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  • Amusement Parks

    Amusement park is the generic term for a collection of rides and other entertainment attractions assembled for the purpose of entertaining a large group of people. An amusement park is more elaborate than a simple city park or playground, usually providing attractions meant to cater to adults, teenagers, and small children. A theme park is a type of amusement park which has been built around one or more themes, such as an American West theme, or Atlantis. Today, the terms amusement parks and theme parks are often used interchangeably.

    Amusement parks evolved in Europe from fairs and pleasure gardens which were created for people’s recreation. The oldest amusement park of the world (opened 1583) is Bakken, at Klampenborg, north of Copenhagen, Denmark. In the United States, world’s fairs and expositions were another influence on development of the amusement park industry.

    Most amusement parks have a fixed location, as compared to traveling funfairs and carnivals. These temporary types of amusement parks, are usually present for a few days or weeks per year, such as funfairs in the United Kingdom, and carnivals (temporarily set up in a vacant lot or parking lots) and fairs (temporarily operated in a fair ground) in the United States. The temporary nature of these fairs helps to convey the feeling that people are in a different place or time.

    Often a theme park will have various ‘lands’ (sections) of the park devoted to telling a particular story. Non-theme amusement park rides will usually have little in terms of theming or additional design elements while in a theme park all the rides go all with the theme of the park, for example Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World.

    The modern amusement park

    The Blackgang Chine amusement park, established in 1843 by Victorian entrepreneur Alexander Dabell, on the Isle of Wight, UK can be considered the oldest existing theme park in the world. The first amusement park on Coney Island, Sea Lion Park was built around a nautical theme. Today, central Florida and most notably Orlando boasts more theme parks than any other worldwide destination. The northeastern USA region, most notably Pennsylvania, is now a hotbed of traditional surviving amusement parks. In its truest traditional form is Conneaut Lake Park in Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania. Others include Kennywood in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, Idlewild Park in Ligonier, Pennsylvania, Lakemont Park in Altoona, Pennsylvania, Dorney Park in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and Waldameer Park in Erie, Pennsylvania.

    Modern amusement parks now run differently than those of years past. Amusement parks are usually owned by a large corporate conglomerate which allows capital investment unknown by the traditional family-owned parks. Starting with Disneyland in the 1950s, the park experience became part of a larger package, reflected in a television show, movies, lunch boxes, action figures and finally park rides and costumed characters that make up the “theme.” These parks offer a world with no violence or social problems. The thrills of the theme parks are often obscured from the outside by high fences or barriers re-enforcing the feeling of escape, they are kept clean and new thrill rides are frequently added to keep people coming back. In addition to this experience, the theme park is either based on a central theme or, divided into several distinctly themed areas, lands or “spaces.” Large resorts, such as Walt Disney World in Florida (United States), actually house several different theme parks within their confines.

    Family-owned theme parks

    Some theme parks did evolve from more traditional amusement park enterprises, such as Knott’s Berry Farm. In the 1920s, Walter Knott and his family sold berries from a roadside stand, which grew to include a restaurant serving fried chicken dinners. Within a few years, lines outside the restaurant were often several hours long. To entertain the waiting crowds, Walter built a Ghost Town in 1940, using buildings relocated from real old west towns such as the Calico, California ghost town and Prescott, Arizona. In 1968, the Knott family fenced the farm, charged admission for the first time, and Knott’s Berry Farm officially became an amusement park. Because of its long history, Knott’s Berry Farm currently claims to be “America’s First Theme Park.” Knott’s Berry Farm is now owned by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company. Lake Compounce in Bristol, Connecticut may be the true oldest continuously operating amusement park in the United States, open since 1846. Santa Claus Town, which opened in Santa Claus, Indiana in 1935 and included Santa’s Candy Castle and other Santa Claus-themed attractions, is considered the first themed attraction in the United States: a pre-cursor to the modern day theme park. Santa Claus Land (renamed Holiday World in 1984) opened in 1946 in Santa Claus, Indiana and many people will argue that it was the first true Theme Park despite Knott’s history. In the 1950’s the Herschend family took over operation of the tourist attraction, Marvel Cave near Branson, Missouri. Over the next decade they modernized the cave, which led to large numbers of people waiting to take the tour. The Herschend family opened a recreation of the old mining town that once existed atop Marvel Cave. The small village eventually became the theme park, Silver Dollar City. The park is still owned and operated by the Herschends and the family has several other parks including Dollywood, Celebration City and Wild Adventures.

    Other theme parks include: Children’s Fairyland in Oakland, California. Another variation of the theme park were the animal parks that reintroduced the concept of Sea Lion Park such as Marineland of the Pacific which opened in 1954 which paved the way for SeaWorld parks which eventually added thrill rides

    Disneyland and the corporate-owned park

    Walt Disney, however, is often credited with having originated the concept of the themed amusement park, although he was obviously influenced by Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen and De Efteling, Netherlands to which Walt was a regular visitor. Disney took these influences and melded them with the popular Disney animated characters and his unique vision, and “Disneyland” was born. Disneyland officially opened in Anaheim, California in 1955 and changed the amusement industry forever. Key to the design process of Disney’s new park was the replacement of architects with art directors from the film industry.

    The years in which Disneyland opened were a sort of stopgap period for the amusement park industry, as many of the older, traditional amusement parks had already closed and many were close to closing their doors. Cedar Point was set to be torn down in the 1950s when local businesspeople were intrigued by the success of Disneyland and saved it from destruction. Other parks were not as lucky, with Steeplechase Park at Coney Island closing in 1964; Riverview Park, Chicago, Illinois, closed in 1967. Some traditional parks were able to borrow a page from Disneyland and use television to its advantage, such as Kennywood, a park started in 1898 and continuing to operate to the present which used television advertising and featured television personalities at the park.

    The first regional theme park, as well as the first Six Flags park, Six Flags over Texas was officially opened in 1961 in Arlington, Texas near Dallas. The first Six Flags theme park was the vision of Angus Wynne, Jr. and helped create the modern, competitive theme park industry. By 1968, the second Six Flags park, Six Flags Over Georgia, opened, and in 1971, Six Flags Over Mid-America (now Six Flags St. Louis) opened near St. Louis, Missouri. Also in 1971 was the opening of the Walt Disney World resort complex in Florida, which is still the largest theme park and resort complex in the world.

    During the 1970s, the theme park industry started to mature as a combination of revitalized traditional amusement parks and new ventures funded by larger corporations emerged. Magic Mountain (now a Six Flags park) opened in Valencia, California. Regional parks such as Cedar Point and Kings Island, popular amusement parks in Ohio, moved towards the more modern theme park-concept as well as rotating new roller coasters and modern thrill rides. Also during the mid-1970s, Marriott Corporation built two identical theme parks named “Great America” in northern California and Illinois. The former is now California’s Great America and is owned by Cedar Fair, L.P., which now also owns Kings Island and Cedar Point; and the latter is now Six Flags Great America. Many theme parks were hit badly by the Arab oil embargo of 1973 and a number of planned theme parks were scrapped during this time. Most of today’s major amusement parks were built in the 1970s.

    Perhaps the most indirect evolution of an attraction into a full-fledged theme park is that of Universal Studios Hollywood. Originally just a backlot tram ride tour of the actual studios in Hollywood, California, the train ride that started in 1964 slowly evolved into a larger attraction with a western stunt show in 1967, “The Parting of the Red Sea” in 1973, a look at props from the movie Jaws in 1975, and the “Conan the Barbarian” show in 1984. By 1985, the modern era of the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park began with the “King Kong” ride and, in 1990, Universal Studios Florida in Orlando opened. Universal Studios is now the third-largest theme park company in the world, behind Disney and Merlin.

    Although domestic visitors still make up around 80 percent of admissions to theme and amusement parks, an aging population in the U.S. and a slowing economy in 2008 are forcing The Walt Disney Company and its competitors to seek their fortunes in emerging tourist markets such as in the Middle East and in China. The Walt Disney Company, accounts for around half of the total industry’s revenue in the US as a result of more than 50 million adventure seekers pouring through the gates of its U.S.-based attractions each year.

    Present and future of amusement parks

    Since the 1980s, the amusement park industry has become larger than ever before, with everything from large, worldwide type theme parks such as Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood to smaller and medium-sized theme parks such as the Six Flags parks and countless smaller ventures in many of the states of the U.S. and in countries around the world. Even simpler theme parks directly aimed at smaller children have emerged, including Legoland in Carlsbad, California (the first Legoland opened in Billund, Denmark). The only limit to future theme park ventures is one’s imagination.

    In 2001, Disney opened the Disney’s California Adventure which includes Paradise Pier, a recreation of the traditional seaside amusement park of yesteryear.

    Amusement parks in shopping malls began in the 1990s, blending traditional amusement park entertainments – roller coasters, water parks, carousels, and live entertainment– with hotels, movie theaters, and shopping facilities. Examples of giant mall parks are West Edmonton Mall, Alberta, Canada; Pier 39, San Francisco; Mall of America, Bloomington, Minnesota. Amusement park owners are also aware of the need to satisfy their aging baby boomer customer base with more restaurants, landscaping, gardens and live entertainment. Kennywood has created the “Lost Kennywood” area with classic rides that recall the possibly more tranquil times of the early twentieth century.

    Family fun parks starting as miniature golf courses have begun to grow to include batting cages, go-karts, bumper cars, bumper boats and water slides. Some of these parks have grown to include even roller coasters, and traditional amusement parks now also have these competition areas in addition to their thrill rides.

    The popularity of theme parks has led to the increase of theming–“the use of an overarching theme, such as western, to create a holistic and integrated spatial organization of a consumer venue”– in non-theme park venues. While theme restaurants, casinos, and other themed spaces lack the rides and other features of theme parks, they owe much to the legacy of the theme lands and spatial organization that became popular in theme parks.

    Admission prices and admission policies

    Amusement parks collect much of their revenue from admission fees paid by guests attending the park. Other revenue sources include parking fees, food and beverage sales and souvenirs.

    Practically all amusement parks operate using one of two admission principles:


    In this format, a guest enters the park at little or no charge. The guest must then purchase rides individually, either at the attraction’s entrance or by purchasing ride tickets (or a similar exchange method, like a token). The cost of the attraction is often based on its complexity or popularity. For example, a guest might pay one ticket to ride a carousel, but would pay four tickets to ride a roller coaster. The park may allow guests to purchase unlimited admissions to all attractions within the park. A wristband or pass is then shown at the attraction entrance to gain admission.

    Disneyland opened in 1955 using the pay-as-you-go format. Initially, guests paid the ride admission fees at the attractions. Within a short time, the problems of handling such large amounts of coins led to the development of a ticket system that, while now out of use, is still part of the amusement-park lexicon. In this new format, guests purchased ticket books that contained a number of tickets, labeled “A,” “B” and “C.” Rides and attractions using an “A-ticket” were generally simple, with “B-tickets” and “C-tickets” used for the larger, more popular rides. Later, the “D-ticket” was added, then finally the now-famous “E-ticket,” which was used on the biggest and most elaborate rides, like Space Mountain. Smaller tickets could be traded up for use on larger rides (i.e., two or three A-tickets would equal a single B-ticket).

    The advantages of pay-as-you-go include:
    – guests pay for only what they choose to experience
    – attraction costs can be changed easily to encourage use or capitalize on popularity

    The disadvantages of pay-as-you-go include:
    – guests may get tired of spending money almost continuously
    – guests may not spend as much on food or souvenirs


    An amusement park using the pay-one-price format will charge guests a single, large admission fee. The guest is then entitled to use almost all of the attractions in the park as often as they wish during their visit. The park might have some attractions that are not included in the admission charge; these are called “up-charge attractions” and can include bungee jumping or go-kart tracks or games of skill. However, the majority of the park’s attractions are included in the admission cost.

    The “pay-one-price” ticket was first used by George Tilyou at Steeplechase Park, Coney Island in 1897. The entrance fee was 25 cents for entrance to the 15-acre (61,000 m2) park and visitors could enjoy all of the attractions as much as they wanted.

    When Angus Wynne, founder of Six Flags Over Texas, first visited Disneyland in 1959, he noted that park’s pay-as-you-go format as a reason to make his park pay-one-price. He felt that a family would be more likely to visit his park if they knew, up front, how much it would cost to attend.

    The advantages of pay-one-price include:
    – guests can more easily budget their visit
    – guests may be more likely to experience an attraction they’ve already paid for
    – guests may be willing to spend more on food and souvenirs

    Rides and attractions

    Mechanized thrill machines are what makes an amusement park out of a pastoral, relaxing picnic grove or retreat. Earliest rides include the carousel which was originally developed as a way of practicing and then showing-off expertise at tournament skills such as riding and spearing the ring. By the 19th century, carousels were common in parks around the world. Another such ride which shaped the future of the amusement park was the roller coaster. Beginning as a winter sport in 17th century Russia, these gravity driven railroads were the beginning of the search for even more thrilling amusement park rides. The Columbian Exposition of 1893 was a particular fertile testing ground for amusement rides. The Ferris wheel is the most recognized product of the fair. All rides are set round a theme.

    A park contains a mixture of attractions which can be divided into several categories. Many thrill rides, such as the enterprise and the gravitron, include spinning people at high speed coupled with other accelerations.

    Thrill rides

    There is a core set of thrill rides which most amusement parks have, including the enterprise, tilt-a-whirl, the gravitron, chairswing, swinging inverter ship, twister, and the top spin. However, there is constant innovation, with new variations on ways to spin and throw passengers around appearing in an effort to keep attracting customers.

    Roller coasters

    Since the late 19th century, amusement parks have featured roller coasters. Roller coasters feature steep drops, sharp curves, and inversions. Roller coasters may be the most attractive aspect of a park, but many people come for other reasons. Amusement parks generally have anywhere from two to seven coasters, depending on space and budget. The record for the most coasters in one park is held by Cedar Point with 17; Canada’s Wonderland and Six Flags Magic Mountain are tied for second with 15.

    Train rides
    Amusement park trains have had long and varied history in Amusement parks in the US as well as overseas. Based on what I have discovered visiting various website and speaking with various historians, the earliest park trains weren’t really trains — they were trolleys. The earliest park trains were mostly custom built. Some of the most common manufacturers were:
    Allan Herschfield Cagney Brothers Chance Rides(C.P.Huntington) Crown Metal Products Custom Locomotives Minature Train Co.(MTC) The National Amusement Devices Co.(NAD) Ottaway Sandley Tampa Metal Products

    Water rides

    Amusement parks with water resources generally feature a few water rides, such as the log flume, bumper boats, and rowing boats. Such rides are usually gentler and shorter than roller coasters and many are suitable for all ages. Water rides are especially popular on hot days.

    Transport rides

    Transport rides are used to take large amount of guests from one area in the park to another. They usually cost extra, even in parks where rides are free. They are generally popular as they offer an alternative to walking. Transport rides include chairlifts, monorails, and trains.


    Amusement parks generate a portion of their income through the sale of food and drink to their patrons. Food is routinely sold through food booths, push carts and indoor restaurants. The offerings vary as widely as the amusement parks themselves, and range from common fast food items, like hamburgers and hot dogs, and local street foods up to full-service gourmet dishes. Amusement parks with exotic themes may include specialty items or delicacies related to the park’s theme. Many restaurants and food stands are operated by the amusement parks themselves, while others are branches of regional or national chains.


  • Aquarium

    An aquarium (plural aquariums or aquaria) is a vivarium consisting of at least one transparent side in which water-dwelling plants or animals are kept. Fishkeepers use aquaria to keep fish, invertebrates, amphibians, marine mammals, turtles, and aquatic plants. The term combines the Latin root aqua, meaning water, with the suffix -arium, meaning “a place for relating to”.

    An aquarist owns or maintains an aquarium, typically constructed of glass or high-strength plastic. Cuboid aquaria are also known as fish tanks or simply tanks, while bowl-shaped aquaria are also known as fish bowls. Size can range from a small glass bowl to immense public aquaria. Specialised equipment maintains appropriate water quality and other characteristics suitable for the aquarium’s residents.

    In the Roman Empire, the first fish to be brought indoors was the sea barbel, which was kept under guest beds in small tanks made of marble. Introduction of glass panes around the year 50 allowed Romans to replace one wall of marble tanks, improving their view of the fish. In 1369, the Chinese Emperor, Hongwu, established a porcelain company that produced large porcelain tubs for maintaining goldfish; over time, people produced tubs that approached the shape of modern fish bowls. Leonhard Baldner, who wrote Vogel-, Fisch- und Tierbuch (Bird, Fish, and Animal Book) in 1666, maintained weather loaches and newts.

    In 1836, soon after his invention of the Wardian case, Ward proposed to use his tanks for tropical animals, and in 1841 he did so, though only with aquatic plants and toy fish. However, he soon housed real animals. In 1838, Félix Dujardin noted owning a saltwater aquarium, though he did not use the term. In 1846, Anna Thynne maintained stony corals and seaweed for almost three years, and was credited as the creator of the first balanced marine aquarium in London. At about the same time, Robert Warington experimented with a 13-gallon container, which contained goldfish, eelgrass, and snails, creating one of the first stable aquaria; he published his findings in 1850 in the Chemical Society’s journal.

