July 31 2015

7 Neighborhoods Selected for Urban Renewal in Lille, France

The French Ministry of the City (Ministere de la ville) announced in December 2014 that seven neighborhoods out of the ten proposed in the Lille metropolitan area had been selected by the National Agency for Urban Renovation (Agence nationale pour la rénovation urbaine) for the New National Program of Urban Renewal (Nouveau programme national de renouvellement urbain).   The neighborhoods that have been selected include Nouveau Mons, Napoléon Boulevard and Rhin-et-Danube at Mons-en-Baroeul, Lille Sud Concorde à Lille, Bourgogne à Tourcoin, Oliveaux à Loos, as well as Roubaix. A third of the neighborhoods selected in the Nord-Pas de Calais a[...]
July 29 2015

The Top 20 Landscape Architecture Websites of 2015 – Highlighting the Top 10

At Global Site Plans’ The Grid, we are proud to bring our readers our fourth annual installment of the top 20 landscape architecture websites of the year. Whether you work for a city agency and are looking to create a beautiful pedestrian plaza, or a resident interested in starting a community garden, you’ll find inspiration on at least one of these websites. To create this list, we compiled as many landscape architecture-related websites we could find and then ranked them according to their level of traffic using Alexa Analytics. We hope you enjoy our latest list! 1. LandscapingNetwork.com / http://www.landscapingnetwork.com/ / @LandscapingNews This online platform is a on[...]
July 27 2015

France Considers Terminating Kilometric Allowance for Bike Commuters

It happened on May 21, 2015 at a meeting of the National Assembly in Paris, France. While examining the laws on the ongoing energy transition, the deputies began a debate on a surprising amendment introduced by the Ecology Minister Ségolène Royal. This amendment sought to terminate the kilometric allowance accorded by employers to workers who choose to commute by bike. The cited reason: budgetary measures that are to be discussed in the budget proposal at the end of the year. The idea of this allowance, of 25 cents per kilometer traveled, had been adopted by all parliamentary groups. The intervention by the Ecology Minister, which broke this consensus, was surprising. But most [...]
July 24 2015

Marseille, France Increases Wayfinding for Bicyclists and Pedestrians

There is great news for those who choose to bike to work in Marseille, France. Specific signs for pedestrians and bikers have just been installed along the Promenade de l’Huveaune. With all the work being done for the new Vélodrome Stadium, a new walk and bike path has been created along Huveaune River between the Michelet Boulevard  and the Raymond Teisseire Street. But this path has stayed rather confidential, certainly because of the continuing construction that won't be finished until 2016. At the end of 2014, the city services of Marseille asked the urban planning division of Marseille Provence Metropole to install signs that would[...]
July 24 2015

UNESCO Classification of Le Havre, France Makes Life Difficult for Some Residents

Ten years after its UNESCO classification, people unanimously agree that the Auguste Perret style has led to a more positive perception of Le Havre, France. However, several dissonant voices express that it is not always easy to live in such a monument. “I am not afraid to say it: I would prefer to not have a UNESCO classification and be able to benefit from better energy efficiency in my apartment.” One hundred and thirty-three hectares (about 329 acres) of Le Havre were reconstructed (after WWII). After being hated for a half-century, the reconstruction of Le Havre by modern architect Auguste Perret is praised, even by the majority who had plenty of negative things to say b[...]
July 23 2015

Will Metro’s TOD Projects Gentrify Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles?

In December of 2013, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) issued separate Request for Proposals (RFPs) for three Metro-owned sites in Boyle Heights. Since then, Metro has announced several transit-oriented development projects by the Gold Line stations. Specifically, these are the Mariachi Plaza Commercial Development, The Santa Cecilia Apartments, Las Mariposas Apartments, Los Tulipanes Apartments, and the Chavez/Soto Mixed-Used project, all of which are near the Mariachi P[...]
July 23 2015

Neon Signs Around the World are Facing Extinction – or Preservation?

