April 2018

New Phantom Architecture by Eduardo Tresoldi Haunts the Grounds at Coachella

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Installation & Sound. ]

Full-scale neoclassical and baroque buildings made of wire mesh loom over festival-goers at Coachella this week, representing artist Eduardo Tresoldi‘s largest works yet. The Italian sculptor is known for his eerie installations of translucent architecture, previously seen in a stunning indoor installation in Abu Dhabi, a ghostly ship sailing across Italy’s Bay of Sapri and the resurrection of a long-fallen church in Puglia. Entitled ‘Etherea,’ the new sculptures are a reflection on humankind’s relationship with our built environments.

2018 United Nations Public Service Forum - 21- 23 June, 2018. Marrakesh, Morocco

2018 United Nations Public Service Forum

21- 23 June, 2018. Marrakesh, Morocco 

+INFO: publicadministration.un.org/unpsa2018

The 2018 United Nations Public Service Forum will take place in Marrakesh, in the Kingdom of Morocco from 21- 23 June 2018, with the theme of “Transforming governance to realize the Sustainable Development Goals”.

Study urges action to save Philippi’s farms

MEC Alan Winde commits to implementing recommendations

By Melanie Gosling

Photo of farm in Philippi
Philippi’s farms will be lost unless government takes action, finds a report presented on Tuesday. Archive photo: Maryatta Wegerif

Philippi farmer Achmat Brinkhuis does not sleep most nights, but stands guard over his vegetable crops, pump-house and irrigation pipes.

He resorted to this after thieves stole farming equipment from his small-holding 17 times in the space of 12 months. “Sometimes in the morning, I can’t stay awake,” Brinkhuis said.

Brinkhuis was one of a group of farmers briefed by the provincial government on Tuesday on the findings of a socio-economic study, commissioned by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, to investigate the significance of the Philippi Horticultural Area (PHA). The study, led by Indego Consulting, had a stark warning: If urgent action is not taken to protect the PHA soon, it will be lost.

The loss of the Philippi farmlands would result in the loss of thousands of jobs, millions of rands to the regional economy, cause a spike in the local price of vegetables, and make a dent in Cape Town’s food security, according to the study. Karen Harrison, who led the study, said the special growing conditions of the PHA were “irreplaceable” within a 120km radius.

Because it was cooler than the other big vegetable-growing areas of Ceres and Malmesbury, Philippi could produce vegetables in summer when those regions could not, giving it a competitive edge.

SASSA’s disastrous disaster management

Residents were left without blankets and food after a fire in Wallacedene in February despite the City of Cape Town having notified SASSA officials

By Vincent Lali and GroundUp Staff

Photo of a woman and baby
“When the fire broke out, I stepped out with only a small bucket of rice. Now, we have nothing to eat. I and my baby feel cold at night,” says Khungeka Notshokovu. Photo: Vincent Lali

For years the City of Cape Town’s Disaster Risk Management Centre coordinated relief efforts for disasters in the city. It usually did a good job. But in 2018 the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) took over this function. It’s off to a terrible start.

Fire victims are battling to restore their lives after a fire destroyed their shacks in Wallacedene, Kraaifontein, in February.

Community leader Thobani Mathole said: “Residents are used to getting disaster relief from government immediately after a fire destroys their shacks. Now, they wonder why the government is not helping them.”

Mathole said the Wallacedene fire victims did not receive food, blankets and a once-off grant after the fire. About a dozen people are affected.

“SASSA officials arrived, took details of the fire victims and promised to bring food and blankets, but they never returned to the fire scene again,” he said.

4th South Asian Cities Summit - 04-05 May, 2018. New Dheli, India

4th South Asian Cities Summit

04-05 May, 2018. New Dheli, India

+ INFO: www.sacsummit.in

The Summit will focus on the perspective of what needs to be done at city level to attain the SDGs and assess whether South Asian cities have required data base and capacity to generate, analyze and use city performance results at highly disaggregated level in the city to improve performance and attain SDG required outcomes by 2030.

