Kyoto in Japan

August 11th, 2017 | 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)

April 1st, 2016 | 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…

Theme Week Abu Dhabi – Masdar City

March 23rd, 2016 | Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, Design & Products, Energy, Environment, Building Automation, Green Buildings, Green Technologies, Living, Working, Building, Materials, Sustainability, Universities, Colleges, Academies |

© fosterandpartners.com

© fosterandpartners.com

Masdar City is a planned city project in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates. Its core is being built by Masdar, a subsidiary of Mubadala Development Company, with the majority of seed capital provided by the Government of Abu Dhabi. Designed by the British architectural firm Foster and Partners, the city relies on solar energy and other renewable energy sources. Masdar City is being constructed 17 kilometres (11 mi) east-south-east of the city of Abu Dhabi, right beside Abu Dhabi International Airport. Masdar City will host the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The city is designed to be a hub for cleantech companies. Its first tenant is the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, which has been operating in the city since it moved into its campus in September 2010.   read more…

The Everglades National Park in Florida

February 19th, 2016 | Destination: | Rubric: Environment, General, Museums, Exhibitions, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage |

Everglades National Park World heritage plaque © Daniel Schwen/cc-by-sa-4.0

Everglades National Park World heritage plaque © Daniel Schwen/cc-by-sa-4.0

Everglades National Park is a U.S. National Park in Florida that protects the southern 20 percent of the original Everglades. In the United States, it is the largest tropical wilderness, the largest wilderness of any kind east of the Mississippi River, and is visited on average by one million people each year. It is the third-largest national park in the lower 48 states after Death Valley and Yellowstone. It has been declared an International Biosphere Reserve, a World Heritage Site, and a Wetland of International Importance, one of only three locations in the world to appear on all three lists.   read more…

Theme Week Canary Islands – La Gomera

October 15th, 2015 | Destination: | Rubric: Environment, General, UNESCO World Heritage |

San Sebastian de La Gomera - Marina © Jojo

San Sebastian de La Gomera – Marina © Jojo

La Gomera is the second-smallest of the seven main islands of this group. The upper reaches of this densely wooded region are almost permanently shrouded in clouds and mist, and as a result are covered in lush and diverse vegetation: they form the protected environment of Spain’s Garajonay National Park, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986. The slopes are criss-crossed by paths that present varying levels of difficulty to visitors, and stunning views to seasoned hikers.   read more…

The Florida Keys

July 13th, 2015 | Destination: | Rubric: Environment, General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks |

Fort Jefferson - Dry Tortugas © U.S. National Park Service

Fort Jefferson – Dry Tortugas © U.S. National Park Service

The Florida Keys are an archipelago of 4500 islands in the southeast United States. They begin at the southeastern tip of the Florida peninsula, about 15 miles (24 km) south of Miami, and extend in a gentle arc south-southwest and then westward to Key West, the westernmost of the inhabited islands, and on to the uninhabited Dry Tortugas. The islands lie along the Florida Straits, dividing the Atlantic Ocean to the east from the Gulf of Mexico to the west, and defining one edge of Florida Bay. At the nearest point, the southern tip of Key West is just 90 miles (140 km) from Cuba. The Florida Keys are between about 23.5 and 25.5 degrees North latitude, in the subtropics. The climate of the Keys however, is defined as tropical according to Köppen climate classification. More than 95 percent of the land area lies in Monroe County, but a small portion extends northeast into Miami-Dade County, primarily in the city of Islandia, Florida. The total land area is 137.3 square miles (356 km2). As of the 2000 census the population was 79,535, with an average density of 579.27 per square mile (223.66 /km2), although much of the population is concentrated in a few areas of much higher density, such as the city of Key West, which has 32% of the entire population of the Keys. The city of Key West is the county seat of Monroe County. The county consists of a section on the mainland which is almost entirely in Everglades National Park, and the Keys islands from Key Largo to the Dry Tortugas.   read more…

Europe’s End: The North Cape

May 2nd, 2015 | Destination: | Rubric: Environment, General |

North Cape © W. Rebel

North Cape © W. Rebel

Nordkapp (or North Cape in English) is a municipality in Finnmark county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Honningsvåg. Nordkapp (originally named Kjelvik) was separated from Porsanger on 1 July 1861. The western part of the island of Magerøya was transferred from the municipality of Måsøy to Nordkapp on 1 January 1984.   read more…

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