The retro neon signs that adorn old businesses are becoming more and more rare in our cities. Even in New York they are seen as an endangered species. The Guardian recently wrote about how "Subway Inn" on Lexington Avenue was added to the list of the deceased. "New York used to be synonymous with neon signs - today they are nearly impossible to find," they deplore. In New York, these old signs, whose origins go back all the way to the 1920s, often disappear with property owner shifts, reported the journalist Adrian Brune. The latter furthermore reveals that an organization, the aptly named Let there be Neon, has been fighting since the 1970s to recycle and save them.[...]
July 22 2015

Prisoners in Uberlândia, Brazil Gain Skills in Food and Clothing Production

A nursery with the capacity for producing about 400 cases of vegetables monthly, in addition to medical and aromatic plants, rainwater harvesting, and the sprouting of hundreds of seedlings. This is part of the scenery surrounding the Professor Jacy of Assis Prison in Uberlândia, in the Triângulo Mineiro of Minas Gerais, Brazil, where 25 inmates work. On the other side of the wall, 30 women make skirts and pants that serve as uniforms for the prisoners of Minas Gerais. Once completed, they are sent to the central warehouse in Belo Horizonte; production reaches 2,250 pieces per month. Detainees in productive activities and the provision of services are not limited [...]
July 22 2015

Where is the Largest Playground in the World for Adults?

The City Museum’s founders, Bob and Gail Cassily, purchased a 750,000 square foot building in 1983 for sixty-nine cents per square foot in downtown St. Louis. Back then, the mostly vacant structure held the former International Shoe building offices and its ten-story warehouse. The couple renovated the building, and in 1997, opened the City Museum. Their mission statement: "To reawaken the childlike imagination, joy and sense of wonder in all of us." A sculptor by trade, Bob’s creation evolved out of anything he could get his hands on. All of the materials he used were found locally, including an old generator from the largest windmill in the world. The museum’s front[...]
July 22 2015

The Grid’s Top 20 Architecture Websites of 2015 – Highlighting the Top 10

Global Site Plans’ The Grid is proud to bring the list of the Top 20 Architecture Website of 2015. For the fourth consecutive year, we’ve compiled the most visited websites that cover architecture, interior design and home improvements and highlighted their best features. Our ratings are compiled with the helpful hand of Alexa Analytics. Have a read and find out where architecture professionals and enthusiasts are getting their information to bring more beauty and functionality to the built environment through design. 1. SkyscraperCity / http://www.skyscrapercity.com/ / @SkyscraperCity Based out of the Netherlands, SkyscaperCity is a forum for users to share thoughts and ideas abo[...]
July 21 2015

Building in Montgermont, France Seeks 20th Century Heritage Distinction

We should save the West Popular Bank building in Montgermont, France. This is the alarmist cry of the architect Odile Decq in a recent international petition to Francois Hollande and Culture Minister Fleur Pellerin. The creator of this building, inaugurated in 1990 and for which she received numerous international prizes, is worried about what will become of the structure. Since the BPO teams moved to new headquarters at the end of 2014, located in the neighboring commune of Saint-Gregoire, north of Rennes, the Montgermont building has been abandoned. The bank is even filing a request for a demolition permit on Friday with the town hall of Montgermont in anticipation of[...]
July 21 2015

Strasbourg, France to Re-reveal Plans for Notre-Dame Cathedral

On the thousand-year anniversary of the Notre-Dame Collection Foundation, (the organization that supports Strasbourg, France’s Notre-Dame Cathedral), the foundation’s museum is equipping itself with two new rooms that will hold the drawings and plans for the cathedral, dating back to the middle ages. Inaccessible to the public since 1989, these showpieces will once again be visible to visitors beginning in November 2015. The Notre-Dame Collection Foundation possesses a fabulous collection of drawings and plans for the Strasbourg cathedral, dating from the 12th century to the 16th century. Composed of more than twenty rooms, the cathedral is the largest in France and the third largest[...]
July 17 2015

Brittany, France Harvests Marine Current Power with Hydrofan Technology

The consortium Hydrofan was created in January 2015 after two years of reflection between its partners DCNS, Coriolis Composites, and the University of Southern Brittany. It is launching a research and development program that aims to develop hydrokinetic turbines made of composite materials. The goal of this project, which will last three years and is funded by the Pôle Mer Bretagne Atlantique, is not only to design very high-performing turbines, but also to reflect from the outset on the process of industrialization so that they can produce a series of products at competitive costs. From DCNS’s perspective, the commune of Lorient is the first priority. The establis[...]
July 16 2015

