A new “eco-mosque” that seeks LEED silver certification has recently opened in Dubai. Designed to set an example for other mosques and local residents, the Port Saeed mosque can accommodate 3,500 worshippers.
Ample fresh water supplies for agriculture and drinking by the world’s burgeoning population are becoming more and more scarace these days due to over-consumption and the ravages of global warming and climate change. This has resulted in the need to tap into prehistoric underground aquifers, such as North Africa’s Nubian Aquifer under Libya; and the the[.....]
The Middle East joins the race to space with a new program which will launch a research probe to MARS in the next seven years. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Ruler of Dubai) announced establishment of a UAE Space Agency.
If you live in south Tel Aviv in the Shapiro neighborhood by the central bus station you might come in contact with an African migrant or refugee. Unless you live side by side with them, it’s doubtful that you’ll get a chance to talk to one of the tens of thousands of men, and sometimes[.....]
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev scientists have poured molten aluminum into a scorpion burrow and discovered that scorpion burrows have a platform on which to warm up before the evening hunt.
Apart from a couple of monkeys from Iran, the Middle East has yet to send a serious mission to space. But Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE vice president and ruler of Dubai, recently confirmed that this is about to change with news that the United Arab Emirates is planning to send a[.....]
The London Design Museum bestowed upon Zaha Hadid the prestigious Design of the Year award for this incredible Heydar Aliyev Center in Azerbaijan, and there’s nothing green about it. But it does reinterpret fluid Islamic design in some interesting ways, and it really is a work of pure genius.
In a move to diversify its energy package Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) launched its first pilot solar power project this past June in Awali, in the south of Bahrain.
Nearly half a decade after his famous Habitat ’67, architect Moshe Safdie is still going strong. Born in Israel, Safdie strives to incorporate sustainability in his firm’s designs, but Project Jewel may be his most flamboyant effort yet. Hit the jump to learn more about this interesting airport development in Singapore.
Here is a kind of happiness comes in the form of a treehouse you can take anywhere! Originally invented in 2010 by Alex Shirley-Smith, the first tentsile treehouse tent exploded on the internet to such an extent that Shirley-Smith hired a new designer to work on several prototypes in 2012. Kirk Kirchev came up with the current design, which can[.....]
So you’ve made a batch of Green Prophet’s homemade organic sunscreen. And you’ve waxed your legs or chest hairs with our Arabian sugar wax. But home remedies are not enough to stave off bigger problems like skin cancer.
Look West, Middle East – for a failsafe way to ween off one-use plastic bottles! Banning plastics is the best first step to eliminating this poisonous prodrome of modern civilization.
Saudi Arabia is a desert country with no freshwater resources. Every day the Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) produces more than three million cubic meters a day of potable water, which requires a great deal of precious energy, so every drop must be conserved. Cue NOMADD.
What’s a beach without a shoreline, or a dune perch that overlooks a horizon of…more sand? According to the World Tourism Organization, it’s the newest frontier in eco-tourism – welcome news for the Middle East.
Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai will soon play host to the world’s largest shopping mall – the gargantuan Mall of the World. Comprised of 48 million square feet of over-the-top retail, residential, and even medical services, the covered pedestrian city is expected to attract some 180 million visitors a year. I shudder at the thought.
I get that a lot of people don’t have any experience growing food and that city people might not have garden space, but so called high tech gardening has gone one step too far with Click & Grow’s exorbitantly expensive “smart herb garden.”
The people of Siwa Oasis have been growing dates for 3,000 years. And while they cultivate many varieties, three that are native to the desert community are close to extinction. Don’t worry too much, though, because the Siwa Community Development Environmental Conservation (SCDEC) group is working to save them.
The team behind Living Green just won $20,000 to further develop LivingBox, an off-grid, modular system of growing food in urban spaces – without soil!
So much disturbing news from Israel and Palestine in the last two weeks has left me completely exasperated, and I’m sure our readers can relate. Thankfully NPR gives us a brief respite with this great story of a Nader Khalili-styled dome home that a young Palestinian firm recently completed in Jericho.