Friday, 4 May, 2018 to Saturday, 5 May, 2018

See Dubai-Based Architecture Firms Through the Lens of Marc Goodwin

Jumeirah Lake Towers Jumeirah Lake Towers

From Barcelona to Bejing, Marc Goodwin is capturing architectural workspaces around the world. Goodwin’s latest endeavor: Dubai. Scroll down to get a glimpse of where architects like the ones at RMJM and EDGE work in the “City of Gold.”

The Yard Al Serkal Avenue

The Yard Al Serkal Avenue The Yard Al Serkal Avenue

Cultural Engineering

  • In this Space Since: 2017
  • Number of Employees: 10
  • Former Use of Space: Warehouse
  • Size: 140 sqm

Battle lines drawn as PIC increases stake in M&R amidst hostile takeover bid

Image source:
Image source: [[www.murrob.com]]</span>NEWSWATCH: After rejecting Aton's buyout offer of R15 ($1.3) per Murray & Roberts' ordinary share, second biggest shareholder in the engineering and construction firm Public Investment Corporation (PIC) has upped its stake from 15.34% to 20.16%.
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8 Outstanding Feature Walls Designs

If you are searching for a simple yet efficient way to transform and liven up any space, respected designers suggest trying feature walls. The feature or statement wall has the function to differentiate a specific wall or area of the room from the walls that are surrounding it. It can be either a high-impact differentiation or a subtle one. It is up to you to be creative, play with colors and patterns, and choose what exactly you want to highlight in your room. The options are endless.

Meanwhile, we have some ideas that could inspire you to transform your house & make an impressive style statement:

  1. Vertical garden wall

If you want to feel closer to nature while enjoying the comfort of your house, this design will make it possible. Grow your own vertical garden, and you will have fresh air and green plants all year round (for those of you who enjoy 4 seasons), plus you will have the impression of being outdoors even during the lazy days when all you want to do is stay inside. This wall looks amazing and it will definitely cheer you up and add a touch of originality to any room!

Roof Inspector Training Course taking place in May

Vespa Revamp: Classic Scooter Brought up to Speed with Electric Redesign

[ By WebUrbanist in Technology & Vintage & Retro. ]

The Vespampère is slim, light and stylish, recalling a vintage classic from 1948 with an electric motor and other contemporary technological tweaks to bring it in tune with the modern era. Among other neat twists, a mobile phone becomes an integrated component, effectively serving as the vehicle’s dashboard.

Italian designer Giulio Iacchetti’s fresh model draws inspiration from the film-famous silhouette of historical scooters, returning to the lighter look of original models (a plus for urban maneuverability).

Second U20 Sherpas meeting - 04-05 June, 2018. New York, EEUU

Second U20 Sherpas meeting

04-05 June, 2018. New York, EEUU


The second U20 Sherpa meeting will take place in New York on 4-5 June 2018


Monday, 4 June, 2018 to Tuesday, 5 June, 2018

Millions of urban Africans still don't have electricity: here's what can be done

Millions of people without electricity access in Africa live close to existing power grid infrastructure. Shutterstock

At least 110 million of the 600 million people still living without access to electricity in Africa live in urban areas. Most are within a stone throw from existing power grid infrastructure.

In Nigeria, Tanzania, Ghana and Liberia alone there are up to 95 million people living in urban areas. All in close proximity to the grid. In Kenya about 70% of off-grid homes are located within 1.2km of a power line. And estimates for “under-the-grid” populations across sub-Saharan Africa range from 61% to 78%.

Besides energy access being crucial for many basic human needs, these underserved populations represent a massive commercial opportunity for cash-strapped sub-Saharan African utilities. Electricity providers could reach tens of millions of densely packed customers without the cost of a last-mile rural grid extension.

So, why aren’t these potential consumers connected to the formal grid?

Red tape is alienating academics from their own research and work

Academics are drowning in bureaucracy. Lightspring/Shutterstock

When South African academics want to set up a new degree module, they’re entering into a process that can take years to germinate. These modules must be approved through an incredibly cumbersome process – departmental, school, faculty, various university quality control committees, an institution’s senate, the South African Qualification Authority. Only then can they be registered by the National Qualification Framework.

This is just one example of the bureaucratic chores that now occupy academics’ days. It’s a reality that prompted me to edit a new book called Making Sense of Research (Van Schaik, Pretoria, 2018). It’s written by supervisors, deans, research coordinators and lecturers who offer suggestions about how students and academics can negotiate the reams of red tape that typify modern universities.