    The keeping of fish in an aquarium became a popular hobby and spread quickly. In the United Kingdom, it became popular after ornate aquaria in cast iron frames were featured at the Great Exhibition of 1851. In 1853, the first large public aquarium opened in the London Zoo and came to be known as the Fish House. Philip Henry Gosse was the first person to actually use the word “aquarium”, opting for this term (instead of “vivarium”) in 1854 in his book The Aquarium: An Unveiling of the Wonders of the Deep Sea. In this book, Gosse primarily discussed saltwater aquaria. In the 1850s, the aquarium became a fad in the United Kingdom.

    Germans soon rivaled the British in their interest. In 1854, an anonymous author had two articles published about the saltwater aquaria of the United Kingdom: Die Gartenlaube (The Garden House) entitled Der Ocean auf dem Tische (The Ocean on the Table). However, in 1856, Der See im Glase (The Lake in a Glass) was published, discussing freshwater aquaria, which were much easier to maintain in landlocked areas. During the 1870s, some of the first aquarist societies were appearing in Germany. The United States soon followed. Published in 1858, Henry D. Butler’s The Family Aquarium was one of the first books written in the United States solely about the aquarium. According to the July issue of The North American Review of the same year, William Stimson may have owned some of the first functional aquaria, and had as many as seven or eight. The first aquarist society in the United States was founded in New York City in 1893, followed by others. The New York Aquarium Journal, first published in October 1876, is considered to be the world’s first aquarium magazine.

    In the Victorian era in the United Kingdom, a common design for the home aquarium was a glass front with the other sides made of wood (made watertight with a pitch coating). The bottom would be made of slate and heated from below. More advanced systems soon began to be introduced, along with tanks of glass in metal frames. During the latter half of the 19th century, a variety of aquarium designs were explored, such as hanging the aquarium on a wall, mounting it as part of a window, or even combining it with a birdcage.

    Aquaria became more widely popular as houses had an electricity supply after World War I. Electricity allowed artificial lighting as well as aeration, filtration, and heating of the water. Initially, amateur aquarists kept native fish (with the exception of goldfish); the availability of exotic species from overseas further increased the popularity of the aquarium. Jugs made from a variety of materials were used to import fish from overseas, with a bicycle foot pump for aeration. Plastic shipping bags were introduced in the 1950s, making it easier to ship fish. The eventual availability of air freight, allowed fish to be successfully imported from distant regions. In the 1960s metal frames made marine aquaria almost impossible due to corrosion, but the development of tar and silicone sealant allowed the first all-glass aquaria made by Martin Horowitz in Los Angeles, CA. The frames remained, however, though purely for aesthetic reasons.

    There are now around 60 million aquarists worldwide. In the United States, aquarium keeping is the second-most popular hobby after stamp collecting. In 1999 it was estimated that over nine million U.S. households own an aquarium. Figures from the 2005/2006 APPMA National Pet Owners Survey report that Americans own approximately 139 million freshwater fish and 9.6 million saltwater fish. Estimates of the numbers of fish kept in aquaria in Germany suggest at least 36 million. The hobby has the strongest following in Europe, Asia, and North America. In the United States, 40 percent of aquarists maintain two or more tanks.



    Most aquaria consist of glass panes bonded together by silicone, with plastic frames that are attached to the upper and lower edges for decoration. The glass aquarium is standard for sizes up to about 1000 litres (250 gal). However, glass is brittle and has very little give before fracturing, though generally the sealant fails first. Aquaria come in a variety of shapes such as cuboid, hexagonal, angled to fit in a corner (L-shaped), bow-front (the front side curves outwards). Fish bowls are generally either plastic or glass, either spherical or some other round configuration.

    Acrylic aquaria are also available and are the primary competitor with glass. Acrylics are stronger than glass, and much lighter. Acrylic-soluble cements are used to directly fuse acrylic together (as opposed to simply sealing the seam). Acrylic allows for the formation of unusual shapes, such as hexagonal. Compared to glass, acrylics are easy to scratch; care must be taken with organisms with shells and teeth.

    Laminated glass might be used, which combines the advantages of both glass and acrylic.

    Large aquaria might use stronger materials such as fiberglass-reinforced plastics. However, this material is not transparent. Reinforced concrete is used for aquaria where weight and space are not factors. Concrete must be coated with a waterproof layer to prevent the water from breaking down the concrete as well as prevent contamination from the concrete.

    Aquariums have been fashioned into coffee tables, sinks, and even toilets. Another such example is the Macquarium, an aquarium made from the shell of an Apple Macintosh computer.

    A kreisel tank is a circular aquarium designed to hold delicate animals such as jellyfish. These aquariums provide slow, circular water flow with a lack of physical objects. Originally a German design (kreisel means spinning top), the tank has no sharp corners, and keeps the housed animals away from the plumbing. Water moving into the tank gives a gentle flow that keeps the inhabitants suspended, and water leaving the tank is covered by a delicate screen that prevents the inhabitants from getting stuck. There are several types of kreisel tanks. In a true kreisel, a circular tank has a circular, submerged lid. Pseudokreisels have a curved bottom surface and a flat top surface, similar to the shape of either a “U” or a semicircle. It is possible to combine these designs; a circular shaped tank is used without a lid or cover, and the surface of the water acts as the continuation of circular flow.

    Aquarium size and volume

    An aquarium can range from a small glass bowl containing less than a litre (34 fl.oz.) of water to immense public aquaria which can house entire ecosystems such as kelp forests. Larger aquaria are typically recommended to hobbyists due to their resistance to rapid fluctuations of temperature and pH, allowing for greater system stability.

    Reef aquaria under 100 litres (20 gal) have a special place in the aquarium hobby; these aquaria, termed nano reefs (when used in reefkeeping), have a small water volume.

    Practical limitations, most notably the weight (one litre of fresh water has a mass of 1 kilogram (8.3 lb gal-1), and salt water is even denser) and internal water pressure (requiring thick, strong glass siding) of a large aquarium, keep most home aquaria to a maximum of around 1 cubic metre in volume (1,000 kg or 2,200 lb). Some aquarists, however, have constructed aquaria of up to many thousands of litres.

    Aquaria within public aquariums designed for exhibition of large species or environments can be dramatically larger than any home aquarium. The Georgia Aquarium, for example, features an individual aquarium of 6,300,000 US gallons (23,800 m3).


    Filtration system in a typical aquarium:
    (1) Intake.
    (2) Mechanical filtration.
    (3) Chemical filtration.
    (4) Biological filtration medium.
    (5) Outflow to tank.

    The typical hobbyist aquarium will include a filtration system, an artificial lighting system, and a heater or chiller depending on the inhabitants of the aquarium. Many aquaria incorporate a hood, which prevents evaporation and protects fish from leaving the aquarium (or anything else from entering the aquarium). They also often hold lights.

    Combined biological and mechanical aquarium filtration systems are commonly used; these are designed to either convert ammonia to nitrate or remove it or sometimes remove phosphate from water, removing nitrogen being at the expense of aquatic plants. Particulates incorporated into the filter can provide energy for microbes and sponges that do things like nitration. Filtration systems are often the most complex component of home aquaria.

    Aquarium heaters combine a heating element with a thermostat, allowing an aquarist to regulate water temperature at a level above that of the surrounding air, whereas coolers and chillers (refrigeration devices) are for use in cold water aquaria, or anywhere the ambient room temperature is above the desired tank temperature. Thermometers used include glass alcohol thermometers, adhesive external plastic strip thermometers, and battery-powered LCD thermometers. In addition, some aquarists use air pumps attached to airstones or water pumps to increase water circulation and supply adequate gas exchange at the water surface. Wave-making devices have also been constructed to provide wave action.

    An aquarium’s physical characteristics form another aspect of aquarium design. Size, lighting conditions, density of floating and rooted plants, placement of bogwood, creation of caves or overhangs, type of substrate, and other factors (including an aquarium’s positioning within a room) can all affect the behavior and survival of tank inhabitants.

    An aquarium can be placed on an aquarium stand. Because of the weight of the aquarium, a stand must be strong as well as level. A tank that is not level may distort, leak, or crack. These are often built like cabinets to allow storage, available in many styles so it can match room decor. Simple metal tank stands are also available. Some sources say that polystyrene should be placed under the aquarium as a safety precaution.

    Aquarium maintenance

    Large volumes of water enable more stability in a tank by diluting effects from death or contamination. Any event that perturbs the system pushes an aquarium away from equilibrium; the more water that is contained in a tank, the easier such a systemic shock is to absorb, as the effects of that event are diluted. For example, the death of the only fish in a three U.S. gallon tank (11 L) causes dramatic changes in the system, while the death of that same fish in a 100 U.S. gallon (400 L) tank with many other fish in it represents only a minor change in the balance of the tank. For this reason, hobbyists often favor larger tanks, as they are more stable systems requiring less attention to the maintenance of equilibrium.

    There are a variety of nutrient cycles that are important in the aquarium. Dissolved oxygen enters the system at the surface water-air interface or through the actions of an air pump. Carbon dioxide escapes the system into the air. The phosphate cycle is an important, although often overlooked, nutrient cycle. Sulfur, iron, and micronutrients also cycle through the system, entering as food and exiting as waste. Appropriate handling of the nitrogen cycle, along with supplying an adequately balanced food supply and considered biological loading, is enough to keep these other nutrient cycles in approximate equilibrium, but not forever.

    Water conditions

    The solute content of water is perhaps the most important aspect of water conditions, as total dissolved solids and other constituents can dramatically impact basic water chemistry, and therefore how organisms are able to interact with their environment. Salt content, or salinity, is the most basic classification of water conditions. An aquarium may have fresh water (salinity below 500 parts per million), simulating a lake or river environment; brackish water (a salt level of 500 to 30,000 PPM), simulating environments lying between fresh and salt, such as estuaries; and salt water or sea water (a salt level of 30,000 to 40,000 PPM), simulating an ocean or sea environment. Rarely, even higher salt concentrations are maintained in specialized tanks for raising brine organisms.

    Saltwater is typically alkaline, while the pH (alkalinity or acidicity) of fresh water varies more. Hardness measures overall dissolved mineral content; hard or soft water may be preferred. Hard water is usually alkaline, while soft water is usually neutral to acidic. Dissolved organic content and dissolved gases content are also important factors.

    Home aquarists typically use tap water supplied through their local water supply network to fill their tanks. Because of the concentration of chlorine used to disinfect drinking water supplies for human consumption, straight tap water cannot be used in countries that pipe chlorinated water. In the past, it was possible to “condition” the water by simply letting the water stand for a day or two, which allows the chlorine time to dissipate. However, chloramine is now used more often as it is much stabler and will not leave the water as readily. Additives formulated to remove chlorine or chloramine are often all that is needed to make the water ready for aquarium use. Brackish or saltwater aquaria require the addition of a mixture of salts and other minerals, which are commercially available.

    More sophisticated aquarists may make other modifications to their base water source to modify the water’s alkalinity, hardness, or dissolved content of organics and gases, before adding it to their aquaria. This can be accomplished by additives, such as sodium bicarbonate, to raise pH. Some aquarists will filter or purify their water prior to adding it to their aquarium. There are two processes used: deionization or reverse osmosis. In contrast, public aquaria with large water needs often locate themselves near a natural water source (such as a river, lake, or ocean) in order to have access to water that does not require much further treatment.

    The temperature of the water forms the basis of one of the two most basic aquarium classifications: tropical vs. cold water. Most fish and plant species tolerate only a limited range of water temperatures: Tropical or warm water aquaria, with an average temperature of about 25 °C (77 °F), are much more common. Cold water aquaria are those with temperatures below what would be considered tropical; some varieties of fish are better suited to this cooler environment. More important than the temperature range itself is the consistency in temperature; most organisms are not accustomed to sudden changes in temperatures, which could cause shock and lead to disease. Water temperature can be regulated with a combined thermostat and heater unit (or, more rarely, with a cooling unit).

    Water movement can also be important in accurately simulating a natural ecosystem. Aquarists may prefer anything from still water up to swift simulated currents in an aquarium, depending on the conditions best suited for the aquarium’s inhabitants. Water movement can be controlled through the use of aeration from air pumps, powerheads, and careful design of internal water flow (such as location of filtration system points of inflow and outflow).

    Nitrogen cycle

    Of primary concern to the aquarist is management of the biological waste produced by an aquarium’s inhabitants. Fish, invertebrates, fungi, and some bacteria excrete nitrogen waste in the form of ammonia (which will convert to ammonium, in acidic water) and must then pass through the nitrogen cycle. Ammonia is also produced through the decomposition of plant and animal matter, including fecal matter and other detritus. Nitrogen waste products become toxic to fish and other aquarium inhabitants at high concentrations.

    The process
    A well-balanced tank contains organisms that are able to metabolize the waste products of other aquarium residents. The nitrogen waste produced in a tank is metabolized in aquaria by a type of bacteria known as nitrifiers (genus Nitrosomonas). Nitrifying bacteria capture ammonia from the water and metabolize it to produce nitrite. Nitrite is also highly toxic to fish in high concentrations. Another type of bacteria, genus Nitrospira, converts nitrite into nitrate, a less toxic substance to aquarium inhabitants. (Nitrobacter bacteria were previously believed to fill this role, and continue to be found in commercially available products sold as kits to “jump start” the nitrogen cycle in an aquarium. While biologically they could theoretically fill the same niche as Nitrospira, it has recently been found that Nitrobacter are not present in detectable levels in established aquaria, while Nitrospira are plentiful.) This process is known in the aquarium hobby as the nitrogen cycle.

    In addition to bacteria, aquatic plants also eliminate nitrogen waste by metabolizing ammonia and nitrate. When plants metabolize nitrogen compounds, they remove nitrogen from the water by using it to build biomass that decays more slowly than ammonia-driven plankton already dissolved in the water.

    Maintaining the nitrogen cycle
    Although informally called the nitrogen cycle by hobbyists, it is in fact only a portion of a true cycle: nitrogen must be added to the system (usually through food provided to the tank inhabitants), and nitrates accumulate in the water at the end of the process, or become bound in the biomass of plants. This accumulation of nitrates in home aquaria requires the aquarium keeper to remove water that is high in nitrates, or remove plants which have grown from the nitrates.

    Aquaria kept by hobbyists often do not have the populations of bacteria needed to detoxify nitrogen waste from tank inhabitants. This problem is most often addressed through two filtration solutions: Activated carbon filters absorb nitrogen compounds and other toxins from the water, while biological filters provide a medium designed for colonization by the desired nitrifying bacteria. Activated carbon and other substances, such as ammonia absorbing resines, will stop working when their pores get full, so these components have to be replaced with fresh stocks constantly.

    New aquaria often have problems associated with the nitrogen cycle due to insufficient number of beneficial bacteria, known as “New Tank Syndrome”. Therefore new tanks have to be matured before stocking them with fish. There are three basic approaches to this: the “fishless cycle” the “silent cycle” and “slow growth”.

    No fish are kept in a tank undergoing a “fishless” cycle. Instead, small amounts of ammonia are added to the tank to feed the bacteria being cultured. During this process, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels are tested to monitor progress. The “silent” cycle is basically nothing more than densely stocking the aquarium with fast-growing aquatic plants and relying on them to consume the nitrogen, allowing the necessary bacterial populations time to develop. According to anecdotal reports of aquarists specializing in planted tanks, the plants can consume nitrogenous waste so efficiently that the spikes in ammonia and nitrite levels normally seen in more traditional cycling methods are greatly reduced, if they are detectable at all. “Slow growth” entails slowly increasing the population of fish over a period of 6 to 8 weeks, giving bacteria colonies time to grow and stabilize with the increase in fish waste.

    The largest bacterial populations are found in the filter; efficient filtration is vital. Sometimes, a vigorous cleaning of the filter is enough to seriously disturb the biological balance of an aquarium. Therefore, it is recommended to rinse mechanical filters in an outside bucket of aquarium water to dislodge organic materials that contribute to nitrate problems, while preserving bacteria populations. Another safe practice consists of cleaning only one half of the filter media every time the filter or filters are serviced.

    Biological loading

    Biological loading is a measure of the burden placed on the aquarium ecosystem by its living inhabitants. High biological loading in an aquarium represents a more complicated tank ecology, which in turn means that equilibrium is easier to perturb. In addition, there are several fundamental constraints on biological loading based on the size of an aquarium. The surface area of water exposed to air limits dissolved oxygen intake by the tank. The capacity of nitrifying bacteria is limited by the physical space they have available to colonize. Physically, only a limited size and number of plants and animals can be fit into an aquarium while still providing room for movement. Simply, all kinds of biology decay, and biological loading refers to that rate of decay in proportion to tank volume.

    Calculating aquarium capacity

    An aquarium can only support a certain number of fish. Limiting factors include the availability of oxygen in the water and the rate at which the filtration can process waste. Aquarists have developed rules of thumb to estimate the number of fish that can be kept in an aquarium; the examples below are for small freshwater fish, larger freshwater fishes and most marine fishes need much more generous allowances.

