Freiburg im Breisgau, the world capital of solar technology

4 May 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Energy, Environment, General, Sustainability Reading Time:  9 minutes

Historical Merchants Hall © Andreas Trepte

Historical Merchants Hall © Andreas Trepte

Freiburg im Breisgau is a city in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Located in the extreme south-west of the country, Freiburg straddles the Dreisam river, at the foot of the Schlossberg. Historically, the city has acted as the hub of the Breisgau region on the western edge of the Black Forest in the Upper Rhine Plain. One of the famous old German university towns, and archiepiscopal seat, Freiburg was incorporated in the early 12th century and developed into a major commercial, intellectual, and ecclesiastical centre of the upper Rhine region. The city is known for its ancient university and its medieval minster, as well as for its high standard of living and advanced environmental practices. The city is situated in the heart of a major wine-growing region and serves as the primary tourist entry point to the scenic beauty of the Black Forest. According to meteorological statistics, the city is the sunniest and warmest in Germany.   read more…

Theme Week Marseille, France’s oldest and second largest city

3 May 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, French Riviera, European Union, General, European Capital of Culture, Theme Weeks Reading Time:  9 minutes

Corniche - Petit Nice © Jddmano

Corniche – Petit Nice © Jddmano

Marseille, known in antiquity as Massalia, is the second largest city in France, after Paris, with a population of 852,395 within its administrative limits on a land area of 240.62 km2 (93 sq mi). The urban area of Marseille extends beyond the city limits with a population of over 1,420,000 on an area of 1,204 km2 (465 sq mi). 1,530,000 or 1,601,095 people live in the Marseille metropolitan area, ranking it third among French metro areas. Located on the southeast coast of France on the Mediterranean Sea, Marseille is France’s largest commercial port and largest French city on the Mediterranean coast. Marseille is the capital of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, as well as the capital of the Bouches-du-Rhône department. Its inhabitants are called Marseillais. Marseille enjoys a Mediterranean climate. The summer/holiday season lasts for six months, from May to October, although also in April sometimes there are temperatures above 20 °C (68.0 °F). Winters are mild, with average temperature 12 °C (54 °F) during the day and 4 °C (39 °F) at night in the period December–January–February.   read more…

Floating prefab house settlement in the Netherlands

2 May 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, Yacht of the Month Reading Time:  6 minutes

© Luuk Kramer

© Luuk Kramer

An amazing neighborhood of 75 modern floating homes has popped up in IJburg, Netherlands, paying tribute to close relationship that the Dutch have with water. Using docks as sidewalks and the IJ Lake as a backyard, the flotilla is a large-scale adaptive development in a country that will be disproportionately affected with rising seas due to climate change. The modular homes by Architectenbureau Marlies Rohmer feature a flexible design – wall panels can be swapped for windows to adjust each house to its site. On a hot day residents can jump off the porch for a dip, or in winter they can strap on a pair of ice skates to get around.   read more…

First Container House in Mojave Desert

2 May 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, House of the Month Reading Time:  6 minutes

© Jack Parsons Photography

© Jack Parsons Photography

This is the first permitted shipping container house in the Mojave Desert near Joshua Tree, California, according to a statement by the architect, Walter Scott Perry, principal of ecotechdesign. The home, also known as The Tim Palen Studio at Shadow Mountain, was built with re-purposed shipping containers and some impressive green elements such as a steel shade system, a living roof, and a 10,000 gallon water storage tank.   read more…

Milan, Italy’s moral capital and gateway to the world

30 April 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General Reading Time:  9 minutes

Milan Cathedral - Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II - Royal Palace of Milan © Dodo

Milan Cathedral – Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II – Royal Palace of Milan © Dodo

Milan is a city in Italy and the capital of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1,318,000, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza, is one of Europe’s largest with an estimated population of 4 million spread over 1,980 km2, with a consequent population density of more than 2,000 inhab./km2. The growth of many suburbs and satellite settlements around the city proper following the great economic boom of the 1950-60s and massive commuting flows suggest that socioeconomic linkages have expanded well beyond the boundaries of the city proper and its agglomeration, creating a metropolitan area of 7.4 million population expanded all over the central section of Lombardy region. It has been suggested that the Milan metropolitan area is part of the so-called Blue Banana, the area of Europe with the highest population and industrial density.   read more…

Cologne – 2000 years of history

29 April 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  7 minutes

Rhine Garden © Raimond Spekking/cc-by-sa-3.0

Rhine Garden © Raimond Spekking/cc-by-sa-3.0

Cologne is Germany’s fourth-largest city (after Berlin, Hamburg and Munich), and is the largest city both in the German Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants.   read more…

Valencia, party capital of Spain

28 April 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  7 minutes

The North Station © Felivet

The North Station © Felivet

Valencia is the most populous city of the Autonomous Community of Valencia and the third largest city in Spain, with a population of 809,267 in 2010. It is the 15th-most populous municipality in the European Union. About 1,175,000 people live in the Valencia urban area and 1,705,742 in the Valencia metropolitan area. It is integrated into an industrial area on the Costa del Azahar. Its main festival, the Falles, is known worldwide, while the traditional dish, paella, originated around Valencia. The city contains a dense monumental heritage, including the Llotja de la Seda (World Heritage Site since 1996), but its landmark is undoubtedly the City of Arts and Sciences, an avant-garde and futuristic museum complex.   read more…

Dubrovnik, pearl of the Adriatic

27 April 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  7 minutes

Old town of Dubrovnik © gari.baldi

Old town of Dubrovnik © gari.baldi

Dubrovnik is a Croatian city on the Adriatic Sea coast positioned at the terminal end of the Isthmus of Dubrovnik. It is one of the most prominent tourist destinations on the Adriatic, a seaport and the center of Dubrovnik-Neretva county. Its population was 43,770 in 2001, down from 49,728 in 1991. In 1979, the city of Dubrovnik joined the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.   read more…

European Route of Industrial Heritage

26 April 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: European Union, General Reading Time:  5 minutes

© erih.net

© erih.net

The European Route of Industrial Heritage (ERIH) is a network (theme route) of the most important industrial heritage sites in Europe. The aim of the project is to create interest for the common European Heritage of the Industrialisation and its remains. ERIH also wants to promote regions, towns and sites showing the industrial history and market them as visitor attractions in the leisure and tourism industry.   read more…

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