Just when you think you’ve seen it all, a story pops up about donkeys in Turkey that carry solar panels so that shepherds, who are often out in the field alone for days at a time, have enough energy to power their laptops.
Green walls and rooftop gardens are great, but keeping them healthy in the Middle East and North Africa can be challenging. Green Studios, whose work in Lebanon we’ve featured once before, has an answer with their patented technology that ensures plants can flourish despite the extraordinary heat in our region.
At least 124,000 people were killed in the bloody eight month Gallipoli Campaign. Also called the Dardanelles Campaign, it was considered to be the Ottomans’ final push against the Allied forces. ONZ Architects and friends commemorate this collective wound with a breathtaking series of sunken trails on the Gallipoli peninsula.
Until the girls were abducted, I didn’t know much about Burkina Faso. And I didn’t think I wanted to know more until I stumbled upon Tiébélé, a village full of the most elaborately-painted earthen homes and mausoleums. Rita Willaert has a treasure trove of images on her flickr page. Hit the jump to see just a[.....]
Mashjar Juthour is a living museum of what little wild fauna and flora still exist in Area C, a portion of Palestinian territory controlled by Israel, but it’s struggling to get by. Aiming to create a sacred green space for the Palestinian people and supporters, a place to heal and regenerate, its founders humbly ask for our help.
Magnetic levitation technology enthusiasts around the world are waiting to see what will happen in Israel, where skyTran has teamed up with Israel Aerospace Industry (IAI) to prove the viability of their Hover Car personal rapid transit (PRT) system. The levitating sky cars will be tested in Lod, a run-down industrial city south of Tel Aviv.
Imagine you’re at an old taxidermy museum and you go out back and find one of their broken ducks in the trash. You see it and you say “hey, that would make a great lamp!” People might think you’re weird. But Sebastian Errazuriz doesn’t really care. He found such a thing and now it makes light where it once made sound.
“Drones are the future of conservation,” said Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri when commenting on his team’s plan to use drones to monitor flocks of flamingos at the Al Wathba Wetland Reserve in United Arab Emirates.
Thousands of folding glass panels cover the southern facade of the Al Bahr Towers in Abu Dhabi (above). Reacting to sunlight, they form a protective skin to decrease interior solar gain. It’s a modern riff on the best known element of Arabic architecture, in play since the Middle Ages. Meet the modern mashrabiya.
Picture what happens when the world’s only independent, chartered organization dedicated to achieving a sustainable world teams up with one of the oldest environmental engineering companies to underwrite an environmental photo contest. The eye-popping images of this year’s Atkins CIWEM “environmental photographer of the year” shortlist tell it all.
Despite the turbulence tearing through the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have solidified their commitment to clean energy with the newly formed Framework Agreement on Strategic Cooperation between Masdar and King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (K.A.CARE.) It’s leadership we desperately need.
Some projects that cross my desk are blatantly not as “green” as their investors want us to believe, yet have many redeeming qualities. Take Al Hamra Real Estate’s breakout mega-development, Falcon Island. It’s slated for construction in Ras-al-Khaimah, the emirate north of Dubai, and it’s going gangbusters with solar energy.
Tesla’s Elon Musk has made serious inroads to implement widespread use of electric vehicles, but he’s also got a hand in one of the most important solar energy deals of the century. Last week SolarCity purchased Silevo in New York in order to significantly scale up production of super efficient, high quality solar panels.
Researchers from Duke University in the United States warned that planet Earth is on the brink of a mass extinction event comparable to the one that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
What’s the best way to get a nation of increasingly obese residents to embrace a healthier life? Host a World Cup and build a bunch of awesome sports clubs. Having secured 2022, the Qatar Olympic Committee has now commissioned Grimshaw Architects to install green recreational facilities throughout the emirate.
Dream of fresh organic food? Have little land in your town or city but plenty of patience? There is a new city gardening movement called aquaponics or AP. The movement is creating missionaries, new converts and maybe even some gurus, but there are also real people doing it in backyards, parks, basements or a garage near[.....]
