Jordan’s Abdali Souk revives in new setting

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Second (and third!) – hand marketplaces offer some of the greenest shopping options available – especially in the run-up to frenzied winter holiday consumerism – but in developing countries, they are also an economic necessity for both buyers and vendors.  In early October, the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) closed down a popular souk in the Abdali […]

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Istanbul Municipality Forces Neighborhood To Make Way For Planned Gentrification

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Until a recent urban renewal project that forced most residents out, the neighborhood of Tarlabaşı was home to a diverse array of Istanbul’s minority populations. In the early 20th century, Tarlabaşı’s winding streets and colorful buildings were home to many of the city’s Greek residents. After violence against the Greek population their mass emigration from […]

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Arab Towns Get Sewerage Upgrade in Israel

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A relief to the environment as Israel allots money to upgrade poorly services sewers in Arab towns. Last Wednesday, Israeli Energy and Water Resources Minister Uzi Landau announced the government is allocating NIS 355 million to improve the sewerage systems in Arab neighborhoods across Israel. In recent years, the neglected and dilapidated sewer infrastructures in […]

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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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4.1 Million Acres Of Land Previously Classified As Forest Goes On Sale In Turkey Today

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Turkey’s government argues that much of the land has already been illegally developed and sold, especially in the outskirts of major cities like Istanbul (pictured above). Two weeks ago, Turkish President Abdullah Gül approved a law that opened a parcel of land in Turkey formerly classified as forests — known as “2B” land — to […]

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Book Review of Edgelands: Journeys into England’s True Wilderness

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Edgelands are the spaces outside of towns and cities that play host to a rough element. Largely considered no-man’s-land, they too deserve attention, Marion Shoard argues. Two poets respond to the call. The term edgelands was coined in 2003 by Marion Shoard.  She wrote, “The expanses of no-man’s-land which have sprung up on the margins of […]

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Novel Bus-Stop Libraries in Israel Promote Green Transportation

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Would mini-libraries at bus stops encourage residents of your city to use public transportation? Here’s a novel idea: create a system of mini-libaries at bus stops in order to encourage reading and green transportation. Think it could never happen? Think again. Two urban artists, one of whom graduated from Israel’s Technion Faculty of Architecture, submitted […]

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An Ant In Dubai

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A greenie examines her soul at the foot of hundreds of Dubai towers. Dubai is nothing at all like Las Vegas. Though both are unlikely cities in waterless environs and full of people eager to divest visitors of both their souls and their money, that is where their likeness ends. As a tour leader for […]

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Major Turkish Cities Fail Sustainability Survey

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Eskişehir, a center of industrial production in Turkey, is the country’s most sustainable city, according to a recent survey. When businesspeople from 29 different cities in Turkey were asked to rank their country’s provinces and cities in terms of sustainability, quality of life, social opportunities, and economic environment, the biggest cities in Turkey — Istanbul, […]

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What’s Better: The Copenhagen Model, Or Masdar City?

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Chris Turner from MNN argues that Copenhagenization is the more humble, more widely applicable approach to making cities livable, but there’s something about Masdar he didn’t think to address We spotted an excellent article over on Mother Nature Network that analyzes the fundamental philosophical differences between the Copenhagen model and Masdar City. Touted as the […]

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Jordan Reconsiders Deforestation Plans

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The campaign to stop the destruction of 2,200 trees in Jordan’s Ajloun forest gathers pace as the government states it now will assess the environmental impact of the proposed development project In response to the demands of the ‘Halt Ajloun Deforestation’ campaign, the Jordanian government announced it will now carry out an assessment of the […]

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Reclaiming Bahrain’s Coastal Architecture In Venice

For the first time, the Gulf Kingdom of Bahrain is participating at the La Biennale International Architecture Exhibition in Venice. But theirs is an unusual approach. In accord with this year’s theme – to experience rather than merely observe architecture – Bahrain’s National Pavilion comprises a multidimensional, sensory depiction of an earlier, more integrated, and […]

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