//Time to say good-bye young Liaozhan

image: shanghaidaily.com

This impressive image series was taken in Shenyang City, north-east China. The Liaozhan Hotel, which was built in 1987, had to move for a new high-class Hotel development. The project is exemplary for the rapid transition and modernisation of the housing estate in China. An international comparison of the life expectancy of the housing estate would be rather interesting in this context.

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//Berlin insights

“This house used to be in another country” old meets new in Berlin, image: author

Under the name the “Berliner Einsichten” – Berlin insights the Senate Department for Urban Development starts a exhibition in which the change and re-unification process of Berlin’s housing estate and its policies  is shown.  The concerned period are the last 20 years. The exhibition touches upon the architectural concepts of different architectural schools and the modern treatment of those nowadays. The vivid concept is colored by four public discussions and a mixture of personal stories, pictures, drawings and professional explanations.

Further information on dates and places

//610-305= Backlash for cities!

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After the crisis is before the new crisis! The new saving policy of the German government is giving a hard backlash for all cities. The ministry for urban development decided to cut the national urban development promotion programme by 50%. Transferring this into numbers the budget of 610 million euros is cut to 305 million euros. In times of intensifying challenges in german cities, due to demographic change, social problems, low city budgets etc. the ministry has introduced a highly unsustainable policy. Consequences of this policy shift cannot be estimated for the future of German cities, which are notoriously scarce of public money. The majority of the municipalities nowadays not able to implement urban projects out of their own budget. The internationally acknowledged diversity of the urban development promotion programme (“Städtebauförderung”) is the supporting pillar of the urban development in Germany. The new governmental policy is highly questionable since it is connected to a development promotion to the small cities and rural areas. It is undoubtedly these areas need support. Nevertheless, about 88% of all Germans live in cities! The network Urbanophil has now initiated a petition for the national parliament (Bundestag). You can sign in your name or in the name of your institution. picture source: urbanophil.net/ePetition

//A40: A motorway stand still!

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source: RUHR.2010 / Manfred Vollmer

The European capital of Culture has reached a climax! On the 18th of July the most frequented motorway in Europe became a meeting point for a whole region! An astonishing number of 3 million people came to stroll, meet, snack and cycle on the 60 kilometer long highway.One side of the highway was free for cyclists and inline skaters – the other side was full of snack bars and a 60 kilometers long table. Consisting of  20,000 ale-benches, dedicated as meeting point for all kinds of different people, nations and generations. Slogan of the project was “Still-Leben” (still-life). More interventions and projects will follow until the end of the year.

More information

// UrbanoFilms #14

The Film series contnoius! Summerspecial am 22. JULY 2010. 19 h in the Prinzessinnengärten Berlin.

Check details here!

Bye-bye billboard!

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© Stephen Shore

American citiyscape is famous for it’s media facades with all kinds of advertisments and shiny offers, but times have changed. Max Regenberg and Stephen Shore had a curious look into L.A.- cameras in their hands they searched for anamolies. One striking thing was attracting their attention- the huge advertisment signs. Already recognised as an continous symbol and urban furniture the huge colourful markers had nearly become invisible. The explanation is the current crisis. Cities are not only affected trough lower tax revenues etc. crisis also re-shapes the appearnce of the city. Due to a stagnant and reluctant adverstising industry the popular signs all over the city stay in white. The citywide image is rather strange- all over are those huge white posts looking like abandoned infrastructures from a better and shinier consum peroid.

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//EXPO Shanghai- A decreed sustainable contradiction?

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KH-wiki-en, wikipedia.com

Next Saturday , the first of May the  EXPO in Shanghai will be opened. “It’s going to be an EXPO of the superlative”, that is the common opinion, looking at the pure numbers this is overwhelmingly true. Simply the square area of the exhibition ground is twice as big as the Monaco. Two billions had been invested – only in building the pavilions. From May till October the organisers expect 80 million visitors – 16 times more than the last EXPO in Saragossa had in the year 2008. But that enough concerning numbers. Slogan of the Shanghai’s EXPO is “Better City – Better Life” in a time where planers and architects are searching for the new sustainable urban form the slogan is cutting-edge. The EXPO not only promoted the construction of green transport infrastructure, like the metro, in Shanghai itself, it will also be part of a reasonable urban development in the city. The EXPO- associated problem of a meaningful use after the convent will be rather secondary in Shanghai. Compared to former EXPO sites Shanghai decided to transform an industrial area close to the city centre, where planers predict a vital urban future. Some buildings of the exhibitions will be kept after the end of October but – chinese officials wished that more would be possible but due to EXPO regulations the pavilions of the country have to be removed. That are around 100. First of all contradiction with the slogan, which is implying a sustainable development. Committee’s regulation seems to even stranger concerning their remark that construction materials of the pavilions have to be “sustainable”. The German pavilion therefore is consisting of 1200 tons of steal which is afterwards melted again. The roof of a plastic canvas cover will be cut into pieces for sun roofs. China’s chief-planer Wu Zhiqiang is just wondering about those regulations. A sustainable contradiction.