In recent years, the social economy is increasingly seen as a viable means to address social problems. Social enterprises, as well as public projects and initiatives targeted to meet social purposes, offer organizational models that assume heterogeneity, flexibility and adaptability to the ‘real world and real problems’. Despite the growing popularity of social initiatives, decision makers still face a paucity in what concerns the available models and tools to adequately assess its sustainability, and its impacts, notably the nature of its contribution to economic growth. This study was carried out at the local level, by analyzing the social impact initiatives and projects promoted by the Municipality of Albergaria-a-Velha (Câmara Municipal de Albergaria-a-Velha -CMA), a municipality of 25,000 inhabitants in the central region of Portugal. This work focuses on the challenges related to the qualifications and employability of citizens, which stands out as one of the key concerns in the Portuguese economy, particularly expressive in the context of small-scale cities and inland territories. The study offers a characterization of the Municipality, its socio-economic structure and challenges, followed by an exploratory analysis of multiple sourced data, collected from the CMA's documental sources as well as from privileged informants. The purpose is to conduct detailed analysis of the CMA's social projects, aimed at characterizing its potential impact for the model of qualifications and employability of the citizens of the Municipality. The study encompasses a discussion of the socio-economic profile of the municipality, notably its asymmetries, the analysis of the social projects and initiatives, as well as of data derived from inquiry actors involved in the implementation of the social projects and its beneficiaries. Finally, the results obtained with the Better Life Index will be included. This study makes it possible to ascertain if what is implicit in the literature goes to the encounter of what one experiences in reality.
Many urban designers and planners have been involved in the design of environmentally friendly or nature adaptable urban development models due to increase in urban populations in the recent century, limitation on natural resources, climate change, and lack of enough water and food. Ecological city is one of the latest models proposed to accomplish the latter goal. In this work, the existing establishing indicators of the ecological city are used regarding energy, water, land use and transportation issues. The model is used to compare the function of traditional settlements of Iran. The result of investigation shows that the specifications and functions of the traditional settlements of Iran fit well into the ecological city model. It is found that the inhabitants of the old cities and villages in Iran had founded ecological cities based on their knowledge of the environment and its natural opportunities and limitations.
Not only radiation materials, but also the normal chemical material stored in the power plant can cause a risk to the residents. In this research, the ALOHA code was used to perform the concentration analysis under the CO2 storage burst or leakage conditions for Kuosheng nuclear power plant (NPP). The Final Safety Analysis Report (FSAR) and data were used in this study. Additionally, the analysis results of ALOHA code were compared with the R.G. 1.78 failure criteria in order to confirm the control room habitability. The comparison results show that the ALOHA result for burst case was 0.923 g/m3 which was below the criteria. However, the ALOHA results for leakage case was 11.3 g/m3.
Korean traditional residences have been built with deep design issues for various values such as social, cultural, and environmental influences to be started from a few thousand years ago, but its meaning is being vanished due to the different lifestyles these days. It is necessary, therefore, to grasp the meaning of the Korea traditional building called Hanok and to get Korean people understand its real advantages. The purpose of this study is to propose a standardization methodology for evaluating comfort features towards Korean traditional houses. This paper is also trying to build an official standard evaluation system and to integrate aesthetic and psychological values induced from Hanok. Its comfort performance values could be divided into two large categories that are physical and psychological, and fourteen methods have been defined as the Korean Standards (KS). For this research, field survey data from representative Hanok types were collected for each method. This study also contains a qualitative in-depth analysis of the Hanok comfort index by the professions using AHP (Analytical Hierarchy Process) and has examined the effect of the methods. As a result, this paper could define what methods can provide trustful outcomes and how to evaluate the own strengths in aspects of spatial comfort of Hanok using suggested procedures towards the spatial configuration of the traditional dwellings. This study has finally proposed an integrated development of a standardization methodology assessing the comfort performance for Korean traditional residences, and it is expected that they could evaluate inhabitants of the residents and interior environmental conditions especially structured by wood materials like Hanok.
