The European Union: Real Estate and Demography

25 May 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, Editorial, European Union, Living, Working, Building

(Latest update: 17 November 2019) First, there is not THE real estate market – not national and certainly not international. In fact, the market situation is very fragmented due to the general conditions, in other words, many individual markets, collectively referred to as “the market”. Metropolitan Area A faces different challenges than Metropolitan Area B and Metropolitan Area C can not even understand what A and B are talking about. Where there is comparability, is the housing situation in the “affordable segment” in urban centers in all western EU states, the US and Canada. This is where the call for the state, which should intervene regulatively, quickly becomes louder. In free market economies, however, this is on the one hand not wanted and therefore on the other hand, only limited possible. That’s pretty okay, because the market is inherently profit-oriented and that’s just what it will stay, otherwise investment incentives for new construction would sooner or later be completely absent. The “rental price brake” (Mietpreisbremse) exemplifies the problem. At the same time, more and more social housing is being let out of the rental price brake without replacement investment being made. In the following, single aspects are examined in more detail using the example of Germany, whereby the scenarios can also be transferred to other western EU states, the USA, Canada, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong or Tel Aviv in Israel.   read more…

Canada: Bon voyage!

8 December 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Editorial, General, UNESCO World Heritage

© George F.G. Stanley

© George F.G. Stanley

Canada has a large domestic and foreign tourism industry. The second largest country in the world and a population well over 36,5 million, Canada’s incredible geographical variety is a significant tourist attractor. Much of the country’s tourism is centred in the following (busiest) regions: Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver/Whistler, Niagara Falls, Vancouver Island, Canadian Rockies, British Columbias Okanagan Valley, and the national capital region Ottawa. The large cities (cities in Canada) are known for their culture, diversity, as well as the many national parks and historic sites. There are 17 World Heritage sites in Canada, including one of the oldest, Nahanni National Park Reserve in the Northwest Territories, and one of the newest, the Red Bay Basque Whaling Station in Newfoundland and Labrador. Of these 18 sites, 8 of them are Cultural Heritages and 10 are Natural Heritages. Canada is divided into ten provinces and three territories. Domestic and international tourism combined directly contributes 1% of Canada’s total GDP and supports 310,000 jobs in the country. Most visitors arriving to Canada in 2015 came from the following countries of residence: United States, United Kingdom, China, France, Germany, Australia, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, and India. Canada ist host to 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.   read more…

Magdalen Islands in Quebec

26 November 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Cap-aux-Meules Island - L'Étang-du-Nord Lighthouse © Renaudp10/cc-by-sa-3.0

Cap-aux-Meules Island – L’Étang-du-Nord Lighthouse © Renaudp10/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Magdalen Islands are a small archipelago in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence with a land area of 205.53 square kilometres (79.36 sq mi). Though closer to Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, the islands are part of the Canadian province of Quebec. There are eight major islands: Amherst, Grande Entrée, Grindstone, Grosse-Île, House Harbour, Pointe-Aux-Loups, Entry Island and Brion. All except Brion are inhabited. There are several other tiny islands that are also considered part of the archipelago: Bird Rock (Rocher aux Oiseaux), Seal Island (Île aux Loups-marins), Île Paquet and Rocher du Corps Mort. The islands’ interiors were once completely covered with pine forests. An ancient salt dome underlies the archipelago. The inherent buoyancy of the salt forces the uplift of overlying Permian red sandstone. Nearby salt domes are believed to be sources of fossil fuels. Rock salt is mined on the Islands.   read more…

Victoria in British Columbia

15 June 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

The Empress © Miladlaferrari/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Empress © Miladlaferrari/cc-by-sa-3.0

Victoria, the capital city of the Canadian province of British Columbia, is on the southern tip of Vancouver Island off Canada’s Pacific coast. The city has a population of 86,000, while the metropolitan area of Greater Victoria has a population of 383,000, making it the 15th most populous Canadian metropolitan area. The city of Victoria is the 7th most densely populated city in Canada with 4,405.8 people per square kilometre, which is a greater population density than Toronto, Ontario. Victoria is the southernmost major city in Western Canada, and is about 100 kilometres (60 miles) from British Columbia’s largest city of Vancouver on the mainland. The city is about 100 km (60 mi) from Seattle by airplane, ferry, or the Victoria Clipper passenger-only ferry which operates daily, year round between Seattle and Victoria, and 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Port Angeles, Washington, by ferry Coho across the Strait of Juan de Fuca.   read more…