    3 cm of adult fish length per 4 litres of water (i.e., a 6 cm-long fish would need about 8 litres of water).
    1 cm of adult fish length per 30 square centimetres of surface area.
    1 inch of adult fish length per gallon of water
    1 inch of adult fish length per 12 square inches of surface area.

    Experienced aquarists warn against applying these rules too strictly because they do not consider other important issues such as growth rate, activity level, social behaviour, surface area of plant life, and so on. To some degree, establishing the maximum loading capacity of an aquarium depends upon slowly adding fish and monitoring water quality over time, essentially a trial and error approach.

    Factors affecting capacity
    Though many conventional methods of calculating the capacity of aquarium are based on volume and pure length of fish, there are other variables. One variable is differences between fish. Smaller fish consume more oxygen per gram of body weight than larger fish. Labyrinth fish, having the capability to breathe atmospheric oxygen, are noted for not needing as much surface area (however, some of these fish are territorial, and may not appreciate crowding). Barbs also require more surface area than tetras of comparable size.

    Oxygen exchange at the surface is an important constraint, and thus the surface area of the aquarium. Some aquarists go so far as to say that a deeper aquarium with more volume holds no more fish than a shallower aquarium of the same surface area. The capacity can be improved by surface movement and water circulation such as through aeration, which not only improves oxygen exchange, but also the decomposition of waste materials.

    The presence of waste materials presents itself as a variable as well. Decomposition in solution tends to consume oxygen. Oxygen dissolves less readily in warmer water; this is a double-edged sword as warmer temperatures make more active fish, which in turn consume even more oxygen. Stress due to temperature changes is especially obvious in coldwater aquaria where the temperature may swing from low temperatures to high temperatures on hotter days.

    Aquarium classifications

    A planted freshwater aquarium

    From the outdoor ponds and glass jars of antiquity, modern aquaria have evolved into a wide range of specialized systems. Individual aquaria can vary in size from a small bowl large enough for a single small fish, to the huge public aquaria that can simulate entire marine ecosystems.

    One of ways to classify aquaria is their salinity. Freshwater aquaria are the most popular kind of aquarium due to their lower cost and ease of maintenance. Marine aquaria generally require more complex equipment to set up and maintain than freshwater aquaria. Along with fish species, marine aquaria frequently feature a diverse range of invertebrates. Brackish water aquaria combine elements of both marine and freshwater fishkeeping. Fish kept in brackish water aquaria generally come from habitats with varying salinity, such as mangroves and estuaries. Certain subtypes of aquaria also exist within these types, such as the reef aquarium, a type of marine aquarium that houses coral.

    Another classification is by temperature range. Many aquarists maintain a tropical aquarium as these fish tend to be more colorful. However, the coldwater aquarium is also popular, which may include fish such as goldfish.

    A saltwater aquarium.

    Aquaria may be grouped by their species selection. The community tank is the most common type of aquarium kept today, where several non-aggressive species are housed peacefully together. In these aquaria, the aquarium fish, invertebrates, and plants probably do not originate from the same geographic region, but generally tolerate similar water conditions. Aggressive tanks, in contrast, house a limited number of species that can be aggressive toward other fish, or are able to withstand aggression well. Species or specimen tanks usually only house one fish species, along with plants, perhaps found in the fishes’ natural environment and decorations simulating a true ecosystem. This type is useful for fish that simply cannot be housed safely with other fish, such as the electric eel, as an extreme example. Some tanks of this sort are used simply to house adults for breeding.

    Ecotype, ecotope, or biotope aquaria is another type based on species selection. In it, an aquarist attempts to simulate a specific ecosystem found in the natural world, bringing together fish, invertebrate species, and plants found only in that ecosystem in a tank with water conditions and decorations designed to simulate their natural environment. These ecotype aquaria might be considered the most sophisticated hobby aquaria; indeed, public aquaria use this approach in their exhibits whenever possible. This approach best simulates the experience of observing an aquarium’s inhabitants in the wild. Matching a tank to the environment at the source of fish usually serves as the healthiest possible artificial environment for the tank’s occupants.

    Public aquaria

    Most public aquariums feature a number of smaller aquaria, as well those greater in size than could be kept by home aquarists. The largest tanks hold millions of gallons of water and can house large species, including sharks or beluga whales. Dolphinariums are aquaria specifically for housing dolphins. Aquatic and semiaquatic animals, including otters and penguins, may also be kept by public aquariums. Public aquariums may also be included in larger establishments such as a marine mammal park or a marine park.

    Virtual aquariums

    A virtual aquarium is a computer program which uses 3D graphics to reproduce an aquarium on a personal computer. The swimming fish are rendered in real time, while the background of the tank is usually static. Objects on the floor of the tank may be mapped in simple planes so that the fish may appear to swim both in front and behind them, but a relatively simple 3D map of the general shape of such objects may be used to allow the light and ripples on the surface of the water to cast realistic shadows. Bubbles and water noises are common for virtual aquariums, which are often used as screensavers.

    The number of each type of fish can usually be selected, often including other animals like starfish, jellyfish, seahorses, and even sea turtles. Most companies that produce virtual aquarium software also offer other types of fish for sale via Internet download. Other objects found in an aquarium can also be added and rearranged on some software, like treasure chests and giant clams that open and close with air bubbles, or a bobbing diver. There are also usually features that allow the user to tap on the glass or put food in the top, both of which the fish will react to. Some also have the ability to allow the user to edit fish and other objects to create new varieties.


  • Aquatic

    The term aquatic refers to “things” that are in or of the water but not to water itself, and can refer to the following:

    • Plants and/or animals living in oceans, estuaries, lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands, and ponds (aquatic environments).
    • Water, as in rivers, lakes, oceans, groundwater, is NOT aquatic. Surface water bodies like rivers, lakes, etc. and groundwater are better referred to as Water Resources.
    • Shorthand for an aquatic plant.
    • Aquatic ecology (limnology), a discipline that uses the principles and methods of ecology to study natural organisms that live in water, and thus make up Aquatic ecosystems.
    • Aquatic ecosystem, an ecosystem located in a body of water.
    • Aquatics, another name for watersports.


  • Aquatic play

    Aquatic play is play activity involving water. Aquatic play facilities are commonly installed in neighbourhoods, in the form of splash pads, “spraygrounds”, urban beaches, or other aquatic play equipment such as hydraulophones.

    Splash pads and spraygrounds

    A common form of aquatic play is the splash pad or sprayground, which appeals mainly to children.

    Age-inclusive aquatic play

    More recently, aquatic play features have been designed with a level of sophistication and intricacy that will appeal to people of all ages, including children as well as adults, the elderly, and persons with special needs.

    Age-inclusive aquatic play appeals to young and old alike. Hydraulophones give aquatic play a level of sophistication and intricacy that actively engages the mind and body from even a very small quantity of water, as compared with other aquatic play devices that rely more on larger quantities of water.

    The urban beach attempts to create this level of sophistication, by way of age-inclusive aquatic play devices such as the hydraulophone, a musical instrument that uses only a small amount of water in order to create a fun and playful space that engages both the mind and body.

  • Architectonic

    Architectonic may mean:

    – pertaining to architecture, or suggesting the qualities of architecture,
    – in Aristotelism, as well as Kantianism, systematization of all knowledge.

  • Architectural engineering

    Architectural engineering, also known as Building Engineering, is the application of engineering principles and technology to building design and construction. Definitions of an architectural engineer may refer to:

    An engineer in the structural, mechanical, electrical, construction or other engineering fields of building design and construction.

    A licensed engineering professional in parts of the United States, where architectural engineering may include complete building design.

    In informal contexts, and formally in some places, a professional synonymous with or similar to an architect. In some languages, “architect” is literally translated as “architectural engineer”.

    Engineering for buildings


    Structural engineering involves the analysis and design of physical objects such as buildings, bridges, equipment supports, towers and walls. Those concentrating on buildings are responsible for the structural performance of a large part of the built environment and are, sometimes, informally referred to as “building engineers”. Structural engineers require expertise in strength of materials and in the seismic design of structures covered by earthquake engineering. Architectural Engineers sometimes practice structural as one aspect of their designs; the structural discipline when practiced as a specialty works closely with architects and other engineering specialists.

    Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP)

    Some Architectural Engineers perform MEP for their own building designs; in most cases, however, mechanical and electrical engineers are specialists, commonly referred to as “MEP” (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) when engaged in the building design fields. Also known as “Building services engineering” in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. Mechanical engineers design and oversee the heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), plumbing, and rain gutter systems. Plumbing designers often include design specifications for simple active fire protection systems, but for more complicated projects, fire protection engineers are often separately retained. Electrical engineers are responsible for the building’s power distribution, telecommunication, fire alarm, signalization, lightning protection and control systems, as well as lighting systems.

    The Architectural engineer (PE) in the United States

    In many jurisdictions of the United States, the architectural engineer is a licensed engineering professional, usually a graduate of an architectural engineering university program preparing students to perform whole-building design in competition with architect-engineer teams; or for practice in one of structural, mechanical or electrical fields of building design, but with an appreciation of integrated architectural requirements.

    Formal architectural engineering education, following the engineering model of earlier disciplines, developed in the late 1800s, and became widespread in the United States by the mid 1900s. With the establishment of a specific “architectural engineering” NCEES Professional Engineering registration examination in the 1990s, and first offering in April 2003, architectural engineering became recognized as a distinct engineering discipline in the United States. Architectural engineers are not entitled to practice architecture unless they are also licensed as architects.

    The Architect as Architectural Engineer

    In some countries architecture engineer, as a profession providing architectural services, is sometimes referred to as “architectural engineering”. In others, such as in Japan, the terms “architecture” and “building engineering” are used synonymously. The practice of architecture includes the planning, designing and oversight of a building’s construction.

    In some languages, such as Korean and Arabic, “architect” is literally translated as “architectural engineer”. In some countries, an “architectural engineer” (such as the ingegnere edile in Italy) is entitled to practice architecture and is often referred to as an architect. These individuals are often also structural engineers. In other countries, such as Germany and Austria, architecture graduates receive an engineering degree (Dip-Ing).

    The architectural, structural, mechanical and electrical engineering branches each have well established educational requirements that are usually fulfilled by completion of a university program.

    Architectural Engineering as a single integrated field of study

    What differentiates Architectural Engineering as a separate and single, integrated field of study, compared to other engineering disciplines, is its multi-disciplined engineering approach. Through training in and appreciation of architecture, the field seeks integration of building systems within its overall building design. Architectural Engineering includes the design of building systems including Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), plumbing, fire protection, electrical, lighting, transportation, and structural systems. In some university programs, students are required to concentrate on one of the systems; in others, they can receive a generalist Architectural or Building Engineering degree.


  • Architectural model (scale model)

    An architectural model is a type of a scale model, tangible (also called sometimes physical) representation of a structure built to study aspects of an architectural design or to communicate design ideas to clients, committees, and the general public. Architectural model are a tool which may be used for show, presentation, fundraising, permit obtaining and sale purposes.

    Rough, study models can be made quickly using cardboard, wooden blocks, polystyrene, foam, foam boards and other materials. Such models are an efficient tool for three-dimensional understanding of a design, used by architects, interior designers and exhibit designers. For a high detailed presentation model, architects would employ a professional model maker or model making company.


    Architectural models are used by architects for a range of purposes.

    -Quick, ad hoc models are sometimes made to study the interaction of volumes, or to get an idea of how they look from different angles. Designing a building using rough models can be a very open-ended and practical method of exploring ideas.

    -Models are an efficient method for exhibiting and selling a design. Many people, including developers and would-be house buyers, cannot visualise a design in three dimensions (3-D) from two-dimensional (2-D) drawings. An architect may employ small-scale physical models, or digital computer models, to help explain the ideas.

    -A model may be useful in explaining a complicated or unusual design to the building team; or as a focus for discussion between the design teams such as architects, engineers and town planners.

    -Models are also used as show pieces, for instance as a feature in the reception of a prestigious building, or as part of a museum exhibition (for example scale replicas of historical buildings).


    Some types of model include

    -Exterior models are models of buildings, which usually include some landscaping or civic spaces around the building.

    -Interior models are models of interior such as halls, rooms, floors showing interior planning, finishes, colors, furniture and beautification.

    -Landscaping design models are models of landscape design and development representing features such as walkways, small bridges, pergolas, vegetation patterns and beautification.
    Landscaping design models usually represent public spaces and may, in some cases, include buildings as well.

    -Urban models are models, typically built at a much smaller scale (starting from 1:500 and less, 1:700, 1:1000, 1:1200, 1:2000, 1:2000, representing several city blocks, even whole town or village, large resort, campus, industrial facility, military base and such. Urban models are a vital tool for town/city planning and development.

    -Engineering and construction models, showing isolated building/structure elements and components and their interaction.

    Virtual modelling

    Over the last few decades, detailed construction has been increasingly designed in CAD (Computer Aided Design) systems. The technology is improving rapidly. Early virtual modelling involved the fixing of arbitrary lines and points in virtual space, mainly to produce technical drawings. Modern packages include advanced features such as databases of components, automated engineering calculations, visual fly-throughs, dynamic reflections, and accurate textures and colours.

    While virtual tours are undoubtedly useful, they are still limited to images on a computer screen, and lack the sensory impact, or qualia, of a physical model.


    Common materials used for centuries for architectural model building were card stock, balsa wood, basswood and other woods. Modern professional architectural model builders are taking advantage of twenty-first century materials, such as Taskboard, a variety of plastics, wooden and wooden-plastic composites, foams and urethane compounds.

    A number of companies produce ready-made pieces for structural components (e.g. girders, beams), siding, furniture, figures (people), vehicles, trees, bushes and other features which are found in the models. Features such as vehicles, people figurines, trees, street lights and other are called “scenery elements” and serve not only to beautify the model, but also to help the observer to obtain a right feel of scale and proportions represented by the model. Increasingly, rapid prototyping and solid freeform fabrication (‘3D printing’) are used to automatically construct models straight from CAD plans.

    The challenge with using these tools lies in the CAD file format. The majority of 3D printers accept the stereolithography (.STL for short) file format, which is basically a mesh that wraps around the object in 3-dimensions. It helps to visualize this as a bag of oranges wrapped in a mesh bag. If there is a “tear” in the bag, the oranges will spill out. This is similar to what happens when an STL file is not cleanly produced and prematurely sent to a 3D printer. Clean STL files are a major challenge for architecture models produced using this technology.

    Other rapid prototyping technology, also CAD based, which become very useful for architectural model making is CNC carving. Large CNC carving plotters able to carve out of high density foam boards up to 10′ x 4′ topography for architectural or urban model.


    Architectural models are being constructed at much smaller scale than their 1:1 counterpart. Standard architectural scales are different, although some of them are close to the standard scales acknowledged in the model/hobby industry. Such similarities allow us to provide high quality scenery elements for architectural models. Sometimes model railroad scales such as 1:160 and 1:87 are used due to ready availability of commercial figures, vehicles and trees in those scales, and models of large buildings are most often built in approximately that range of scales due to size considerations. Models representing 1-2 buildings and a modest piece of surrounding landscape may be built at a larger scale such as 1:50 or even 1:24.


  • Architecture

    The term architecture (from Greek αρχιτεκτονική, architektonike) can be used to mean a process, a profession or documentation.

    As a process, architecture is the activity of designing and constructing buildings and other physical structures by a person or a machine, primarily to provide socially purposeful shelter. A wider definition often includes the design of the total built environment, from the macro level of how a building integrates with its surrounding man made landscape (see town planning, urban design, and landscape architecture) to the micro level of architectural or construction details and, sometimes, furniture. Wider still, architecture is the activity of designing any kind of system.

    As a profession, architecture is the role of those persons or machines providing architectural services.

    As documentation, usually based on drawings, architecture defines the structure and/or behavior of a building or any other kind of system that is to be or has been constructed.

    Architects have as their primary object providing for the spatial and shelter needs of people in groups of some kind (families, schools, churches, businesses, etc.) by the creative organisation of materials and components in a land- or city-scape, dealing with mass, space, form, volume, texture, structure, light, shadow, materials, program, and pragmatic elements such as cost, construction limitations and technology, to achieve an end which is functional, economical, practical and often with artistic and aesthetic aspects. This distinguishes architecture from engineering design, which has as its primary object the creative manipulation of materials and forms using mathematical and scientific principles.

    Separate from the design process, architecture is also experienced through the senses, which therefore gives rise to aural, visual, olfactory, and tactile architecture. As people move through a space, architecture is experienced as a time sequence. Even though our culture considers architecture to be a visual experience, the other senses play a role in how we experience both natural and built environments. Attitudes towards the senses depend on culture. The design process and the sensory experience of a space are distinctly separate views, each with its own language and assumptions.

    Architectural works are perceived as cultural and political symbols and works of art. Historical civilizations are often known primarily through their architectural achievements. Such buildings as the pyramids of Egypt and the Roman Colosseum are cultural symbols, and are an important link in public consciousness, even when scholars have discovered much about a past civilization through other means. Cities, regions and cultures continue to identify themselves with (and are known by) their architectural monuments.

