Developers 'buying New York's skyline'

Reports that developers are 'buying' the iconic New York skyline with a rash of new skyscrapers feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The Financial Times’ (subscription required) architecture critic, Edwin Heathcote, reports that the new towers "are the architectural embodiment of economic disparity, an expression former mayor Michael Bloomberg’s desire to attract the world’s deracinated billionaires. They cast shadows on the park and silhouettes above it, and for some it is too much, too fast". Heathcote says this is a "natural evolution of a skyline that has always adapted to economic imperative". But he adds that developers are "buying the skyline – and with it, the identity of New York".

The Independent reports that "dangerously high levels of cancer-causing chemicals have been discovered in the air around ‘fracking’ sites in the United States - highlighting the need for tougher regulations to control oil and gas extraction in Britain". The newspaper says that researchers found that levels of "benzene, formaldehyde and hydrogen sulphide were many times above the US’s air pollution limits and were detected within residential areas near to fracking wells drilled across five different states".

The Telegraph reports that "traffic and man-made noises are threatening the survival of young birds because they drown out communication with their parents, a study has warned". The newspaper says Canadian researchers "said bird populations were under threat not just by habitat destruction but by background noise from towns and transport routes disrupting calls between the chicks and parents".

The Independent reports that politicians "have been urged to take the concerns of tenants more seriously after research indicated that more than 100 MPs – including some in safe Tory seats – will represent renter-dominated constituencies in coming years". The newspaper says that seats "with high numbers of rental properties have traditionally been inner-city Labour strongholds, but the steep rise in house prices is changing the profile of middle-class areas once full of owner-occupiers".

The Telegraph reports that the chief executive of Heathrow Airport has claimed it has "30 airlines knocking at its door to start new routes or increase the frequency of existing services but it is forced to turn away their business". The newspaper says that, pressing the case for the airport’s expansion, John Holland-Kaye "said the waiting list includes airlines from North America, South America and Asia as he sought to paint the West London hub, which is operating at more than 98 per cent of its maximum flight capacity, as a crucial part of Britain’s future as a major exporter".

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