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March 31 2014

3rd Avenue of Limoilou, Quebec, Canada: The Future of the Mall

March 31st, 2014Posted by 

The shopping mall is dead, long live the shopping avenue! That is what an article from January 13th, written by Marie-Ève Fournier for the Montreal newspaper La Presse, seemed to declare. We already know that far from being strictly utilitarian spaces, shopping malls are also destinations for enjoying yourself. Young parents can walk around with […]

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March 26 2014

Rethinking Urban Mobility in Orléans Centre, France

March 26th, 2014Posted by 

A few hundred kilometers from Orléans, other cities more modern than our own have already begun to convert their downtown parking garages into a variety of different buildings. These include: roller discos, alternative art spaces, skating rinks, metro stations, fire stations, housing (such as this former parking-silo in Tourcoing, a city notable for its innovative […]

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March 24 2014

On Harmony and the Built Environment in Algeria

March 24th, 2014Posted by 

Many have decried the mediocrity of Algeria’s urban landscape. However, for some time there has seemed to be a renewed interest in architectural aesthetics, and for façades in particular. These façades attempt to outdo each other in terms of eclectic, and sometimes ostentatious, displays of adornment. They also use diverse, varied materials that are becoming […]

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March 19 2014

Interacting with our Cities Through Exercise: Student Ideas from Nantes, Pays de la Loire, France

March 19th, 2014Posted by 

Encouraging individuals to be active isn’t a new idea. For good health, civic participation, and a sense of camaraderie, the benefits of sports and exercise are self-evident. Therefore, it is not surprising that physical activity has become a political concern for cities that are catching on to the trend and offering high-quality sporting facilities. However, […]

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March 17 2014

Rennes, Brittany, #1 Amongst France’s Sustainable Cities

March 17th, 2014Posted by 

The city of Rennes was named France’s top sustainable city in the last issue of the monthly publication Terra Eco. The following is an interview with David Solon, the magazine’s editor-in-chief and co-founder. On February 28th, 2014 the eco-conscious publication Terra Eco released a ranking of sustainable cities. Judged according to 20 pre-established criteria, 30 […]

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March 12 2014

La Poste du Louvre: A Building in Paris, France that Demands Special Classification

March 12th, 2014Posted by 

La Poste du Louvre’s austere façades are emblematic of an architectural rationalism unique to France. Julien Guadet, student of the famed Henri Labrouste, designed the building. As a studio director at École des Beaux-Arts for more than thirty years, Guadet was the author of Elements and Theory of Architecture which served as a bible for […]

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March 10 2014

A New Urban Park for Foch Avenue in Paris, France?

March 10th, 2014Posted by 

The designers for a proposed development on Foch Avenue, the Constructions et Développements urbains (CDU) company and the architectural firm Hamonic, Masson, and Associates, summarized the birth of their project with the following words: “Everything started with a gut-feeling. While smoking a cigarette outside of a restaurant in Paris’ 16th arrondissement during a summer night […]

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March 05 2014

Sustainable Development: 100% Self-sufficient Buildings in Grenoble, Rhône-Alpes, France

March 5th, 2014Posted by 

After having covered some rather outrageous projects in this blog, let’s focus on a more realistic undertaking. The project in question is a partnership for research and development that was signed in January by Bouygues Construction and the city of Grenoble ordering the construction of a block of multi-unit apartment buildings. This experimental project, set […]

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March 03 2014

River Transport in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

March 3rd, 2014Posted by 

Two new river transport companies will soon begin business in Abidjan to compete with the Abidjan Transport Company (SOTRA). SOTRA still holds a monopoly in the country’s economic capital four months after the Ivorian government announced plans to liberalize the transportation sector. According to the Ivorian minister Gaoussou Touré, this measure should “put an end to […]

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February 26 2014

Marseille, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, A New Hope

February 26th, 2014Posted by 

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… the dark side ruled over a city on the coast of the Mediterranean. But that was a long time ago. Redefining the Imaginary Marseille has since rebelled, and its role as the European Capital of Culture has inspired a new hope. Despite also being a […]

