The European Union: Real Estate and Demography

May 25th, 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, Editorial, European Union, Living, Working, Building

First, there is not THE real estate market – not national and certainly not international. In fact, the market situation is very fragmented due to the general conditions. Metropolitan Area A faces different challenges than Metropolitan Area B and Metropolitan Area C can not even understand what A and B are talking about. Where there is comparability, is the housing situation in the “affordable segment” in urban centers in all western EU states, the US and Canada. This is where the call for the state, which should intervene regulatively, quickly becomes louder. In free market economies, however, this is on the one hand not wanted and therefore on the other hand, only limited possible. That’s pretty okay, because the market is inherently profit-oriented and that’s just what it will stay, otherwise investment incentives for new construction would sooner or later be completely absent. The “rental price brake” (Mietpreisbremse) exemplifies the problem. At the same time, more and more social housing is being let out of the rental price brake without replacement investment being made. In the following, single aspects are examined in more detail using the example of Germany, whereby the scenarios can also be transferred to other western EU states, the USA, Canada, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and Tel Aviv in Israel.   read more…

Theme Week Indonesia – Bali

May 25th, 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

Nusa Lembongan - Mushroom Beach © San Andreas/cc-by-sa-3.0

Nusa Lembongan – Mushroom Beach © San Andreas/cc-by-sa-3.0

Bali is a province of Indonesia and the westernmost of the Lesser Sunda Islands. Located east of Java and west of Lombok, the province includes the island of Bali and a few smaller neighbouring islands, notably Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, and Nusa Ceningan. The provincial capital, Denpasar, is the most populous city in the Lesser Sunda Islands and the second largest, after Makassar, in Eastern Indonesia. Bali is the only Hindu-majority province in Indonesia, with 83.5% of the population adhering to Balinese Hinduism.   read more…

Theme Week Indonesia – Sumatra

May 24th, 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

Berbak National Park © cifor.org - James Maiden/cc-by-sa-2.0

Berbak National Park © cifor.org – James Maiden/cc-by-sa-2.0

Sumatra is a large island in western Indonesia that is part of the Sunda Islands. It is the largest island that is located entirely in Indonesia (after Borneo, which is shared between Indonesia and other countries) and the sixth-largest island in the world at 473,481 km² (not including adjacent islands such as the Riau Islands and Bangka Belitung Islands). The Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra site was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2004. The 25,951 km² area of the World Heritage Site includes the National Parks Gunung Leuser, Kerinci Seblat and Bukit Barisan Selatan.   read more…

Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean

May 24th, 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Environment, General, Sustainability

Cannon Point at sundown © Blaine Steinert

Cannon Point at sundown © Blaine Steinert

The Chagos Archipelago or Chagos Islands (formerly the Bassas de Chagas, and later the Oil Islands) are a group of seven atolls comprising more than 60 individual tropical islands in the Indian Ocean about 500 kilometres (310 mi) south of the Maldives archipelago. This chain of islands is the southernmost archipelago of the Chagos-Laccadive Ridge, a long submarine mountain range in the Indian Ocean. As part of its British Indian Ocean Territory, the Chagos were home to the Chagossians, a Bourbonnais Creole-speaking people, for more than a century and a half until the United Kingdom evicted them between 1967 and 1973 to allow the United States to build a military base on Diego Garcia, the largest of the Chagos Islands. Since 1971, only the atoll of Diego Garcia is inhabited, and only by military and civilian contracted personnel.   read more…

