Spain has a lot of great cities but there’s something about Valencia that just makes me…happy. The weather maybe? Or perhaps the food? Or the friendly people? Most likely it’s that elusive combination of all three. Valencia is one of those cities that has something to offer all year round.
The port city of Valencia lies on Spain’s southeastern coast, where the Turia River meets the Mediterranean Sea. It’s known for its City of Arts and Sciences, with futuristic structures including a planetarium, an oceanarium and an interactive museum. Valencia also has several beaches, including some within nearby Albufera Park, a wetlands reserve with a lake and walking trails.
A new industry of floating infrastructure is emerging to help adapt to rising sea levels. There are two distinct approaches that are being put forth as possible solutions: retrofitting homes to be amphibious and building floating cities.
Amphibious homes can preserve the accessibility of the house and maintain the congenial front porch culture in places like Louisiana, said Elizabeth English, founder and director of The Buoyant Foundation Project. English’s design places a steel frame beneath a house, and then below that, in the crawl space, buoyancy elements. Her team then recommends adding elements to prevent lateral movement so the home will not float away while on the surface of floodwaters.
She estimated that a contractor could do such a retrofit for about $20 to $30 per square foot, but cautioned the Federal Emergency Management Agency currently discourages this type of building practice. Modern floating cities are the brainchild of architect Bjarke Ingels. He told CNBC he hopes his Oceanix City, which is currently slated to be built in the harbor near Busan,
South Korea, will be “a city that is the most resilient city you can imagine, but at the same time, the most enjoyable city that you can imagine.” “We really hope that it will be a successful project and we would like to replicate it in other parts of the world,” Maimunah Mohd Sharif, executive director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, told CNBC of the Oceanix development.
She said the world must look more into adaptation and hopes that the project can help mitigate or even solve the problem of sea-level rise. Would you live in a floating city or retrofit your home so it floats during floods? Watch the video above to learn more about what life could be like in these innovative climate change adaptations.
Side is a resort town on Turkey’s southern Mediterranean coast. An ancient port city, it’s known for long beaches and Greco-Roman ruins. In the center are the remains of the 2nd-century Antique Theater, which seated up to 15,000. The white marble columns of the Hellenistic Temple of Athena stand near the harbor. Other sites are sprinkled throughout, with finds housed at the Side Museum, a restored Roman bath complex.
La Habana Vieja (Old Havana), declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982, is the historic center of the city of Havana. It is formed by a harbor and the official center, the Plaza de Armas. There you will find all kinds of picturesque monuments, fortresses, churches, palaces, etc. It is full of authentic architectural treasures from different periods and offers one of the most comprehensive collections of urban buildings in all America. This area of the city alone is home to more than a thousand buildings of historical importance with various examples of distinguished architecture ranging from Baroque to Art Deco.
Unlike typical colonial cities, Havana was developed on not one, but four main plazas: the Plaza de Armas, which was the military and defensive center as it had a fortress and a large courtyard used for military parades; the Plaza de la Catedral, which with its cathedral was used as the religious center; thePlaza Vieja, which was the commercial hub as it housed important markets; and the Plaza de San Francisco de Asís, which was the main point of exportation and importation as it had a port where Spanish ships docked.
The fashionable Marais district in the 4th arrondissement, also known as SoMa (South Marais), is filled with hip boutiques, galleries, and gay bars. Once the city’s Jewish quarter, the area still hosts numerous kosher restaurants. The grassy Place des Vosges is home to elegant arcades and the Musée Victor Hugo, where the writer lived. Streets around Saint-Paul metro lead to the Maison Européenne de la Photographie.
In the southern French city of #Nîmes, the passion for #AncientRome is more alive than ever. For the past decade, the city has been holding the Great Roman Games show every spring. Legionaries, centurions and gladiators invade the city and bring its incredible Roman monuments back to life: in particular the arena, where the Great Games are organised. Thousands of people, young and old alike, turn out to be transported back to the Rome of #JuliusCaesar.
Nîmes, a city in the Occitanie region of southern France, was an important outpost of the Roman Empire. It’s known for well-preserved Roman monuments such as the Arena of Nîmes, a double-tiered circa-70 A.D. amphitheater still in use for concerts and bullfights. Both the Pont du Gard tri-level aqueduct and the Maison Carrée white limestone Roman temple are around 2,000 years old.
Amsterdam, city and port, western Netherlands, located on the IJsselmeer and connected to the North Sea. It is the capital and the principal commercial and financial centre of the Netherlands.
To the scores of tourists who visit each year, Amsterdam is known for its historical attractions, for its collections of great art, and for the distinctive colour and flavour of its old sections, which have been so well preserved. However, visitors to the city also see a crowded metropolis beset by environmental pollution, traffic congestion, and housing shortages. It is easy to describe Amsterdam, which is more than 700 years old, as a living museum of a bygone age and to praise the eternal beauty of the centuries-old canals, the ancient patrician houses, and the atmosphere of freedom and tolerance, but the modern city is still working out solutions to the pressing urban problems that confront it.
Leuven is a city east of Brussels, Belgium, known for its breweries. On a central square is the 15th-century town hall, with its tall spires. The building is decorated with hundreds of statues of local figures, biblical characters and saints. Opposite, the late Gothic St. Peter’s Church houses a “Last Supper” by the Flemish Primitive painter Dieric Bouts. Nearby, Oude Markt is a long square lined with bars and cafes.
Szeged was a military stronghold and trade centre in the time of the Árpád kings (10th–15th century) and was sacked by the Tatars and the Turks. Flourishing as a centre of commerce, it was one of Hungary’s largest cities in the early 16th century, though it suffered under Turkish rule in the late 16th century and under Austrian rule from the late 17th century.
Austin is the state capital of Texas, an inland city bordering the Hill Country region. Home to the University of Texas flagship campus, Austin is known for its eclectic live-music scene centered around country, blues and rock. Its many parks and lakes are popular for hiking, biking, swimming and boating. South of the city, Formula One’s Circuit of the Americas raceway has hosted the United States Grand Prix.