The number of premature deaths attributed to particulate pollution has risen, government figures show.
According to Public Health England, the percentage of premature deaths attributable to minute particles known as PM2.5s rose to 5.3% in 2013 in England from 5.1% in 2012. The death rate in London rose to 6.7% from 6.6%. The figures follow significant improvements in air quality across England in 2010 and 2011. — the Guardian
Related:New Delhi mandates odd-even car rationing to fight world's worst air pollutionReducing Turin's smog with free public transitBeijing's latest "airpocalypse" is bad enough for city to issue first ever red alertCar-free events significantly improve air quality
Hey London, how do you feel about a major span across the Thames being corporately sponsored? Because that's what's going to happen with the Garden Bridge.
It's just been announced that Sky, the media behemoth owned by Rupert Murdoch, has given an undisclosed amount to the Garden Bridge Trust. But this is no altruistic gesture: one of the gardens on the bridge "will be named by Sky". — Londonist
As the article notes, there are a slew of issues – besides aesthetic ones – plaguing the newest Thames crossing. First, Sky is set to sponsor the bridge. Second, attendance projections suggest that queues will be necessary and South Bank will get even more crowded (so much for expediting...
Whereas residents were once all long-term tenants, in the 35 years since Margaret Thatcher encouraged people to buy – and therefore sell – their council flats and houses, the population of places like this has become ever more transient.
In particular, homes that were once council properties are now often owned by buy-to-let landlords who rent them out on a short-term basis. — The Guardian
If there is one thing Britons dislike more than their country’s housing shortage, it is the idea of building more houses. Even as a lack of homes has sent prices through the roof... cities have remained ringed by protected “green belts” of land that are off-limits to developers. Attempts to build on them provoke outcry. But on December 7th the government published a consultation on letting councils allocate “appropriate small-scale sites in the green belt specifically for starter homes”... — the Economist
The 18 members of London-based Assemble were named winners of the 31st Turner prize on Monday night, receiving their £25,000 prize from the Sonic Youth co-founder and artist Kim Gordon at an awards dinner broadcast live on Channel 4 from Tramway, Glasgow.
Assemble are the first non-artists, in the strictest sense of the word, to win the prize. They were nominated for their work tackling urban dereliction in Toxteth, Liverpool... — The Guardian
Assemble, the architecture-ish collective known for their direct action urban interventions, has just won the prestigious Turner Prize. Working "across the fields of art, architecture and design," they are the first non-artists, in the strictest sense, to win the prize, and the first whose work...
[Elsie Owusu] alleged that the election [for Riba’s vice-president of practice and profession] was rigged in favour of a rival candidate, and in a complaint to Riba’s president, Jane Duncan, she claimed it was “tantamount to institutionalised racism in my view”. [...]
“The banter, discrimination and treating black people worse than other staff goes through architecture like a stick of rock. It’s absolutely disgraceful and it starts at the top with Riba." — theguardian.com
In response to Owusu's allegation, RIBA has initiated a formal investigation, and states that a report will be filed in time for discussion at the next national council meeting in March of 2016.According to the Guardian, the allegations include not only accusations that the election of the Vice...
Transport bosses have unveiled the first official map showing the walking times between central London's Tube stations.
The comprehensive plan highlights the time it takes to travel on foot between almost all of the stations on London’s Underground network.
[Transport for London] Chief Executive Gordon Innes said: “The Tube is the most used transport method by visitors in London, stations for many of our top attractions are within walking distance of each other. — the Evening Standard
Milton Keynes is currently the host city for a set of driverless car trials funded indirectly by the U.K. government — the most ambitious testing yet staged in the world.
If all goes as planned, by 2018, Milton Keynes’ downtown will be served by an on-demand, publicly run system of 30 to 40 driverless two-seater pod cars, which will allow residents to travel between any two points in the city’s downtown without navigating or reacting to obstacles themselves. — nextcity.org
Elizabeth II is the first major British monarch who will not have an architectural style named after her [...]
The present Elizabethan era includes as many as a dozen architectural highlights and at least two broad architectural styles. “I cannot imagine a term or an argument that would tie all of this together,” says Stanford Anderson, a professor emeritus of history and architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “'New Elizabethan architecture’ just ducks the question.” — economist.com
Beginning in 2017, the London transit hub that's been described as "a dingy, grey, horizontal nothingness"* will undergo a massive redesign to incorporate a new high-speed rail line connecting London and Birmingham.The first phase of the so-called HS2, connecting London and Birmingham...
Public Space Protection Orders, or PSPOs, came into existence last year under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. Similar to the much-derided anti-social behaviour orders (asbos), PSPOs allow for broad powers to criminalise behaviour that is not normally criminal. But where asbos were directed at individuals, PSPOs are geographically defined, making predefined activities within a mapped area prosecutable. — theguardian.com
For a primer to this piece, check out:Taking a stand against privately-owned public spacesAnd for more on contested public spaces:Christopher Hawthorne on the recovery of public space in Los AngelesLocals welcome The 606, a.k.a. Chicago's "High Line", but anxiety for its future remainsNot all...
the government’s recent planning policy – which could have resulted in property developers dodging up to £1bn in affordable housing payments – has been definitively quashed following a High Court ruling. [...]
the “vacant building credit” let developers convert empty buildings into housing without making the usual Section 106 contributions for affordable homes.[...]
The ruling was described as a “victory for common sense [that] will help generate more affordable homes in London” — theguardian.com
More on housing policy in the UK:The Guardian reveals how developers play the planning system to get around affordable housingLondon is eating itselfCornered: London Building Innovatively Addresses HomelessnessActivism targeting London's housing crisis bubbles to the surfaceLondon's traditionalist...
Article 25’s office manager and book keeper Scott William Golding has been charged with fraud and false accounting after £200,000 went missing from the charity’s accounts — architectsjournal.co.uk
Article 25, a UK charity that helps provide shelters in disadvantaged communities worldwide, had its future thrown into question in June, when £200,000 of its funds (equivalent to approximately $312,060) were found to be missing. This past Tuesday, Article 25’s book keeper and office manager...
On September 2, 1666, a fire began in a bakery on Pudding Lane in London. By the next day, the flames had fanned out north and west, engulfing much of the city’s medieval center. The fire, later knowns as the Great Fire of London, destroyed much of the old cathedral of St. Paul as well as the...
Fleets of self-driving lorries could be tested on UK roads as soon as next year, according to reports. [...]
The initiative would cut fuel consumption, backers said.
However, the plan has been criticised by motoring groups which said such a fleet would be "intimidating" to other road users. — bbc.com
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