Ocean acidification has reached record levels, so the deep-pocketed Board of XPRIZE are at it again – using “incentivization” to spark technological breakthroughs to “benefit humanity”. They’re holding out a pair of $1 million carrots to tempt everyone to conjure up a better sensor to measure ocean acidification – a malady caused by our continual[.....]
In the middle of the summer with no shade, the Sahelian region of Mali is hot. Blistering hot. So how did F8 Architecture build an A/C-free orphanage 50km south of Bamako without endangering the children? It’s all in the design.
Starbucks recently announced a plan to rollout access to wireless charging technology developed by Israel’s Powermat — in all stores across the United States.
As part of an effort to rescue certain Israeli cities from urban decay, the Ayalim Association has built a series of ‘student villages’ throughout the country. The latest in the hard-scrabble city of Lod, not far from Israel’s interntional airport, has been constructed out of recycled shipping containers, and will be inaugurated on 8 July, 2014.
How green are Israeli cities, really? This question might be asked by many; especially in light of its largest city, Tel Aviv (see photo), becoming so polluted that a tiny electric vehicle rental program is being tried out in an effort to reduce air pollution. Ground water in Tel Aviv and other parts of the[.....]
A local Iranian activist group Tavana is reporting that 40 notorious hunters from Iran have publicly given up the hunt. The stunning display of “gun bashing” Middle East style was caught on TV.
Theo Jansen transforms plastic bottles and conduit into skeletal frames – complete with movable joints, wings, and bellies – that are able to walk powered only by wind.
Israel’s dubious meat industry gets more sickening: we’ve already covered exposes of poultry fed with feces and pumped with toxic contaminants. Now it’s all about beef and how it’s frozen, treated laundry style and then resold as fresh.
Qatar Solar Energy has unveiled a massive factory that will produce high quality solar panels that make the most of the desert sun, a boon not just for the emirate, but potentially for the entire Middle East.
An important business community in Bnei Brak (Ramat Gan) outside of Tel Aviv has been made toxic by an asbestos fire that broke out last Wednesday. The asbestos fire, which ended up smouldering for days, took place in a one-story building with an asbestos roof that was used to store tires, clothing and electric bicycles.
Listen up class. There’s a mind-blowing biological anomaly called bilateral gynandromorphism, a condition where an animal or insect contains both male and female characteristics, evenly split smack down the middle. The end result is a creature that is literally half male and half female. It’s rare and most frequently spotted in birds, insects and crustaceans.
BITBOX will launch the Middle East’s first bitcoin ATM tomorrow evening local time in Tel Aviv. The specialized vending machine allows even novice bitcoin users to both purchase and sell bitcoins in a very secure manner.
The Castielfabib community of Valencia put on an especially exciting show during this year’s Las Fallas festival in Spain. An annual celebration that culminates on St. Joseph’s Day – (the patron saint of carpenters, of course), “The Fires” involves an entire community working together. And fire. Check out the geodesic dome that went up in flames.
In 1895, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky proposed to build a space elevator that could reach from Earth into space; it never got off the ground, but in 1957 another Russian – Yuri Artsutanov – came up with a more plausible idea. It wasn’t built either, but now he has a chance to judge a team of Israeli students who are tackling the concept[.....]
Is there anything that communicates more effectively than music? It transcends language, with a power unmatched among the Fine Arts to cross boundaries, express and evoke emotion, and unite disparate people.
Food insecurity is daunting, particularly in cities. And while industrial vertical farming offers a solution, the absence of chickens and may and other signs of farm life casts suspicion on this method of tech-based food production. Plantagon aims to bridge that divide with a solution that can be implemented on just about any building, anywhere.
Today Redeyef, Tunisia, is quite a scene: it’s a decrepit French colonial houses are surrounded by mountains of black phosphate sand, radioactive water lakes and its inhabitants, the vast majority unemployed, walk around with yellowish brown toothy smiles.