Bureaucracy is necessary to manage large institutions. But it can also be alienating. It alienates the researcher from their field or discipline. It alienates those who are researched from those who conduct the research. And ultimately, it alienates both researchers and the researched from the academy.

How the Discovery Campus was transformed into something that resembles more of a city

How the Discovery Campus was transformed into something that resembles more of a cityThe 111,000m2 Discovery Campus in Sandton, a Growthpoint Properties and Zenprop joint venture, is touted as the largest single-tenant building in the southern hemisphere. Construction began in 2014, with the bulk of the project completed last year, in time for Discovery to relocate 7,000 employees from West Street at the beginning of 2018.
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Renée Minnaar wins 31st Corobrik Architectural Awards

Renée Minnaar wins 31st Corobrik Architectural AwardsRenée Minnaar from the University of Pretoria is this year's winner of the Corobrik Architectural Student of the Year Award. Her thesis, entitled, Remediator - Restoring the dichotomous relationship between industry and nature through an urban eco-textile mill and dye house impressed the judges with its insightful way of tackling quintessentially South African issues that cross generations and present compelling reasons to rethink the local built environment in South Africa.
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Building Blocks of Innovation: 11 Cutting Edge Materials Set to Shape the Future

[ By SA Rogers in Conceptual & Futuristic & Technology. ]

Architecture has looked much the same since early humans first began constructing their own shelter, but that could change soon with the introduction of new materials and technologies producing almost alien-like forms. Woven carbon fiber, ultra-strong but amazingly thin concrete, transparent wood and 3D-printed sandstone are among the innovations that could break free of the traditional constraints and result in a new era of lightweight, durable, versatile forms in all sorts of organic and mathematical shapes.

Super Wood, Nano Wood & Transparent Wood

How scientists listening to the earth can unlock Africa's many riches

Africa’s physical landscape is not a permanent fixture and is being constantly shaped by massive geological forces. Shutterstock

Africa was once at the centre of the world – literally. It was the landmass at the centre of Pangaea, a super continent that broke up into smaller plates about 200 million years ago.

Today, Africa sits on the second largest of these plates and her physical landscape is not a permanent fixture. It’s being constantly shaped by massive geological forces that reach deep down into the interior of the Earth. This is the central organising idea in the earth sciences: the theory of plate tectonics.

When plates collide, slide past or bump into each other, they cause the earth to shake. This shaking is picked up by sensors, called seismometers, which are often buried in vaults underground. Some have been formed into seismic networks across the globe. The longest and continuously running of these are owned and operated by an international consortium consisting of many countries including the US, France, Japan and China.

Invasive alien plants in South Africa pose huge risks, but they can be stopped

A massive wildfire on the Garden Route fuelled by invasive alien trees. Henry Cunningham

There is a massive army marching across South Africa. It’s silent and looks harmless, but it’s growing by the day. It’s depleting the country’s water supply, intensifying wildfires, reducing agricultural productivity and threatening globally significant biodiversity. This is South Africa’s unwanted army of over 380 invasive alien plant species.

Malanje's Economic Potential Justifies Construction of an International Airport

Malanje — The economic, tourist, agro-industrial, cultural and human potential as well as the location of the northern Malanje province justifies the construction in the future, of an international airport to boost domestic tourism, said Wednesday the Angolan vice-president, Bornito de Sousa.

The official, who was addressing the celebration ceremony of the 16th anniversary of the Peace and National Reconciliation marked on April 4, underscored that Malanje has the highest amount of natural tourist sites of the country.

As an example, the official mentioned several tourist attractions located in the region namely the Calandula falls, Cangandala park, Lutando Natural Reserve, the giant black sable antilope, the sepulture of king Ngola Kiluanji and of the Queen Njinga Mbande and the Blac Stone of Pungo-a-Ndongo.

SOURCE: http://www.angop.ao/angola/en_us/noticias/politica/2018/3/14/Malanje-eco...

China's Green Energy Company Starts Construction of Biggest Solar Plant in Egypt

Egypt and China's clean energy company TBEA Sunoasis started Tuesday the construction of four solar power stations at the Benban Solar Energy Park in Egypt's southern province of Aswan.