The Olympics Settle in at Montreal, Canada’s City Center

The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) inaugurated the Canadian Olympic House at 500 West Rene-Levesque Boulevard in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. La Presse had access to a guided visit of the place little before its opening. Here are some salient facts about it. The Best Montreal Presence The idea for the House began to germinate in the mind of COC President Marcel Aubut in 2009. "At the time, he noticed that there was a gap at the level of the Committee's presence in Montreal," indicates Carl Vallee. At that moment, only two employees who were working out of offices in the basement of the Olympic Stadium assured a permanent presence of the COC in the metropolis. "We[...]
July 14 2015

Quebec, Canada Increases Funding for “The Unusual Passageways” Art Walk

Gigantic pigeons, dripping plastic buildings, different explosions ... The roads and dead ends of the Old Port of Quebec, Canada are once again invaded this summer by the successful event "Les Passages Insolites" (The Unusual Passageways). This year, 12 ephemeral works of art have been installed between the Gare de Palais and the ferry. If you stick to the designated path, the walk takes 45 minutes without hurrying, but you can also have fun by randomly visiting the works in between two gallery visits, a restaurant visit or to some district shops. The most motivated can even take the trip by rickshaw through the Ludovica Tours company for $40. Here, [...]
July 14 2015

My Light Systems: Bringing Greater Autonomy to Domestic Solar Energy

My Light Systems is a startup from Saint-Priest outside of Lyon, France that offers to optimize the photovoltaic energy that a household produces. They have developed a system that makes domestic solar electricity production more readable. The software is also capable of managing a household’s consumption in order to bring it closer to energy autonomy. “We are at the time to decide. The energy model of tomorrow cannot do without renewable energy.” Carried by these convictions, Ondine Suavet founded My Light Systems. This startup, based in Saint-Priest, carried away the public and viewers’ choice prize at the BFM Academy 2015 Competition, held on Monday, June 30th. The p[...]
July 14 2015

Alpine Village of Hallstatt, Austria has been Copied Brick-for-Brick in China

The picturesque lakeside village of Hallstatt, nestled between the towering peaks and narrow valleys of Upper Austria, is a small piece of paradise. Idyllic Alpine beauty almost overwhelms the centuries-old market town. Swans and boats dot the surface of the mountainous lake, while the town’s Baroque architecture, its stone-and-timber facades, narrow streets, and steep churches evoke a classic picture of rural Austria – a picture made famous mostly through The Sound of Music. It’s perhaps understandable, then, that the entire village has been the source of inspiration for poets, painters and artists across Central Europe. What’s more surprising is that the[...]
July 10 2015

São Paulo, Brazil’s City Squares to be Managed through Citizen Participation

Management of public squares in São Paulo, Brazil will now be held in a shared manner, involving not only the role of the government, but also the participation of the citizens for the use, implementation, revitalization, reconstruction, financing and conservation of these spaces. The measure, whose objective is to guarantee the quality of the squares and strengthen the dialog between the public authority and civil society, was sanctioned and published in the city’s official gazette on Thursday, July 11th. Through collaborative management, the City seeks the sustainability of the urban space, appreciation of the environmental, historical and social assets of the squares, and the co[...]
July 10 2015

Businesses Partner for Florianópolis, Brazil’s Island-wide Composting Movement

Both of rural origins and in love with the island, Celina Beltrame, 65, and Maria Helena Spindler, 62, live at opposite points of the island of Florianópolis, Brazil, but have many other things in common. One of these is the satisfaction of getting their hands dirty every day in growing crops without agrotoxins. Free of charge, the fertilizer used in the gardens that they cultivate in urban areas of the city comes from their own kitchen leftovers. In Celina’s house, organic material is never thrown in the trash. Egg shells or greens, fruits and vegetables picked right there in the backyard, and other leftovers from meals, are buried in small layers and covered with l[...]
July 10 2015

Survey of Alleyway Usage Launched this Summer in Limoilou, Quebec

On the brink of revising its policy on alley greenery, Quebec City, Quebec entrusted the organization Votepour.ca with conducting a large survey of citizens and businesses in the neighborhood of Limoilou, in order to better understand their needs, how they use alleys, and the projects associated with their communities. How do we use the Limoilou’s alleys? For getting around? For playing with our families? For taking advantage of trees and other vegetation? Is our use of alleys limited to those adjacent to where we live? Or does our usage extend to other sectors of the neighborhood? Essentially, Votepour.ca’s goal for this survey is to obtain a panora[...]
 

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