Theme Week Indonesia – Java

May 23rd, 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

Barakuda Beach in Karimun © Midori/cc-by-3.0

Barakuda Beach in Karimun © Midori/cc-by-3.0

Java is bordered by the Indian Ocean on the south and the Java Sea on the north. With a population of over 141 million (Java only) or 145 million (including the inhabitants of its surrounding islands), Java is the home to 56.7 percent of the Indonesian population and is the world’s most populous island. The Indonesian capital city, Jakarta, is located on its northwestern coast. Much of Indonesian history took place on Java. It was the center of powerful Hindu-Buddhist empires, the Islamic sultanates, and the core of the colonial Dutch East Indies. Java was also the center of the Indonesian struggle for independence during the 1930s and 1940s. Java dominates Indonesia politically, economically and culturally. Four of Indonesia’s eight UNESCO world heritage sites are located in Java: Ujung Kulon National Park, Borobudur Temple, Prambanan Temple, and Sangiran Early Man Site.   read more…

Theme Week Indonesia – Kalimantan on Borneo

May 22nd, 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Banjarmasin Floating Market © Muhammad Haris/cc-by-sa-4.0

Banjarmasin Floating Market © Muhammad Haris/cc-by-sa-4.0

Borneo is the third-largest island in the world and the largest in Asia. At the geographic centre of Maritime Southeast Asia, in relation to major Indonesian islands, it is located north of Java, west of Sulawesi, and east of Sumatra. The island is politically divided among three countries: Malaysia and Brunei in the north, and Indonesia to the south. Approximately 73% of the island is Indonesian territory (East, South, West, North and Central Kalimantan, Kalimantan). In the north, the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak make up about 26% of the island. Additionally, the Malaysian federal territory of Labuan is situated on a small island just off the coast of Borneo. The sovereign state of Brunei, located on the north coast, comprises about 1% of Borneo’s land area. A little more than half of the island is in the Northern Hemisphere including Brunei and the Malaysian portion, while the Indonesian portion spans both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. The largest Indonesian cities on Borneo are: Samarinda, Banjarmasin, Balikpapan, Pontianak, Palangka Raya, Banjarbaru, Tarakan, Singkawang, and Bontang. Borneo is home to one of the oldest rainforests in the world.   read more…

Portrait: The diplomat, politician, historian, philosopher, humanist, writer, playwright and poet Niccolò Machiavelli

May 22nd, 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait

Niccolò Machiavelli by Santi di Tito

Niccolò Machiavelli by Santi di Tito

Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (3 May 1469 – 21 June 1527) was an Italian diplomat, politician, historian, philosopher, humanist, writer, playwright and poet of the Renaissance period. He has often been called the father of modern political science. For many years he was a senior official in the Florentine Republic, with responsibilities in diplomatic and military affairs. He also wrote comedies, carnival songs, and poetry. His personal correspondence is renowned by Italian scholars. He was secretary to the Second Chancery of the Republic of Florence from 1498 to 1512, when the Medici were out of power. He wrote his best-known work The Prince (Il Principe) in 1513, having been exiled from city affairs (Works by Niccolò Machiavelli).   read more…

Theme Week Indonesia – Sulawesi

May 21st, 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

West Beach in Bira © Kondephy/cc-by-sa-4.0

West Beach in Bira © Kondephy/cc-by-sa-4.0

Sulawesi, formerly known as Celebes, is one of the four Greater Sunda Islands, and the world’s eleventh-largest island, situated east of Borneo, west of the Maluku Islands, and south of Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago. Within Indonesia, only Sumatra, Borneo and Papua are larger in territory, and only Java and Sumatra have larger populations.   read more…

Theme Week Indonesia

May 20th, 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage

Borobudur, the world's largest Buddist temple © Gunawan Kartapranata/cc-by-sa-3.0

Borobudur, the world’s largest Buddist temple © Gunawan Kartapranata/cc-by-sa-3.0

Indonesia is a country in Southeast Asia, between the Indian and Pacific oceans. It is the world’s largest island country, with more than seventeen thousand islands, and at 1,904,569 square kilometres (735,358 square miles), the 14th largest by land area and the 7th largest in combined sea and land area. With over 261 million people, it is the world’s 4th most populous country as well as the most populous Muslim-majority country. Java, the world’s most populous island, contains more than half of the country’s population.   read more…

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