Hamburg’s transition from being seen as only an industrial port to a thriving cultural hub is well underway and part of that transition is to ensure the city can survive climate change. Since the city is located not far from the coast rising water and more sever storms will impact everyone who lives there, as a result flood mitigation and resilient building are required. These new developments embrace ecological design while also embracing the culture of the city.
Presented by its developers as a “model for the new European city on the waterfront”, HafenCity is built on an artificial sand terrace that places new buildings about 8 meters above the high tide line. The waterfront is also designed to be partially flooded, like the promenade designed byZaha Hadidin 2006 that runs above the dam on the city’s Niederhafen promenade.
Exceptions are some old buildings dating back to 1880. While remaining at their original lower level, they have been hardened to resist occasional flooding, with direct exits to the upper level and reinforced windows and other forms of waterproofing beneath.
Wind turbines produce renewable energy from air with a small footprint on the ground. This means they can get placed in various locations and offshore they can be massive (and therefore more efficient), but when the wind turbines reach the end of service their blades take up a lot space in landfills. Thankfully the blades can be reused to build bridges!
Even when they are no longer useful to produce electricity wind turbines live on in useful ways – another reason to build more turbines.
Originally a metals recycling company, Anmet started exploring ways to repurpose wind blades about seven years ago. Since then, it developed a small commercial businessmaking outdoor furnitureout of discarded wind turbine blades. Bridges, Sobczyk says, are the next area it would like to expand into commercially.
The company’s first blade bridge took about three years to test, permit, and build. After harvesting decommissioned blades from a wind farm in Germany, the blades were subjected to a battery of engineering tests in partnership with Poland’s Rzeszów University of Technology before being cut up to create the primary support structures for a pedestrian footbridge. In October, Amnet installed that bridge over a river in Szprotawa, the small town where the company is headquartered.
We’ve witnessed one of the greatest die offs of insects in history and Germany wants that to change. The country is considering a new law which will protect insects from needlessly dying due to human intervention. The country has already committed to eliminating the use of glyphosate, a weed killer which kills more than weeds. It’s been proven many times over that insects are beneficial for increased crop yields and greater biodiversity, so let’s hope that even more countries follow Germany’s lead on protecting these little critters.
Light traps for insects are to be banned outdoors, while searchlights and sky spotlights would be outlawed from dusk to dawn for ten months of the year.
The draft also demands that any new streetlights and other outdoor lights be installed in such a way as to minimise the effect on plants, insects and other animals.
The use of weed-killers and insecticides would also be banned in national parks and within five to ten metres of major bodies of water, while orchards and dry-stone walls are to be protected as natural habitats for insects.
Germans have reputation of loving to drive so it might seem a little shocking to see the nation explore free public transit. The push for free travel comes from the need to reduce the country’s emissions – and soon. EU countries that don’t meet emissions targets in the next few years can be taken to court to answer for the inability to provide clean air for their citizens. Germany is a large country and if they figure out a way to make public transit free then it’s likely that other nations can follow.
“Effectively fighting air pollution without any further unnecessary delays is of the highest priority for Germany,” the ministers added.
The proposal will be tested by “the end of this year at the latest” in five cities across western Germany, including former capital Bonn and industrial cities Essen and Mannheim.
On top of ticketless travel, other steps proposed Tuesday include further restrictions on emissions from vehicle fleets like buses and taxis, low-emissions zones or support for car-sharing schemes.
The Berlin Wall marked a negative time in recent history in which two sides couldn’t communicate well and severed a country, and families, in two. During the Cold War people risked their lives tring to escape to West Germany from the oppressive East. The tearing down of the wall was a true turning point in modern history and it’s great to celebrate years of peace in Germany since its collapse.
As always, the Berlin Wall represents the inability to have meaningful conversations within our civilization. Let’s hope that no more walls between peoples get built.
The recoherence of Berlin over that later period is a testament to how far the country has come. Differences between the old east and west halves remain, some subtle (in the east street lights are yellow and the traffic-light man wears a hat, in the west they are white and he is bare-headed) and others more fundamental (Ossis support Union and are more likely to vote for the political extremes, Wessis cheer on Hertha Berlin and tend to vote centrist). But generally, to quote Brandt, â€œwhat belongs together grows togetherâ€. Central Berlin has been rebuilt, new east-west transport arteries like the cathedral-like Hauptbahnhof are open and others are under construction. Peter Schneider, a veteran chronicler of the city, writes: â€œThe fall of the Wall and the reunification of Berlinâ€™s two halves have sped up the cityâ€™s pulse, injecting new life energy. Itâ€™s as if the city had won back a temporal dimension that, during the years of the Wall, seemed to have disappeared from West Berlin and was merely alleged to exist in East Berlin: the futureâ€.
To be sure, the past is visible too. Berlin epitomises the German knack for sensitively accommodating the scars of history. Parts of the wall have been preserved as memorials and much of the route is now traced by cobble stones which disappear under buildings built in the old death stripâ€”The Economistâ€™s premises in Berlin among themâ€”and re-emerge on the other side. In a plot once bordered by the wall a block from the Reichstag, to which the Bundestag moved from Bonn in 1999, sits the Holocaust memorial, an undulating 5-acre sea of tombstone-like concrete slabs. When, last month, a local historian discovered a forgotten stretch of the wall in the woods by a suburban train line, it was a rare sight: an unarchived, uncurated piece of the cityâ€™s 20th century traumas.