Can the Middle East ever be green?

When you talk green in the Dubai, it’s can be assumed you mean golf courses. Conservation and ecotourism are not common parlance in the United Arab Emirates.

In four days at the Arabian Travel Market this week, I heard a slew of figures and superlatives to illustrate the UAE’s headlong goldrush to embrace tourism.

There’s the world’s tallest building still rising in Dubai, the biggest Guggenheim to open in Abu Dhabi and the world’s biggest stable of theme parks planned back in Dubai.
Green Spaces: April’s nominations

But only very rarely did sustainability arise – unless it concerned oil. Dubai’s runs out in 2016, hence the stridency to diversify now and consider the ramifications later.

At a “Going Green” seminar, David can der Meulen of Arabian Traveller magazine pointed out that US hotel chains operating in the Middle East, like Fairmont, have inhouse policies to cover energy efficient lightbulbs, paper and water usage. None of the UAE hotel companies have, he said.

Read more @ the SOURCE: Times Online – Can the Middle East ever be green?

Playing with different spaces

An abandoned municipal area, alongside a neglected backyard in Bat Yam, has been turned into a blossoming garden over the past three weeks, serving dozens of the city’s residents: pensioners, new immigrants, solitary people and families.

“We decided to do some recycling in an unused area of the city, to expand the concept of the shared living space and to enable residents to enjoy resources that actually belong to them,” explains the garden’s architect, Kerem Halbrecht, 29. The project, which was also planned by Halbrecht’s father, industrial designer Zvi Halbrecht, was included in the first International Biennale for Landscape Urbanism, which will open next Sunday in Bat Yam.

Source: Haaretz – Israel NewsPlaying with different spaces –

Green Cities / Green-thumbed in Bat Yam

A temporary but important change will take place in Bat Yam next month. The city’s residents as well as visitors will be given a map by the organizers of this year’s biennale, which identifies 18 new sites that are also called “outdoor rooms.” Each of the sites will house an installation created by landscape architects and artists, which treats the urban landscape as a space for hospitality. The exhibits will be on display for two weeks, in a project by the Bat Yam International Biennale of Landscape Urbanism, which will kick off on April 13. Both local and foreign artists and architects have worked on the installations. The organizers’ aim is to keep at least some of the works, including an urban nature site that will be set up in an open space on Bialik Street, which has been neglected and abandoned.

Source: Haaretz.com Green Cities / Green-thumbed in Bat Yam

Jerusalem deconstructed

Over the past three millennia Jerusalem has known its fair share of master builders, from Kings David, Solomon and Herod to Suleiman the Magnificent and mayor Teddy Kollek. But the city has also known a mirror-image legacy of monumental and municipal projects that were stillborn or abandoned.

Read more @ Jerusalem deconstructed | Jerusalem Post.

The good, the bad and the ugly fence – Haaretz – Israel News

The fate of the Judean Desert’s separation fences have apparently been decided. The recent terror attack in Dimona placed added pressure on green groups to withdraw their objections. Opposition to a barrier in the southern area, near the Dead Sea, has in particular diminished, and some activists are even starting to see advantages to having a fence. The defense establishment has yet to decide where and when a fence will be built in the northern desert, near Ma’aleh Adumim; there, too, it will surround at least part of the desert. The Palestinians will once again find themselves facing a new fence. Meanwhile, the security establishment is planning to pave a bypass road dubbed “the fabric of life.”

The good, the bad and the ugly fence – Haaretz – Israel News.

Dubai World Africa to invest US$200 million in eco golf and beach resort in Mozambique

UAE. Dubai World Africa today announced that it will invest US$200 million in the Bilene Hotel, a luxury beach resort, golf estate and eco development along 4 kilometres of exquisite prime beachfront in Mozambique.

Situated in a popular holiday village to the south of the country, just North of Maputo, the resort spans a 1,000 ha and encompasses the 18 kilometre Sao Martinho Lagoon, nature reserve and turtle breeding area.

Read more @ Business Intelligence Middle East

Iran News – Iran joins IFLA

Iranian Association of Greenery Engineers has joined the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA), Iran Daily reported.

A team of experts headed by IFLA president, Diane Menzies visited Iran on January 25 to become familiar with landscape design in the country, reported IRNA.

IFLA president delivered a lecture on the academic status of landscape architecture at Shiraz University’s Architecture Faculty.

Iran News – Iran joins IFLA.

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