Industrial heritage reflects the traces of an industrial past that have contributed to the economic development of a country. This heritage should be included within the scope of preservation to remind of and to connect the city and its inhabitants to the past. Through adaptive conservation, industrial heritage can be reintroduced into contemporary urban life, with suitable functions and unique identities sustained. The conservation of industrial heritage should protect the material fabric of such heritage and maintain its cultural significance. Emphasising the historical and cultural significance of industrial areas, this research argues that industrial heritage is primarily impacted by political and economic thinking rather than by informed heritage and conservation issues. Waterfront redevelopment projects create similar landscapes around the world, transforming industrial identities and cultural significances. In the case of The Rocks and Darling Harbour, the goal of redevelopment was the creation of employment opportunities, and the provision of places to work, live and shop, through tourism promoted by the NSW State Government. The two case study areas were pivotal to the European industrial development of Sydney. Sydney Cove was one of the largest commercial wharves used to handle cargo in Australia. This paper argues, together with many historians, planners and heritage experts, that these areas have not received the due diligence deserved in regards to their significance to the industrial history of Sydney and modern Australia.
Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) is one of the most popular, widely grown and the second most important vegetable crop, after potatoes. Nematodes have been identified as one of the major pests affecting tomato production throughout the world. The most destructive nematodes are the genus Meloidogyne. Most widespread and devastating species of this genus are M. incognita, M. javanica, and M. arenaria. These species can cause complete crop loss under adverse growing conditions. There are several potential methods for management of the root knot nematodes. Although the chemicals are widely used against the phytonematodes, because of hazardous effects of these compounds on non-target organisms and on the environment, there is a need to develop other control strategies. Nowadays, non-chemical measures are widely used to control the plant parasitic nematodes. Biocontrol of phytonematodes is an important method among environment-friendly measures of nematode management. There are some soil-inhabiting fungi that have biocontrol potential on phytonematodes, which can be used in nematode management program. The fungus Metarhizium anisopliae, originally is an entomopathogenic bioagent. Biocontrol potential of this fungus on some phytonematodes has been reported earlier. Recently, use of organic soil amendments as well as the use of bioagents is under special attention in sustainable agriculture. This research aimed to reduce the pesticide use in control of root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne javanica in tomato. The effects of M. anisopliae IMI 330189 and different levels of oak tree debris on M. javanica were determined. The combination effect of the fungus as well as the different rates of soil amendments was determined. Pots were filled with steam pasteurized soil mixture and the six leaf tomato seedlings were inoculated with 3000 second stage larvae of M. javanica/kg of soil. After eight weeks, plant growth parameters and nematode reproduction factors were compared. Based on the results of our experiment, combination of M. anisopliae IMI 330189 and oak debris caused more than 90% reduction in reproduction factor of nematode, at the rates of 100 and 150 g/kg soil (P ≤ 0.05). As compared to control, the reduction in number of galls was 76%. It was 86% for nematode reproduction factor, showing the significance of combined effect of both tested agents. Our results showed that plant debris can increase the biological activity of the tested bioagent. It was also proved that there was no adverse effect of oak debris, which potentially has antimicrobial activity, on antagonistic power of applied bioagent.
The progress of technology and producing new machinery have made a big change in excavation operations and construction of underground structures. The limitations of space and some other economic, politic and military considerations gained the attention of most developed and developing countries towards the construction of these structures for mine, military, and development objectives. Underground highways, tunnels, subways, oil reservoir resources, fuels, nuclear wastes burying reservoir and underground stores are increasingly developing and being used in these countries. The existence and habitability of the cities depend on these underground installations or in other words these vital arteries. Stopping the flow of water, gas leakage and explosion, collapsing of sewage paths, etc., resulting from the earthquake are among the factors that can severely harm the environment and increase the casualty. Lack of sewage network and complete stoppage of the flow of water in Bam (Iran) is a good example of this kind. In this paper, we investigate the effect of wave orientation on structures and deformation of them and the effect of faulting on underground structures, and then, we study resistance of reinforced concrete against earthquake, simulate two different samples, analyze the result and point out the importance of paying attention to underground installations.
