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Garden villages: Locations of first 14 announced. Image copyright Getty Images England's first garden villages will be built at 14 sites spread across the country from Devon to Cumbria, the government has announced. Ministers have lent their support to 14 planned developments which will each deliver between 1,500 and 10,000 properties and establish new villages. Larger garden towns in Buckinghamshire, Somerset and the Essex-Hertfordshire border were also approved. The 17 new areas could provide almost 200,000 new homes, the government says. The latest plans are in addition to seven garden towns that have already been announced. The plans for garden towns and cities are expected to create new communities with green spaces, good transport links and high quality affordable homes to help tackle a lack of housing.

The new villages will receive about £6m in government funding over two years to help deliver the projects, with a further £1.4m of funding being provided for the delivery of the new towns. The 14 new garden villages will be in: Train fares rise by an average of 2.3% Image copyright PA Rail passengers are facing higher fares across the UK as average price increases of 2.3% are introduced on the first weekday of the new year.

The increase covers regulated fares, including season tickets, and unregulated, such as off-peak tickets. Campaigners said the rise was a "kick in the teeth" for passengers after months of widespread strike disruption. The government said it was delivering the biggest rail modernisation programme for more than a century. The increase in fares came as a strike by conductors on Southern Rail entered its third day, as a long-running row about the role of guards on new trains continued. The RMT union began the 72-hour walkout on New Year's Eve, while another strike is set for 9 January.

Why are prices rising? Image copyright Dan Kitwood By Richard Westcott, BBC transport correspondent Even if you allow for inflation, rail fares have gone up by around 25% since the mid-1990s. Some tickets have spiked by 40% in just a decade. Why? New trains. More than 2.3m families living in fuel poverty in England | Society. More than 2.3 million families are living in fuel poverty in England – the equivalent of 10% of households, according to government statistics. Almost 60,000 households in Birmingham alone cannot afford to heat their homes. The figures from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy show the West Midlands city is worst affected, with Leeds, Cornwall, Manchester and Liverpool also in the top five local authorities where households face “eat or heat” choices in winter.

However, rural areas of England are proportionally the worst affected, with more than 20% of households on the Isles of Scilly classified as fuel poor. Other badly affected areas include Eden in Cumbria, Richmondshire and Ryedale in North Yorkshire, and West Devon. Fuel poverty is calculated by gauging if a household’s income would fall below the official poverty line after spending the actual amount needed to heat the home. Nottingham hospitals plan: 'Hundreds of beds need to close' Image copyright PA A local NHS restructuring plan to save £600m over the next five years includes a move to cut 200 hospital beds despite current overcrowding. The cuts proposed - totalling 11.8% of beds at Nottingham's two main hospitals - would happen over the next two years. Health leaders said the bed shortage was caused by patients who could not leave hospitals because of a lack of community support.

The proposed cuts are part of the county's NHS "sustainability" plan. The bed reduction is "contingent on other models of care being put in place", a spokesman for Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust said. The plan also called for "taking beds out of the active care setting by moving them into the community". Trust chairman Louise Scull said the current was sustainable unless changes were made. "The status quo is simply not an option if we are to deliver a financially and clinically sustainable health and social care system for our patients in Nottinghamshire. Image copyright Thinkstock. Up to 90% of world's electronic waste is illegally dumped, says UN | Environment. Up to 90% of the world’s electronic waste, worth nearly $19bn (£12bn), is illegally traded or dumped each year, according to the UN Environment Programme (Unep). Computers and smart phones are among the ditched items contributing to this 41m tonne e-waste mountain, which could top 50m tonnes by 2017, Unep says in a new report launched today in Geneva.

