Daily Archives: December 31, 2009

Rebuilding Baghdad’s Rasheed Street

### nytimes.com December 29, 2009
In Iraq, a Plan to Revive the Pulse of an Artery
By Riyadh Mohammed and John Leland
BAGHDAD —Some city planners here do not want to leave to chance what Iraq will look like after American forces leave. Working with the Baghdad municipal government and the provincial council, engineers here have drawn up the largest Iraqi reconstruction project since the American-led invasion of 2003, a $5 billion plan to rebuild the city’s economic and cultural main street.

Rasheed Street, designed by the Ottomans in 1916 and modeled on Paris, has figured in much of Baghdad’s history: Sunnis and Shiites planned the overthrow of British rule in 1920 at Hayder Khana Mosque. The new plans show nine wide plazas and a streetcar passing through a low-slung strip of shops with ironwork balconies that would not be out of place in a small city in Florida. The engineers identified 254 buildings as historical or heritage sites to be preserved where possible; in 1984, there were 526.

Muwafaq al-Taei, an architectural planning engineer, said the reconstruction plans were shortsighted, in part because the car-free zone was unworkable, and in part because Baghdad today lacked the infrastructure — municipal or cultural — to regenerate the life that made Rasheed Street. “You don’t jump to the end product,” he said. “Rasheed is an end product.”
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Architecture, Construction, Design, Economics, Geography, Politics, Project management, Site, Urban design

Rugby: remaining hopeful

### ODT Wed 30 Dec 2009 (page 21)
Pivotal year ahead for rugby in the South
By Brent Edwards
So the sporting year is almost done and it’s time to turn attention to what 2010 might bring players and supporters. It’s an especially pivotal year for Otago and Highlanders rugby. Another year of results similar to the past season might have those who made the decision to build the Forsyth Barr Stadium pondering anxiously on the wisdom of their investment.
Here in no particular order, is a wish list for the first year of the new decade:
• Someone, anyone, to sort out the mess that is Otago rugby, to instil some passion, pride (and humour) in a team which we once supported with such fervour.
• Otago rugby to avoid relegation to the championship (the second division) even though the backdrop to the season will be a community divided over the appointment of an Australian coach.
• The Highlanders to win more games. I’m not big on the Super 14, especially in February and March, but they simply have to start winning more matches and attracting bigger crowds. Let’s face it, they can’t do a lot worse on the scoreboard than they have in the past six or seven years.
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Post by Elizabeth Kerr

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Filed under Economics, Politics, Project management, Sport, Stadiums