An increasing number of residential buildings are being constructed using non-traditional methods, mainly with the aim of improving construction efficiency and energy performance. But could the greater use of thermal insulating products, some of which are combustible, make buildings more susceptible to fire damage? A new NHBC Foundation guide provides information on the risks and best practice guidance for designers, builders and those involved in the fire safety of new homes.
A new RICS guide on reflecting uncertainty in valuations for investment purposes has been prepared for the benefit of valuers and other users of valuations. The guide provides a general understanding of the concept of uncertainty and the methods by which uncertainty, in valuations for investment purposes, may be identified and communicated with clarity. It is not intended to provide training in valuation techniques but rather to give valuation surveyors, and other users of valuations, a general understanding of the matters that need to be taken into account. There are two guides, one covering the UK and the other is global.
The London Assembly’s Planning and Housing Committee has published a report which suggests measures to improve affordability, security and standards in the private rented sector, which now represents around 850,000 homes in the capital. The report calls for the mayor to develop an accreditation scheme which sets out minimum standards private landlords have to meet and a publicity campaign to raise awareness of the scheme among tenants. The report urges councils to only place people in properties belonging to landlords who meet the standards.
In 2011, English Heritage commissioned research to improve understanding of policy changes that could encourage private developers to invest in historic buildings. This was for historic buildings overall, but with a particular focus on industrial heritage, in recognition that industrial buildings are often more likely to be at risk than other structures. The research, which was undertaken by the property consultancy Colliers International, explores the investment incentives for these buildings and the conditions that facilitate their successful reuse. It is based on information collected through a series of interviews with developers : both those with (and without) experience of historic buildings in general (and industrial heritage in particular), and planners and surveyors. An assessment of the investment performance of listed buildings was also undertaken. The research has been used by English Heritage to help develop its strategy for Heritage at Risk.
English Heritage has published a new document cites the latest evidence to show how our heritage can help the UK economy grow faster, specifically through tourism; can make a significant contribution to existing economic activity; and, just as important, that more than 80 per cent of listed building applications are granted, with more than 75 per cent of these dealt with within eight weeks.
This report examines the current state of knowledge about green growth in cities and outlines the key research questions and protocols that will guide the OECD Green Cities programme. It builds the case for an urban green growth agenda by examining the economic and environmental conditions that have pushed the green growth agenda to the forefront of policy debate and assessing the critical role of cities in advancing green growth. Section 1 lays the context for the paper, examining why green growth is important and how it can be defined in an urban context. Section 2 focuses on policies and tools that enable the transition to green growth in cities. It concludes with a proposal for a policy framework for an urban green growth agenda that is based on a set of hypotheses of desirable economic scenarios. Section 3 examines the main challenges to advancing an urban green growth agenda. It explores the roles that multi-level governance, measuring and monitoring tools and finance must play in delivering green growth in cities. The report concludes with suggestions for future research, including recommendations on how national policymakers responsible for regional and urban policies can advance an urban green growth agenda.
Self-financing for council housing from April 2012 will provide a significant opportunity for councils in the way they manage and improve housing stock and invest in new homes. This conference aims to provide councilors with the knowledge they need. Presentations are available online.
This event considered how we can achieve a viable long-term strategy for sustainable mobility. A number of workshops were held, including one on transport and health, and another on transport challenges in developing cities. Presentations are available online.
Consumer Behavior in Tourism Symposium 2011. Bruneck / Brunico, South Tyrol, Italy, 1-3 December 2011
The theme of this event was Future tourism demand: Demographic, behavioral and social changes. Challenges for marketers and economists. A volume of abstracts is available online.
At the Fifth Regional EST Forum in Asia held in August 2010 in Bangkok, twenty-two participating countries from Northeast, Southeast, and South Asia as well as a number of regional and international transport stakeholders unanimously agreed on the Bangkok 2020 Declaration in order to demonstrate renewed commitment to realizing a promising decade of actions and measures for achieving sustainable transport in Asia. It was the first time that Asian governments and other transport stakeholders endorsed a joint declaration which incorporates a comprehensive set of goals (20 EST goals) under different strategies within a clear time frame (2010-2020). This Sixth Regional EST Forum in Asia provided an opportunity to not only discuss and share the progress made by countries towards achieving the goals under the Bangkok 2020 Declaration, but also to further discuss the effective implementation of the Declaration. Presentations are available online.