In 2009 during the height of the swine flu epidemic, Egyptian law officials ordered the culling of thousands of pigs belonging to the Coptic Christian community in Cairo. The pigs were used to chomp down the city’s organic waste, which grew to disgusting new heights in garbage city when they were killed. But now they’re [...]
Archive by category Architecture & Urban
The irony here is clear: the first international LEED certified housing complex is built by an oil research facility in Saudi Arabia.
With Dubai’s government close to finalizing legislation, property owners in the Emirate may soon have the option to feed solar power into the grid so they can make money from feed-in tariffs.
The nominees for the 2013 Aga Khan Award for Architecture were recently announced: 20 candidates – half hailing from the Middle East – all vying for a million dollar prize.
Tangram Gulf recently unveiled a naturally-cooled FIFA stadium design for the 2022 World Cup in Doha, Qatar.
Salima Naji has been recognized by the Aga Khan Development Network for her efforts to revive a series of earth buildings in the lesser Atlas Mountains, Morocco.
Oman is a small nation bordering Abu Dhabi on the Arabian peninsula; it has a long coastline and one of the largest populations of endangered Loggerhead turtles on earth. It also subsidizes energy and water, essentially arresting any kind of sustainable development. There’s no incentive to conserve something that comes for free – until now.
Green Prophet interviews Dieter Moor, the CEO of ertex – a building integrated photovoltaic company which recently completed a roof-based system for the the Sheik Zayad Learning Center at the Al Ain Zoo.
Dubai may not seem like the most likely place for a “miracle garden” but the first phase of the 721,000 square foot flowerfest was unveiled at Dubailand earlier this year.
When “Biggest Loser” coach Orly Hoffman Bar approached Toledo-Lifschitz Architecture & Design with an idea to convert a vacant space north of Tel Aviv into a sweet new gym, she offered two major constraints: time and money.
Whether or not a 100,000 square meter office complex could possibly come with even a net environmental benefit is debatable, but the fact that a design wrapped in green won an international competition for such a complex signals a potential shift in Turkey’s urban planning.
Refrigeration is perhaps one of the greatest inventions of modern man, but it has come at a price. Not only do they require a great deal of energy to stay cool, but they also rely on ozone-depleting chloro-fluorocarbons (CFCs), or freon (though some countries have phased these out.) As an increasing number of people walk [...]
Every three years, the Aga Khan Architecture Award acknowledges projects relevant to Islam that are culturally, environmentally and socially superior. Accompanied by a generous $1 million prize, it is among the world’s most prestigious architecture awards. Apartment #1 by Tehran’s Architecture by Collective Terrain is one of 20 projects nominated, and though it faces stiff [...]
To the outside world, Yemen is an obscure distant land where Al Qaeda terrorists hang out and men sit around chewing khat, but to its own residents and others familiar with the Middle East, the land harbors a treasure trove of historic artefacts (and so much more). Not only does Yemen have one of the [...]
Using only upcycled objects, French artist Bernard Pras reinterprets iconic images through the art of anamorphosis. Relying on old trash gathered near his installation sites, Bernard Pras from France assembles clothes and rags, wood, old record albums, dishes, broken toys (and anything else he can grab) to re-interpret pop-culture images. It’s far from ad hoc: [...]
Like many countries in the Middle East/North Africa region, Turkey is undergoing rapid expansion and that’s not necessarily a good thing, especially since so many developers are perpetuating an archaic building model that involves a lot of concrete and glass and often completely disregards the need to preserve existing vegetation or plan for climatic concerns. [...]
Turkey’s booming aviation industry is planning new development that will wipe out over half a million old-growth trees. Istanbul aims to build its third airport on nearly a square kilometer of previously pristine forest in the northern, European part of the city, on Lake Terkos near the Black Sea. With six runways and an annual [...]
About a decade ago Israelis were much better at green washing and consumerism than caring for our planet through social green action. That’s all changed. The country has leaped into putting environmental awareness at the top of people’s concerns. This year there are dozens of events going on around the country to celebrate April 22, [...]
The world’s largest solar-powered ship has been out of commission for a while, but she’s back in business for her first 2013 Port of Call in Morocco. After leaving La Ciotat in France on 8 April, 2013, Planet Solar bobbed on the high seas for nine days. It was a challenging trip, according to Captain Gérard d’Aboville, [...]
Israeli street artist Nitzan Mintz writes her poems on the streets of Tel Aviv, using disregarded materials she collects from dumpsters and public spaces. “I use only recycled materials in my art,” she said.
About half of Abu Dhabi’s trash will ‘burn’ into green electricity in new $850 million power plant. Maybe you saw the wonderful movie, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. Or maybe you’d read stories on Green Prophet about Masdar, or Shams, the world’s largest CSP plant in Abu Dhabi. Arab nations and their economies are certainly [...]
Israeli archaeologists are baffled by a giant cone-shaped structure submerged beneath the waters of the Sea of Galilee. Twice the diameter of Stonehenge and weighing more than ten elephants, a mysterious cone-shaped structure on the bottom of the Sea of Galilee is challenging archaeologists to determine its purpose and age. The mound was first detected [...]