The stations, with an output of 186 megawatts, are part of the giant Benban Solar Plant which is expected to be completed by mid-2019.

The Benban Solar Plant, after its completion, aims to generate up to 2 gigawatts of utility-scale solar capacity through a total of 40 projects.

READ MORE: http://www.focac.org/eng/zxxx/t1549901.htm

World's Biggest Non-Existent Dam Gets Bit Bigger, Bit Further From Existing

By François Misser

The Grand Inga dam could transform the Congo and the continent, if only it didn't keep getting bogged down.

Of all the Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC) abundant natural riches - spanning from lucrative gold and diamonds, to cobalt and even oil - there is one that stands above all the others. Out on the western edge of this vast nation, the powerful Congo River, the deepest in the world, suddenly plummets. Here at the breathtaking Inga Falls, about 17 Olympic swimming pools-worth of water plunges by nearly 100 metres - every single second.

This is more than just a stunning spectacle. If the energy generated could be tapped, it could transform not just the Congo, but feasibly the entire continent.

There are already some huge dam projects underway in Africa. The 2,070 MW Lauca and 2,170 MW Caculo Cabaça dams in Angola, for example, will jointly supply most of that country's power. Meanwhile, on completion, the 6,450 MW Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam will be the seventh largest in the world.

READ MORE: http://africanarguments.org/2018/04/11/worlds-biggest-non-existent-dam-g...

Kilimani Residents Oppose Plan to Build 35-Storey Tower in Their Posh Estate

By James Kariuki

Kilimani residents have voiced initial opposition to the planned construction of Cytonn Investments' 35-floor triple tower, saying it will disrupt lives and businesses.

Kilimani Project Foundation, which has called a meeting between residents and the project consultants, said the health of children attending an early childhood development centre in the area is at stake since the project is "of such a magnitude" that will involve numerous truck movements and activities within and around the site.


It cited "incompatible land use, traffic, overstretched utilities, health of Cavina children during construction, privacy of children and neighbours during and after construction, storm water drainage, urban greenery and security are at stake".

READ MORE: https://nairobinews.nation.co.ke/news/kilimani-residents-oppose-plan-to-...

Kenya to Break Ground on Construction of 30,000 Low-Cost Houses in Eastlands

Nairobi — The Government is set to launch a low-cost housing project that will see 30,000 houses constructed in Nairobi's Eastlands area, as the 'Big Four' agenda takes shape.

The low-cost project targets to put up 5,000 houses in Shauri Moyo, 20,000 houses in Makongeni, 3,000 houses in Starehe and 2,000 units in Park Road estates.

Construction of the Shauri Moyo, Makongeni and Starehe houses will kick off within six months while the breaking ground for the 2,000 units of affordable housing on Park Road will be within three months.

READ MORE: https://www.capitalfm.co.ke/business/2018/04/govt-to-break-ground-on-con...

Health Ministry to Ban Poor Quality Construction Firms From Public Tender

Luena — The Health Ministry (Minsa) will ban from public tender all the construction and supervision companies that build sanitary facilities of poor quality, said on Saturday in Luena, eastern Moxico province, the incumbent minister, Sílvia Lutucuta.

The official advocated this stance after assessing the construction of Camanongue Regional Hospital underway in Moxico province, in which several irregularities were noted such as the settlement of the emergency room in the middle of the institution instead of the front part, besides the accessibility and other technical issues.

On the occasion, the minister accused the lack of quality of the works and non-compliance with international standards to the fact that some construction companies reach agreement with supervision officials dissuading them from playing their real role as representatives of the owner.

In addition, the minister explained that the picture faced in Camanongue municipality reflects the current scenario underway all over the country, pledging to ban all the construction companies that refuse to correct the mistakes, which should be carried out through the companies' own resources.

SOURCE: http://www.angop.ao/angola/en_us/noticias/saude/2018/3/16/Health-Ministr...

Ministry Eyes Joint Ventures in Mavoko Low-Cost Housing

By James Kariuki

Kenya is pushing for international and local joint ventures to execute the planned 8,000 low-cost housing units in Mavoko, Machakos after domestic firms failed the test.

