Road signs will mark out Iron Curtain in Germany

Road signs will remind drivers in Germany they are driving over a piece of history when they cross what was once the armed border between the capitalist West and Communist East starting this fall.

Posted at every intersection along the former border between west and east Germany, the signs will show the path of the Iron Curtain through Europe and the date each crossing was opened to travelers, the ministry of transport in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt announced on Thursday. A design from the Munich firm Büro für Gestaltung Wangler & Abele beat out 20 other entries in a public competition.

Germany will start putting up signs after German Unification Day on Oct. 3 and aims to finish the project before the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on Nov. 9, 2009. Each sign will cost €5,000, German newswire DPA reported. Wangler & Abele also won €5,000 in the competition.

Read more @ the Source: The Local – Road signs will mark out Iron Curtain in Germany.

SNRE students contribute to winning paper on climate change

Global climate change and coastal brownfield redevelopment are two subjects that on the surface don’t play well together.

But a group of University of Michigan graduate students, including four from its School of Natural Resources and Environment ( SNRE ), have come up with an award-winning strategy. Their proposal calls for linking the subjects with a glue: a planning and design concept known as “resilience.”

The students’ interdisciplinary work was produced in the fall for the course “NRE 576/UP 576: Applying Landscape Ecological Design to Brownfield Redevelopment.” Joan Nassauer, a professor of Landscape Architecture at SNRE, developed and taught the course, which received significant support in 2007 from the Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute, Lubert-Adler, Antares Real Estate and their partners in Stamford, Conn. Each interdisciplinary team in the course developed its own focus for proposing an alternative scenario for a 220-acre brownfield redevelopment site on the South End of Stamford.

Members of the winning team are: Jeffrey Carey, College of Engineering; M’Lis Bartlett, Amy Beltamacchi and Amy Kludt, landscape architecture ( SNRE ); Sarah Levy, environmental policy ( SNRE ); and Stacey Braverman, Law School.  The title of their winning project is “Building Resilience:  Remediation Options for Minimizing Risk on Coastal Brownfield Development in light of Global Climate Change.”

Source: SNRE Press Release

BWTC spins turbines for the first time

The Atkins designed Bahrain World Trade Center (BWTC) made history last week as the turbines on this pioneering project turned together for the first time.

The three 29m-diameter turbine blades on Bahrain’s iconic landmark are the first in the world to be integrated on such a scale into a commercial development and are forecast to provide the equivalent of 11-15% of the power for the two towers when fully operational.

The successful rotation of the blades involved collaboration between Atkins architects and engineers and turbine specialists Norwin, who were in Bahrain for the milestone event.

“Having all three turbines spinning simultaneously represents an historic achievement for this landmark project and Atkins is excited to have been a major player in turning the original idea into reality” says Simha LytheRao Senior Project Manager for Atkins in Bahrain.

Source: Atkins Press Release  

You can watch a video of the turbines here

The man who built Vancouver has a grand plan for Abu Dhabi

The man who built Vancouver has a grand plan for Abu Dhabi
By David George-Cosh, Canwest News Service
Published: Sunday, April 13, 2008

When Larry Beasley received an e-mail from Abu Dhabi government headhunters more than two years ago, he dismissed it as spam.

“I found out that they wanted me to develop a plan for [Abu Dhabi], that they wanted it to be one of the best cities in the world and that they had been doing a search for the person to lead the way,” Mr. Beasley said during an interview at the lavish “seven-star” Emirates Palace hotel.

The youthful-looking 59-year-old’s name kept popping up to the Emirati staffers, who were hearing about “the Vancouver Model,” a world-renowned planning concept that tightly packs in high-density buildings while discouraging car traffic as much as possible.

Read more @ the Source: Canada.com – The man who built Vancouver has a grand plan for Abu Dhabi.

China to hold 4th World Urban Forum

 World Urban Forum Theme: Harmonious Urbanization

World Urban Forum, 03 – 07 November 2008, Nanjing, China

The World Urban Forum was established by the United Nations to examine one of the most pressing issues facing the world today: rapid urbanization and its impact on communities, cities, economies and policies. It is projected that in the next fifty years, two-thirds of humanity will be living in towns and cities. A major challenge is to minimize burgeoning poverty in cities, improve the urban poor’s access to basic facilities such as shelter, clean water and sanitation and achieve environment-friendly, sustainable urban growth and development.

The World Urban Forum is a biennial gathering that is attended by a wide range of partners, from non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, urban professionals, academics, to governments, local authorities and national and international associations of local governments. It gives all these actors a common platform to discuss urban issues in formal and informal ways and come up with action-oriented proposals to create sustainable cities.

The Fourth session of the World Urban Forum (WUF4) will be hosted by the Government of China and will be held in the ancient city of Nanjing from 03-07 November 2008. Situated in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, the city of Nanjing dates back more than 2,000 years and is known as the ancient capital of the Six Dynasties of China. Today, home to 6 million people, it is a rapidly growing modern city and is one of the most dynamic in eastern China.

Read more at the Source: UN-HABITAT.:. World Urban Forum | Theme: Harmonious Urbanization: The Challenge of Balanced Territorial Development.

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