    Etymology and application of the term

    The word “architecture” comes from the Latin architura and that from Greek αρχιτέκτων (architectu), “master builder”, from the combination of αρχι- (archi-), “chief” or “leader” and τέκτων (tekton), a “builder” or “carpenter”. While the primary application of the word “architecture” pertains to the built environment, by extension, the term has come to denote the art and discipline of creating an actual (or inferring an implied or apparent) plan of any complex object or system. The term can be used to connote the implied architecture of mathematics or of abstract things such as music, the apparent architecture of natural things, such as geological formations or the structure of biological cells, or explicitly planned architectures of human-made things such as software, computers, enterprises, and databases, in addition to buildings. In every usage, an architecture may be seen as a subjective mapping from a human perspective (that of the user in the case of abstract or physical artifacts) to the elements or components of some kind of structure or system, which preserves the relationships among the elements or components.

    Theory of Architecture

    Historic treatises

    The earliest written work on the subject of architecture is De architectura, by the Roman architect Vitruvius in the early 1st century CE. According to Vitruvius, a good building should satisfy the three principles of firmitatis utilitatis venustatis, which translates roughly as

    Durability – it should stand up robustly and remain in good condition.
    Utility – it should be useful and function well for the people using it.
    Beauty – it should delight people and raise their spirits.

    According to Vitruvius, the architect should strive to fulfill each of these three attributes as well as possible.

    Leone Battista Alberti, who elaborates on the ideas of Vitruvius in his treatise, De Re Aedificatoria, saw beauty primarily as a matter of proportion, although ornament also played a part. For Alberti, the rules of proportion were those that governed the idealised human figure, the Golden Mean. The most important aspect of beauty was therefore an inherent part of an object, rather than something applied superficially; and was based on universal, recognisable truths. The notion of style in the arts was not developed until the 16th century, with the writing of Vasari. The treatises, by the 18th century, had been translated into Italian, French, Spanish and English.

    In the early nineteenth century, Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin wrote Contrasts (1836) that, as the titled suggested, contrasted the modern, industrial world, which he disparaged, with an idealized image of neo-medieval world. Gothic architecture, Pugin believed, was the only “true Christian form of architecture.”

    The 19th century English art critic, John Ruskin, in his Seven Lamps of Architecture, published 1849, was much narrower in his view of what constituted architecture. Architecture was the “art which so disposes and adorns the edifices raised by men … that the sight of them” contributes “to his mental health, power, and pleasure”. For Ruskin, the aesthetic was of overriding significance. His work goes on to state that a building is not truly a work of architecture unless it is in some way “adorned”. For Ruskin, a well-constructed, well-proportioned, functional building needed string courses or rustication, at the very least.

    On the difference between the ideals of “architecture” and mere “construction”, the renowned 20th C. architect Le Corbusier wrote: “You employ stone, wood, and concrete, and with these materials you build houses and palaces: that is construction. Ingenuity is at work. But suddenly you touch my heart, you do me good. I am happy and I say: This is beautiful. That is Architecture”.

    Modern concepts of architecture

    The great 19th century architect of skyscrapers, Louis Sullivan, promoted an overriding precept to architectural design: “Form follows function”.

    While the notion that structural and aesthetic considerations should be entirely subject to functionality was met with both popularity and skepticism, it had the effect of introducing the concept of “function” in place of Vitruvius “utility”. “Function” came to be seen as encompassing all criteria of the use, perception and enjoyment of a building, not only practical but also aesthetic, psychological and cultural.

    Nunzia Rondanini stated, “Through its aesthetic dimension architecture goes beyond the functional aspects that it has in common with other human sciences. Through its own particular way of expressing values, architecture can stimulate and influence social life without presuming that, in and of itself, it will promote social development. To restrict the meaning of (architectural) formalism to art for art’s sake is not only reactionary; it can also be a purposeless quest for perfection or originality which degrades form into a mere instrumentality”.

    Among the philosophies that have influenced modern architects and their approach to building design are rationalism, empiricism, structuralism, poststructuralism, and phenomenology.

    In the late 20th century a new concept was added to those included in the compass of both structure and function, the consideration of sustainability. To satisfy the modern ethos a building should be constructed in a manner which is environmentally friendly in terms of the production of its materials, its impact upon the natural and built environment of its surrounding area and the demands that it makes upon non-sustainable power sources for heating, cooling, water and waste management and lighting.


    Origins and the ancient world

    Architecture first evolved out of the dynamics between needs (shelter, security, worship, etc.) and means (available building materials and attendant skills). As human cultures developed and knowledge began to be formalized through oral traditions and practices, architecture became a craft. Here there is first a process of trial and error, and later improvisation or replication of a successful trial. What is termed Vernacular architecture continues to be produced in many parts of the world. Indeed, vernacular buildings make up most of the built world that people experience every day.

    Early human settlements were mostly rural. Due to a surplus in production the economy began to expand resulting in urbanization thus creating urban areas which grew and evolved very rapidly in some cases, such as that of Çatal Huyuk in Anatolia and Mohenjo Daro in Pakistan. In many ancient civilizations, like the Egyptians’ and Mesopotamians’, architecture and urbanism reflected the constant engagement with the divine and the supernatural, while in other ancient cultures such as Persia architecture and urban planning was used to exemplify the power of the state.

    The architecture and urbanism of the Classical civilizations such as the Greek and the Roman evolved from civic ideals rather than religious or empirical ones and new building types emerged. Architectural styles developed.

    Texts on architecture began to be written in the Classical period. These became canons to be followed in important works, especially religious architecture. Some examples of canons are found in the writings of Vitruvius, the Kao Gong Ji of ancient China and Vaastu Shastra of ancient India.

    The architecture of different parts of Asia developed along different lines to that of Europe, Buddhist, Hindu and Sikh architecture each having different characteristics. Buddhist architecture, in particular, showed great regional diversity. In many Asian countries a pantheistic religion led to architectural forms that were designed specifically to enhance the natural landscape.

    The Medieval builder

    Islamic architecture began in the 7th century CE, developing from the architectural forms of the ancient Middle East but developing features to suit the religious and social needs of the society. Examples can be found throughout the Middle East, North Africa and Spain, and were to become a significant stylistic influence on European architecture during the Medieval period.

    In Europe, in both the Classical and Medieval periods, buildings were not attributed to specific individuals and the names of the architects frequently unknown, despite the vast scale of the many religious buildings extant from this period. During the Medieval period guilds were formed by craftsmen to organise their trade and written contracts have survived, particularly in relation to ecclesiastical buildings. The role of architect was usually one with master builder, except in the case where a cleric, such as the Abbot Suger at Saint Denis, Paris, provided the design. Over time the complexity of buildings and their types increased. General civil construction such as roads and bridges began to be built. Many new building types such as schools, hospitals, and recreational facilities emerged.

    Renaissance and the architect

    With the Renaissance and its emphasis on the individual and humanity rather than religion, and with all its attendant progress and achievements, a new chapter began. Buildings were ascribed to specific architects – Brunelleschi, Alberti, Michelangelo, Palladio – and the cult of the individual had begun. But there was no dividing line between artist, architect and engineer, or any of the related vocations. At this stage, it was still possible for an artist to design a bridge as the level of structural calculations involved was within the scope of the generalist.

    With the emerging knowledge in scientific fields and the rise of new materials and technology, architecture and engineering began to separate, and the architect began to lose ground on some technical aspects of building design. He therefore concentrated on aesthetics and the humanist aspects.

    There was also the rise of the “gentleman architect” who usually dealt with wealthy clients and concentrated predominantly on visual qualities derived usually from historical prototypes, typified by the many country houses of Great Britain that were created in the Neo Gothic or Scottish Baronial styles.

    Formal architectural training, in the 19th century, at, for example Ecole des Beaux Arts in France, gave much emphasis to the production of beautiful drawings and little to context and feasibility. Effective architects generally received their training in the offices of other architects, graduating to the role from draughtsmen or clerks.

    Meanwhile, the Industrial Revolution laid open the door for mass production and consumption. Aesthetics became a criterion for the middle class as ornamented products, once within the province of expensive craftsmanship, became cheaper under machine production. Vernacular architecture became increasingly ornamental. House builders could access current architectural design in their work by combining features found in pattern books and architectural journals.

    Modernism and reaction of architecture

    The dissatisfaction with such a general situation at the turn of the twentieth century gave rise to many new lines of thought that served as precursors to Modern Architecture. Notable among these is the Deutscher Werkbund, formed in 1907 to produce better quality machine made objects. The rise of the profession of industrial design is usually placed here.

    Following this lead, the Bauhaus school, founded in Germany in 1919, consciously rejected history and looked at architecture as a synthesis of art, craft, and technology.

    When Modern architecture was first practiced, it was an avant-garde movement with moral, philosophical, and aesthetic underpinnings. Immediately after World War I, pioneering modernist architects sought to develop a completely new style appropriate for a new post-war social and economic order, focused on meeting the needs of the middle and working classes. They rejected the architectural practice of the academic refinement of historical styles which served the rapidly declining aristocratic order.

    The approach of the Modernist architects was to reduce buildings to pure forms, removing historical references and ornament in favor of functionalist details. Buildings that displayed their construction and structure, exposing steel beams and concrete surfaces instead of hiding them behind traditional forms, were seen as beautiful in their own right. Architects such as Mies van der Rohe worked to create beauty based on the inherent qualities of building materials and modern construction techniques, trading traditional historic forms for simplified geometric forms, celebrating the new means and methods made possible by the Industrial Revolution.

    Many architects resisted Modernism, finding it devoid of the decorative richness of ornamented styles. As the founders of the International Style lost influence in the late 1970s, Postmodernism developed as a reaction against the austerity of Modernism. Robert Venturi‘s contention that a “decorated shed” (an ordinary building which is functionally designed inside and embellished on the outside) was better than a “duck” (a building in which the whole form and its function are tied together) gives an idea of this approach.

    Architecture today

    Part of the architectural profession, and also some non-architects, responded to Modernism and Postmodernism by going to what they considered the root of the problem. They felt that architecture was not a personal philosophical or aesthetic pursuit by individualists; rather it had to consider everyday needs of people and use technology to give a livable environment. The Design Methodology Movement involving people such as Christopher Alexander started searching for more people-oriented designs. Extensive studies on areas such as behavioral, environmental, and social sciences were done and started informing the design process.

    As the complexity of buildings began to increase (in terms of structural systems, services, energy and technologies), architecture started becoming more multi-disciplinary. Architecture today usually requires a team of specialist professionals, with the architect being one of many, although usually the team leader.

    During the last two decades of the twentieth century and into the new millennium, the field of architecture saw the rise of specializations by project type, technological expertise or project delivery methods. In addition, there has been an increased separation of the ‘design’ architect from the ‘project’ architect.

    Moving the issues of environmental sustainability into the mainstream is a significant development in the architecture profession. Sustainability in architecture was pioneered in the 1970s by architects such as Ian McHarg in the US and Brenda and Robert Vale in the UK and New Zealand. There has been an acceleration in the number of buildings which seek to meet green building sustainable design principles.

    It is now expected that architects will integrate sustainable principles into their projects.

    The American Institute of Architects acknowledges that half of today’s global warming greenhouse gas emissions come from buildings – more than transportation or industry. AIA states that immediate action by the building sector is essential to avoid hazardous man-made climate change. They have an “Architecture 2030” plan to reduce new building energy consumption by 90% in 2030, and net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035. Passive solar building design has been demonstrating essential elements of 70% to 90% energy consumption reduction in roughly 300,000 buildings since the 1978 U.S. Solar Energy Tax Incentives. Many of these energy efficiency features can be added at little-or-no additional net cost during construction. Newer zero energy buildings have reduced net annual energy consumption, producing excess energy and selling it back to the power company during moderate months. The demand for zero energy buildings is growing rapidly – subsidies are available for this type of building – The supply of zero energy buildings has fallen far short of current demand. Off-the-grid buildings are now demonstrating total self sufficiency. The 2009 Bank of America Tower (New York) has many innovative energy features.

    President George W. Bush’s 2006 Solar America Initiative expects architects and builders to design and construct new zero energy buildings by 2015. The U.S. Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 funded the new Solar Air Conditioning Research and Development Program, to develop technology innovations and mass production economies of scale. The U.S. Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) also sponsor The Solar Decathlon, an international competition among universities for solar energy alternatives when it comes to houses. The houses built by the team are exhibited on the National Mall for the public to experience.


  • Artificial stone

    Artificial stone is a name for various kinds of synthetic stone products used from the 18th century through the early 21st century. They were used in building construction, civil engineering work, and industrial uses such as grindstones.

    One of the earliest was Coade stone, a fired ceramic created by Mrs Eleanor Coade (Elinor Coade, 1733-1821), and sold commercially from 1769 to 1833. Later, in 1844, Frederick Ransome created a Patent Siliceous Stone, which comprised sand and powdered flint in an alkine solution. By heating it in an enclosed high temperature steam boiler the siliceous particles were bound together and could be moulded or worked into filtering slabs, vases, tombstones, decorative architectural work, emery wheels and grindstones.

    This was followed by Victoria stone, which comprises finely-crushed Mount Sorrel (Leicestershire) granite and Portland cement, carefully mixed by machinery in the proportions of three to one and cast in moulds of the required shape. When the blocks are set hard the moulds are loosened and the blocks placed in a solution of silicate of soda for about two weeks for the purpose of indurating and hardening them. Many manufacturers turn out a material that is practically non-porous and is able effectually to resist the corroding influence of sea air or the impure atmosphere of large towns.

    Most later types of artificial stone have consisted of fine cement concrete placed to set in wooden or iron moulds. It could be made more cheaply and more uniform than natural stone, and was widely used. In engineering projects, it had the advantage that transporting the bulk materials and casting them near the place of use was cheaper than transporting very large pieces of stone.

    Modern Cast stone is an architectural concrete building unit manufactured to simulate natural cut stone, used in unit masonry applications. Cast stone is a masonry product, used as an architectural feature, trim, ornament or facing for buildings or other structures. Cast stone can be made from white and/or grey cements, manufactured or natural sands, carefully selected crushed stone or well graded natural gravels and mineral coloring pigments to achieve the desired color and appearance while maintaining durable physical properties which exceed most natural cut building stones. Cast stone is an excellent replacement for natural cut limestone, brownstone, sandstone, bluestone, granite, slate, coral rock, travertine and other natural building stones.


  • Artificial wave

    Artificial waves are man-made waves usually created on a specially designed surface or in a pool.

    Artificial waves are created in one or two ways. First, if the wave is created on a designed surface, water is shot over the surface at a high speed to create a wave. These waves are ridden with a short board about the length of a wakeboard where the rider is strapped on to the board to prevent the board from flying out under the rider’s feet. The second method an artificial wave is created is in a wave pool. Much like sliding back and forth in a bathtub, water is pushed out of an opening with enough force to create a wave-like shape. Riders can ride this type of wave on a regular surfboard.

    Dr Peter Killen was the first to develop a continuously breaking, oblique, stationary wave for the study of wave riding. The work was published in the Journal of Fluid Mechanics in 1976.

    Artificial reefs can also be placed into natural wave environments to enhance the quality of the incoming breaking wave for surfing. Wave focusing areas can build up wave power and height prior to breaking and breaking surfaces then trip the wave up to make it break, the surfing surface then carries the breaking wave along an angle that maximises its value for surfing.


  • Balneotherapy

    Balneotherapy (from Latin: balneum, “bath”) the treatment of disease by bathing. It may involve hot or cold water, massage through moving water, relaxation or stimulation. Many mineral waters at spas are rich in particular minerals (silica, sulfur, selenium, radium) which can be absorbed through the skin.

    Definition and characteristics

    The term “balneotherapy” is generally applied to everything relating to spa treatment, including the drinking of waters and the use of hot baths and natural vapor baths, as well as of the various kinds of mud and sand used for hot applications. Balneotherapy is refers to the medical use of these spas, as opposed to recreational use. Common minerals found in spa waters are are sodium, magnesium, calcium and iron, as well as arsenic, lithium, potassium, manganese, bromine, and iodine. Resorts may also add minerals or essential oils to naturally-occurring hot springs. Though balneotherapy commonly refers to mineral baths, the term may also apply to water treatments using regular hot or cold tap water.

    Mud baths are also included in balneotherapy, and the dirt and water used to mix mud baths may also contain minerals which are thought to have beneficial properties.

    Treatment of diseases

    Balneotherapy may be recommended for wide range of illnesses, including arthritis, skin conditions and fibromyalgia. As with any medical treatment, balneotherapy should be discussed with a physician before beginning treatment, since a number of conditions, like heart disease and pregnancy, can result in a serious adverse reaction.

    Scientific studies into the effectiveness of balneotherapy tend to be neutral or positive, finding that balneotherapy provides no effect or a placebo effect, or that there is a positive effect. However, many of these studies suffer from methodological flaws, and so may not be entirely reliable.


  • Canyoning

    Canyoning (known as canyoneering in the U.S.) is traveling in canyons using a variety of techniques that may include walking, scrambling, climbing, jumping, abseiling, and/or swimming.

    Although hiking down a canyon that is non-technical (canyon hiking) is often referred to as canyoneering, the terms canyoning and canyoneering are more often associated with technical descents — those that require rappels (abseils) and ropework, technical climbing or down-climbing, technical jumps, and/or technical swims.