Bella Coola in British Columbia

26 February 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

The docks at Bella Coola © flickr.com - Colin/cc-by-2.0

The docks at Bella Coola © flickr.com – Colin/cc-by-2.0

Bella Coola is a community in the Bella Coola Valley in British Columbia. Bella Coola usually refers to the entire valley, encompassing the settlements of Bella Coola proper (“the townsite”) (population approximately 148), Lower Bella Coola, Hagensborg, Saloompt, Nusatsum, Firvale and Stuie. It is also the location of the head offices of the Central Coast Regional District. The entire Bella Coola Valley has a population of 2,000. The primary geographical structure of the community, both in terms of physical structures and population distribution, is the long, narrow Bella Coola River valley.   read more…

Canada: Bon appétit!

2 November 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Editorial, General

© George F.G. Stanley

© George F.G. Stanley

Canadian cuisine varies widely depending on the regions of the nation. The three earliest cuisines of Canada have First Nations, English, Scottish and French roots, with the traditional cuisine of English Canada closely related to British cuisine, while the traditional cuisine of French Canada has evolved from French cuisine and the winter provisions of fur traders. With subsequent waves of immigration in the 19th and 20th century from Western, Central and Southern European, and Eastern Europe, South Asia, East Asia, and the Caribbean, the regional cuisines were subsequently augmented.   read more…

Montreal in Quebec

15 September 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

Old port of Montreal by night © flickr.com - Mickael Pollard/cc-by-sa-2.0

Old port of Montreal by night © flickr.com – Mickael Pollard/cc-by-sa-2.0

Montreal is the most populous municipality in the province of Quebec and the second-most populous in Canada. Originally called Ville-Marie, or “City of Mary”, it is believed to be named after Mount Royal. The city has a distinct four-season continental climate, with warm-to-hot summers and cold, snowy winters. Montreal had a population of 1.7 million. Montreal’s metropolitan area had a population of 4.1 million and a population of 2 million in the urban agglomeration, with all of the municipalities on the Island of Montreal included. Legally a French-speaking city, 60.5% of Montrealers speak French at home, 21.2% speak English and 19.8% speak neither. Montreal is one of the most bilingual cities in Quebec and Canada, with 56% of the population able to speak both official languages. Montreal is the second-largest primarily French-speaking city in the world after Paris.   read more…

Lunenburg in Nova Scotia

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

© Jvienneau/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Jvienneau/cc-by-sa-3.0

Lunenburg is a port town in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia, Canada. Situated on the province’s South Shore, Lunenburg is located on the Fairhaven Peninsula at the western side of Mahone Bay. The town is approximately 90 kilometres southwest of the county boundary with the Halifax Regional Municipality. The town was established by the three founding fathers, Patrick Sutherland, Dettlieb Christopher Jessen and John Creighton during Father Le Loutre’s War, four years after Halifax. The town was one of the first British attempts to settle Protestants in Nova Scotia intended to displace Mi’kmaq and Acadian Catholics. British settlement posed a lasting, grave and certain threat to Mi’kmaw hegenomy over their traditional territory. Considering that British conditions for peace required surrender of Mi’kmaw sovereignty to the Crown, the Wabanaki Confederacy raided Lunenburg nine times in the early years of the settlement in an attempt to reclaim their loss.   read more…

Stanley Park in Vancouver

21 June 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks

Vancouver Rowing Club © Daderot

Vancouver Rowing Club © Daderot

Stanley Park is a 405-hectare (1,001-acre) public park that borders the downtown of Vancouver in Canada and is almost entirely surrounded by waters of Vancouver Harbour and English Bay. The park has a long history and was one of the first areas to be explored in the city. The land was originally used by indigenous peoples for thousands of years before British Columbia was colonized by the British during the 1858 Fraser Canyon Gold Rush. For many years after colonization, the future park with its abundant resources would also be home to nonaboriginal settlers. The land was later turned into Vancouver’s first park when the city incorporated in 1886. It was named after Lord Stanley, 16th Earl of Derby, a British politician who had recently been appointed governor general. Unlike other large urban parks, Stanley Park is not the creation of a landscape architect, but rather the evolution of a forest and urban space over many years. Most of the manmade structures we see today were built between 1911 and 1937 under the influence of then superintendent W.S. Rawlings. Additional attractions, such as a polar bear exhibit, aquarium, and miniature train, were added in the post-war period.   read more…

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