There has been considerable anxiety in society that social media distracts from education and reduces the social skills of young people. Following this, educators have sought ways to mitigate its negative effects on educational attainment while incorporating its positive aspects into the learning process. This study sought to examine the impact of social media on the study habits of students of Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri. The research design involved survey technique where questionnaires were used to collect data from a sample of the student population. Statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) was used to analyse the data. Spearman’s Rho was the specific tool used for analysis. It was presented in frequency tables and bar charts. Findings from variables investigated showed that at p<0.5, social media usage had a significant impact on the study habits of students of Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri. This indicated the need for stakeholders in the community to employ counselling and other proactive measures to ensure that students maintained proper focus on their primary assignment for schooling.
Background and Objectives: Colorectal carcinoma is increasing among both men and women worldwide. It has a multifactorial etiology including genetic factors, environmental factors and inflammatory conditions of the digestive tract. A clinicopathologic assessment of colorectal carcinoma in Hail region is done, considering any changing patterns in two 5-year periods from 2005-2009 (A) and from 2012 to 2017 (B). All data had been retrieved from histopathology files of King Khalid Hospital, Hail. Results: During period (A), 75 cases were diagnosed as colorectal carcinoma. Male patients comprised 56/75 (74.7%) of the study, with a mean age of 58.4 (36-97), while females were 19/75 (25.3%) with a mean age of 50.3(30-85) and the difference was significant (p = 0.05). M:F ratio was 2.9:1. Most common histological type was adenocarcioma in 68/75 (90.7%) patients mostly well differentiated in 44/68 (64.7%). Mucinous neoplasms comprised only 7/75 (9.3%) of cases and tended to have a higher stage (p = 0.04). During period (B), 115 cases were diagnosed with an increase of 53.3% in number of cases than period (A). Male to female ratio also decreased to 1.35:1, females being 44.83% more affected. Adenocarcinoma remained the prevalent type (93.9%), while mucinous type was still rare (5.2%). No distal metastases found at time of presentation. Localization of tumors was rectosigmoid in group (A) in 41.4%, which increased to 56.6% in group (B), with an increase of 15.2%. Iliocecal location also decreased from 8% to 3.5%, being 56.25% less. Other proximal areas of the colon were decreased by 25.75%, from 53.9% in group (A) to 40% in group (B). Conclusion: Colorectal carcinoma in Hail region has increased by 53.3% in the past 5 years, with more females being diagnosed. Localization has also shifted distally by 15.2%. These findings are different from Western world patterns which experienced a decrease in incidence and proximal shift of the colon cancer localization. This might be due to better diagnostic tools, population awareness of the disease, as well as changing of life style and/or food habits in the region.
In this research, the HABIT code was used to estimate the concentration under the CO2 and H2SO4 storage burst conditions for Kuosheng nuclear power plant (NPP). The Final Safety Analysis Report (FSAR) and reports were used in this research. In addition, to evaluate the control room habitability for these cases, the HABIT analysis results were compared with the R.G. 1.78 failure criteria. The comparison results show that the HABIT results are below the criteria. Additionally, some sensitivity studies (stability classification, wind speed and control room intake rate) were performed in this study.
The rapid aging of the population is a common trend in the world. However, the progress of modern medical technology has increased the average life expectancy. The global population structure has changed dramatically, and the elderly population has risen rapidly. In the face of rapid population growth, it must be noted issues of the aging population must face up to, which are the physiological, psychological, and social problems associated with aging. This study aims to investigate how insurance agents are actively dealing with an aging society, their own aging anxiety, and their exercise habits. Purposive sampling was the sampling method of this study, a total of 204 respondents were surveyed and 204 valid surveys were returned. The returned valid ratio was 100%. Statistical method included descriptive statistics, t-test, and one-way ANOVA. The results of the study found that the insurance agent’s age, seniority, exercise habits to aging anxiety are significantly different.