    Canyoning is frequently done in remote and rugged settings and often requires navigational, route-finding and other wilderness travel skills.

    Canyons that are ideal for canyoning are often cut into the bedrock stone, forming narrow gorges with numerous drops, beautifully sculpted walls, and sometimes spectacular waterfalls. Most canyons are cut into limestone, sandstone, granite or basalt, though other rock types are found. Canyons can be very easy or extremely difficult, though emphasis in the sport is usually on aesthetics and fun rather than pure difficulty. A wide variety of canyoning routes are found throughout the world, and canyoning is enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels.

    Canyoning gear includes climbing hardware, static ropes, helmets, wetsuits, and specially designed shoes, packs, and rope bags. While canyoners have used and adapted climbing, hiking, and river running gear for years, more and more specialized gear is invented and manufactured as canyoning popularity increases.

    Canyoning around the world

    In most parts of the world canyoning is done in mountain canyons with flowing water. Countries with established canyoning include: Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, France, Italy, Montenegro, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Reunion Island, Greece, Jordan, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil, Ecuador, Japan, Croatia, Slovenia, Turkey, Israel, Mauritius and the United States. Many canyons in South Africa require jumping or scrambling which is called Kloofing. Even in Hong Kong, where there are numerous stream gorges, a similar activity called stream or river trekking is popular. In Japan and Taiwan it’s called river tracing and typically involves traveling upstream.

    In the United States, descending mountain canyons with flowing water is sometimes referred to as canyoning, although the term “canyoneering” is more common. Most canyoneering in the United States occurs in the many slot canyons carved in the sandstone found throughout the Colorado Plateau. Outside of the Colorado Plateau, numerous canyoneering opportunities are found in the San Gabriel, Sierra Nevada, Cascade, and Rocky Mountain ranges.


  • Concept design

    Concept design is a product of work (or task) of a concept designer.

    A concept designer (also known as “visual futurist” or “concept artist”) is a designer who designs products that are not intended for immediate realization. In fact, most of them never come to a realization. If they are realized, it often happens many (even decades or hundreds of) years after the author’s death and they often differ from the original concept design, especially when it comes to details. Some good examples of concept design (and of concept architecture as well – architecture is just another design field) are part of the Venus project, founded and led by Jacque Fresco.

    Another good example is the Star Trek project. Impressive work of various concept designers (amongst others, of course) over decades has been resulting not only in extremely popular films and the palette of television serials but in a complete “alternative future world”. Some, if not most of the concepts, developed for the project, including spaceship drives etc. will probably see the light of day in the future, since the authors and designers, besides using their pure imagination, borrowed ideas from serious science (mostly physics) – and were very careful to avoid situations that would be against the known laws of physics (as the true science fiction should be). Besides that. the task of a concept designer might also include designing of completely fictional characters or objects – especially for a fantasy film or a computer game project.

    Other great, though significantly older examples of concept design include numerous projects by the legendary Leonardo Da Vinci (the Aerial Screw flying machine, the Paddle Boat, Scythed Chariots…)

    To be a successful concept designer one must be broadly versed in science and technology on one side plus one needs an impressive artistic talent in order to produce quality and aesthetically pleasing sketches, quality photo-realistic illustrations and even animations, on the other. Many of today’s concept designers use a 3D computer graphics software as a powerful creative tool in addition to their natural talent to draw and paint, in order to achieve the extreme photorealism. The ideal educational background to become a concept designer would be a degree in architecture or industrial design. Other educational programs tend to be either too artistic/humanistic or too technical for the purpose. A more than average talent not only for realistic drawing and painting but also to invent new, original spacial forms, can be crucial and the right ability to constrain the own imagination inside the limits of the possible, without becoming conservative, is a must.

    Concept designers work mainly for the entertainment industry (films, comics, games…), mostly on the subjects of science fiction and fantasy. They design everything, from hand held weapons to costumes to furniture to spaceships to architecture (even whole cities) to impressive background environments. They often cooperate with scientists and engineers, specializing in diverse fields. When participating in a serious science fiction project, it is often crucial not only to take care of the visual aspect of a product but also on its inner workings and principles. For example, a scene, taking place on a planet with four moons and without atmosphere, thousands of light-years away, is different from our everyday experiences, and the job of a concept designer is to join his/her own imagination and the scientific + technical knowledge and try to predict, what it would be like. You can not just put the moons randomly all over the sky, you have to know a little bit of astronomy to place them correctly. You can not travel faster than light, so you have to find a possible way to get around that technical problem (for example by creating a sub-space bubble…). How would you steer a futuristic car, running at over 500 km/h and levitating on an air mattress, a few centimetres over a steel road surface? You obviously can not do it by a conventional steering mechanism, so you have to think of something that would be convincing. It would be still a sort of a close guess, but it must be at least physically possible. Science fiction should not contain elements that are contrary to known scientific laws, so a person is needed with lot of imagination but also with broad technical and scientific, basic (i.e. not necessarily expert) knowledge. That’s where the profession of concept designer fits in perfectly.

    Besides the entertainment industry there are concept designers working for various, serious scientific and research institutions, (like NASA etc.), in other industries (automotive, aircraft, military) and in architectural and design studios.

    Concept designer, specialized in architecture and urban development is also known as a concept architect (again, it is very important not to confuse it with conceptual architect(ure), because the two expressions are not only different but also contradictory!)

    Concept design is mostly resulting in visual arts (images, animations, special FX, virtual CG…). The 19th century writer Jules Verne and his various concepts (submarine, rocket etc.) might be considered a good exception that proves the rule. They firstly emerged in their literary form, but had been so seriously detailed, imagined and described by the author, that some basic principles were used when building first real submarine and sending the first man to the Moon.

    It is a common misconception, by common people as well as “ordinary” designers and architect, to treat concept design and concept architecture products as less valuable or serious, because they are sort of “fantasy” and are not “realized” as final products. A good architecture is a good architecture, regardless of whether it is standing in the centre of London and is made out of steel and concrete or exists only in the form of a detailed project and a 3D computer model. It is obvious that the process of “realization” can not make it any better in architectural sense (it only gets worse, once the masons take it into their hands). The same is with any other design field.

    Important thing to remember is also, that a serious concept project (as a result of work of a concept designer) is sufficient to protect the concept (idea) and generate the authors’ rights (at least it should be…).

    Some good examples of concept design (in these cases really of concept architecture), that were realized in “their” time:

    “The Eden Project” (the structure). A large-scale environmental complex near St Austell, Cornwall, UK. The project was conceived by Tim Smit and designed by architect Nicholas Grimshaw. Although relatively new, it has quickly become one of the most popular visitor attractions in the United Kingdom. The complex includes two giant, transparent domes, each emulating a natural biome, that house plant species from around the world. The first emulates a tropical environment, the other a warm temperate, Mediterranean-type environment. The project took two and a half years to construct and opened to the public in March 2001. The project is ongoing, and part of its purpose is to see how the different biomes develop over time.

    “Federation Square” – a public square in the city of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It is located at the south-east corner of the intersection of Flinders and Swanston Streets and opposite Flinders Street Station and St Paul’s Cathedral. It helps to connect the historical central district of the city, the mile-by-half-a-mile Hoddle Grid, with the Southbank district, which has been redeveloped as a key part of central Melbourne since the late 20th century. It was built on the former site of the Gas and Fuel Buildings and the Princess Bridge railway station. Since its opening on October 26, 2002, it has been been both loved and despised by Melburnians, causing controversy not only for its unusual architecture, but also for the budget blow-out and delays in construction. Zhiyu Yan, who graduated at Edinburgh College of Art, considered this project to design a club . At the existing site is a bridge called Jeffrey Street

    Olympiapark Munich The Olympiapark in Munich, Germany, EU, is an Olympic Park which was constructed for the 1972 Summer Olympics. The Park consists of: Olympic Stadium Olympic Hall Olympic Swim Hall Olympic Event Hall Olympic Tower Olympic Village The Park is served by the U3 line of the Munich U-Bahn.


  • Construction

    In the fields of architecture and civil engineering, construction is a process that consists of the building or assembling of infrastructure. Far from being a single activity, large scale construction is a feat of multitasking. Normally the job is managed by the project manager and supervised by the construction manager, design engineer, construction engineer or project architect.

    For the successful execution of a project, effective planning is essential. Those involved with the design and execution of the infrastructure in question must consider the environmental impact of the job, the successful scheduling, budgeting, site safety, availability of materials, logistics, inconvenience to the public caused by construction delays, preparing tender documents, etc.

    Types of construction projects

    In general, there are three types of construction:

    – Building construction
    – Heavy/civil construction
    – Industrial construction

    Each type of construction project requires a unique team to plan, design, construct, and maintain the project.

    Building construction

    Building construction for several apartment blocks. The blue material is insulation cladding, which will be covered later.

    Building construction is the process of adding structure to real property. The vast majority of building construction projects are small renovations, such as addition of a room, or renovation of a bathroom. Often, the owner of the property acts as laborer, paymaster, and design team for the entire project. However, all building construction projects include some elements in common – design, financial, and legal considerations. Many projects of varying sizes reach undesirable end results, such as structural collapse, cost overruns, and/or litigation reason, those with experience in the field make detailed plans and maintain careful oversight during the project to ensure a positive outcome.

    Building construction is procured privately or publicly utilizing various delivery methodologies, including hard bid, negotiated price, traditional, management contracting, construction management-at-risk, design & build and design-build bridging.

    Residential construction practices, technologies, and resources must conform to local building authority regulations and codes of practice. Materials readily available in the area generally dictate the construction materials used (e.g. brick versus stone, versus timber). Cost of construction on a per square metre (or per square foot) basis for houses can vary dramatically based on site conditions, local regulations, economies of scale (custom designed homes are always more expensive to build) and the availability of skilled tradespeople. As residential (as well as all other types of construction) can generate a lot of waste, careful planning again is needed here.

    The most popular method of residential construction in the United States is wood framed construction. As efficiency codes have come into effect in recent years, new construction technologies and methods have emerged. University Construction Management departments are on the cutting edge of the newest methods of construction intended to improve efficiency, performance and reduce construction waste.

    Heavy/civil construction

    Heavy/Civil construction is the process of adding infrastructure to our built environment. Owners of these projects are usually government agencies, either at the national or local level. As in building construction, heavy/civil construction has design, financial, and legal considerations, however these projects are not usually undertaken for-profit, but to service the public interest. However, heavy/civil construction projects are also undertaken by large private corporations, including, among others, golf courses, harbors, power companies, railroads, and mines, who undertake the construction of access roads, dams, railroads, general site grading, and massive earthwork projects. As in building construction, the owner will assemble a team to create an overall plan to ensure that the goals of the project are met.

    Industrial construction

    Industrial construction, though a relatively small part of the entire construction industry, is a very important component. Owners of these projects are usually large, for-profit, industrial corporations. These corporations can be found in such industries as medicine, petroleum, chemical, power generation, manufacturing, etc. Processes in these industries require highly specialized expertise in planning, design, and construction. As in building and heavy/highway construction, this type of construction requires a team of individuals to ensure a successful project.

    Construction Processes

    Design team

    In the modern industrialized world, construction usually involves the translation of paper or computer based designs into reality. A formal design team may be assembled to plan the physical proceedings, and to integrate those proceedings with the other parts. The design usually consists of drawings and specifications, usually prepared by a design team including the client architects, interior designers, surveyors, civil engineers, cost engineers (or quantity surveyors), mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, structural engineers, and fire protection engineers. The design team is most commonly employed by (i.e. in contract with) the property owner. Under this system, once the design is completed by the design team, a number of construction companies or construction management companies may then be asked to make a bid for the work, either based directly on the design, or on the basis of drawings and a bill of quantities provided by a quantity surveyor. Following evaluation of bids, the owner will typically award a contract to the lowest responsible bidder.

    The modern trend in design is toward integration of previously separated specialties, especially among large firms. In the past, architects, interior designers, engineers, developers, construction managers, and general contractors were more likely to be entirely separate companies, even in the larger firms. Presently, a firm that is nominally an “architecture” or “construction management” firm may have experts from all related fields as employees, or to have an associated company that provides each necessary skill. Thus, each such firm may offer itself as “one-stop shopping” for a construction project, from beginning to end. This is designated as a “design Build” contract where the contractor is given a performance specification, and must undertake the project from design to construction, while adhering to the performance specifications.

    Several project structures can assist the owner in this integration, including design-build, partnering, and construction management. In general, each of these project structures allows the owner to integrate the services of architects, interior designers, engineers, and constructors throughout design and construction. In response, many companies are growing beyond traditional offerings of design or construction services alone, and are placing more emphasis on establishing relationships with other necessary participants through the design-build process.

    The increasing complexity of construction projects creates the need for design professionals trained in all phases of the project’s life-cycle and develop an appreciation of the building as an advanced technological system requiring close integration of many sub-systems and their individual components, including sustainability. Building engineering is an emerging discipline that attempts to meet this new challenge.

    Financial advisors

    Many construction projects suffer from preventable financial problems. Underbids ask for too little money to complete the project. Cash flow problems exist when the present amount of funding cannot cover the current costs for labour and materials, and because they are a matter of having sufficient funds at a specific time, can arise even when the overall total is enough. Fraud is a problem in many fields, but is notoriously prevalent in the construction field. Financial planning for the project is intended to ensure that a solid plan, with adequate safeguards and contingency plans, is in place before the project is started, and is required to ensure that the plan is properly executed over the life of the project.

    Mortgage bankers, accountants, and cost engineers are likely participants in creating an overall plan for the financial management of the building construction project. The presence of the mortgage banker is highly likely even in relatively small projects, since the owner’s equity in the property is the most obvious source of funding for a building project. Accountants act to study the expected monetary flow over the life of the project, and to monitor the payouts throughout the process. Cost engineers apply expertise to relate the work and materials involved to a proper valuation. Cost overruns with government projects have occurred when the contractor was able to identify change orders or changes in the project resulting in large increases in cost, which are not subject to competition by other firm as they have already been eliminated from consideration after the initial bid.

    Large projects can involve highly complex financial plans. As portions of a project are completed, they may be sold, supplanting one lender or owner for another, while the logistical requirements of having the right trades and materials available for each stage of the building construction project carries forward. In many English speaking countries, but not the United States, projects typically use quantity surveyors.

    Legal considerations

    A construction project must fit into the legal framework governing the property. These include governmental regulations on the use of property, and obligations that are created in the process of construction.

    The project must adhere to zoning and building code requirements. Constructing a project that fails to adhere to codes will not benefit the owner. Some legal requirements come from malum in se considerations, or the desire to prevent things that are indisputably bad – bridge collapses or explosions. Other legal requirements come from malum prohibitum considerations, or things that are a matter of custom or expectation, such as isolating businesses to a business district and residences to a residential district. An attorney may seek changes or exemptions in the law governing the land where the building will be built, either by arguing that a rule is inapplicable (the bridge design won’t collapse), or that the custom is no longer needed (acceptance of live-work spaces has grown in the community).

    A construction project is a complex net of contracts and other legal obligations, each of which must be carefully considered. A contract is the exchange of a set of obligations between two or more parties, but it is not so simple a matter as trying to get the other side to agree to as much as possible in exchange for as little as possible. The time element in construction means that a delay costs money, and in cases of bottlenecks, the delay can be extremely expensive. Thus, the contracts must be designed to ensure that each side is capable of performing the obligations set out. Contracts that set out clear expectations and clear paths to accomplishing those expectations are far more likely to result in the project flowing smoothly, whereas poorly drafted contracts lead to confusion and collapse.

    Legal advisors in the beginning of a construction project seek to identify ambiguities and other potential sources of trouble in the contract structure, and to present options for preventing problems. Throughout the process of the project, they work to avoid and resolve conflicts that arise. In each case, the lawyer facilitates an exchange of obligations that matches the reality of the project.

    Interaction of expertise

    Design, finance, and legal aspects overlap and interrelate. The design must be not only structurally sound and appropriate for the use and location, but must also be financially possible to build, and legal to use. The financial structure must accommodate the need for building the design provided, and must pay amounts that are legally owed. The legal structure must integrate the design into the surrounding legal framework, and enforces the financial consequences of the construction process.


    Procurement describes the merging of activities undertaken by the client to obtain a building. There are many different methods of construction procurement; however the three most common types of procurement are:

    Traditional (Design-bid-build)
    Design and Build
    Management Contracting


    This the most common method of construction procurement and is well established and recognized. In this arrangement, the architect or engineer acts as the project coordinator. His or her role is to design the works, prepare the specifications and produce construction drawings, administer the contract, tender the works, and manage the works from inception to completion. There are direct contractual links between the architect’s client and the main contractor. Any subcontractor will have a direct contractual relationship with the main contractor.

    Design and build
    This approach has become more common in recent years and includes an entire completed package, including fixtures, fittings and equipment where necessary, to produce a completed fully functional building. In some cases, the Design and Build (D & B) package can also include finding the site, arranging funding and applying for all necessary statutory consents.

