Third runway at Heathrow gets the go-ahead
Ministers approved the long-awaited decision at a cabinet committee meeting on Tuesday.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling called the decision "truly momentous" and said expansion would improve the UK's connections with the rest of the world and support trade and jobs.
Although Heathrow has always been the favourite among businesses, it has attracted the most opposition from MPs with constituencies near the airport or under flight paths.
The expansion which had been publicly opposed by Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, Tory MP for Richmond Park, Zac Goldsmith and Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson has been widely debated for years.Funded with private sector cash the new runway will cost £17.6 billion but provide 260,000 more flights... View full entry
The (potential) Impact of Building Energy Codes
In terms of financial benefits to consumers from reduced utility bills, energy codes could save $126 billion dollars from 2010 to 2040. This equates to a CO2 reduction of 841 million metric tons (MMT). These savings are approximately equal to the greenhouse gases emitted by 177 million passenger vehicles driven for one year or the CO2 emissions from 245 coal power plants for one year.
— U.S. Department of Energy » Building Energy Codes Program
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) evaluates impacts of model energy codes in residential and commercial buildings. The most recent assessment focuses on the current model codes and their prospective national and state-level impacts from 2010 through 2040. View full entry
A vast urban pathology
But it is traffic that has sealed Dhaka’s reputation among academics and development specialists as the great symbol of 21st-century urban dysfunction, the world’s most broken city. It has made Dhaka a surreal place, a town that is both frenetic and paralyzed, and has altered the rhythms of daily life for its 17.5 million-plus residents.
— NYT - T Magazine
Jody Rosen writes about Dhaka's legendary traffic congestion.For more check out; more incredible photos by Nicolas Chorier and get LIVE: Traffic updates for Dhaka city via The Daily Star. Or read about how the UNDP-designed Bus Finder Feature and Transport Pioneers program is trying to solve... View full entry
British construction criticised for lack of innovation by government report
The review highlights the sector’s dysfunctional training model, its lack of innovation and collaboration, and its non-existent research and development culture.
Low productivity continues to hamper the sector, while recent high levels of cost inflation, driven by a shortage of workers, has stalled numerous housing schemes as they have become too expensive to build.
Read more UK industry news here: Mayor of London launches probe into the impact of foreign investment in city's real estateEngineering giant Arup announces imminent layoffs following Brexit voteThe former-football stars tackling England's affordable housing shortage View full entry
Javier Senosiain's low-income "bio-architecture" housing proposal
Forming a closer, more harmonious bond between humanity and nature is the underlying goal of Javier Senosiain's organic or so-called "bio-architecture." His buildings often take the shape of organic forms--in one case, mythic serpent Quetzalcoatl--while simultaneously harvesting rainwater and... View full entry
Can Cleveland combat climate change with compact communities?
Although Cleveland often serves more as a punchline than a solution (the Cuyahoga River caught fire in 1969 due to pollution), a climate change conference convened by the United Nations and currently being held in Quito, Ecuador sees new potential in the city. As StreetsBlog reports, if Cleveland... View full entry
Perkins + Will proposes 80-story timber skyscraper in Chicago
As part of its ongoing Riverline community project, Perkins + Will has proposed an entirely conceptual 80-story, 300 unit residential skyscraper made from timber called the River Beech Tower. Announced 145 years after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, this proposed tower would feature a massive... View full entry
The absorbing design of China's anti-flood "sponge cities"
Is flood mitigation the new frontier in urban planning? China, whose urban centers have regularly been experiencing infrastructure-shuttering floods, is actively encouraging its metropolises to start reshaping themselves to handle the new reality via the so-called "sponge city" program. As an... View full entry
The Rainforest Solutions Project wins the 2016 Fuller Challenge Award
Greenpeace, Sierra Club BC, and Stand.earth formed the Rainforest Solutions Project as part of the Tides Canada Initiative. The coalition has spent nearly two decades developing a sophisticated legal and policy framework called Ecosystem-Based Management to tackle the persisting struggle over Canada's treasured Great Bear Rainforest, while also negotiating the conflicting interests of multiple groups.
Winning over six equally worthy finalist teams, the Rainforest Solutions Project addresses both natural and cultural preservation, and it enforces stronger ecological responsibility in industrial economic pursuits. The Project resulted in a landmark 250-year agreement between all stakeholders... View full entry
Steven Holl's Visual Arts Building opens Oct. 7th at University of Iowa
On Friday October 7th, Steven Holl and Senior Partner Chris McVoy will be on hand to officially open the firm's Visual Arts Building for the University of Iowa, which in addition to being the only building in the United States that uses an integrated hydronic radiant heating and cooling system in... View full entry
"Our architecture works harder than your architecture": Inside the city of Arcosanti
Can cities be built not only to be harmonious with their environment, but to outperform traditional architecture? The residents of Arcosanti, Arizona, which is profiled in this video excerpt from the Atlantic, seem to think so. Part campus, part permanent dwelling, Arcosanti embraces the concept... View full entry
American firms aren't doing enough to reduce their carbon footprint, according to new report
“We are simply not making significant strides in crucial metrics that predict building performance,” states Greg Mella, FAIA, Director of Sustainable Design at SmithGroupJJR and co-chair of the AIA 2030 Working Group, in a new report that gauges the progress made by firms voluntarily... View full entry
LED streetlights may contribute to 'serious health conditions' says AMA, prompting cities to re-evaluate
high-intensity LED streetlights ... emit unseen blue light that can disturb sleep rhythms and possibly increase the risk of serious health conditions, including cancer and cardiovascular disease. [...]
Some [researchers] noted that exposure to the blue-rich LED outdoor lights might decrease people’s secretion of the hormone melatonin. Secreted at night, melatonin helps balance the reproductive, thyroid and adrenal hormones and regulates the body’s circadian rhythm of sleeping and waking.
While the American Medical Association cautions cities to re-evaluate their use of high-intensity LED lights for health reasons, others have pointed out that most televisions and computers also emit the blue light wavelength found to be potentially harmful. Aside from human health concerns, LEDs... View full entry
aka *Old people afraid of the sky in big cities, featuring white streets and roofs and fast cheap trees
How many lives could be spared, the researchers then asked, if the city planted more trees and grass, replaced dark asphalt and concrete with light-colored and reflective roofs and pavement, and cut back on the excess heat seeping out of buildings and the tailpipes of cars and buses?
— The New Yorker
Madeline Ostrander visited Louisville Kentucky, to learn how one city is trying to cool it. With an increase in urban deforestation, extreme heat waves and global climate change, the urban heat-island effect is now a concern for politicians and non-profits. Not just researchers... View full entry
Norman Foster reimagines global infrastructure strategies in new essay
Back in May, Foster + Partners unveiled their design for the Droneport, a modular shell-like structure that is constructed with local labor from earthen bricks and thin compressed tiles to create loading areas for food and medical-aid bearing transport drones. A version of the Droneport was built... View full entry