This research is a very essential towards transportation planning of Kabul New City. In this research, the travel demand of Kabul metropolitan area (Existing and Kabul New City) are evaluated for three different target years (2015, current, 2025, mid-term, 2040, long-term). The outcome of this study indicates that, though currently the vehicle volume is less the capacity of existing road networks, Kabul city is suffering from daily traffic congestions. This is mainly due to lack of transportation management, the absence of proper policies, improper public transportation system and violation of traffic rules and regulations by inhabitants. On the other hand, the observed result indicates that the current vehicle to capacity ratio (VCR) which is the most used index to judge traffic status in the city is around 0.79. This indicates the inappropriate traffic condition of the city. Moreover, by the growth of population in mid-term (2025) and long-term (2040) and in the case of no development in the road network and transportation system, the VCR value will dramatically increase to 1.40 (2025) and 2.5 (2040). This can be a critical situation for an urban area from an urban transportation perspective. Thus, by introducing high-capacity public transportation system and the development of road network in Kabul New City and integrating these links with the existing city road network, significant improvements were observed in the value of VCR.
Background and objectives: Before any nutritional intervention, it is necessary to have the prospect of eating habits of people with cardiovascular risk factors. In this study, we assessed the adherence of healthy diet based on Mediterranean dietary pattern and related factors in adults in the north of Iran. Methods: This study was conducted on 550 men and women with cardiovascular risk factors that referred to Heshmat hospital in Rasht, northern Iran. Information was collected by interview and reading medical history and measuring anthropometric indexes. The Mediterranean Diet Adherence Screener was used for assessing dietary adherence, this screener was modified according to religious beliefs and culture of Iran. Results: The mean age of participants was 58±0.38 years. The mean of body mass index was 27±0.01 kg/m2, and the mean of waist circumference was 98±0.2 cm. The mean of dietary adherence was 5.76±0.07. 45% of participants had low adherence, and just 4% had suitable adherence. The mean of dietary adherence in men was significantly higher than women (p=0. 07). Participants in rural area and high educational participants insignificantly had an unsuitable dietary Adherence. There was no significant association between some cardiovascular disease risk factors and dietary adherence. Conclusion: Education to different group about dietary intake correction and using a Mediterranean dietary pattern that is similar to dietary intake in the north of Iran, for controlling cardiovascular disease is necessary.
The goal of the Libyan Environmental General Authority (EGA) and National Oil Corporation (Department of Health, Safety & Environment) during the last 5 years has been to adopt a common approach to coastal and marine spatial planning. Protection and planning of the coastal zone is a significant for Libya, due to the length of coast and, the high rate of oil export, and spills’ potential negative impacts on coastal and marine habitats. Coastal resource scenarios constitute an important tool for exploring the long-term and short-term consequences of oil spill impact and available response options that would provide an integrated perspective on mitigation. To investigate that, this paper reviews the Misratah coastal parameters to present the physical and human controls and attributes of coastal habitats as the first step in understanding how they may be damaged by an oil spill. This paper also investigates costal resources, providing a better understanding of the resources and factors that impact the integrity of the ecosystem. Therefore, the study described the potential spatial distribution of oil spill risk and the coastal resources value, and also created spatial maps of coastal resources and their vulnerability to oil spills along the coast. This study proposes an analysis of coastal resources condition at a local level in the Misratah region of the Mediterranean Sea, considering the implementation of coastal and marine spatial planning over time as an indication of the will to manage urban development. Oil spill contamination analysis and their impact on the coastal resources depend on (1) oil spill sequence, (2) oil spill location, (3) oil spill movement near the coastal area. The resulting maps show natural, socio-economic activity, environmental resources along of the coast, and oil spill location. Moreover, the study provides significant geodatabase information which is required for coastal sensitivity index mapping and coastal management studies. The outcome of study provides the information necessary to set an Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) for the Misratah shoreline, which can be used for management of coastal resources and setting boundaries for each coastal sensitivity sectors, as well as to help planners measure the impact of oil spills on coastal resources. Geographic Information System (GIS) tools were used in order to store and illustrate the spatial convergence of existing socio-economic activities such as fishing, tourism, and the salt industry, and ecosystem components such as sea turtle nesting area, Sabkha habitats, and migratory birds feeding sites. These geodatabases help planners investigate the vulnerability of coastal resources to an oil spill.
