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ECA: TOKYO WORLD’S MOST EXPENSIVE CITY

The worlds most expensive city 2010, Tokyo, Japan

The worlds most expensive city 2010, Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo, Japan is the world’s most expensive city in 2010. Oslo, Norway comes in second. In addition to Asia and Europe you can also find expensive cities in Africa. This according to a study published by ECA International

Top 20 Most Expensive Cities In The World
1 Tokyo, Japan
2 Oslo, Norway,
3 Luanda, Angola
4 Nagoya, Japan
5 Yokohama, Japan
6 Stavanger, Norway
7 Kobe, Japan
6 Copenhagen, Denmark
9 Geneva, Switzerland
10 Zurich, Switzerland
11 Bern, Switzerland
12 Basel, Switzerland
13, Libreville, Gabon
14 Helsinki, Finland
15 Moscow, Russia
16 Paris, France
17 Abidjan, Ivory Coast
18 Abuja, Nigeria
19 Tel Aviv, Israel
20 Seoul, South Korea

And yes, the top 20 list also contains a few exotic, less frequented locations, like Abuja, Nigeria.

Most expensive city in the Americas is Rio de Janeiro, ranked 28, followed by the most expensive U.S. city, New York (actually Manhattan), which is number 29. No other cities in the entire Americas makes it to the top 50 list.

The list is somewhat repetitive as far as countries are concerned since it covers more than one city per country. For instance Japan is represented three times in the top five. The ranking looks like following when comparing only the most expensive city of each country:

Top 10 Most Expensive Countries
1 Japan
2 Norway
3 Angola
4 Denmark
5 Switzerland
6 Gabon
7 Finland
8 Russia
9 France
10 Ivory Coast

ECA International is a research firm established in 1971 to provide human resource information for the management and assignment of employees around the world. The company has offices in London, New York, Hong Kong and Sydney.

GREAT VANCOUVER CITY VIEWS

Loden guestrooms offer spectacular city views

Loden guestrooms offer spectacular city views

Right now Vancouver is busy hosting the Winter Olympics. So finding a vacant hotel room might not be possible at this very moment. But if you are interested in visiting after the games, Vancouver has plenty of great accommodation options to offer, like the Loden Vancouver Hotel.

Loden Vancouver aims at combining sleek modern design, natural elements and quality service to create a consummate urban experience.

The rooms offer great views through wall to ceiling windows and all the amenities that you could expect from a premium hotel; hight tech audio, WiFi, luxury bed and bath linens, luxury toiletries, plus a few interesting extras like yoga mats in every room.

It’s Voya Restaurant & Lounge serves French-Asian cuisine and the Halo Penthouse can elevate any event thanks to its amazing views. The hotel also has a fitness studio and health spa.

The hotel is located near the city’s business district. Doubles start at under $200 (US Dollars) per night. Specials start at $152 (US).

Bathroom

Guestroom

TARMAC WAITS LIMITED TO 3 HOURS

Planes waiting at Phoenix airport

Today the Transportation Department announced a new rule aimed to avoid nightmares on the tarmac from occurring again: U.S. airlines must allow passengers to deplane from domestic flights after a plane has remained on the tarmac for 3 hours.

In addition carriers are required to provide adequate food and potable drinking water for passengers within two hours of the aircraft being delayed on the tarmac and to maintain operable lavatories and, if necessary, provide medical attention.

The rule was adopted in response to a series of incidents in which passengers were stranded on the ground aboard aircraft for lengthy periods and also in response to the high incidence of flight delays and other consumer problems. In one of the most recent tarmac delay incidents, the Department fined Continental Airlines, ExpressJet Airlines and Mesaba Airlines a total of $175,000 for their roles in a nearly six-hour ground delay at Rochester, MN.

The rule goes into effect 120 days after date of publication in the Federal Register.

This is very good news for passengers!

The Transportation Department

THE GREEN TRAVEL WHEEL

Copenhagen Wheel

Researchers at MIT have created a bike with a high tech wheel that transforms the bicycle into a hybrid eBike. They call it the Copenhagen Wheel.

The wheel is able to store extra energy created when for instance breaking to be used later to give an extra boost when going uphill or when needed to accelerate quicker in traffic. In addition it offer a range of information about speed, direction, distance, air pollution, proximity to friends, etc. This is enabled through a Bluetooth connection to the driver’s iPod.

It has the advantage of being easy to use and offer great styling as an extra bonus. The brains and the power of the bike is fitted into a plastic hub of the back wheel.

According to plans it should be available sometime next year at a price comparable to electric bikes.

Check out the YouTube video below for a trial ride on the Copenhagen Wheel.

MIT news
via Inhabitat

UNITED FINALLY ORDERS NEW PLANES

Computer rendering of Airbus A350 XWB

Computer rendering of Airbus A350 XWB

Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Boeing 787 Dreamliner

The aging fleet of United Airlines is finally getting new blood as the airline announced today that it has placed orders for 25 Airbus A350 XWB aircraft and 25 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. In addition United has future purchase rights for 50 of each aircraft.

And it was about time, since United has not ordered aircraft since more than ten years ago, in 1998!

United expects to take delivery of the aircraft between 2016 and 2019; at the same time it will retire its international Boeing 747s and 767s.  The A350 has a range 11 percent greater than the current B747, and the B787 has a range 32 percent greater than the current B767.

These 50 new aircraft will reduce the average seat count by about 19 percent compared to the aircraft they will replace, and by about 10 percent when averaged over the entire international fleet.