Transport, Infrastructure and Urban Development Cabinet secretary James Macharia said the move was meant to fast-track the mass housing development.

"No local firm has the capacity for such developments and what we wanted were companies that have a verifiable record of having handled mass housing development. But we encourage joint ventures that will promote local companies' capacity as well as foster a practical technology-transfer platform," he said.

READ MORE: https://www.nation.co.ke/business/Ministry-eyes-joint-ventures-in-Mavoko...

Cost of Building Hazina Towers Reduces By Sh2.8 Billion

By Samwel Owino

The cost of building Hazina Towers is expected to reduce significantly from Sh6.8 billion to Sh4 billion following an audit by the department of public works.

The National Social Security Fund, which is the owner of the project, on Tuesday told the National Assembly Public Investments Committee that the earlier claim of Sh1.8 billion by the contractor has also been revised to Sh870 million.

The expansion of the building began in 2013 but stalled when Nakumatt Holdings, the then anchor tenant, filed a case to stop NSSF from doing so.

READ MORE: https://www.nation.co.ke/news/Cost-of-building-Hazina-Towers-reduces-by-...

Exploring Resilience and Innovation at AZA18

Exploring Resilience and Innovation at AZA18

From 3-5 May 2018, #AZA18 will be exploring the journey towards sustainable, adaptive and integrated cities that can respond to growing social, economic and environmental challenges, under the theme ‘WeTheCity: Memory & Resilience’.


Reblocking unsettles Tembisa residents

Some community members says they were not aware of the hardship it would involve

By Zoë Postman

18 April 2018

Photo of a man
Joseph Sithole had to demolish one room and part of the lounge of his brick house to make way for a road. He says he was not compensated. Photo: Zoë Postman

Residents of Vusimuzi, an informal settlement in Tembisa, South of Johannesburg, are resisting the “reblocking” of their area by the City of Ekurhuleni.

Reblocking involves repositioning shacks in densely built informal settlements to open up pathways and roads for emergency vehicles or for the provision of water, electricity and sewerage services. But it requires some residents to move and rebuild and in many cases to give up living space.

Jack Mavusa had his six-room shack reduced to three rooms. He said the City did not give him any warning before demolishing one side of his shack.

When GroundUp visited him, there were couches, tables and a washing machine piled up in his yard.

“They first tried to move me to another yard but I refused. I’ve stayed in the same place for almost 24 years and I lost a lot after they demolished my shack,” said Mavusa. His wife and six children live with him.

Phineas Moloi, a member of shack-dweller organisation Abahlali baseMjondolo, told GroundUp that the Vusimuzi community initially agreed to reblocking because they were not aware of what it would all entail.

25 cities commit to work with the G20 in response to major global challenges

25 cities commit to work with the G20 in response to major global  challenges

Inaugural U20 Mayoral Summit to take place in Buenos Aires in October, ahead of the G20 Heads of State Summit hosted by Argentina

April 18, 2018

Cities will contribute more to the G20 process this year than ever before thanks to a new Urban 20 (U20) initiative that promotes dialogue and cooperation between 25 global cities and G20 nations. In a joint statement published today, the mayors of leading cities from G20 nations ask G20 leaders to work jointly on key global development issues including climate action, the future of work and social integration and inclusion. Signatories call on national governments to work with cities to achieve common goals, which include pursuing the full and rapid implementation of the Paris Agreement, addressing the challenges generated by the gig economy, pursuing gender equality and narrowing inequality gaps, among others. As of April 18th 2018, 20 U20 cities have already signed the Joint Statement: Berlin, Buenos Aires, Chicago, Durban, Hamburg, Jakarta, London, Madrid, Mexico City, Milan, Montreal, New York City, Paris, Rio deJaneiro, Rome, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Sydney, Tokyo and Tshwane.

With smart cities, your every step will be recorded

Image source:
Image source: [[www.pxhere.com]]</span>Modern cities are brimming with objects that receive, collect and transmit data. This includes mobile phones but also objects actually embedded into our cities, such as traffic lights and air pollution stations. Even something as simple as a garbage bin can now be connected to the internet, meaning that it forms part of what is called the internet of things (IoT).
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