This study focuses on the sheltering response in the Middle East, specifically through reviewing two Syrian refugee camps in Jordan, involving Zaatari and Azraq. Zaatari camp involved the rapid deployment of tents and shelters over a very short period of time and Azraq was purpose built and pre-planned over a longer period. At present, both camps collectively host more than 133,000 occupants. Field visits were taken to both camps and the main issues and problems in the sheltering response were highlighted through focus group discussions with camp occupants and inspection of shelter habitats. This provided both subjective and objective research data sources. While every case has its own significance and deployment to meet humanitarian needs, there are some common requirements irrespective of geographical region. The results suggest that there is a gap in the suitability of the required habitat needs and what has been provided. It is recommended that the global international response and support could be improved in relation to the habitat form, construction type, layout, function and critically the cultural aspects. Services, health and hygiene are key elements to the shelter habitat provision. The study also identified the amendments to shelters undertaken by the beneficiaries providing insight into their key main requirements. The outcomes from this study could provide an important learning opportunity to develop improved habitat response for future shelters.
This paper posits the need to take a cross-cultural approach to communication with non-human cultures and intelligences in order to meet the following three imminent contingencies: communicating with sentient biological intelligences, communicating with extraterrestrial intelligences, and communicating with artificial super-intelligences. The paper begins with a discussion of how intelligence emerges. It disputes some common assumptions we maintain about consciousness, intention, and language. The paper next explores cross-cultural communication among humans, including non-sapiens species. The next argument made is that we need to become much more serious about communicating with the non-human, intelligent life forms that already exist around us here on Earth. There is an urgent need to broaden our definition of communication and reach out to the other sentient life forms that inhabit our world. The paper next examines the science and philosophy behind CETI (communication with extraterrestrial intelligences) and how it has proven useful, even in the absence of contact with alien life. However, CETI’s assumptions and methodology need to be revised and based on the cross-cultural approach to communication proposed in this paper if we are truly serious about finding and communicating with life beyond Earth. The final theme explored in this paper is communication with non-biological super-intelligences using a cross-cultural communication approach. This will present a serious challenge for humanity, as we have never been truly compelled to converse with other species, and our failure to seriously consider such intercourse has left us largely unprepared to deal with communication in a future that will be mediated and controlled by computer algorithms. Fortunately, our experience dealing with other human cultures can provide us with a framework for this communication. The basic assumptions behind intercultural communication can be applied to the many types of communication envisioned in this paper if we are willing to recognize that we are in fact dealing with other cultures when we interact with other species, alien life, and artificial super-intelligence. The ideas considered in this paper will require a new mindset for humanity, but a new disposition will prepare us to face the challenges posed by a future dominated by artificial intelligence.
This paper explores the need for a national baseline study on understanding the level of cyber security situational awareness among primary and secondary school students in Malaysia. The online survey method was deployed to administer the data collection exercise. The target groups were divided into three categories: Group 1 (primary school aged 7-9 years old), Group 2 (primary school aged 10-12 years old), and Group 3 (secondary school aged 13-17 years old). A different questionnaire set was designed for each group. The survey topics/areas included Internet and digital citizenship knowledge. Respondents were randomly selected from rural and urban areas throughout all 14 states in Malaysia. A total of 9,158 respondents participated in the survey, with most states meeting the minimum sample size requirement to represent the country’s demographics. The findings and recommendations from this baseline study are fundamental to develop teaching modules required for children to understand the security risks and threats associated with the Internet throughout their years in school. Early exposure and education will help ensure healthy cyber habits among millennials in Malaysia.
The information on land use/land cover changing plays an essential role for environmental assessment, planning and management in regional development. Remotely sensed imagery is widely used for providing information in many change detection applications. Polarimetric Synthetic aperture radar (PolSAR) image, with the discrimination capability between different scattering mechanisms, is a powerful tool for environmental monitoring applications. This paper proposes a new boundary-based segmentation algorithm as a fundamental step for land cover change detection. In this method, first, two PolSAR images are segmented using integration of marker-controlled watershed algorithm and coupled Markov random field (MRF). Then, object-based classification is performed to determine changed/no changed image objects. Compared with pixel-based support vector machine (SVM) classifier, this novel segmentation algorithm significantly reduces the speckle effect in PolSAR images and improves the accuracy of binary classification in object-based level. The experimental results on Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR) polarimetric images show a 3% and 6% improvement in overall accuracy and kappa coefficient, respectively. Also, the proposed method can correctly distinguish homogeneous image parcels.
