July 31 2015

In Verberie, France, An Intergenerational Residence Leads to Debate

Discussions are underway amongst elected officials in Verberie, France. Is it wise to create an intergenerational residence? “The initial feedback is mostly positive,” assures Michel Arnould, the Mayor of this commune of 4,000 residents. The final decision will be made at the beginning of the school year, during the next session of the municipal council. The necessary investments will not be made at the expense of the town. “The project will be undertaken by a private investor,” explains Michel Arnould. Several lenders have already shown interest. The residence will be situated behind the new town lunchroom. It will be made up of four interconnected buildings with premises bel[...]
July 30 2015

Help From the Region In Order to Reinvigorate Delle, France’s City Center

Under the rays of the sun, the Delle, France city center and Raymond Forni Square is a small town center the way we like them. Pretty and classic with its outdoor cafe seating, its little fountain, and the business owner who gossips with her friends on the doorstep of her store. A nice photo which, after all, lacks life and movement. "People prefer to go to Belfort or Montbeliard, larger cities where there are more choices," says Eric, a regular customer to Delle's small businesses. It's due to this that a reinvigoration plan proposed by the region made its way on the agenda of the Community Council of the Community of Communes of the Southern Territory last week. [...]
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 28 2015

France’s Azay-le-Rideau Chateau Launches Interactive Historic Restoration

Why Such a Construction Site? After the 2014 redesign of the romantic and landscaped gardens, in the image of those that existed in 1850, the Azay-le-Rideau Chateau began a wide-spanning construction site at the beginning of 2015. The aim is to restore the original carpentry dating back to the 16th century, the slate cover, the facade and its sculpted ornamentation - which were suffering from several ailments with the increase in salines and a lichen invasion. "This construction work was necessary in order to restore the castle's luster, even if it was never really lost. We have a duty to pass it along so that our children can discover it as well," explains[...]
July 28 2015

Amiens, France Prioritizes Social Housing Lease-Ownership Program

The French government hopes to facilitate the construction of social housing by giving land to local communities and social landlords at a low price. Jean-Christophe Loric, Deputy to the Mayor of Amiens in charge of urban planning and housing and President of OPAC de la Somme, explains the social housing situation in the Picardy capital. Lots of Social Housing in Amiens The SRU law (law for solidarity and urban renewal) which was passed in 2000, set social housing at 20% by 2020 in cities with more than 3,500 inhabitants. Two thousand-thirteen's Duflot Law moved the threshold to obtain 25% by 2025. Amiens already well surpasses that quota with “33%,” which translates to 21,000 soc[...]
July 27 2015

How is the City of Fortaleza, Brazil Doubling the Size of Its Bike Share Program?

Through the Secretary of Conservation and Public Services (SCSP), the city of Fortaleza, Brazil will install over 40 bike stations for Fortaleza’s bike sharing program, “Bicicletar.” The announcement was made on Thursday July 16, during a news conference at the City Hall. The new stations will be installed in October of this year through March of 2016. With this installation, the city will double the number of stations from its current level. To Mayor Roberto Cláudio, the use of bikes as a mode of transport requires a cultural change in the population. This includes decreasing the feeling of insecurity, increasing the relationship with[...]
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

City Council of São Paulo, Brazil Approves Opening of the Minhocão Expressway and Avenida Paulista to Pedestrians and Cyclists

On July 1st, the City Council approved a motion to support the opening of Avenida Paulista and the elevated Costa and Silva expressway - called the Minhocão by locals (literally “giant worm”) -- to pedestrians and cyclists. After the presentation of the first impact studies, the council members positively rated the initiatives, which will go through technical testing in July. Mayor Fernando Haddad participated in the discussions and assessed that the street closures could be expanded to other streets in the city. “The City Council is very diverse: it has entrepreneurs, teachers, artists, activists, and public officials. The proposal was to test a[...]
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

The British Devolution Debate Has Focused On “The North,” but Many Feel Bristol Shouldn’t Be Overlooked

Unlike most countries in Europe, the United Kingdom has no clearly defined “second city.” Its capital, London, is a political, economic and cultural heavyweight, whose contributions greatly outstrip the rest of the country and, in fact, the world. Behind it, however, there is no clear second place. The regional capitals of its other constituent nations - Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland - are too small, and the larger cities in England too poor. In light of this, the Chancellor George Osborne (Minister of Finance) has promised to distribute power further away from London, to create a “Northern Powerhouse” including the cities of Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and S[...]
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 20 2015

First Phase of Transnational Golden Corridor Completed Along Lys River, France

The European project “Corrid’Or” (Golden Corridor) is taking shape. It involves the development and landscape design of 10,000 hectares (roughly 38.6 square miles) of green recreational space by Lille Metropole. The objective is to create a transnational park in the Valley of the Lys extending 26 km (16.15 miles) from Erquinghem-Lys to Lys à Halluin.   This project aims to make this territory more accessible and practical to pedestrians and cyclists, to make it safer, and to create regional and transnational trails. It also intends to enhance agricultural development, and develop an ecological network across borders. The Valley of the Lys Park i[...]
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[...]

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