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February 24 2014

Coming Soon to Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Easy-to-Read Street Names

February 24th, 2014Posted by 

Have you ever noticed how hard it is to read street names in Montreal? The white signs bearing street names are sometimes hidden. They are so small that while driving it is necessary to come to a near stop at street corners to make out what they say. The city of Montreal recognizes the problem […]

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February 19 2014

Heating l’Enfant-Jésus Hospital of Quebec City, Canada with Supercomputers

February 19th, 2014Posted by 

In a series of articles published last year by Érick Rivard, various situations that could take advantage of the expansion of the Enfant-Jésus Hospital in our neighborhood were suggested. The Siberian cold hitting our neighborhood this winter has inspired me to talk about a different idea: heating the hospital with supercomputers! In hospitals a substantial […]

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February 17 2014

Constructing Infrastructure, a Catalyst for Development in Brazzaville, The Republic of the Congo

February 17th, 2014Posted by 

The Congolese capital of Brazzaville hosted the Build Africa Forum from February 6 to 7th, 2014. The opening ceremony took place under the patronage of the President of the Republic, Denis Sassou Nguesso, in a hall of the city’s exposition center where the former Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade and other officials were also in attendance. […]

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February 12 2014

The Electric Bicycle is Taking off in Toulouse, Midi-Pyrénées, France

February 12th, 2014Posted by 

The electric bicycle is doing quite well in Toulouse. Especially for a form of sustainable transportation that appeared not so long ago. The proof: an additional branch of “La Bicyclette Electrique,” a business specializing in electric bicycles, is set to open its doors in the heart of Toulouse’s downtown in March 2014, taking the place […]

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February 10 2014

Recycling and Construction: Thoughts from Algeria

February 10th, 2014Posted by 

In the Maghreb, like elsewhere, the image projected by the use of recycled materials for construction is negative because it is synonymous with shantytowns, precarious living conditions, poverty, squalor, etc. However, several remarkable experiments in building with recycled materials have been carried out in recent years, mostly in the United States. Michael Reynolds with his […]

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February 05 2014

Contesting the Renovation of the Historic Poste Centrale in Paris, France

February 5th, 2014Posted by 

Even though the Poste Centrale of Louvre Street is not found within the area usually covered by the “Vivre Le Marais!” blog, the restoration of the largest distribution center for mail in France is important. The project, entrusted to the architect Dominique Perrault in 2012, is rather illustrative of the difficulties that arise between contracting authorities (the Groupe La […]

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February 03 2014

The Historic Revenge of Workers’ Neighborhoods in Bergerac, Aquitaine, France

February 3rd, 2014Posted by 

Since mid-December 2013, Saint James street has donned some new finery, worthy of the diversity of its architectural heritage. It shows with the new gateway to the historic downtown area, at the exit of the street and the Saint Jacques Church. Good taste is not necessarily unheard of as far as urban development is concerned. […]

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January 29 2014

Demolition? Approaching Demolition in Bordeaux, Aquitaine, France

January 29th, 2014Posted by 

Demolition, as anyone will agree, is never an end in itself. Resorting to this rather violent measure requires at the very least a serious assessment, a plan, and a method. The diagnostic itself must investigate several domains. The urban dimension should be assessed through analyzing the features in play on-site and in the surroundings, and […]

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January 27 2014

The Modern Algerian Architect – Nothing More than an Underling?

January 27th, 2014Posted by 

In Algeria, it is a nearly unanimous observation that the country’s architectural output is mediocre. This opinion also occurs at the highest levels of the government, considering that in 2006, the President of Algeria himself commented negatively upon “the inadequacy and repetitive nature of the majority of architectural output.” We could legitimately place the blame […]

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January 22 2014

Bike Paths and the City of the Future, from London to Montreal

January 22nd, 2014Posted by 

I am a fan of the graphic novel series Les Cités obscures by Schuiten and Peeters, which depicts life in autonomous, futuristic city-states that are, above all, very strange. But, there is a bit of this fantastic world in the new project by the well-known British architect Norman Foster, who has proposed the creation of […]

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