    The owner produces a list of requirements for a project, giving an overall view of the project’s goals. Several D&B contractors present different ideas about how to accomplish these goals. The owner selects the ideas he likes best and hires the appropriate contractor. Often, it is not just one contractor, but a consortium of several contractors working together. Once a contractor (or a consortium/consortia) has been hired, they begin building the first phase of the project. As they build phase 1, they design phase 2. This is in contrast to a design-bid-build contract, where the project is completely designed by the owner, then bid on, then completed.

    Kent Hansen, director of engineering for the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA), pointed out that state departments of transportation (DOTs) usually use design build contracts as a way of getting projects done when states don’t have the resources. In DOTs, design build contracts are usually used for very large projects.

    Management procurement systems

    In this arrangement the client plays an active role in the procurement system by entering into separate contracts with the designer (architect or engineer), the construction manager, and individual trade contractors. The client takes on the contractual role, while the construction or project manager provides the active role of managing the separate trade contracts, and ensuring that they all work smoothly and effectively together.

    Management procurement systems are often used to speed up the procurement processes, allow the client greater flexibility in design variation throughout the contract, the ability to appoint individual work contractors, separate contractual responsibility on each individual throughout the contract, and to provide greater client control.

    Authority having jurisdiction

    In construction, the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) is the governmental agency or sub-agency which regulates the construction process. In most cases, this is the municipality in which the building is located. However, construction performed for supra-municipal authorities are usually regulated directly by the owning authority, which becomes the AHJ.

    During the planning of a building, the zoning and planning boards of the AHJ will review the overall compliance of the proposed building with the municipal General Plan and zoning regulations. Once the proposed building has been approved, detailed civil, architectural, and structural plans must be submitted to the municipal building department (and sometimes the public works department) to determine compliance with the building code and sometimes for fit with existing infrastructure. Often, the municipal fire department will review the plans for compliance with fire-safety ordinances and regulations.

    Before the foundation can be dug, contractors are typically required to notify utility companies, either directly or through a company such as Dig Safe to ensure that underground utility lines can be marked. This lessens the likelihood of damage to the existing electrical, water, sewage, phone, and cable facilities, which could cause outages and potentially hazardous situations. During the construction of a building, the municipal building inspector inspects the building periodically to ensure that the construction adheres to the approved plans and the local building code. Once construction is complete and a final inspection has been passed, an occupancy permit may be issued.
    An operating building must remain in compliance with the fire code. The fire code is enforced by the local fire department.

    Changes made to a building that affect safety, including its use, expansion, structural integrity, and fire protection items, usually require approval of the AHJ for review concerning the building code.

    Routes into construction careers

    There are several routes to the different careers within the construction industry. Craft industries offer jobs where employees train while they work through apprenticeships and other training schemes. Another way, where many construction staff have found success, is through recruitment agencies.

    Technical occupations in the UK require GCSE qualifications or vocational equivalents, either initially or through on the job apprenticeship training. One example is that of Quantity Surveying. Quantity Surveyors are effectively cost managers within the construction industry and may be: (1) employed by Chartered Surveyor practices (referred to often as “PQS” derived from the term Private Quantity Surveyor) who normally represent the client’s interest and liaise with the Architect on the client’s team, preparing cost plans, preparing tender documentation, giving cost advice on variations, preparing monthly valuation payments to the contractor, agreeing the final account with the contractor, generally looking after the client’s interests (although the role can be referred to within some standard forms of contract as being a neutral role to value ‘the’ costs of the project), in practice it tends to be looking after the client’s interests primarily; or (2) employed by Main Contractors, in which role they manage the contractor’s costs, place subcontract orders, make payments to subcontractors, claim monthly valuations from the client’s surveyor (Private QS or “PQS”), cost manage variations, prepare internal cost reports to senior management and directors, generally managing the project commercially and protect the contractor’s interests contractually. Contractual aspects such as delays and extensions of time issues are also within the remit of the Quantity Surveyor (QS); or (3) employed by Subcontractors, in which role they carry out a similar function to Main Contractor’s QS’s. The main difference is that they are normally submitting monthly valuation claims for payment to the Main Contractor, whereas the Manin Contractor claims from the client’s Surveyor (usually a Chartered Surveyor practice or Private QS “PQS”). Large subcontractors may also employ sub-subcontractors, thereby making the QS role similar in the cost management role, including placing sub-contract orders (to sub-subcontractors), valuing and claiming variations, preparing cost reports to senior management, etc; or (4) employed by Local Authorities (local Councils, etc), whereby the role is broadly similar to that of private practice surveyors in cost managing project from the funding client’s perspective (in this case the Local Authority council within which they are employed), dealing usually with main contractors; or (5) employed by Developers; whereby the role may be a mixture of the role of a client’s surveyor (the funding client being the developer in this case) mixed with that of a main contractor in possibly employing package sub-contractors directly Other information: The most recognised body for surveyors in construction is the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (the ‘RICS’). It is more common for a private practice surveyor or local authority employed surveyor to be a member of the RICS, though RICS qualified surveyors do work within main contractors and sub-contractors (the writer of this Quantity Surveyor segment qualified RICS within private practice working on the client’s side, then migrated over to work for a large sub-contractor. Such cross-overs are quite common between client’s side and contracting). Quantity Surveying offers a great diversity of roles and in career path, working on a variety of projects and within different areas and facets of the construction industry. The qualification of “Chartered Quantity Surveyor” has been superseded as the RICS rules have replaced this with simply “Chartered Surveyor” (except those existing Chartered QS’s who registered to keep the Chartered QS title by a date now passed), and Chartered Quantity Surveyor practices have now largely adopted the title of “Construction Cost Consultants” and having the right to call themselves simply “Chartered Surveyors” – though still often referred to in the UK construction industry as “PQS’s”. It is also possible for Construction Cost Consultant practices to be occasionally employed by local authorities, contractors or subcontractors, on a particular construction project although not if they are already employed as surveyors for the same construction project.

    As well as the role of Quantity Surveyor, other professions within the UK construction industry are for example: Architect, Engineer, Project Manager, Planner, Safety Officer. These roles may be in ‘Building’ (buildings such as Offices, Shopping Centres, Housing); or ‘Civil Engineering’ (structures such as Bridges, Dams, Motorways/Roads/Highways, Harbours/Ferry Terminals). While projects such as construction of new Power Stations or Naval Bases may comprise a combination of both ‘building’ and ‘civil engineering’.

    Graduate roles in the construction industry are filled by people with at least a foundation degree in subjects such as civil engineering, construction engineering, architecture, building science and construction management. Graduates often receive specialized positions and gain qualifications such as chartered status.


    The first buildings were huts and shelters, constructed by hand or with simple tools. As cities grew during the bronze age, a class of professional craftsmen like bricklayers and carpenters appeared. Occasionally, slaves were used for construction work. In the middle ages, these were organized into guilds. In the 19th century, steam-powered machinery appeared, and later diesel- and electric powered vehicles such as cranes, excavators and bulldozers., excavators and bulldozers.


  • Design

    Design is used both as a noun and a verb. The term is often tied to the various applied arts and engineering (See design disciplines below). As a verb, “to design” refers to the process of originating and developing a plan for a product, structure, system, or component with intention. As a noun, “a design” is used for either the final (solution) plan (e.g. proposal, drawing, model, description) or the result of implementing that plan in the form of the final product of a design process. This classification aside, in its broadest sense no other limitations exist and the final product can be anything from socks and jewellery to graphical user interfaces and charts. Even virtual concepts such as corporate identity and cultural traditions such as celebration of certain holidays are sometimes designed. More recently, processes (in general) have also been treated as products of design, giving new meaning to the term “process design”.

    The person designing is called a designer, which is also a term used for people who work professionally in one of the various design areas, usually also specifying which area is being dealt with (such as a fashion designer, concept designer or web designer). Designing often requires a designer to consider the aesthetic, functional, and many other aspects of an object or a process, which usually requires considerable research, thought, modeling, interactive adjustment, and re-design.

    Being defined so broadly, there is no universal language or unifying institution for designers of all disciplines. This allows for many differing philosophies and approaches toward the subject. However, serious study of design demands increased focus on the design process.

    Design as a process

    Design as a process can take many forms depending on the object being designed and the individual or individuals participating.

    Defining a design process

    According to video game developer Dino Dini in a talk given at the 2005 Game Design and Technology Workshop held by Liverpool JM University, design underpins every form of creation from objects such as chairs to the way we plan and execute our lives. For this reason it is useful to seek out some common structure that can be applied to any kind of design, whether this be for video games, consumer products or one’s own personal life.

    For such an important concept, the question “What is Design?” appears to yield answers with limited usefulness. Dino Dini states that the design process can be defined as “The management of constraints”. He identifies two kinds of constraint, negotiable and non-negotiable. The first step in the design process is the identification, classification and selection of constraints. The process of design then proceeds from here by manipulating design variables so as to satisfy the non-negotiable constraints and optimizing those which are negotiable. It is possible for a set of non-negotiable constraints to be in conflict resulting in a design with no solution; in this case the non-negotiable constraints must be revised. For example, take the design of a chair. A chair must support a certain weight to be useful, and this is a non-negotiable constraint. The cost of producing the chair might be another. The choice of materials and the aesthetic qualities of the chair might be negotiable.

    Dino Dini theorizes that poor designs occur as a result of mismanaged constraints, something he claims can be seen in the way the video game industry makes “Must be Fun” a negotiable constraint where he believes it should be non-negotiable.

    It should be noted that “the management of constraints” may not include the whole of what is involved in “constraint management” as defined in the context of a broader Theory of Constraints, depending on the scope of a design or a designer’s position.

    An architect at his drawing board, 1893. The Peter Arno phrase “Well, back to the old drawing board” makes light of the fact that designs sometimes fail and redesign is necessary. The phrase has meaning beyond structural designs and is an idiom when a drawing board is not used in a design.


    Something that is redesigned requires a different process than something that is designed for the first time. A redesign often includes an evaluation of the existent design and the findings of the redesign needs are often the ones that drive the redesign process.

    Typical steps

    A design process may include a series of steps followed by designers. Depending on the product or service, some of these stages may be irrelevant, ignored in real-world situations in order to save time, reduce cost, or because they may be redundant in the situation.

    Typical stages of the design process include:

    Pre-production design

    Design during production

    Post-production design feedback for future designs

    Redesign – any or all stages in the design process repeated (with corrections made) at any time before, during, or after production.

    Philosophies and studies of design

    There are countless philosophies for guiding design as the design values and its accompanying aspects within modern design vary, both between different schools of thought and among practicing designers. Design philosophies are usually for determining design goals. A design goal may range from solving the least significant individual problem of the smallest element to the most holistic influential utopian goals. Design goals are usually for guiding design. However, conflicts over immediate and minor goals may lead to questioning the purpose of design, perhaps to set better long term or ultimate goals.

    Philosophies for guiding design
    A design philosophy is a guide to help make choices when designing such as ergonomics, costs, economics, functionality and methods of re-design. An example of a design philosophy is “dynamic change” to achieve the elegant or stylish look you need.

    Approaches to design
    A design approach is a general philosophy that may or may not include a guide for specific methods. Some are to guide the overall goal of the design. Other approaches are to guide the tendencies of the designer. A combination of approaches may be used if they don’t conflict.

    Some popular approaches include:
    – KISS principle, (Keep it Simple Stupid, etc.), which strives to eliminate unnecessary complications.
    – There is more than one way to do it (TMTOWTDI), a philosophy to allow multiple methods of doing the same thing.
    – Use-centered design, which focuses on the goals and tasks associated with the use of the artifact, rather than focusing on the end user.
    – User-centered design, which focuses on the needs, wants, and limitations of the end user of the designed artifact.

    Philosophies for methods of designing

    Design Methods is a broad area that focuses on:
    – Exploring possibilities and constraints by focusing critical thinking skills to research and define problem spaces for existing products or services—or the creation of new categories;
    – Redefining the specifications of design solutions which can lead to better guidelines for traditional design activities (graphic, industrial, architectural, etc.);
    – Managing the process of exploring, defining, creating artifacts continually over time
    – Prototyping possible scenarios, or solutions that incrementally or significantly improve the inherited situation
    – Trendspotting; understanding the trend process.

    Philosophies for the purpose of designs

    In philosophy, the abstract noun “design” refers to a pattern with a purpose. Design is thus contrasted with purposelessness, randomness, or lack of complexity.

    To study the purpose of designs, beyond individual goals (e.g. marketing, technology, education, entertainment, hobbies), is to question the controversial politics, morals, ethics and needs such as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. “Purpose” may also lead to existential questions such as religious morals and teleology. These philosophies for the “purpose of” designs are in contrast to philosophies for guiding design or methodology.

    Often a designer (especially in commercial situations) is not in a position to define purpose. Whether a designer is, is not, or should be concerned with purpose or intended use beyond what they are expressly hired to influence, is debatable, depending on the situation. Not understanding or disinterest in the wider role of design in society might also be attributed to the commissioning agent or client, rather than the designer.

    In structuration theory, achieving consensus and fulfillment of purpose is as continuous as society. Raised levels of achievement often lead to raised expectations. design is both medium and outcome generating a Janus like face, with every ending marking a new beginning.


    The word “design” is often considered ambiguous depending on the application.

    Design and art

    Design is often viewed as a more rigorous form of art, or art with a clearly defined purpose. The distinction is usually made when someone other than the artist is defining the purpose. In graphic arts the distinction is often made between fine art and commercial art.

    In the realm of the arts, design is more relevant to the “applied” arts, such as architecture and industrial design. In fact today the term design is widely associated to modern industrial product design as initiated by Raymond Loewy and teachings at the Bauhaus and Ulm School of Design (HfG Ulm) in Germany during the 20th Century.

    Design implies a conscious effort to create something that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. For example, a graphic artist may design an advertisement poster. This person’s job is to communicate the advertisement message (functional aspect) and to make it look good (aesthetically pleasing). The distinction between pure and applied arts is not completely clear, but one may consider Jackson Pollock’s (often criticized as “splatter”) paintings as an example of pure art. One may assume his art does not convey a message based on the obvious differences between an advertisement poster and the mere possibility of an abstract message of a Jackson Pollock painting. One may speculate that Pollock, when painting, worked more intuitively than would a graphic artist, when consciously designing a poster. However, Mark Getlein suggests the principles of design are “almost instinctive”, “built-in”, “natural”, and part of “our sense of ‘rightness’.” Pollock, as a trained artist, may have utilized design whether conscious or not.

    A drawing for a booster engine for steam locomotives. Engineering is applied to design, with emphasis on function and the utilization of mathematics and science.

    Design and engineering

    Engineering is often viewed as a more rigorous form of design. Contrary views suggest that design is a component of engineering aside from production and other operations which utilize engineering. A neutral view may suggest that both design and engineering simply overlap, depending on the discipline of design. The American Heritage Dictionary defines design as: “To conceive or fashion in the mind; invent,” and “To formulate a plan”, and defines engineering as: “The application of scientific and mathematical principles to practical ends such as the design, manufacture, and operation of efficient and economical structures, machines, processes, and systems.”. Both are forms of problem-solving with a defined distinction being the application of “scientific and mathematical principles”. How much science is applied in a design is a question of what is considered “science”. Along with the question of what is considered science, there is social science versus natural science. Scientists at Xerox PARC made the distinction of design versus engineering at “moving minds” versus “moving atoms”.

    Design and production

    The relationship between design and production is one of planning and executing. In theory, the plan should anticipate and compensate for potential problems in the execution process. Design involves problem-solving and creativity. In contrast, production involves a routine or pre-planned process. A design may also be a mere plan that does not include a production or engineering process, although a working knowledge of such processes is usually expected of designers. In some cases, it may be unnecessary and/or impractical to expect a designer with a broad multidisciplinary knowledge required for such designs to also have a detailed knowledge of how to produce the product.

    Design and production are intertwined in many creative professional careers, meaning problem-solving is part of execution and the reverse. As the cost of rearrangement increases, the need for separating design from production increases as well. For example, a high-budget project, such as a skyscraper, requires separating (design) architecture from (production) construction. A Low-budget project, such as a locally printed office party invitation flyer, can be rearranged and printed dozens of times at the low cost of a few sheets of paper, a few drops of ink, and less than one hour’s pay of a desktop publisher.

    This is not to say that production never involves problem-solving or creativity, nor that design always involves creativity. Designs are rarely perfect and are sometimes repetitive. The imperfection of a design may task a production position (e.g. production artist, construction worker) with utilizing creativity or problem-solving skills to compensate for what was overlooked in the design process. Likewise, a design may be a simple repetition (copy) of a known preexisting solution, requiring minimal, if any, creativity or problem-solving skills from the designer.

    Process design

    “Process design” (in contrast to “design process”) refers to the planning of routine steps of a process aside from the expected result. Processes (in general) are treated as a product of design, not the method of design. The term originated with the industrial designing of chemical processes. With the increasing complexities of the information age, consultants and executives have found the term useful to describe the design of business processes as well as manufacturing processes.


  • Dolphinarium

    A dolphinarium is an aquarium for dolphins. The dolphins are usually kept in a large pool, though occasionally they may be kept in pens in the open sea, either for research or for public performances.