It follows last month’s UN University report, which outlined how 42m tonnes of electronic waste were thrown out in 2014 at a cost of $52bn to the global economy. Exporting hazardous waste from EU and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Member States to non-OECD countries is banned. However, Unep says thousands of tonnes of e-waste are falsely declared as second-hand goods and exported from developed to developing countries, including waste batteries falsely described as plastic or mixed metal scrap, and cathode ray tubes and computer monitors misleadingly declared as metal scrap. NYIT Students Turn Plastic Bottles Into Disaster Relief. Last week’s devastating typhoon in the Philippines has reminded designers of the ongoing challenge of creating safe, temporary shelters when natural disasters hit. Crates of food and water are some of the first types of aid delivered to these ravaged areas; so what if these resources could be designed to also provide shelter and minimize waste?

The New York Institute of Technology’s School of Architecture asked just that question and came up with a solution: SodaBIB, a new type of shipping pallet that would allow commonly used plastic bottles to be used for shelter. The team just launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a full-scale shelter using their patented water bottle roofing system: the roof is constructed with discarded water bottles that are crushed, overlapped, and offset like Spanish tiles.

The bottles are then aligned and attached to roof structure using the shipping pallet, which disassembles into linear Soda Bottle Interface Brackets or SodaBIBS. Feedback - Putting a stop to global food waste. At the epicentre of Delhi's chikungunya epidemic. Image copyright AFP In the Indian capital Delhi's neighbourhood of Karkardooma, the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus is running riot. At a local doctor's private practice, many residents lining up outside have similar sounding complaints: severe joint pains, nausea, headaches and fever, all common symptoms of the infection. "I went to a nearby hospital first and I was told to take paracetamol, but it's not helping," 65-year-old Leela Vati said as she waited for her daughter to emerge with more pain-relieving pills from the mass of patients huddled inside the doctor's clinic.

Located in Delhi's north-eastern frontier, Karkardooma is at the epicentre of the city's current chikungunya outbreak, among the worst the Indian capital has ever witnessed. Open drains More than 1,000 cases of the illness have been reported across the city. Media reports say 11 people have also died of chikungunya-related complications, although this is yet to be officially confirmed. Image copyright Atish Patel. Overcrowded Tube station incidents rise 3% in a year. Image copyright Oli Scarff/Getty Images The number of times passengers were stopped from entering London Underground stations because of overcrowding rose 3% in a year. Transport for London (TfL) said there were 547 "temporary station controls" - where commuters are prevented from entering - from March 2015 to February this year.

That compares to 531 during the previous year. More than a fifth occurred at Oxford Circus, with 219 in the past two years. The data was released in response to a Freedom of Information (FoI) request. More on this and other London news stories. TfL said there had been 30 full station closures due to overcrowding in the past two years. A spokesman for London mayor Sadiq Khan, said: "Sadiq has been clear that we can't have a situation where people don't feel safe on the Tube, and TfL are already taking short-term measures to avoid overcrowding. " Image copyright PA. The best idea to redevelop Dharavi slum? Scrap the plans and start again | Cities. By 8am, Dharavi is already noisy. Tea stalls already clinking, leather-making and embroidery and plastic-crushing machines already cranking through their long daily grind. Dharavi, the most well-known informal settlement in Mumbai, stands in a category of its own, and challenges the very notion of a slum.

Its maze of matchbox buildings contains thousands of micro-industries, which collectively turn over $650m annually and provide affordable housing to the city’s working class. Over decades, Dharavi’s residents – its potters, garment-makers, welders and recyclers from all over India – have transformed what was a marshy outpost into a thriving entrepreneurial community. But Dharavi is no longer in the boondocks. Under the government-led Dharavi Redevelopment Project, developers will provide the people living there – who can prove residency since 2000 – a new, 300 sq ft house for free. Everyone agrees that Dharavi needs better working and living conditions. Best Places to Live 2012 - Money Magazine. Best Places To Live 2013 Sharon, MA: #1 Best Place to Live Louisville, CO: #2 Best Place to Live Vienna, VA: #3 Best Places to Live Chanhassen, MN: #4 Best Places to Live Sherwood, OR: #5 Best Place to Live Berkeley Heights, NJ: #6 Best Place to Live Mason, OH: #7 Best Place to Live Papillion, NE: #8 Best Place to Live Apex, NC: #9 Best Place to Live West Goshen Township, PA: #10 Best Place to Live 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50.

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