United Airlines

VISION OF A FUTURE LIBRARY

Vsion of future Public Library of Stockholm

Vision of future Public Library of Stockholm

The above rendering of a new wing of the Public Library of Stockholm is quite striking. The rendering was created by Armel Neouze, Jacques Gelez and Olivier Charles from the Architecture School of Paris Val de Seine.

An international architectural competition for an expansion of the existing Public Library of Stockholm was won by another architect, Heike Hanada from Germany in 2007. The proposal was called Delphinium, but a final decision on the expansion has been delayed.

The original library (below) that will be preserved, was completed almost 80 years ago.

Present Public Library of Stockholm completed 1932

Present Public Library of Stockholm completed 1932

CG Society, SubStudio, via Gizmodo

THE MYSTIQUE OF FINLAND

Heslsinki, capital of Finland

Helsinki, capital of Finland

Finland Quick Facts
Population: 5.3 million
Languages: Finnish (91.5%) and Swedish (5.5%) are official languages.
Main Religion: Christianity
Currency: Euro (I USD = 0.78 EUR)
Capital: Helsinki
Size: 338,145 sq km or twice the size of Florida or slightly smaller than Germany.
Location: Northern Europe.
Neighbors: Norway, Russia and Sweden.
Climate: Cold temperate; potentially subarctic but comparatively mild because of moderating influence of the North Atlantic Current, Baltic Sea, and more than 60,000 lakes.
Best Time to Visit: June through August.

Flag and map of Finland

Today Finland is celebrating Independence Day. It became independent from Russia on December 6, 1917.

Many visitors to this arctic country claim that Finland has a certain mystique about it. The country is anyway disproportionately accomplished: According to The Prosperity Index published in October 2009, Finland is the world’s most prosperous nation, in 2007 a Reader’s Digest study determined Finland to be the Best Country To Live In. And in the past few years Finland has also been ranked a leading country in the following areas: Competitive economy, least corrupt, most sustainable environment, academic abilities of 15 year olds, readership of newspapers, investments into research & development, and the use of internet. And it has managed all of the above while offering the longest vacations in the world (togerther with Brazil and France)!

Finland is also known for its design and a couple of weeks ago the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design appointed Helsinki World Design Capital 2012.

The world’s largest cruise ship, the Oasis of the Seas, was delivered from a Finnish shipyard in October.

The country has a diversified industry and is one of the world centers of telecommunications technology –  Finland is home of Nokia.

For the traveler there are many ways of exploring the mystique of Finland:
• The cosmopolitan capital Helsinki,
• the exotic and mountainous Lappland in the north,
• the lake country with 60,000 lakes in the center of Finland and
at the southwestern coast the worlds largest archipelago is located with over 80,000 islands.

Go in the summer and you will not only stay warmer, but also see more, since in the summer daylight is almost endless but in the wintertime days are extremely short.

So what is the catch? Finland is very expensive!

Summernight in Lake Finland

Summernight in Lake Finland

More photos after the jump…

Continue reading THE MYSTIQUE OF FINLAND

AMES BOSTON – CHARACTER & CHARM

Ames Boston suite bedroom

Morgan Hotels known for their subtle, but tasteful design and superior service opened a hotel in Boston in October: The Ames Boston.

The hotel is located in the over 100 year old Ames Building, known as Boston’s first skyscraper. It has 113 rooms, a few suites and also a one bedroom apartment.

The rooms are furnished with premium quality materials and amenities; fine Egyptian cotton linens, luxury toiletries, state of the art entertainment center, etc.

The complete renovation has been made with care and combining old charm with a minimalistic approach, especially as far as the color scheme is concerned; the rooms are in different shades of gray, black and white.

The hotel also has a restaurant/bar: Woodward, that offers exquisite food and delicious drinks. Ames Boston also has a fitness center.

Doubles start at $165 +tax per night.

Woodward bar & restaurant

more pictures after the jump.

Continue reading AMES BOSTON – CHARACTER & CHARM

AVALON – BEAUTIFUL VILLA IN TASMANIA

Avalon living area with stunning views

Avalon Coastal Retreat offers a beautifully designed villa in a scenic private location that offers spectacular views. It is located in Swansee on the Australian island state Tasmania (south of the main continent of Australia).

The three bedroom, three bathroom villa comes luxuriously equipped with everything you might need during your stay. It has a fireplace, heated floors, DVD’s, books and stereo with Bose surround sound speakers.

The kitchen is luxuriously furnished, including an expresso machine. The place also has a washer-dryer.

Avalon Coastal Retreat also has a private beach.

The price per night is about $700 for a group of up to six persons. Only guests over 12 years old are allowed.

Avalon exterior

More pictures after the jump
Continue reading AVALON – BEAUTIFUL VILLA IN TASMANIA

GUADALAJARA TO GET GUGGENHEIM REPLACEMENT

Guadalajara Metropolitan Area, Mexico

Mexico’s second city, Guadalajara lost its long planned Guggenheim Museum, when the Guggenheim Foundation canceled their plans for new museums in Mexico and Brazil to focus on building only one new museum in Abu Dhabi.

Yesterday the state of Jalisco, Mexico reacted to the loss by announcing the creation of a Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Guadalajara. The museum will be located in the same area as the planned Guggenheim museum, Barranca de Huentitán, which lies in the outskirts of Guadalajara.

If everything goes according to plan, the one hundred thousand square feet museum will be completed in September 2012.

World famous Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuronare, of Herzog & De Meuron Basel LTD, are being considered for the project. The most famous Herzog & De Meuron creations of late is the Beijing Bird’s Nest that served as the National Stadium for the Beijing Olympics 2008. Herzog & De Meuron were awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2001 and have also received several other prestigious awards.

Site of the new museum, Barranca de Huentitán

Government of Jalisco (in Spanish)