    Some dolphinariums consist of one pool where dolphins perform for the public, others have expanded into much larger parks, keeping other marine animals and having other attractions. These larger parks are often not considered to be dolphinariums themselves, but marine mammal parks or theme parks that include a dolphinarium. A dolphinarium can also be part of a zoo.


    Though cetaceans have been held in captivity in both North America and Europe since the 1860s, the first being a pair of Beluga Whales in the New York museum, dolphins were first kept for paid entertainment in the Marine Studios dolphinarium founded in 1938 in St. Augustine, Florida. It was here that it was discovered that dolphins could be trained to perform tricks. Recognizing the success of Marine Studios, more dolphinariums keeping dolphins for entertainment followed. In the 1960s, keeping dolphins in zoos and aquariums for entertainment purposes became increased in popularity after the 1963 Flipper movie and subsequent Flipper television series. In 1966 , the first dolphin was exported to Europe. In these early days, dolphinariums could grow quickly due to a lack of legislation and lack of concern for animal welfare. New legislation, most notably the 1972 Marine Mammal Protection Act in the United States, combined with a more critical view on animal welfare forced many dolphinariums around the world to close. As an example, during the early 1970s there were at least 36 dolphinariums and travelling dolphin shows in the United Kingdom, none of which still exist today, the last dolphinarium in the UK having closed its doors in 1993.


    A common dolphinarium design for public performances consists of stands for the public around a semi-circular pool, sometimes with glass walls which allow underwater viewing, and a platform in the middle from which the trainers direct and present the show.

    The water in the pools has to be constantly filtered to keep it clean for the spectators and the dolphins, and the temperature and composition of the water has to be controlled to match the conditions dolphins experience in the wild. To give an indication of pool sizes, the European Association for Aquatic Mammals recommends that a pool for five dolphins should have a surface area of 275 m² (2960 ft²) plus an additional 75 m² (810 ft²) for every additional animal, have a depth of 3.5 m (11.5 ft) for at least the minimum surface area and have a water volume of at least 1000 m³ (35300 ft³) with an additional 200 m³ (7060 ft³) for every additional animal. If two of these three conditions are met and the third is not more than 10% below standard, the EAAM considers the pool size to be acceptable.



    Various species of dolphins are kept in captivity and also several other small whale species such as Harbour Porpoises, Finless Porpoises and Belugas, though in those cases the word dolphinarium may not be fitting as these are not true dolphins. Bottlenose Dolphins are the most common species of dolphin kept in dolphinariums: they are relatively easy to train, have a long lifespan in captivity and a friendly appearance. Hundreds if not thousands of Bottlenose Dolphins live in captivity across the world, though exact numbers are hard to give. Orcas are well known for their performances in shows, but the number of Orcas kept in captivity is very small especially when compared to the number of bottlenose dolphins, with only 48 captive Orcas being known as of 2007. Of all Orcas kept in captivity, the majority are located in the various SeaWorld parks in the United States. Other species kept in captivity are Spotted Dolphins, False Killer Whales and Common Dolphins, Commerson’s Dolphins, and Rough-toothed Dolphins, but all in much lower numbers than the Bottlenose Dolphin. Also kept, but in numbers of less than ten are Pilot Whales, Amazon River Dolphins, Risso’s Dolphins, Spinner Dolphins, and Tucuxi. Two unusual and very rare hybrid dolphins known as Wolphins are kept at the Sea Life Park in Hawaii, which are a cross between a Bottlenose Dolphin and a False Killer Whale. Also two Common/Bottlenose hybrids reside in captivity one at Discovery Cove and the other SeaWorld San Diego.

    Trade and capture

    In the early days, many bottlenose dolphins were wild caught off the coast of Florida where they are common. Though the Marine Mammal Protection Act, established in 1972, allows an exception for the collection of dolphins for public display and research purposes providing a permit is obtained, Bottlenose dolphins have not been captured in American waters since 1989. In most Western countries, breeding programmes have been set up to provide the dolphinariums with new animals. To achieve a sufficient birth rate and to prevent inbreeding, artificial insemination (AI) is occasionally used. The use of AI also allows dolphinariums to increase the genetic diversity of their population without having to bring in any dolphins from other facilities.

    Live dolphins are still traded however. A live Bottlenose Dolphin is estimated to cost between a few thousand and several tens of thousands of US dollars, depending on age, condition and prior training. The trade of dolphins is regulated by CITES. Cuba has also been an exporter of dolphins in recent years, this being organised by the Acuario Nacional de Cuba. In recent years, the Solomon Islands have also allowed the collection and export of dolphins for public display facilities. A 2005 law banned the export of dolphins, however this ban has been seemingly overturned when in 2007 some 28 dolphins were shipped to Dubai. Some, mainly Japanese, dolphinariums obtain their dolphins from local drive hunts, though several other countries in Asia also import dolphins from Japan. Several American dolphinariums have also done so in the past, however not since 1993 when the US National Marine Fisheries Service refused a permit for Marine World Africa USA to import four False Killer Whales caught in a Japanese drive hunt. Members of the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums, a US-based organization whose members include many of the captive dolphin facilities in the US as well as facilities around the world, now officially oppose the acquisition of animals from the Japanese drive fisheries.


    Though animal welfare is perceived to have improved significantly over the last few decades, many animal rights and welfare groups such as the WSPA still consider keeping dolphins at dolphinariums a form of animal abuse. The main arguments are that dolphins do not have enough freedom of movement in pools, regardless of pool size, (in the wild, dolphins swim hundreds of miles every day) and do not get enough stimulation. Dolphins often show repetitive behavior in captivity and sometimes become aggressive towards other animals or people: there have been a number of animal and human fatalities recorded, including that of at least one trainer. In some cases, the behavior of dolphins in captivity also results in their own death.

    The lifespan of dolphins in captivity is another subject of debate. Research has shown that Orcas indeed have a much lower survival rate in captivity; however, there is no significant difference between wild and captive survival rates for Bottlenose dolphins. This does not, however, reflect a global state of affairs: for example, Bottlenose dolphins in captive facilities in Jamaica suffer from extremely high mortality rates.

    In response to criticism, dolphinariums stress that every effort is being made to ensure the well-being of the animals, who are being cared for with state-of-the-art medical technology (including some adapted from that used for humans). Many dolphinariums are also involved in research and education programs, assist in cases of beachings, and provide aid to sick or injured wild animals.

    Captive dolphins are an increasingly popular choice of animal-assisted therapy for humans with psychological problems and developmental disabilities. For example, a 2005 study of 30 participants found that dolphin-assisted therapy was an effective treatment for mild to moderate depression. However, this study was criticized on several grounds: for example, it is not known whether dolphins are more effective than common pets. Reviews of this and other published dolphin-assisted therapy (DAT) studies have found important methodological flaws, leading reviewers to conclude that there is no compelling scientific evidence that DAT is a legitimate therapy, or that it affords any more than fleeting improvements in human mood.


  • Ecological Building

    Ecological Building is both a design process and the structure that is a result of such a design process.

    The Ecological Building design process is a modern architecture variant of Permaculture design.

    An Ecological Building is a structure that is designed to create and sustain mutually beneficial relationships with all of the elements of its local ecology. A building’s local ecology, or environment, is made up of particular physical and biological elements and their interactions.

    The abiotic, or physical elements are defined by the local geology and the local climate. The local geology is defined by the soil type, substrata, local land use, and water patterns of the site and its surroundings. The local climate is made up of the weather patterns, wind patterns, solar patterns, and pollution patterns for the site and its surroundings.

    The biotic or living elements are all of the local species and local ecosystems – including humans and urban ecologies – that interact with the site.

    This concept is distinctly different from Green building, or sustainable architecture where the goal is to “minimize the negative environmental impact of buildings”. Ecological building is a positive design goal that sets out to increase beneficial interactions, whereas Green building is a negative design outlook that seeks only the reduction of negative interactions. Inherent in Green building is the assumption that any human interaction with a site is unavoidably negative, and that mitigating these negative impacts is the best that is possible. With Ecological Building, the designer acknowledges that humans can play an integral, beneficial role in improving and sustaining the health and vitality of their local ecology.


  • Engineering

    Engineering is the discipline and profession of applying technical and scientific knowledge and utilizing natural laws and physical resources in order to design and implement materials, structures, machines, devices, systems, and processes that safely realize a desired objective and meet specified criteria. The American Engineers’ Council for Professional Development (ECPD, the predecessor of ABET) has defined engineering as follows: “[T]he creative application of scientific principles to design or develop structures, machines, apparatus, or manufacturing processes, or works utilizing them singly or in combination; or to construct or operate the same with full cognizance of their design; or to forecast their behavior under specific operating conditions; all as respects an intended function, economics of operation and safety to life and property.”

    One who practices engineering is called an engineer, and those licensed to do so may have more formal designations such as European Engineer, Professional Engineer, Chartered Engineer, or Incorporated Engineer. The broad discipline of engineering encompasses a range of more specialized subdisciplines, each with a more specific emphasis on certain fields of application and particular areas of technology.


    The Watt steam engine, a major driver in the industrial revolution, underscores the importance of engineering in modern history. This model is on display at the main building of the ETSIIM in Madrid, Spain.

    The concept of engineering has existed since ancient times as humans devised fundamental inventions such as the pulley, lever, and wheel. Each of these inventions is consistent with the modern definition of engineering, exploiting basic mechanical principles to develop useful tools and objects.

    The term engineering itself has a much more recent etymology, deriving from the word engineer, which itself dates back to 1325, when an engine’er (literally, one who operates an engine) originally referred to “a constructor of military engines.” In this context, now obsolete, an “engine” referred to a military machine, i. e., a mechanical contraption used in war (for example, a catapult). The word “engine” itself is of even older origin, ultimately deriving from the Latin ingenium (c. 1250), meaning “innate quality, especially mental power, hence a clever invention.”

    Later, as the design of civilian structures such as bridges and buildings matured as a technical discipline, the term civil engineering entered the lexicon as a way to distinguish between those specializing in the construction of such non-military projects and those involved in the older discipline of military engineering (the original meaning of the word “engineering,” now largely obsolete, with notable exceptions that have survived to the present day such as military engineering corps, e. g., the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers).

    Ancient Era

    The Acropolis and the Parthenon in Greece, the Roman aqueducts, Via Appia and the Colosseum, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Pharos of Alexandria, the pyramids in Egypt, Teotihuacán and the cities and pyramids of the Mayan, Inca and Aztec Empires, the Great Wall of China, among many others, stand as a testament to the ingenuity and skill of the ancient civil and military engineers.

    The earliest civil engineer known by name is Imhotep. As one of the officials of the Pharaoh, Djosèr, he probably designed and supervised the construction of the Pyramid of Djoser (the Step Pyramid) at Saqqara in Egypt around 2630-2611 BC. He may also have been responsible for the first known use of columns in architecture.

    Ancient Greece developed machines in both in the civilian and military domains. The Antikythera mechanism, the earliest known model of a mechanical computer in history, and the mechanical inventions of Archimedes are examples of early mechanical engineering. Some of Archimedes’ inventions as well as the Antikythera mechanism required sophisticated knowledge of differential gearing or epicyclic gearing, two key principles in machine theory that helped design the gear trains of the Industrial revolution and are still widely used today in diverse fields such as robotics and automotive engineering.

    Chinese and Roman armies employed complex military machines including the Ballista and catapult. In the Middle Ages, the Trebuchet was developed.

    Middle Era

    An Iraqi by the name of al-Jazari helped influence the design of today’s modern machines when sometime in between 1174 and 1200 he built five machines to pump water for the kings of the Turkish Artuqid dynasty and their palaces. The double-acting reciprocating piston pump was instrumental in the later development of engineering in general because it was the first machine to incorporate both the connecting rod and the crankshaft, thus, converting rotational motion to reciprocating motion.

    British Charter Engineer Donald Routledge Hill once wrote:
    It is impossible to over emphasize the importance of al-Jazari’s work in the history of engineering, it provides a wealth of instructions for the design, manufacture and assembly of machines.

    Even today some toys still use the cam-lever mechanism found in al-Jazari’s combination lock and automaton. Besides over 50 ingenious mechanical devices, al-Jazari also developed and made innovations to segmental gears, mechanical controls, escapement mechanisms, clocks, robotics, and protocols for designing and manufacturing methods.

    Renaissance Era

    The first electrical engineer is considered to be William Gilbert, with his 1600 publication of De Magnete, who was the originator of the term “electricity”.

    The first steam engine was built in 1698 by mechanical engineer Thomas Savery. The development of this device gave rise to the industrial revolution in the coming decades, allowing for the beginnings of mass production.

    With the rise of engineering as a profession in the eighteenth century, the term became more narrowly applied to fields in which mathematics and science were applied to these ends. Similarly, in addition to military and civil engineering the fields then known as the mechanic arts became incorporated into engineering.

    Modern Era

    Electrical Engineering can trace its origins in the experiments of Alessandro Volta in the 1800s, the experiments of Michael Faraday, Georg Ohm and others and the invention of the electric motor in 1872. The work of James Maxwell and Heinrich Hertz in the late 19th century gave rise to the field of Electronics. The later inventions of the vacuum tube and the transistor further accelerated the development of Electronics to such an extent that electrical and electronics engineers currently outnumber their colleagues of any other Engineering specialty.

    The inventions of Thomas Savery and the Scottish engineer James Watt gave rise to modern Mechanical Engineering. The development of specialized machines and their maintenance tools during the industrial revolution led to the rapid growth of Mechanical Engineering both in its birthplace Britain and abroad.

    Chemical Engineering, like its counterpart Mechanical Engineering, developed in the nineteenth century during the Industrial Revolution. Industrial scale manufacturing demanded new materials and new processes and by 1880 the need for large scale production of chemicals was such that a new industry was created, dedicated to the development and large scale manufacturing of chemicals in new industrial plants. The role of the chemical engineer was the design of these chemical plants and processes.

    Aeronautical Engineering deals with aircraft design while Aerospace Engineering is a more modern term that expands the reach envelope of the discipline by including spacecraft design. Its origins can be traced back to the aviation pioneers around the turn of the century from the 19th century to the 20th although the work of Sir George Cayley has recently been dated as being from the last decade of the 18th century. Early knowledge of aeronautical engineering was largely empirical with some concepts and skills imported from other branches of engineering. Only a decade after the successful flights by the Wright brothers, the 1920s saw extensive development of aeronautical engineering through development of World War I military aircraft. Meanwhile, research to provide fundamental background science continued by combining theoretical physics with experiments.

    The first PhD in engineering (technically, applied science and engineering) awarded in the United States went to Willard Gibbs at Yale University in 1863; it was also the second PhD awarded in science in the U.S.

    In 1990, with the rise of computer technology, the first search engine was built by computer engineer Alan Emtage.

    Main branches of engineering

    Engineering, much like science, is a broad discipline which is often broken down into several sub-disciplines. These disciplines concern themselves with differing areas of engineering work. Although initially an engineer will be trained in a specific discipline, throughout an engineer’s career the engineer may become multi-disciplined, having worked in several of the outlined areas. Historically the main Branches of Engineering are categorized as follows:

    – Aerospace Engineering – The design of aircraft, spacecraft and related topics.
    – Chemical Engineering – The conversion of raw materials into usable commodities and the optimization of flow systems, especially separations.
    – Civil Engineering – The design and construction of public and private works, such as infrastructure, bridges and buildings.
    – Electrical Engineering – The design of electrical systems, such as transformers, as well as electronic goods.
    – Mechanical Engineering – The design of physical or mechanical systems, such as engines, powertrains, kinematic chains and vibration isolation equipment.

    With the rapid advancement of Technology many new fields are gaining prominence and new branches are developing such as Computer Engineering, Software Engineering, Nanotechnology, Molecular engineering, Mechatronics etc. These new specialties sometimes combine with the traditional fields and form new branches such as Mechanical Engineering and Mechatronics and Electrical and Computer Engineering.

    For each of these fields there exists considerable overlap, especially in the areas of the application of sciences to their disciplines such as physics, chemistry and mathematics.


    Engineers apply the sciences of physics and mathematics to find suitable solutions to problems or to make improvements to the status quo. More than ever, Engineers are now required to have knowledge of relevant sciences for their design projects, as a result, they keep on learning new material throughout their career. If multiple options exist, engineers weigh different design choices on their merits and choose the solution that best matches the requirements. The crucial and unique task of the engineer is to identify, understand, and interpret the constraints on a design in order to produce a successful result. It is usually not enough to build a technically successful product; it must also meet further requirements. Constraints may include available resources, physical, imaginative or technical limitations, flexibility for future modifications and additions, and other factors, such as requirements for cost, safety, marketability, productibility, and serviceability. By understanding the constraints, engineers derive specifications for the limits within which a viable object or system may be produced and operated.

    Problem solving

    Engineers use their knowledge of science, mathematics, and appropriate experience to find suitable solutions to a problem. Engineering is considered a branch of applied mathematics and science. Creating an appropriate mathematical model of a problem allows them to analyze it (sometimes definitively), and to test potential solutions. Usually multiple reasonable solutions exist, so engineers must evaluate the different design choices on their merits and choose the solution that best meets their requirements. Genrich Altshuller, after gathering statistics on a large number of patents, suggested that compromises are at the heart of “low-level” engineering designs, while at a higher level the best design is one which eliminates the core contradiction causing the problem.