Sulphur oxidizing bacteria (SOB) have marked their significant role in perspectives of maintaining healthy environment as researchers from all over the world tested and apply these in waste water treatment plants, bioleaching of heavy metals, deterioration of bridge structures, concrete and for bioremediation purposes, etc. Also, these SOB are well adapted in all kinds of environment ranging from normal soil, water habitats to extreme natural sources like geothermal areas, volcanic eruptions, black shale and acid rock drainage (ARD). SOB have been isolated from low pH environment of anthropogenic origin like acid mine drainage (AMD) and bioleaching heaps, hence these can work efficiently in different environmental conditions. Besides having many applications in field of environment science, they may be proven to be very beneficial in area of agriculture as sulphur is the fourth major macronutrients required for the growth of plants. More amount of sulphur is needed by pulses and oilseed crops with respect to the cereal grains. Due to continuous use of land for overproduction of more demanding sulphur utilizing crops and without application of sulphur fertilizers, its concentration is decreasing day by day, and thus, sulphur deficiency is becoming a great problem as it affects the crop productivity and quality. Sulphur is generally found in soils in many forms which are unavailable for plants (cannot be use by plants) like elemental sulphur, thiosulphate which can be taken up by bacteria and converted into simpler forms usable by plants by undergoing a series of transformations. So, keeping the importance of sulphur in view for various soil types, oilseed crops and role of microorganisms in making them available to plants, we made an effort to isolate, optimize, and characterize SOB. Three potential strains of bacteria were isolated, namely SSF7, SSA21, and SSS6, showing sulphate production of concentration, i.e. 2.268, 3.102, and 2.785 mM, respectively. Also, these were optimized for various culture conditions like carbon, nitrogen source, pH, temperature, and incubation time, and characterization was also done.
Main purpose of this study was to assess adoption level of farmers for quinoa cultivation after they had been taught through training and visit extension approach. At this time of the 21st century, population structure, climate change, food requirements and eating habits of people are changing rapidly. In this scenario, farmers must play their key role in sustainable crop development and production through adoption of new crops that may also be helpful to overcome the issue of food insecurity as well as reducing poverty in rural areas. Its cultivation in Pakistan is at the early stages and there is a need to raise awareness among farmers to grow quinoa crops. In the middle of the 2015, a training and visit extension approach was used to raise awareness and convince farmers to grow quinoa in the area. During training and visit extension program, 80 farmers were randomly selected for the training of quinoa cultivation. Later on, these farmers trained 60 more farmers living into their neighborhood. After six months, a survey was conducted with all 140 farmers to assess the impact of the training and visit program on adoption level of respondents for the quinoa crop. The survey instrument was developed with the help of literature review and other experts of the crop. Validity and reliability of the instrument were checked before complete data collection. The data were analyzed by using SPSS. Multiple regression analysis was used for interpretation of the results from the survey, which indicated that factors like information/ training, change in agronomic and plant protection practices play a key role in the adoption of quinoa cultivation by respondents. In addition, the model explains more than 50% of variation in the adoption level of respondents. It is concluded that farmers need timely information for improved knowledge of agronomic and plant protection practices to adopt cultivation of the quinoa crop in the area.
In this research, the HABIT analysis methodology was established for Maanshan nuclear power plant (NPP). The Final Safety Analysis Report (FSAR), reports, and other data were used in this study. To evaluate the control room habitability under the CO2 storage burst, the HABIT methodology was used to perform this analysis. The HABIT result was below the R.G. 1.78 failure criteria. This indicates that Maanshan NPP habitability can be maintained. Additionally, the sensitivity study of the parameters (wind speed, atmospheric stability classification, air temperature, and control room intake flow rate) was also performed in this research.
