Mediterranean Region

29 July 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, French Riviera, European Union, Living, Working, Building, Sport, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  28 minutes

Monaco © Tobi 87/cc-by-sa-3.0

Monaco © Tobi 87/cc-by-sa-3.0

In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin, also known as the Mediterranean Region or sometimes Mediterranea, is the region of lands around the Mediterranean Sea that have mostly a Mediterranean climate, with mild to cool, rainy winters and warm to hot, dry summers, which supports characteristic Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub vegetation.   read more…

Karakorum in Mongolia

24 February 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  15 minutes

Karakorum model in the National Museum of Mongolian History in Ulaan-Baatar © Brücke-Osteuropa

Karakorum model in the National Museum of Mongolian History in Ulaan-Baatar © Brücke-Osteuropa

Karakorum was the capital of the Mongol Empire between 1235 and 1260 and of the Northern Yuan dynasty in the 14–15th centuries. Its ruins lie in the northwestern corner of the Övörkhangai Province of modern-day Mongolia, near the present town of Kharkhorin and adjacent to the Erdene Zuu Monastery, which is likely the oldest surviving Buddhist monastery in Mongolia. They are in the upper part of the World Heritage Site Orkhon Valley.   read more…

Urban planning

20 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Architecture, Building Automation, Green Buildings, Intelligent Buildings, Living, Working, Building, Sustainability, Environment Reading Time:  15 minutes

Plan of an ideal city of 100 000 inhabitants by Jean-Jacques Moll from 1801

Plan of an ideal city of 100 000 inhabitants by Jean-Jacques Moll from 1801

Urban planning, also known as town planning, city planning, regional planning, or rural planning, is a technical and political process that is focused on the development and design of land use and the built environment, including air, water, and the infrastructure passing into and out of urban areas, such as transportation, communications, and distribution networks and their accessibility. Traditionally, urban planning followed a top-down approach in master planning the physical layout of human settlements. The primary concern was the public welfare, which included considerations of efficiency, sanitation, protection and use of the environment, as well as effects of the master plans on the social and economic activities. Over time, urban planning has adopted a focus on the social and environmental bottom-lines that focus on planning as a tool to improve the health and well-being of people while maintaining sustainability standards. Sustainable development was added as one of the main goals of all planning endeavors in the late 20th century when the detrimental economic and the environmental impacts of the previous models of planning had become apparent. Similarly, in the early 21st century, Jane Jacob‘s writings on legal and political perspectives to emphasize the interests of residents, businesses and communities effectively influenced urban planners to take into broader consideration of resident experiences and needs while planning.   read more…

70 years Luxembourg Agreement

10 September 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  16 minutes

Luxembourg City Hall © Cayambe/cc-by-sa-3.0

Luxembourg City Hall © Cayambe/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Reparations Agreement between Israel and the Federal Republic of Germany (“Luxembourg Agreement”, “Wiedergutmachungsabkommen” or “Reparations Agreement”) was signed on September 10, 1952, and entered in force on March 27, 1953. According to the Agreement, West Germany was to pay Israel for the costs of “resettling so great a number of uprooted and destitute Jewish refugees” after the war, and to compensate individual Jews, via the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, for losses in Jewish livelihood and property resulting from Nazi persecution.   read more…

Geopolitics and geostrategy: the heartland theory

27 August 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  13 minutes

Map of the "Heartland Theory", as published by Halford Mackinder in 1904

Map of the “Heartland Theory”, as published by Halford Mackinder in 1904

The Geographical Pivot of History” is an article submitted by Halford John Mackinder in 1904 to the Royal Geographical Society that advances his heartland theory. In this article, Mackinder extended the scope of geopolitical analysis to encompass the entire globe. According to Mackinder, the Earth’s land surface was divisible into:   read more…

Theme Week Belarus – Minsk

30 July 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  21 minutes

Babrujskaja street © Viktar Palstsiuk/cc-by-sa-4.0

Babrujskaja street © Viktar Palstsiuk/cc-by-sa-4.0

Minsk is the capital and the largest city of Belarus, located on the Svislach and the now subterranean Niamiha rivers. As the capital, Minsk has a special administrative status in Belarus and is the administrative centre of Minsk Region (voblasć) and Minsk District (rajon). As of January 2021, its population was 2 million, making Minsk the 11th most populous city in Europe. Minsk is one of the administrative capitals of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). First documented in 1067, Minsk became the capital of the Principality of Minsk before being annexed by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in 1242. It received town privileges in 1499. From 1569, it was the capital of the Minsk Voivodeship, an administrative division of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. It was part of a region annexed by the Russian Empire in 1793, as a consequence of the Second Partition of Poland. From 1919 to 1991, after the Russian Revolution, Minsk was the capital of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, in the Soviet Union. In June 2019, Minsk hosted the 2019 European Games.   read more…

Theme Week Belarus – Grodno

29 July 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  14 minutes

© - Alexej Mazurkiewicz/cc-by-sa-2.0

© – Alexej Mazurkiewicz/cc-by-sa-2.0

Grodno is a city in western Belarus. The city is located at the Neman river, 300 km (186 mi) from Minsk, about 15 km (9 mi) from the Polish border and 30 km (19 mi) away from Lithuania. In 2019 the city had 373,547 inhabitants. Grodno is the capital of Grodno Region and Grodno District. Since 1945, the city has been a centre of one of the provinces of the Byelorussian SSR, now of the independent Republic of Belarus. Most of the Polish inhabitants were expelled or fled to Poland in 1944–1946 and 1955–1959. However nowadays Poles are still the second-most numerous nationality in the city (25%), after Belarusians (60%).   read more…

Theme Week Belarus – Mogilev

28 July 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  2 minutes

City Hall © Kazimier Lachnovic/cc-by-sa-3.0

City Hall © Kazimier Lachnovic/cc-by-sa-3.0

Mogilev is a city in eastern Belarus, on the Dnieper River, about 76 kilometres (47 miles) from the border with Russia‘s Smolensk Oblast and 105 km (65 miles) from the border with Russia’s Bryansk Oblast. As of 2011, its population was 360,918, up from an estimated 106,000 in 1956. It is the administrative centre of the Mogilev Region and the third largest city in Belarus.   read more…

Theme Week Belarus – Vitebsk

27 July 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  10 minutes

Vitsebsk © - Svetlov Artem/cc-by-3.0

Vitsebsk © – Svetlov Artem/cc-by-3.0

Vitebsk or Viciebsk is a city in Belarus. The capital of the Vitebsk Region, it has 366,299 inhabitants, making it the country’s fourth-largest city. It is served by Vitebsk Vostochny Airport and Vitebsk Air Base. Vitebsk developed from a river harbor where the Vićba River, from which it derives its name, flows into the larger Western Dvina, which is spanned in the city by the Kirov Bridge.   read more…

Return to TopReturn to Top