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In the papers today: 31.01.08

Traffic gridlock is threatening to put Mexico's economic boom in the slow lane according to The Times, as planners struggle to create the infrastructure required to support the influx of cars and skyscrapers in Mexico City.

The city government has even studied London Mayor Ken Livingstone's model, but decided that the implementation of the congestion charge would be a political minefield. A 60km cycle network is planned and the Metrobus has become an immediate partial solution to the problem, ferrying 250,000 people each day in and out of the city centre.

Back in the UK, the move out of the city continues apace, according to an article in the Evening Standard called 'Rise of the Supersubs' – and we're not talking football. Having said that, stars of the pitch are notorious for buying mansions in otherwise quiet neighbourhoods and now City buyers are following suit. In a study carried out by estate agent Savills, even wealthy investors are being priced out of the centre of London and instead are settling in areas such as Cranley Gardens, Highgate and Hampstead.

In Cape Town, South Africa, traditional English building methods have been combined with African mud to produce an environmentally-friendly (and tourist-friendly) twist on an ancient typology. Simric Yarrow from Norwich has spent the last 14 months and 1,200,000 rand (£84,000) building a new home, which he hopes will encourage locals to abandon concrete blocks in favour of getting their hands dirty, reports the Independent.

The 18th-century Strawberry Hill House in Richmond, bought by Walpole in 1747 and made into one of the finest examples of Georgian Gothic, is to be restored, reports the Evening Standard. The estimated cost of the renovation is £8 million, which can be completed with a £100,000 grant from English Heritage. Wallpaper dating back 250 years has been uncovered but the villa urgently needs weatherproofing repairs to prevent serious damage.

And finally, if you have ever been tempted to join those carefree children running, jumping and swinging in parks but have been held back by the fear of looking silly or getting stuck, then fear not – the adult playground has arrived. The downside is, you're going to have to wait until retirement. The Times features the story of a Manchester suburb which has installed the UK's first playground for the over 60s. Designed to help raise fitness in pensioners, the park may become the latest hangout – minus the hoodies and bottles of cider.

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