According to the Yale University the much touted eco-cities proposed for outside Shanghai are nothing more than greenwashing on a grand scale.

“Although the project was widely publicized internationally, most locals knew little about it. The political leaders who championed the project were ousted in a corruption scandal, and their successors have allowed construction permits to lapse.”

Even where some eco-houses have been built they fail to meet the lifestyle engineering and social aspects of those they are to house.

“As the magazine Ethical Corporation has reported, cost overruns made the homes unaffordable to many villagers. In other instances, although homes were available, the farmers refused to live in them, complaining that the new yards weren’t large enough to raise animals and sustain a livelihood.”

In many ways these mega projects fail to case study the needs and expectations of the end users.

“big-name foreign architectural and engineering firms who plunged into the projects with little understanding of Chinese politics, culture, and economics — and with little feel for the needs of local residents whom the Utopian communities were designed to serve.”

I’m sure that a end user initated design would be much more traditional, less exciting and hence not the marketing and political champion that government and corporations like to tout to the press. Article

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I’ve noticed a new trend in the last few weeks.

Communities are now lobbying Councils and Politicians to preserve existing buildings not because of thier historical significance or even the prominence of the architecture, but rather the embodied energy within the structure.

This is likely to have a significant impact on future public works developments. In particular I would think that hospitals and stadiums are a prime candidates for this type of community activism.

I also note that the Green Buildings Council in the United States has joined the cause for the memorial Coliseum redevelopment in Portland. Save the Coliseum

Developers look to be safe in the short term but major government sponsored developments have a new risk to add to the books. Particularly those with long development timelines.

Even if you’re on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there! – Will Rogers