Ever wonder what an Arabian lighthouse looks like? Mariners approaching the Red Sea harbor at Thuwal, about one hour north of sprawling Mecca, Saudi Arabia are now guided to shore by a soaring new honeycomb lighthouse designed by the Australian firm Urban Art Projects. Commissioned by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), [...]
As if they didn’t have enough trouble on their hands, residents of 15 towns and 45 villages in Pakistan’s Swat Valley have been completely stranded since a bridge linking them was swept away by last year’s floods. This isolation officially ended last Friday when the United Arab Emirates ambassador to Pakistan inaugurated a new 448 [...]
We’ve been hearing about Dubai’s version of Masdar City since 2011, but skeptics have doubted that “Sustainable City” would ever become more than a mirage in the desert. Not anymore, according to local news reports. Diamond Developers has announced plans to officially launch their latest project – a 120 acre green city – at the [...]
I recently spent a weekend in Istanbul, one of my most beloved cities. My hotel was based in Fatih, the run down section of the old town, and it overlooked the Little Aya Sofya mosque – also spelled Sophia, or Sofia. The morning before I flew, I thought it would be the perfect moment to [...]
Today there are a dizzying variety of wildflowers blossoming across Israel, welcoming the months of spring. Fifty years ago some of these plant species were on the verge of extinction.
Paris marathon organizers plan on ripping off its runners! Energy-harvesting tiles placed along an 80 foot section of the Champs Elysee will capture energy from the pounding feet of 40,000 racers. The technology developed by Pavegen offers a tangible way for people to engage with renewable energy generation. The flexible tiles made from recycled truck tires [...]
Although the Sahara desert used to be a green retreat for giraffes and hippos 5,000 years ago, it is now a giant, sometimes rolling landscape of sand. A lot of sand. In fact, roughly two thirds of Algeria is made up of sand, according to the authors of a study published in the Arabian Journal [...]
These films shown below show the basics of the Estidama Pearl rating system unique to the Abu Dhabi region. We’ve collected a number of films from around the net on Estidama, a LEED-like sustainability rating for communities, villas and apartments in the United Arab Emirates. A system that makes sense for the challenges of the [...]
Among nature’s most devoted heroes throughout the Middle East and North Africa, the Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association (HEPCA) has released renders of a new bio boat that will be used to educate children about the Red Sea’s numerous (albeit largely threatened) bio marvels. Funded in part by the U.S. Forest Service, which has [...]
Irish artist David Thomas Smith weaves thousands of Google Maps screen grabs into intricate designs mimicking Persian rugs. Look closer, and these symmetrical compositions reveal global landscapes transformed by mankind. Imagine a carpet made up of aerial satellite images of modern infrastructure: concrete roads and rooftops replacing fiber weft and warp. See this artist’s “rug” [...]
Middle East city heads want to make their cities more sustainable. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is 60 percent urbanized compared to the global average of 52 percent and is home to one of the world’s most rapidly expanding populations. By 2030, a 45 percent increase of MENA’s urban population will add [...]
An ancient Christian wine press 1500-years-old was uncovered in Israel, telling more about the customs of the people in the Holy Land of days gone by. It may not have yielded a prize-winning bottle, but excavators in Israel are excited about uncovering an ancient wine press, probably used for making low quality wine and vinegar, [...]
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building standard devised by the United States Green Building Council often comes under fire for being insufficiently rigorous – particularly for large commercial buildings. Now a new version - LEED v4 – has been established. Taking effect in November, 2013, LEED v4 incorporates four new standards designed to improve [...]
In September 2012, the Israeli desert city of Beersheva became the second municipality in Israel to staff the newly created post of community gardens coordinator. The multidisciplinary position was born through fruitful cooperation between two of the city’s municipality departments – environmental and welfare, following a strategic process aimed at reinforcing local community and environmental elements [...]
A couple of years ago we questioned the “greenliness” of Foster + Partner’s new airport terminal at the Queen Alia International Airport in Jordan, and now the futuristic building has finally opened. Located just south of Amman, the domed structure is designed to mimic the black folds of traditional Bedouin tents out of deference, according [...]
Yalın Mimarlık won first place in an international design competition for an archaeological museum on the site of ancient Troy. Renowned for the famous Trojan horse story in Homer’s Iliad, this historic site in the northwestern corner of Turkey reveals a lot about the country’s artistic and cultural development leading up to World War I; the [...]
At the heart of Beirut, Zakaria counters corporate cafe culture with art and heritage As larger coffee and restaurant chains take over the streets of Beirut and other Lebanese cities, smaller, local cafes are abandoning their businesses as they are faced with too much competition. Walking away from the scene is not only a coffee shop [...]
Super-sized rats infesting Tehran are so huge that a special team of sharpshooters using night-vision-equipped rifles have been tasked with extermination. It sounds like a sci-fi B movie, but the problem is real. Rats have long plagued Iran, and the problem worsens when springtime arrives: melting mountain snows flood the critters’ nests, and millions are [...]