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Monday News Roundup

Jan 17, 2011

Vancouver developer eyes a break from social housing requirement (The Globe and Mail)
For 30 years, the city has clung to a cherished goal of a social mix for residential megaprojects, requiring that one out of every five units be reserved for low-cost housing. This week, planners are recommending that goal be temporarily suspended for the final phase of development on the old Expo 86 lands after Concord Pacific, the Expo landowner, offered a special deal.

A guide to Green Building certifications (LEED, Built Green Canada, BOMA BESt) (Re:place)
How do they decide a building is green? The Tyee Guide to green building certification systems in Canada. Third in a series.

If everyone moves to the city, what gets left behind (GOOD)
Since 2008, more than half of humanity has resided in cities, and city dwellers make up more of the world population each year. Soon more than 25 cities will have populations of 10 million or more. Much has been made of the problems and opportunities presented by swelling urban populations and their impact on the environment. But considerably less fuss has been made over the corollary of this extraordinary urban growth: the fact that humanity is abandoning the countryside.

WindMade Label Will Tell You if Green Energy Powers Your Purchases (inhabitat)
The WindMade label, which was just announced today, will be a new way for you to see whether or not the products you’re buying were manufactured using wind energy.

Houston Architecture Office Doubles as Beautiful Eco Home (Inhabitat)
After several years of working in a downtown warehouse loft, Houston architects Russell and Rame Hruska, owners of Intexure, decided to move their studio and combine it with their home.

Prince Charles Plans Shanty Town for India (planetizen)
Prince Charles is planning to build a 15,000-person shanty town in India, modeled after Dharavi, the Mumbai settlement featured in the movie “Slumdog Millionaire”.

Why Streetcars? Evaluating the Alternatives (The City Fix)
In a recent post on TheCityFix, Dan Tangherlini, the former director of the District Department of Transportation under Mayor Anthony Williams, makes the case for streetcars in Washington, D.C. I would like to bring some additional points to the discussion.

Map: Where High-Speed Rail Will Be Most Effective (GOOD)
A new report by America 2050 has looked at the places in the country where high-speed rail could attract the most riders and, therefore, be the most effective.

Chicago Bus Tracker: Transit goes 21st Century With User-Friendly Online GPS Tracking (treehugger)
Chicago’s Bus Tracker offers more evidence in favor of transit agencies releasing their data in open and usable formats. It not only allows transit users to track buses online and on their phones, knowing exactly when they’ll arrive at the nearest stop thanks to GPS equipment, but it also makes it easy for local stores to set up a screen that displays real-time info on buses.

Aiding the Immigrant Bicyclists of Los Angeles (planetizen)
For many immigrants in Los Angeles, bicycling is the only viable way to get around. A group of activists is trying to make that transportation reality safer and more reliable.

Should Coal Ash Be Getting LEED Credits (treehugger)
Coal ash never ceases to amaze: despite being radioactive and loaded with mercury, not only does the EPA claim it reduces greenhouse gas emissions, its use in construction is also a source of LEED credits in green building.

Is the Subway Ready for a Conversation Car (GOOD)
Can public transit be social? Alex Marshall thinks so. The urban planner (and New York subway rider) argues today in the New York Daily News for a “Conversation Car” on the subway. Reminiscing about how he used to strike up conversations with fellow riders before they all became attached to their gadgets, Marshall observes that today such “chatting up” is nearly non-existent, as subway cars feel more like monasteries than social spaces.

Aleppo’s Conservation Plan Focuses On Architecture With A Social Vision (planetizen)
Aleppo, one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world, is undergoing a conservation project that includes the restoration of hundreds of houses, a new park, and rebuilding city streets and services.