Beirut Bulldozers Tear Down Ancient Phoenician Port to Build Skyscrapers

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Bulldozers in Beirut tore down remains of a 2,500 year old Phoenician port on Tuesday with blessings from the Culture Minister. Eventually, three new skyscrapers will be built in its place, further blighting a once-beautiful city. The former Culture Minister Salim Wardy thwarted efforts by Venus Construction to proceed with the demolition in Mina al-Hosn and activists […]

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Qatar’s Msheireb Regeneration Project Will Be Largest LEED Cluster in the World

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Qatar is targeting 76 Acres of LEED Certified Buildings When complete, the Msheireb regeneration project in the heart of Doha’s historical district will feature the world’s largest collection of LEED-certified buildings. Projected to cost $5.5 billion, the city’s new heart will eventually comprise 100 new buildings, all of which will target either Gold or Platinum […]

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Qatar’s Temporary Rio +20 Pavilion is Shaped Like a Soaring Falcon

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Everyone who constructed pavilions for the recently-completed Rio +20 conference in Brazil was required to source their materials locally and to employ members of the Rio de Janiero community to build each structure. But the New York-based industrial design firm Grimshaw Architects distinguished Qatar’s pavilion from the crowd by modeling its shape after the wingspan […]

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Gaza’s Water Too Dangerous To Drink

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According to a recent report by charities, Gaza’s only source of fresh water is contaminated with fertiliser and human waste The water and waste infrastructure in Gaza has been slowly deteriorating for years now. War damage, political conflict and dwindling resources are all part of the problem – however, the most troubling aspect is that […]

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Israeli Site Advertises Moon Dwellings

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Amid soaring real-estate prices that sent scores of protestors to the streets last year, an Israeli company recently ran a marketing campaign for affordable lunar homes. According to a report published in the Times of Israel, an email circulated among local press promised that intrepid home seekers could purchase “Beautiful apartment towers … built in plastic bubbles” and “apartments […]

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Acre Father Aims to Make His Capital Green

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Ilan Suisa, a father of four from Akko (Acre), aspires to make his ancient hometown the environmental activism capital of Israel. According to news reports he has even changed his name to “Ilan Green-Suisa.” Over time, Green-Suisa convinced the Akko municipality to place forty recycling bins throughout the city: “Akko won the first place in Israel for recycling,” […]

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Qatar’s GSAS Turns Other Rating Systems Green

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Step back, LEED. Back off, BREEAM. Easy there, Estidama: Qatar’s developing a new building standard and it’s called GSAS. Qatar’s revamped its QSAS green building rating system.  Re-launched under a new name, the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) is muscling in as Middle East- North Africa’s green standard. Developed by the Gulf Organization for Research and […]

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Istanbul Court Annuls Almost-Finished Roma Project

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The district of Sulukule has been home to Istanbul’s Roma community since Byzantine times, but many of its residents were displaced to make way for a development project that started three years ago. Sulukule was declared a target area for “urban transformation” by the Turkish cabinet in 2006. Six years, four lawsuits, and many evictions […]

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Lily Pad Roof to Shade and Power Kuwait’s Sabah Al-Ahmad City Culture Center

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Kuwait is planning to build a city in the desert for 2,500 residents, and the Sabah Al-Ahmad Culture Center will be its nucleus. Albeit materially extravagant, BDP. has proposed a design that takes energy conservation very seriously. And in this relentlessly hot and humid seaside environment along the Gulf, that won’t be easy. Integrated with photovoltaic […]

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ZERO Awards: Egyptian Designers Have a Week to Strut Their Green Stuff

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Supported in part by the Egyptian German Private Sector Development Programme (PSDP), the ZERO award 2012 has extended their deadline for Egyptian designers eager to submit innovative green ideas to the country’s architecture, interior design, and urban planning challenges. The top entries from each category will be recognized publicly and internationally and the winners will also […]

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Maldives Floating Greenstar Hotel Sends the Wrong Message About Climate Change

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Waterstudio.NL is world-renowned for its forward-thinking approach to architecture. While so many architects and developers (especially in our region) are still stuck on growing mammoth skyscrapers on land, this Dutch firm has carved a niche in floating architecture in preparation of climate change and rising seas. Their projects are numerous and range from small house […]

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Israel’s Shumis Pizza Joint Features Row Upon Row of Recycled Tomato Cans

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As urban trash threatens to bury city dwellers in environmental and financial ruin, recycling materials is becoming not only a progressive design technique but also a necessary one. That doesn’t mean that an economy of materials has to be boring, mind you. Often, quite the contrary is true. By using either recycled or inexpensive materials, […]

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