Tag Archives: planning

The newsroom of the future

Originally uploaded by Stuart Pinfold.

Last week, I got the chance to have a sneak preview of New Broadcasting House, which will be the home of the BBC from 2012.

New Broadcasting House is on the site of the old one on Portland Place where the Corporation’s radio arm has been based since 1932. Following the sales of Television Centre and Bush House and the move of some departments up to Salford, almost all of the BBC’s London operations will be based in this building.

One of the interesting things about the new building is the attempt of architects to make it more accessible to the people who pay for it – ie you and me. This is partly due to the BBC Trust’s commitment to increasing openness. But I understand that Westminster City Council also imposed a planning requirement for public access in return for the building increasing its footprint. Continue reading

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Is the Australian suburb under threat?

Australia’s most famous suburban street

Originally uploaded by littlesaint_uk.

Well it could be according to a Brisbane-based planning academic.

Professor Tony Hall of Queensland Griffith University has noted that backyards are shrinking across Australia. In an interview published in the Sydney Morning Herald, Hall claims this reflects a shift away from the outdoor-loving lifestyle that Australians have long treasured.

Hall has found the newer homes have smaller backyards. He blames this on home-buyers desire for bigger houses and too little time to spend in their gardens. Continue reading

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Beauty and the backpacking beast

First Thailand, then Vietnam and now Laos have become a must-do destination for backpackers in the far east. While Thailand has its islands and Vietnam spectacular bays, Laos’ main asset is its dramatic landscape – and good, cheap beer!

Backpackers’ favoured combination of extreme sports and excessive drinking come together in the resort of Vang Vieng. The town is famous for waterbourne pub crawls where participants ride the rapids between waterside bars on inflatable inner tubes.

But there are concerns that if action isn’t taken, the natural beauty of Laos could be destroyed by intensive tourism development. In a recent issue of the magazine Planning, I wrote about a project seeking to ensure that one of Laos’ up-and-coming destinations is protected from the negative effects of tourism development.

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