Jakarta, sustainable Africa, pyongyangapalooza, spiritual Antarctica, zero-carbon UK, more

New book from urban scholar, Christopher Silver, calls the city of Jakarta “chaotic, yet well planned.”

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New book from urban scholar, Christopher Silver, calls the city of Jakarta “chaotic, yet well planned.”

The Jakarta Post reports: “Silver, who used studies, reports, interviews with planners and academics as research for his book, concluded, “The more I looked, I began to seriously question my earlier assumption that Jakarta had just grown without a plan. In fact, Jakarta is a planned city. When asked what he thought about the many shopping centers built around the capital, Silver said, “The interesting thing is that Jakarta does not have everything in one place. It has a polycentric development. And that actually tends to be good. It provides employment for working-class people.”

-image courtesy of L.A. Times

The New York Philharmonic Orchestra has better luck with foreign relations than our own government.

Who would have thought that conflicts could be solved with Dvorak instead of empty threats? CNN reports: “The historic event, clearly based on a theme of friendship, came as the secretive communist nation says it is in the process of dismantling its nuclear program. During a lighter moment in the concert, the orchestra’s musical director, Lorin Maazel, introduced George Gershwin’s ‘An American in Paris.’ Someday a composer may write a work entitled ‘Americans in Pyongyang,’ he said, prompting smiles and warm applause.” Kim Jong Il was not in attendance as he was too busy lathering his hair with Herbal Essence. Yess! Yessss!

A summary report of The Expert Group’s meeting on sustainable urbanization for Africa

The introduction to the report: “The Expert Group Meeting on Land for Sustainable Urbanisation in Africa took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 21-22 February 2008. Sponsored by the Global Land Tool Network, the purpose of the meeting was to prepare for the thematic reviews on Land and on Africa for the upcoming sixteenth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-16), which will take place at the UN Headquarters in New York, United States, from 5-16 May 2008. Attended by 25 participants, drawn from governments, international organizations, civil society organizations and academia, the Expert Group Meeting (EGM) provided an opportunity for African participants that will be attending CSD-16 to highlight and debate urban land issues that can inform decision making in the African context. Participants met in plenary and breakout groups and considered urban-rural linkages in the context of land for sustainable urbanisation in Africa, land and livelihoods in urban and peri-urban Africa, land information management for sustainable urbanisation, the urban land market in Africa, gender and land, innovative land management, land rights, and land administration, governance and corruption.”

Tampa Bay symposium focuses on innovations in urban development

University of Michigan real estate graduate program director Christopher Leinberger is the keynote speaker at a Tampa Downtown Partnership symposium. Tampa Bay Business Journal reports: “The forum’s goal is to foster innovative ideas in urban development and create a catalyst for discussion and problem solving on major urban issues facing downtown Tampa. There is a $60 fee for members and a $70 fee for potential members.”

—image courtesy of Galen-Frysinger.com

Doctor Robert Lambert calls Antarctica a Mecca for those who seek an understanding of sustainable environment issues.

Science Daily reports: “Dr Lambert, who is a member of the Business School’s Christel DeHaan Tourism and Travel Research Institute, says the relationship between nature and people is complex and constantly changing and great positives can come from tourism in Antarctica. He believes those lucky enough to experience it could become ambassadors for the region to help develop a ‘constituency’ of support for Antarctica. He said: “Few people get the opportunity to visit this extraordinary place, and those who experience it first hand return home with a powerful sense of wonder and concern for the myriad threats that it faces. I believe there’s a huge sense of goodwill for the region that could be passed on by these tourist ambassadors to the rest of society.”

UK’s first zero-carbon suburb is in the works.

24 Dash.com reports: “Hackbridge in Sutton will be abuzz with ideas during a special week, February 25 to March 1, as people who live and work in the area get together to design the sustainable suburb of the future. Richard MacCormac, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Hawkins Brown and Baca are among the architects supporting the scheme. Sutton Council, which has been at the forefront of sustainable living for over 20 years, is working in partnership with residents, community groups and businesses to draw up ambitious plans to turn Hackbridge, and ultimately Sutton, into the UK’s first ‘sustainable suburb’ – creating a vibrant community where people want to live and work, that protects the local environment and meets the needs of local residents both now and in the future.”

-image courtesy of Forclosuresdigest.com

Foreclosures up 57% from the beginning of 2007

MSNBC reports: “Nationwide, some 233,001 homes received at least one notice from lenders last month related to overdue payments, compared with 148,425 a year earlier, according to Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac Inc. Nearly half of the total involved first-time default notices. The U.S. foreclosure rate last month was one filing for every 534 homes.”

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