Big Sur in California

9 August 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Environment, General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks

California Highway 1 near Ragged Point © flickr.com - Fred Moore/cc-by-2.0

California Highway 1 near Ragged Point © flickr.com – Fred Moore/cc-by-2.0

Big Sur is a rugged and mountainous section of the Central Coast of California between Carmel Highlands and San Simeon, where the Santa Lucia Mountains rise abruptly from the Pacific Ocean. It is frequently praised for its dramatic scenery. Big Sur has been called the “longest and most scenic stretch of undeveloped coastline in the contiguous United States,” a “national treasure that demands extraordinary procedures to protect it from development” and “one of the most beautiful coastlines anywhere in the world, an isolated stretch of road, mythic in reputation.” The stunning views, redwood forests, hiking, beaches, and other recreational opportunities have made Big Sur a popular destination for about 7 million people who live within a day’s drive and visitors from across the world. The region receives about the same number of visitors as Yosemite National Park, but offers extremely limited bus service, few restrooms, and a narrow two-lane highway with few places to park alongside the road. North-bound traffic during the peak summer season and holiday weekends is often backed up for about 20 miles (32km) from Big Sur Village to Carmel.   read more…

Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles

10 June 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Environment, General, Los Angeles

© panoramio.com - Ameer Attia/cc-by-3.0

© panoramio.com – Ameer Attia/cc-by-3.0

The Hollywood Hills is a hillside neighborhood of the same name in the central region of the city of Los Angeles. The Hollywood Hills straddle the Cahuenga Pass within the Santa Monica Mountains. The neighborhood touches Studio City, Universal City and Burbank on the north, Griffith Park on the north and east, Los Feliz on the southeast, Hollywood on the south and Hollywood Hills West on the west. It includes Forest Lawn Memorial Park, the Hollywood Reservoir, the Hollywood Sign, the Hollywood Bowl and the John Anson Ford Theater.   read more…

Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean

24 May 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…

Smart City

22 April 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, Design & Products, Energy, Environment, Building Automation, Green Buildings, Green Technologies, Intelligent Buildings, Living, Working, Building, Sustainability

© flickr.com - Wilgengebroed/cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com – Wilgengebroed/cc-by-2.0

A smart city is an urban area that uses different types of electronic data collection sensors to supply information which is used to manage assets and resources efficiently. This includes data collected from citizens, devices, and assets that is processed and analyzed to monitor and manage traffic and transportation systems, power plants, water supply networks, waste management, law enforcement, information systems, schools, libraries, hospitals, and other community services. The smart city concept integrates information and communication technology (ICT), and various physical devices connected to the network (the Internet of things or IoT) to optimize the efficiency of city operations and services and connect to citizens. Smart city technology allows city officials to interact directly with both community and city infrastructure and to monitor what is happening in the city and how the city is evolving.   read more…

Acadia National Park in New England

13 August 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Environment, General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks

© Someone35/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Someone35/cc-by-sa-3.0

Acadia National Park is a United States national park located in the state of Maine in New England, southwest of Bar Harbor. The park reserves much of Mount Desert Island and associated smaller islands along the Atlantic coast. Initially created as the Sieur de Monts National Monument in 1916, the park was renamed and re-designated Lafayette National Park in 1919, and then renamed once more as Acadia National Park in 1929. Over three million people visited the park in 2016. Acadia is the oldest designated national park in the United States east of the Mississippi River, although two eastern national parks in Ontario are older: Thousand Islands (1904) and Point Pelee (1918). Today, with nearly 2.5 million visitors every year, the park is one of the ten most visited national parks in the United States due to its proximity to the metropolises of the East Coast.   read more…

Palau in the western Pacific Ocean

30 July 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Environment, General

Rock Islands © Peter R. Binter

Rock Islands © Peter R. Binter

Palau, officially the Republic of Palau, is an island country located in the western Pacific Ocean. The country contains approximately 340 islands, forming the western chain of the Caroline Islands in Micronesia, and has an area of 466 square kilometers (180 sq mi). The most populous island is Koror. The capital Ngerulmud is located on the nearby island of Babeldaob, in Melekeok State. Palau shares maritime boundaries with the Philippines, Indonesia, and the Federated States of Micronesia.   read more…

The Białowieża National Park

4 April 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Environment, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage

Swamped forest © Lilly M/cc-by-sa-3.0

Swamped forest © Lilly M/cc-by-sa-3.0

Białowieża National Park is a National Park in Podlaskie Voivodeship, in Eastern Poland adjacent with the border with Belarus. The total area of the park is 152.2 square kilometres (58.8 sq mi). It is located 62 km (39 mi) southeast of Białystok (Poland). It is known for the protection of the best preserved part of the Białowieża Forest, Europe’s last temperate primaeval forest fragment that once stretched across the European Plain. It is home to the world’s largest population of European bison, the continent’s heaviest land animals. The border between the two countries runs through the forest, the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park is adjacent on the Belarus side of the border. There is a border crossing for hikers and cyclists within the forest. According to one study, the park brings in tourist revenues of about 72 million zlotys per year.   read more…

Kyoto in Japan

11 August 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Environment, General, UNESCO World Heritage

Kyoto City Hall © Tomomarusan/cc-by-2.5

Kyoto City Hall © Tomomarusan/cc-by-2.5

Kyoto is a city located in the central part of the island of Honshu in Japan. It has a population close to 1.5 million. Formerly the Imperial capital of Japan for more than one thousand years, it is now the capital city of Kyoto Prefecture located in the Kansai region, as well as a major part of the Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe metropolitan area. Kyoto is also known as the thousand-year capital. In 1997, Kyoto hosted the conference that resulted in the protocol on greenhouse gas emissions that bears the city’s name. Home to 37 institutions of higher education, Kyoto is one of the academic centers in Japan. Kyoto University is considered to be one of the top national universities nationwide. The original city was arranged in accordance with traditional Chinese feng shui following the model of the ancient Chinese capital of Chang’an (present-day Xi’an). The Imperial Palace faced south, resulting in Ukyō (the right sector of the capital) being on the west while Sakyō (the left sector) is on the east. The streets in the modern-day wards of Nakagyō, Shimogyō, and Kamigyō-ku still follow a grid pattern. Today, the main business district is located to the south of the old Imperial Palace, with the less-populated northern area retaining a far greener feel. Surrounding areas do not follow the same grid pattern as the center of the city, though streets throughout Kyoto share the distinction of having names.   read more…

The King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)

1 April 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, Energy, Environment, Building Automation, General, Green Buildings, Green Technologies, House of the Month, Intelligent Buildings, Sustainability, Universities, Colleges, Academies

© Aboluay/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Aboluay/cc-by-sa-4.0

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is a private research university in Saudi Arabia. The University’s core campus, located on the Red Sea at Thuwal, is sited on more than 36 square kilometres (14 sq mi), encompassing a marine sanctuary and research facility. The university is 20 km away north of the King Abdullah Economic City. KAUST is part of a small number of highly planned, specialized, research and technology-intensive municipalities in the world that incorporate a living environment, similar to Masdar City in the United Arab Emirates or Tsukuba Science City in Japan.   read more…

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