the city dates back to the 18th century. The name that is prominent in 18th century developments of the city is John Wood. He has been the beginner of the brilliant architecture that is now observable in the city. The Royal Crescent, The Circus, the Theatre Royal, and Grand Pump Room are of the monuments and complexes that were built in this century. 
During the World War II, the Germans tried to ruin the city of Bath with an aim to destroy the tourism and historical places of Britain. so some cities like Bath, Canterburry, Exeter, etc. were bombed. This was done as a preparation for the Nazi main attack to britain. The following video is a BBc production, which describes the situation and the heritage preservation attempts after the World War.
The Royal Crescent in Bath, image by Frenkieb
The Royal Crescent in the city of Bath, photo by velodenz
The Royal Crescent in the city of Bath, image by velodenz
Bath, image by Márcio Cabral de Moura
Bath, England, image by Márcio Cabral de Moura
more posts about urbanism in England:

Howard Park and Howard Garden, Letchworth Garden City, Herts: Archaeological Desk Based Assessment

The nature and causes of urban sprawl: a case study of Wirral, England

London Invests on Energy Saving Technologies

Skyline photos of Sydney, Australia 1

Sydney skyline, photo by raminders

Sydney skyline, photo by meironke

Sydney skyline, photo by Vermin Inc

Sydney skyline, photo by Hi, my name is Rick.

Sedney skyline, photo by Daniele Sartori

Sydney skyline, photo by sachman75

Sydney skyline, photo by Captain Chaos
more skyline photos:

skyline photos of Madrid 1

skyline of Paris 1

New York skyline photos 1

Skyline photos of Vienna, Austria 1

Vienna skyline, image by Storm Crypt
Vienna skyline, image by bekassine...
Vienna skyline, image by DaveLevy
Vienna skyline, image by hessmapeace
Vienna skyline, image by DaveLevy








Howard Park and Howard Garden, Letchworth Garden City, Herts: Archaeological Desk Based Assessment

Keith J Fitzpatrick-Matthews
North Hertfordshire District Council Museums Service
Archaeology Report 35

Introduction

This assessment of the archaeology of Howard Park and Howard Garden was commissioned on 10 April 2008 by Keith Gayner of North Hertfordshire District Council as part of a Stage 2 submission for Heritage Lottery Funding. The study area is bounded to the west by Norton Way South, to the North by Birds Hill, to the east by Rushby Mead and to the south by Pixmore Way. This report is based purely on existing documentation in the public domain, personal knowledge of the site and its surroundings from the early 1960s to the present, and a detailed site inspection undertaken in April 2008. No original fieldwork was undertaken beyond the site inspection and no original documents held in archives outside North Hertfordshire Museums Service were consulted.

Letchworth Garden City
 
Geology

Letchworth Garden City lies on deposits of Cretaceous chalk, the Lower Chalk formation in lower- lying parts of the town and Middle Chalk on the higher ground (Figure 2). The study area straddles the boundary between the two. The element of the Lower Chalk found in this area has been termed Grey Chalk, occasionally overlain by a thin deposit of Plenus Marl. The former contains frequent marine fossils, especially of pycnodonteine oysters, while the latter appears to have formed in shallow waters with an abundant macrofaunal fossil assemblage (Hopson et al.1996, 34). These are likely to be the deposits underlying the north-western part of the study area. Above them, the Middle Chalk is represented by Melbourn Rock, an off-white chalk with few fossils (Hopson et al.1996, 43). This is the deposit underlying the south-eastern part of the study area. The Lower Chalk and Grey Clay are impervious and their outcropping at the foot of the hills to the south-east cause springs to form; one of these, Pix Brook, and its tributaries, flows through the centre of Letchworth Garden City and forms the eastern boundary of the study area (Miller 2002, 27).
During the Quaternary, the valley of the Pix Brook was occupied by a river draining south from the Midlands via Stevenage in a palaeochannel known as the Stevenage Channel. The initial advance of the Anglian ice sheet (beginning around 480,000 BP) was through this valley, which was gradually broadened to the west, forming the Hitchin Gap. An early retreat of the glacier left a proglacial lake south of Letchworth Garden City, but the site remained under the glacier (Hopson et al. 1996, 100). The ice sheet was up to a kilometre thick and eroded as much as 70 m or so from the former land surface. Deposits left after its retreat have been classified in the Thames Catchment subgroup of the Britannia Catchments Group (McMillan 2005, 98).
In parts of the valley of the Pix Brook, deposits of a neogene calcareous tufa have been observed (for instance, at Norton Common). It is deposited above the till deposits around three metres above the stream and contains species of mollusca known to have been extinct by about 4000 BP (Hopson et al. 1996, 110). It is not known if these deposits are present in the study area.


