RICS shows the impact of energy labels in the housing market (EU)

7 December 2010 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Green Buildings

RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) Energy performance certificates not only provide citizens with accurate information on their homes’ energy savings, but they also have a clear impact on homes value, showing a green premium of 2.8% in the Dutch housing market, according to the latest research commissioned by RICS.   read more…

Geneva, city of peace

3 December 2010 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

United Nations © Henry Mühlpfordt

United Nations © Henry Mühlpfordt

Embedded between nearby Alpine peaks and the hilly terrain of the Jura, the French-speaking city of Geneva lies in the bay where the Rhone leaves Lake Geneva. With its humanitarian tradition and cosmopolitan flair, the European seat of the UNO and headquarters of the Red Cross is known as the “capital of peace”.   read more…

Limerick on Shannon river

30 November 2010 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Shannon and St. John's Castle © fitm

Shannon and St. John’s Castle © fitm

Limerick is the capital of County Limerick in the province of Munster in the southwest of Ireland and has 53,000 inhabitants. It is the historical center of the region and in some fields the center for the West of Ireland, particularly when it comes to tourism along the coast and the national parks in the West and South-East. Limerick is a good start and end point for the exploration of the widely spread national parks in the south. Because of the incredible landscape Ireland is also known as the Emerald Isle. Visitors should catch the right season, because in this part of Ireland it sometimes rains in unbelievable quantities, even if the climate is generally mild. The largest river in Ireland, the Shannon, flows through the city and behind Limerick as Shannon Estuary in the Atlantic. The regional airport is the link to Dublin. Visitors who want to learn more about country, people and culture on the way to / from Dublin can catch an intercity bus. The trip by private or rental car can easily become an adventure. During the summer months the Limerick Region is the ideal terrain for motorcyclists who prefer Bed & Breakfast hostels. This allows the visitors to experience the origin of this part of Ireland best and in the truest sense. Limerick, despite the size, is the “second capital” of Ireland and in contrast to Dublin the much quieter but still vibrant representative. The city’s history goes back to a Viking settlement, by the way the only foreign forces, who ever succeeded in Ireland for a longer period of time.   read more…

Art, Culture, Sankt Petersburg

28 November 2010 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, UNESCO World Heritage

Eremitage at night © Robert Breuer

Eremitage at night © Robert Breuer

Sankt Petersburg is probably the most unusual, “un-Russian” city of the country. This is because the origin history and historical and urban development of the “Venice of the North”. Sankt Petersburg has a little more than 300 years of history full of ups and downs. Visitors who are strolling around the streets soon have the feeling to visit one of the great European cities of the 19 century rather than a Russian city. The city at the river Neva has, compared to other capitols in the world, the most extensive historic downtown and can be described without exaggeration as an open-air museum of architecture.   read more…

Portrait: Douglas Tompkins, environmental activist and eco-entrepreneur

28 November 2010 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait

DouglasTompkins © LatinTrade.com

DouglasTompkins © LatinTrade.com

From time to time we portrait people with exceptional CV’s who try to make the world a better place with a lot of engagement:   read more…

Salzburg, the festival city

27 November 2010 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, UNESCO World Heritage

City Centre Salzburger © Thomas Pintaric

City Centre Salzburger © Thomas Pintaric

Salzburg, with nearly 150,000 inhabitants, is the fourth largest city in Austria. It is also the capital of the province Salzburg. Since 1996, the old part of the town is on the UNESCO world cultural heritage list. Today Salzburg is a major exhibition and convention destination with many trade and service companies and a powerful tourist industry. In addition, the city is internationally significant because of the Salzburg Festival, which earned her the nickname “Festival City”. For further facts please visit Wikipedia Salzburg.   read more…

Colosseum and Trajan’s Market and Forum – What can we learn?

27 November 2010 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Intelligent Buildings

Rome Marts © seier+seier+seier

Rome Marts © seier+seier+seier

Everyone knows it, even if the personal or private vocational orientation have nothing to do with the construction industry. Looking at this part of the history of public and commercial architecture and the resulting economic use, then these two building complexes were to some extent “The invention of the wheel.” Since then planners and architects are trying to reinvent this wheel again and again – with more or less success. Of course, there always have been results of progress and development of building materials to set new milestones, but really new developments weren’t given since. This is partly in the nature of the building and construction business: A building structure remain a building structure and have to follow structural requirements, which in turn follows the laws of gravity. On the other hand the results of the much-vaunted “think outside the box” quote are sometimes not only surprising, but simply led by misled passion.   read more…

Utrecht, the industrial and university city

24 November 2010 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, Sustainability

Canals © Diliff

Canals © Diliff

When visitors arrive at the old city of Utrecht it’s inevitably to think “Why haven’t I actually studied here?”. The University, with its numerous internationally recognized faculties, is an invitation to do so. Utrecht is undoubtedly one of the poster-girls of the Dutch towns, which meets every cliché and every expectation that visitors might have in places in the Netherlands. Whether it’s wind mills, canals, green houses, coffee shops, crooked houses, narrow alleys, small weekly markets, romantic places and locations or a vital nightlife on the one hand, or on the other hand busy activities in the inner city, students from all over the world and international retail – here you can find it and everything is arranged around the cathedral, which is also a good reference point for the first visit. A very different picture emerges when you leave the old town area. Here Utrecht show its industrial face and also meets the expectations one has of those quarters.   read more…

Lisbon, the white city

23 November 2010 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, European Union, General, European Capital of Culture

© Stefan Didam-Schmallenberg

© Stefan Didam-Schmallenberg

Nowhere in Portugal visitors will find a more impressive reminder of the great seafaring tradition and the wealth of the former colonial power than in the capital. It seems as if one would breathe history and even untrained eyes can see “Once here was power and money at home!”. Much is well preserved, especially the pride of the residents. Lisbon is one of the quieter, yet vibrant European cities with the typical southern European lifestyle, which could keep much of its originality without missing the connection to the modern era, on the contrary: For a number of years now, an increasingly stronger start-up scene from the IT sector has been established, which also attracts large international corporations (Startup Lisboa). Lisbon owes the nickname “The White City” the picturesque white houses, historic buildings and palaces.   read more…

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