The high terrains of Garhwal (Uttarakhand) Himalaya are the niches of a number of rare and endemic plant species of great therapeutic importance. However, the wild flora of the area is still under a constant threat due to rapid upsurge in human interferences, especially through multifarious tourism growth and peri-urban encroachments. After getting the status of a ‘Special State’ of the country since its inception in the year 2000, this newly borne State led to very rapid infrastructural growth and development. Consequently, its townships started expanding in an unmanaged way grabbing nearby agricultural lands and forest areas into peri-urban landscapes. Simultaneously, a boom in tourism and pilgrimage in the state and the infrastructural facilities raised by the government for tourists/pilgrims are destroying its biodiversity. Field survey revealed 242 plant species of therapeutic significance naturally growing in the area and being utilized by local inhabitants as traditional medicines. On conservation scale, 6 species (2.2%) were identified as critically endangered, 19 species (7.1%) as the endangered ones, 8 species (3.0%) under rare category, 17 species (6.4%) as threatened and 14 species (5.2%) as vulnerable. The Government of India has brought mega-biodiversity hot spots of the state under Biosphere Reserve, National Parks, etc. restricting all kinds of human interferences; however, the two most sacred shrines of Hindus and Sikhs viz. Shri Badrinath and Shri Hemkunt Sahib, and two great touristic attractions viz. Valley of Flowers and Auli-Joshimath Skiing Track oblige the government to maintain equilibrium between entries of visitors vis-à-vis biodiversity conservation in high terrains of Uttarakhand Himalaya.
Architects commonly attempt a depiction of organic forms when their works are inspired by nature, regardless of the building site. Nevertheless it is also possible to try matching structures with natural scenery, by applying a phenomenological approach in terms of spatial operations, regarding perceptions from nature through architectural aspects such as protection, views, and orientation. This method acknowledges a relationship between place and space, where intentions towards tangible facts then become design statements. Although spaces resulting from such a process may present an effective response to the environment, they can also offer further outcomes beyond the realm of form. The hypothesis is that, in addition to recognising a bond between architecture and nature, it is also plausible to associate such perceptions with the inner ambient of buildings, by analysing features such as daylight. The case study of a single-family house in a rainforest near Valdivia, Chilean Patagonia is presented, with the intention of addressing the above notions through a discussion of the actual effects of inhabiting a place by way of a series of insights, including a revision of diagrams and photographs that assist in understanding the implications of this design practice. In addition, figures based on post-occupancy behaviour and daylighting performance relate both architectural and environmental issues to a decision-making process motivated by the observation of nature.
The preservation of historical Italian heritage, at the urban and architectural scale, has to consider restrictions and requirements connected with conservation issues and usability needs, which are often at odds with historical heritage preservation. Recent decades have been marked by the search for increased accessibility not only of public and private buildings, but to the whole historical city, also for people with disability. Moreover, in the last years the concepts of Smart City and Healthy City seek to improve accessibility both in terms of mobility (independent or assisted) and fruition of goods and services, also for historical cities. The principles of Inclusive Design have introduced new criteria for the improvement of public urban space, between current regulations and best practices. Moreover, they have contributed to transforming “special needs” into an opportunity of social innovation. These considerations find a field of research and analysis in the historical city of Venice, which is at the same time a site of UNESCO world heritage, a mass tourism destination bringing in visitors from all over the world and a city inhabited by an aging population. Due to its conformation, Venetian urban fabric is only partially accessible: about four thousand bridges divide thousands of islands, making it almost impossible to move independently. These urban characteristics and difficulties were the base, in the last 20 years, for several researches, experimentations and solutions with the aim of eliminating architectural barriers, in particular for the usability of bridges. The Venetian Municipality with the EBA Office and some external consultants realized several devices (e.g. the “stepped ramp” and the new accessible ramps for the Venice Marathon) that should determine an innovation for the city, passing from the use of mechanical replicable devices to specific architectural projects in order to guarantee autonomy in use. This paper intends to present the state-of-the-art in bridges accessibility, through an analysis based on Inclusive Design principles and on the current national and regional regulation. The purpose is to evaluate some possible strategies that could improve performances, between limits and possibilities of interventions. The aim of the research is to lay the foundations for the development of a strategic program for the City of Venice that could successfully bring together both conservation and improvement requirements.