Lego 'hailed as urban planning tool'

Reports that the makers of Lego want the toy to be 'taken seriously' as a tool by architects and urban planners feature in today's newspaper round-up.

The Guardian reports that Lego has made an effort over recent years "for the bricks to travel from the playroom to the boardroom, with the company appealing to artists, architects and other creative professionals to use their product as the building blocks for innovation". The newspaper says that planners have "used Lego to bring regular people into the planning process. Earlier this year, a workshop in London used the Lego Architecture Studio kits to get participants aged four to 84 to create a city from scratch".

The Financial Times (subscription required) reports that "tumbling oil prices have long been seen as kryptonite for clean energy companies — and share prices of some of the world’s best known renewable power groups have slumped in the wake of the latest slide in crude". The newspaper says that shares in Denmark’s Vestas turbine supplier "dived after the oil producers’ cartel Opec decided not to cut production in late November and prices are still down 11 per cent, noticeably below the broader market".

The Financial Times (subscription required) also reports that private investment in wave energy in Scotland has fallen away. The newspaper says the woes of the tidal energy sector "have implications beyond Scotland. Success in tapping wave energy could make a substantial contribution to worldwide efforts to cut carbon emissions and lay the foundations for a large industry".

The Telegraph reports that a government-commissioned report has said that "libraries should be re-branded as vibrant community hubs offering free wifi, comfy sofas and coffee". The newspaper says that the Independent Library Report for England, commissioned by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport earlier this year, said the "era of libraries as hushed reading rooms with books as their sole product is over, and in order to survive they must become ‘vibrant and attractive community hubs’".

The Daily Mail reports that Birmingham "has been named among the top 10 most exciting destinations to visit in 2015, in a list compiled annually by the travel guidebook series Rough Guides". The newspaper says that the city, "which is the only UK location to have been selected by the publication's travel editors, is joined by worldwide tourist destinations including Johannesburg, Malaga, New Orleans, Hamburg and Wellington".

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