Urbanization News Roundup Feb 25

More Low-Down on Tall Buildings “There is a growing body of research on the benefits and drawbacks of tall buildings, and this research gives a decidedly mixed picture. Indeed there are significant negative ecological impacts of tall buildings, as well as other negative factors, and the ecological benefits are not as great as is often assumed. ” Read a longer summary of this research here.

Rio Plans for a massive port renovation for the World Cup and Olympics “The Brazilian city Rio’s government has began in February an eight billion reais (4.8 billion U.S. dollars) renovation effort in its port district to prepare the city for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games.”

Highway in India Offers Solution to Land Fights “When the state of Uttar Pradesh announced plans to confiscate farmland for a toll road to the Taj Mahal, a grimly predictable plotline ensued. Protesting farmers, angry over low compensation, blocked road work. Frustration boiled into fatal clashes with the police. Then opposition politicians arrived to pillory the state government and pose for photos with farmers. Next, though, came something less predictable. Rather than the usual standoff, the state’s chief minister increased payments to farmers and offered them annuities for the next three decades….”

Population Control in Beijing: Air-raid warnings – As the leaders see it, a plague of human rats in the capital “They do not say so openly, but Beijing’s leaders are busy erecting new barriers to entry for unskilled workers. In December plans were revealed to close down the shelter dwellings within a year. Officials also made it clear that basement accommodation would go too. The local media say the measures could affect more than 1m people.”

Tel-Aviv’s New Master Plan Kept Secret from Residents “The Mayor of Tel-Aviv has called the new Master Plan a ‘constitution for the city,’ yet local officials have stated they will not comment on the plan until after it is approved by the city council. According to a story by Jesse Fox on SustainableCityBlog.com, even Googling the master plan will result in almost no information.”

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