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Category: Housing

Could Almere provide a glimpse of what living in cities will be like in the future?


Almere’s evolution is inspiring other cities too, by providing examples of innovative urban planning in action. “Professionals – politicians, architects, city planners – come from all over the world to look and learn from Almere,” says JaapJan Berg, citing particular interest from China. “They have been working on new towns and cities there on a completely different scale – places like Shenzhen. In the UK, I would mention Milton Keynes, and in France, Marne-la-Vallee.”

MVRDV, meanwhile, have drawn on principles from Almere in their ongoing redevelopment of the city centre of the Dutch city of Eindhoven, which aims at allow that city to expand significantly, yet still retain an air of “cosiness”. Cues from Almere include creating green city centre living spaces and using brightly-coloured buildings in striking shapes to enliven the feel of the cityscape.

Principles learned in Almere are also being deployed on a smaller scale in the little Dutch village of Overschild, which saw almost 80% of its homes badly damaged as a result of earthquakes triggered by fracking in the area.

Key ideas trialled in Almere that are being introduced here include the chance for residents to design their own new homes, alongside collective decision making on infrastructure and facilities. “Residents were asked what their wishes were and how they felt the village should look like in 10 years – [then] we have given the residents a toolbox which will give them the help and inspiration needed to take the future into their own hands,” says Winy Maas. »

Canadian home construction costs shot up 22.6 percent in Q1 2022

The Georgia Straight »

In a report Thursday (May 5), Statistics Canada indicated that the year-over-year growth “surpasses previous highs”.

The increase exceeded the “high (+21.9% registered in the previous quarter”.

The report covered 11 census metropolitan areas or CMAs, which correspond to major urban centres.

The biggest increases were in Calgary (31.4 percent), Edmonton (26.6 percent), and Toronto (26.5 percent).

In Metro Vancouver, the cost of home construction in the first quarter of 2022 increased 15.4 percent compared to the same period in 2021.

The Moncton CMA posted the lowest growth in costs at 8.5 percent.

All other urban centres witnessed double-digit increases.

Analysts Swiss Re predict US$183bn increase in property insurance costs by 2040 due to climate change

Floods in the Belgian village of Tiff on 16 July, 2021 | Credit: Régine Fabri

Floods in the Belgian village of Tiff on 16 July, 2021 | Credit: Régine Fabri

Cecilia Keating, Business Green »

The growing frequency and severity of extreme weather events caused by climate change is set to send property insurance prices soaring over the next 20 years, Swiss Re has warned.

In a report published earlier this week, the reinsurance giant’s research unit calculated climate-related risks will drive a 22 per cent increase in global property premiums, a spike that would equate to around $183bn in additional costs.

Overall, the firm expects property insurance premiums will triple to be worth $1.3tr in 2040, up from $450bn in 2020, driven largely by economic development and climate change, with the former expected to make up three quarters of the rise.

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