Letchworth, image by stevecadman
related post:

Top 20 Urban Planning Successes of All Time

Monday, December 27, 2010

Master Planning Challenges for Ho Chi Minh City

Alan Fujimori

Abstract:
The potential for tourism should provide major socio-economic opportunities in the master planning of Ho Chi Minh City. Rapid urbanization requires that infrastructure especially transit keep ahead of development to focus private investment. Convenient access between home, work and supporting services will help the development of a strong and productive work force. The built environment and open space system must make the city livable by preserving its history, culture, and natural features that reveal the image and identity of Ho Chi Minh City.
Socio-Economic:
Tourism is the largest industry in the world and clearly of significance to developing countries. Substantial investments are required to capitalize major destination resorts, but the industry is now diversified enough to include wider participation by small and medium businesses. Tourism generates 11 percent of global GDP, employs 200 million people, transports 700 million international travelers per year, and is expected to double by 2020. However, developing countries have only 30 percent market share, a minority position.
The challenge for Ho Chi Minh City will be how to integrate appropriate types of tourism into master planning for the city to become a world-class destination that reflects its people, history, culture, and landscapes while protecting and conserving these resources.
Tourism is highly dependent on the natural and cultural assets of a place. In Hawaii, visitors are attracted by natural features such as our climate and pristine waters, as well as by our multicultural history. Vietnam has it own set of resources that can provide significant tourism opportunities. Today, authenticity has become an increasingly important attribute sought by the visitor in the international market.


Ho Chi Minh City, image by Espen Faugstad
more posts on urban planning of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon):

The Contemporary Urban Problems in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Skyline photos of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) 1

TRANSFORMATION OF SOCIO-ECONOMIC STRUCTURE OF HO CHI MINH CITY UNDER THE DOI-MOI POLICY AND THE ACCOMPANYING GLOBALIZATION PROCESS

How a Road Can Change a City, Even If It Never Gets Built

Dec. 23, 2010
 
I-478 is a pretty remarkable road: It is, for one thing, the longest tunnel on the U.S. Interstate Highway System. It's also the longest subaqueous facility. But I-478 conceals its charms; driving on it, there is nothing—not a single red, white, and blue shield—to tell you that you are doing so.  
This shy and retiring facility is the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, connecting Brooklyn to Lower Manhattan. While it appears on maps, I-478 is not signposted (to avoid driver confusion with Brooklyn's nearby I-278, the story goes), and virtually never referred to by its federal designation.
I-478 is something of a phantom highway, and if you head north to the Manhattan Bridge, you can find a clue as to its origins: a bit of hanging roadbed in the median that simply comes to an end. This severed trunk is all that remains of the I-478 that never was: the Lower Manhattan Expressway.


Image by ShellyS

more posts about New York:

Gentrification and Resistance in New York City

NYC’s Bike Route Network: Bridging the Gaps

Transit: How ‘Transit-Oriented Development’ Will Put More New Yorkers in Cars

Sunday, December 26, 2010

TRANSFORMATION OF SOCIO-ECONOMIC STRUCTURE OF HO CHI MINH CITY UNDER THE DOI-MOI POLICY AND THE ACCOMPANYING GLOBALIZATION PROCESS

By DU Phuoc Tan and Shigeru FUKUSHIMA


Daily life in Ho Chi Minh City, image by Ronald HN Tan
Abstract:

Vietnam, and in particular Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), have experienced rapid socio-economic change echoing the global economy since 1986, when the central government started to implement the Doi-Moi policy, an overall economic reform. This study aims to clarify (1) how the socio-economic structure of HCMC has been changing under the Doi-Moi policy and the globalization process of Vietnam, and (2) what the mechanism of these changes is, including the relevant government policies. We can see the positive results of industrialization in terms of economic growth, modernization and formalization of industries. The favorable economic cycle of increasing foreign direct investment (FDI) and trade, Gross Regional Product (GRP) growth, emergence of private sectors, formalization of the economy and expansion of the local population and market has been formed gradually as part of the economic development of HCMC. These changes are due to a reciprocal impact process between the macro legal framework reform conducted by the central government and the development policies mapped out by the HCMC local government. Under the globalization process together with the local industrialization, there have obviously been transformations of HCMC society. The transformation of society has been revealed in the form of (1) formalization of society, (2) improvement in income and consumption and expansion of disparity, and (3) urbanization with massive migration.


read more posts on Vietnamiese urban planning:

Skyline photos of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) 1

The Contemporary Urban Problems in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, URBANIZATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGES IN HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM: RELATIONS AND POLICIES

Ho Chi Minh City, image by alex-s