Building the World

November 13, 2015
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Up on a Roof

Will COP 21 mandate green and solar roofs worldwide? Image: Vincent Van Gogh, “View of Roofs and Backs of Houses,” 1886, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam and wikimedia commons.

When Vincent Van Gogh visited Paris, the artist was inspired to paint views glimpsed from his room in Montmartre. In the city famous for the Eiffel Tower, aerial views will take on new significance. France has legislated all new construction in commercial zones must have green or solar roofs. Canada inaugurated a similar environmental policy in Toronto; fines for non-compliance can reach $100,000. Brasilia is the first city designed to be viewed from the air; perhaps green or solar roofs will soon color the picture. Green roofs are not a new idea; in fact, the expression ‘raining cats and dogs’ may refer to denizens of thatched cottage roofs tumbling from habitual nests during a storm. Will the United Nations Climate Conference COP 21 recommend green and solar roofs worldwide?

France: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/20/france-decrees-new-rooftops-must-be-covered-in-plants-or-solar-panels

Toronto’s legislation: http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/municode/1184_492.pdf

UN Climate Conference COP 21: http://www.cop21.gouv.fr/en

Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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April 27, 2015
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Rebuilding Nepal

Flag of Nepal. Image: wikimedia

Before seismic science advanced, great cities were built at crossroads that became centers of population and government. Capital cities in earthquake zones include Tokyo, Mexico City, Jakarta, New Delhi, Manila, Port au Prince, and Kathmandu. Tokyo is planning a “spare-battery” capital to preserve government operations during disaster. Earthquake-prone areas might consider relocating capitals, following examples of Brazil and Nigeria where new centers encouraged new visions. Can the University of Massachusetts Boston’s Center for Rebuilding Sustainable Communities after Disasters lead the way to a better future? Meanwhile, we can offer relief aid.

http://www.umb.edu/crscad

http://time.com/3836242/nepal-earthquake-donations-disaster-relief/

Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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October 31, 2014
by buildingtheworld
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Innovation and Inclusion

 

“He was Boston,” Secretary of State John Kerry, speaking of Mayor Thomas M. Menino (1942-2014). Image: wikimedia commons.

Thomas M. Menino, Boston’s legendary Mayor (1993-2014), created a legacy of innovation and inclusion. Founding an Innovation District in 2010, Menino and team brought more than 4,000 new jobs and 200 companies to the city. Opening hearts and minds, Mayor Menino also opened the gates of the city to greater inclusion and opportunity, including excellence in public education. Mayors influence success; cities may respond with greater agility to problems and opportunities. What will cities of the future learn, from Tom Menino?

More: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/blog/2014/10/31/remembered-tom-menino-week/

http://www.bu.edu/ioc/

http://www.c40.org/

Barber, Benjamin R. “If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities.” Yale University Press, 2013.

Hargreaves, Steve. “Most Innovative Cities.” October 7, 2014. CNN. http://money.cnn.com/gallery/news/economy/2014/10/07/greatest-urban-projects/index.html

Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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April 7, 2014
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Capital Idea

Will North America create a Cap City? Image: wikimedia

What is the nature and role of a capital? Washington, DC is among those capital cities located in a separate district. Mexico’s DF (Distrito Federal) was also established to be located by Congress, according to Section XXVIII of Article 50, Constitucion Federal de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos de 1824. The DF’s population of 8 million is smaller than that of Greater Mexico City, population 21 million, where the Federal District is located. Like Hemingway’s engagingly-titled novel, perhaps a capital city can be a “moveable feast.” New capitals have been founded throughout history: Canberra, Australia; Brasilia, Brazil; and Abuja, Nigeria were each purpose-created new seats of government. In the future, capitals may expand to what Doxiadis termed “regional conurbations.” Should Canada, Mexico and the United States utilize Nafta precedent to create a Cap City to manage los bienes comunes including water, energy, public health, education? At the center of such a Cap City might be a great university, where all students learn English, French, Navajo (Dine Bizaad), and Spanish, whose mission is development of a new generation of transnational leaders. What should the Cap City of North America be named? Where located?

Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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September 25, 2013
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New Cities, New Visions: Abuja, Nigeria

Nigeria — Lagos and Abuja. Image: Library of Congress.

Abuja became the new capital of Nigeria, replacing Lagos, in 1991. Reasons were similar to factors that led Brazil to leave popular coastal Rio to the tourists and samba dancers (not to mention soccer players and Olympians) and build a new center of government, Brasilia. Nigeria’s new capital was named after a nearby emirate founded in 1828 by Abu Ja, Zarian ruler of some renown (the old town also got a new name: Suleja). Nigeria is 50% Muslim and 40% Christian, and the new capital also had to honor the Gbagyi people who had been in the area for over 40,000 years. What is the significance of building a new capital? How can diversity become a part of the patriotic vision?

Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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December 11, 2012
by zoequinn001
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Oscar Niemeyer Dies at 104

The National Cathedral in Brasilia, designed by Niemeyer, From National Geographic at nationalgeographic.com.

In November,”Building the World” posted about the hospitalization of architect Oscar Niemeyer. At 104 he was still planning on completing two of the projects he was working on at the time. Sadly, Niemeyer passed away Wednesday December 5th in his Rio de Janeiro hospital, just short of his 105th birthday.

For more on the services and his memory, please see:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-20621265

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Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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November 13, 2012
by zoequinn001
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At 104, Niemeyer Still Designing

Brasilia’s Congress building designed by Oscar Neimeyer, from BBC at bbc.co.uk.

Oscar Neimeyer was a student of Lucio Costa, the primary architect of Brasilia. Costa chose this favored student to design some of Brasilia’s important buildings, including the Congress, the University of Brasilia, the Cathedral and the Chapel of Our Lady of Fatima, as well as the Palace of Justice. Costa died in 1998, but Neimeyer is still going strong at 104. He recently was hospitalized for kidney problems, but plans to continue with his designs for a cultural center in Morocco and a library in Algeria.

For more on the architect’s condition, please see:
http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/entertainment/2012/11/11/oscar-niemeyer-doing-well-at-104-doctor-says/

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Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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