    Engineers typically attempt to predict how well their designs will perform to their specifications prior to full-scale production. They use, among other things: prototypes, scale models, simulations, destructive tests, nondestructive tests, and stress tests. Testing ensures that products will perform as expected. Engineers as professionals take seriously their responsibility to produce designs that will perform as expected and will not cause unintended harm to the public at large. Engineers typically include a factor of safety in their designs to reduce the risk of unexpected failure. However, the greater the safety factor, the less efficient the design may be. The study of failed products is known as forensic engineering, and can help the product designer in evaluating his or her design in the light of real conditions. The discipline is of greatest value after disasters, such as bridge collapses, when careful analysis is needed to establish the cause or causes of the failure.

    Computer use

    As with all modern scientific and technological endeavors, computers and software play an increasingly important role. As well as the typical business application software there are a number of computer aided applications (CAx) specifically for engineering. Computers can be used to generate models of fundamental physical processes, which can be solved using numerical methods.

    One of the most widely used tools in the profession is computer-aided design (CAD) software which enables engineers to create 3D models, 2D drawings, and schematics of their designs. CAD together with Digital mockup (DMU) and CAE software such as finite element method analysis or analytic element method allows engineers to create models of designs that can be analyzed without having to make expensive and time-consuming physical prototypes. These allow products and components to be checked for flaws; assess fit and assembly; study ergonomics; and to analyze static and dynamic characteristics of systems such as stresses, temperatures, electromagnetic emissions, electrical currents and voltages, digital logic levels, fluid flows, and kinematics. Access and distribution of all this information is generally organized with the use of Product Data Management software.

    There are also many tools to support specific engineering tasks such as Computer-aided manufacture (CAM) software to generate CNC machining instructions; Manufacturing Process Management software for production engineering; EDA for printed circuit board (PCB) and circuit schematics for electronic engineers; MRO applications for maintenance management; and AEC software for civil engineering.

    In recent years the use of computer software to aid the development of goods has collectively come to be known as Product Lifecycle Management (PLM).

    Engineering in a social context

    Engineering is a subject that ranges from large collaborations to small individual projects. Almost all engineering projects are beholden to some sort of financing agency: a company, a set of investors, or a government. The few types of engineering that are minimally constrained by such issues are pro bono engineering and open design engineering.

    By its very nature engineering is bound up with society and human behavior. Every product or construction used by modern society will have been influenced by engineering design. Engineering design is a very powerful tool to make changes to environment, society and economies, and its application brings with it a great responsibility, as represented by many of the Engineering Institutions codes of practice and ethics. Whereas medical ethics is a well-established field with considerable consensus, engineering ethics is far less developed, and engineering projects can be subject to considerable controversy. Just a few examples of this from different engineering disciplines are the development of nuclear weapons, the Three Gorges Dam, the design and use of Sports Utility Vehicles and the extraction of oil. There is a growing trend amongst western engineering companies to enact serious Corporate and Social Responsibility policies, but many companies do not have these.

    Engineering is a key driver of human development. Sub-Saharan Africa in particular has a very small engineering capacity which results in many African nations being unable to develop crucial infrastructure without outside aid. The attainment of many of the Millennium Development Goals requires the achievement of sufficient engineering capacity to develop infrastructure and sustainable technological development. All overseas development and relief NGOs make considerable use of engineers to apply solutions in disaster and development scenarios. A number of charitable organizations aim to use engineering directly for the good of mankind:

    Engineers Without Borders
    Engineers Against Poverty
    Registered Engineers for Disaster Relief
    Engineers for a Sustainable World

    Cultural presence

    Engineering is a well respected profession. For example, in Canada it ranks as one of the public’s most trusted professions.

    Sometimes engineering has been seen as a somewhat dry, uninteresting field in popular culture, and has also been thought to be the domain of nerds. For example, the cartoon character Dilbert is an engineer. One difficulty in increasing public awareness of the profession is that average people, in the typical run of ordinary life, do not ever have any personal dealings with engineers, even though they benefit from their work every day. By contrast, it is common to visit a doctor at least once a year, the chartered accountant at tax time, and, occasionally, even a lawyer.

    This has not always been so – most British school children in the 1950s were brought up with stirring tales of ‘the Victorian Engineers’, chief amongst whom were the Brunels, the Stephensons, Telford and their contemporaries.

    In science fiction engineers are often portrayed as highly knowledgeable and respectable individuals who understand the overwhelming future technologies often portrayed in the genre. The Star Trek characters Montgomery Scott, Geordi La Forge, Miles O’Brien, B’Elanna Torres, and Charles Tucker are famous examples.

    Occasionally, engineers may be recognized by the “Iron Ring”–a stainless steel or iron ring worn on the little finger of the dominant hand. This tradition began in 1925 in Canada for the Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer as a symbol of pride and obligation for the engineering profession. Some years later in 1972 this practice was adopted by several colleges in the United States. Members of the US Order of the Engineer accept this ring as a pledge to uphold the proud history of engineering.

    A Professional Engineer’s name may be followed by the post-nominal letters PE or P.Eng in North America. In much of Europe a professional engineer is denoted by the letters IR, while in the UK and much of the Commonwealth the term Chartered Engineer applies and is denoted by the letters CEng.


    In most Western countries, certain engineering tasks, such as the design of bridges, electric power plants, and chemical plants, must be approved by a Professional Engineer or a Chartered Engineer or an Incorporated Engineer.
    Laws protecting public health and safety mandate that a professional must provide guidance gained through education and experience. In the United States, each state tests and licenses Professional Engineers. In much of Europe and the Commonwealth professional accreditation is provided by Engineering Institutions, such as the Institution of Civil Engineers from the UK. The engineering institutions of the UK are some of the oldest in the world, and provide accreditation to many engineers around the world. In Canada the profession in each province is governed by its own engineering association. For instance, in the Province of British Columbia an engineering graduate with 4 or more years of experience in an engineering-related field will need to be registered by the Association for Professional Engineers and Geoscientists (APEGBC) in order to become a Professional Engineer and be granted the professional designation of P.Eng.

    The federal US government, however, supervises aviation through the Federal Aviation Regulations administrated by the Dept. of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration. Designated Engineering Representatives approve data for aircraft design and repairs on behalf of the Federal Aviation Administration.

    Even with strict testing and licensure, engineering disasters still occur. Therefore, the Professional Engineer, Chartered Engineer, or Incorporated Engineer adheres to a strict code of ethics. Each engineering discipline and professional society maintains a code of ethics, which the members pledge to uphold.

    Refer also to the Washington accord for international accreditation details of professional engineering degrees.

    Relationships with other disciplines

    Scientists study the world as it is; engineers create the world that has never been.
    —Theodore von Kármán

    There exists an overlap between the sciences and engineering practice; in engineering, one applies science. Both areas of endeavor rely on accurate observation of materials and phenomena. Both use mathematics and classification criteria to analyze and communicate observations. Scientists are expected to interpret their observations and to make expert recommendations for practical action based on those interpretations. Scientists may also have to complete engineering tasks, such as designing experimental apparatus or building prototypes. Conversely, in the process of developing technology engineers sometimes find themselves exploring new phenomena, thus becoming, for the moment, scientists.

    In the book What Engineers Know and How They Know It, Walter Vincenti asserts that engineering research has a character different from that of scientific research. First, it often deals with areas in which the basic physics and/or chemistry are well understood, but the problems themselves are too complex to solve in an exact manner. Examples are the use of numerical approximations to the Navier-Stokes equations to describe aerodynamic flow over an aircraft, or the use of Miner’s rule to calculate fatigue damage. Second, engineering research employs many semi-empirical methods that are foreign to pure scientific research, one example being the method of parameter variation.
    As stated by Fung et al. in the revision to the classic engineering text, Foundations of Solid Mechanics,
    “Engineering is quite different from science. Scientists try to understand nature. Engineers try to make things that do not exist in nature. Engineers stress invention. To embody an invention the engineer must put his idea in concrete terms, and design something that people can use. That something can be a device, a gadget, a material, a method, a computing program, an innovative experiment, a new solution to a problem, or an improvement on what is existing. Since a design has to be concrete, it must have its geometry, dimensions, and characteristic numbers. Almost all engineers working on new designs find that they do not have all the needed information. Most often, they are limited by insufficient scientific knowledge. Thus they study mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and mechanics. Often they have to add to the sciences relevant to their profession. Thus engineering sciences are born.”
    Scientists and engineers make up less than 5% of the population but create up to 50% of the GDP.

    Medicine and biology

    Leonardo DaVinci, has been described as the epitome of the artist/engineer. He is also known for his studies on human anatomy and physiognomy.

    The study of the human body, albeit from different directions and for different purposes, is an important common link between medicine and some engineering disciplines. Medicine aims to sustain, enhance and even replace functions of the human body, if necessary, through the use of technology. Modern medicine can replace several of the body’s functions through the use of artificial organs and can significantly alter the function of the human body through artificial devices such as, for example, brain implants and pacemakers. The fields of Bionics and medical Bionics are dedicated to the study of synthetic implants pertaining to natural systems. Conversely, some engineering disciplines view the human body as a biological machine worth studying, and are dedicated to emulating many of its functions by replacing biology with technology. This has led to fields such as artificial intelligence, neural networks, fuzzy logic, and robotics. There are also substantial interdisciplinary interactions between engineering and medicine.

    Both fields provide solutions to real world problems. This often requires moving forward before phenomena are completely understood in a more rigorous scientific sense and therefore experimentation and empirical knowledge is an integral part of both. Medicine, in part, studies the function of the human body. The human body, as a biological machine, has many functions that can be modeled using Engineering methods. The heart for example functions much like a pump, the skeleton is like a linked structure with levers, the brain produces electrical signals etc. These similarities as well as the increasing importance and application of Engineering principles in Medicine, led to the development of the field of biomedical engineering that utilizes concepts developed in both disciplines.

    Newly emerging branches of science, such as Systems biology, are adapting analytical tools traditionally used for engineering, such as systems modeling and computational analysis, to the description of biological systems.


    There are connections between engineering and art; they are direct in some fields, for example, architecture, landscape architecture and industrial design (even to the extent that these disciplines may sometimes be included in a University’s Faculty of Engineering); and indirect in others. The Art Institute of Chicago, for instance, held an exhibition about the art of NASA’s aerospace design. Robert Maillart’s bridge design is perceived by some to have been deliberately artistic. At the University of South Florida, an engineering professor, through a grant with the National Science Foundation, has developed a course that connects art and engineering. Among famous historical figures Leonardo Da Vinci is a well known Renaissance artist and engineer, and a prime example of the nexus between art and engineering.


  • Extreme sport

    Extreme Sports (also called action sport and adventure sport) is a media term for certain activities perceived as having a high level of inherent danger. These activities often involve speed, height, high level of physical exertion, highly specialized gear or spectacular stunts.

    At present date, there are no careful studies or statistics of deaths to separate activities with low or normal level of danger from those with high level of danger. It is instead used as a marketing term in promoting events such as the X Games.


    While use of the term “Extreme Sports” has spread far and wide to describe a multitude of different activities, exactly which sports are considered ‘extreme’ is debatable. There are however several characteristics common to most extreme sports. While not the exclusive domain of youth, extreme sports tend to have a younger-than-average target demographic. Extreme sports are rarely sanctioned by schools. Extreme sports tend to be more solitary than traditional sports. In addition, beginning extreme athletes tend to work on their craft without the guidance of a coach (though some may hire a coach later).

    Activities categorized by media as extreme sports differ from traditional sports due to the relatively higher number of inherently uncontrollable variables. Athletes in these activities compete not only against other athletes, but also against environmental obstacles and challenges. These environmental variables are frequently weather and terrain related, including wind, snow, water and mountains. Because these natural phenomena cannot be controlled, they inevitably affect the outcome of the given activity or event.

    In a traditional sporting event, athletes compete against each other under controlled circumstances. While it is possible to create a controlled sporting event such as X Games, there are often variables that cannot be held constant for all athletes. Examples include snow conditions for snowboarders, rock and ice quality for climbers, and wave height for surfers.

    Whilst traditional sporting judgment criteria may be adopted when assessing performance (distance, time, score etc), extreme sports performers are often evaluated on more subjective and aesthetic criteria. This results in a tendency to reject unified judging methods, with different sports employing their own ideals and indeed having the ability to evolve their assessment standards with new trends or developments in the sport.

    The history of several core “extreme sports” can be traced back to the splintering of the ancient Polynesian leisure activity now known as surfing, and the appropriation of existing-technology (the skateboard) for new purposes. In the 1970’s surfers from Venice and Santa Monica, California began “surfing” on skateboards to keep their skills fresh in the surfing off-season. Until that time, skateboards had been seen more as a toy than a piece of athletic equipment, having enjoyed brief periods of popularity in the 50’s and 60’s. As portrayed in the feature film “Lords of Dogtown” and the documentary “Dogtown and Z-Boys”, skateboarding soon became a sport. With the widespread availability of skating terrain, skateboarding eventually surpassed surfing in popularity. The popularity of extreme sports has continued to grow, branching in all directions to include land and sea-based events like surfboat rowing, street luge and windsurfing, and even aerial activities like skydiving and sky surfing.

    The term extreme sport was populated by X Games, a multi-sport event created and developed by ESPN. The first X Games (known as 1995 Extreme Games) were held in Newport, Providence, Mount Snow and Vermont in United States.


    Some contend that the distinction between an extreme sport and a conventional one is as much to do with marketing as it is to do with perceptions about levels of danger involved or the amount of adrenaline generated. Furthermore a sport like rugby union, though dangerous and adrenaline-inducing, would not fall into the category of extreme sports due to its traditional image, and it does not have certain things that other extreme sports do, such as very high level of speed and an intention to perform stunts. Scuba diving is not seen as an extreme sport these days, despite the level of danger and physical exertion, because of its primarily adult demographic. Also the fact that it is not classed as a sport, as there is no objective to the activity. Another example: compare the perception of demolition derby, not usually thought of as an extreme sport, to that of BMX racing, which is. Demolition derby has an adult demographic, BMX is a youth sport.

    In addition to the generational divide, one true hallmark of an extreme sport is a counter-cultural aura–a rejection of authority and the status quo by disaffected youth. The youth of Generation Y have seized upon activities which they can claim as their own, and have begun rejecting more traditional sports in increasing numbers.

    The definition of extreme sports may have shifted over the years due to marketing trends. When the term first surfaced circa the late 1980s/early 1990s, it was used for adult sports such as skydiving, scuba diving, surfing, rock climbing, snow skiing, water skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, mountaineering, storm chasing, hang gliding, and bungee jumping, many of which were undergoing an unprecedented growth in popularity at the time. Outside magazine, not the X Games, epitomized the meaning of the term, and if there was a clothing style associated with extreme sports it was an “outdoorsy” look favoring brand names associated with mountaineering or backpacking such as The North Face and Patagonia, Teva sandals or hiking boots for footwear, etc. The term nowadays applies more to youth sports like skateboarding, snowboarding, aggressive skating, FMX and BMX and is closely associated with marketing efforts aimed at the younger generation (e.g. the ad campaigns of Mountain Dew), and with their favored styles of clothing and music, especially the kind of urban baggy look associated with skateboarders, and loud, fast alternative rock. This shift in styles may also be partly a generational shift, as Baby Boomers and Generation X have aged and marketing efforts associated with extreme sports shifted toward the younger Generation Y demographic sometime in the mid to late 1990s.

    The term gained popularity with the advent of the X Games, a made-for-television collection of events. Advertisers were quick to recognize the appeal of the event to the public, as a consequence competitors and organizers are not wanting for sponsorship these days. The high profile of extreme sports and the culture surrounding them has also led people to invent parodies, such as Extreme ironing, urban housework, extreme croquet, and house gymnastics.
    The difference between the serious extreme sports and imitation or parody is not always obvious.

    Adrenaline rush

    A feature of such activities in the view of some is their alleged capacity to induce an adrenaline rush in participants. However, the medical view is that the rush or high associated with the activity is not due to adrenaline being released as a response to fear, but due to increased levels of dopamine, endorphins and serotonin because of the high level of physical exertion. Furthermore, a recent study suggests that the link to adrenaline and ‘true’ extreme sports is tentative. The study defined ‘true’ extreme sports as a leisure or recreation activity where the most likely outcome of a mismanaged accident or mistake was death. This definition was designed to separate the marketing hype from the activity. Another characteristic of activities so labeled is they tend to be individual rather than team sports. Extreme sports can include both competitive and non-competitive activities.


    Eric Brymer PhD (2005) also found that the potential of various extraordinary human experiences, many of which parallel those found in activities such as meditation, was an important part of the extreme sport experience.

    Some of the sports have existed for decades and their proponents span generations, some going on to become well known personalities. Rock climbing and ice climbing have spawned publicly recognizable names such as Edmund Hillary, Chris Bonington, Wolfgang Gullich and more recently Joe Simpson. Another example is surfing, which was originally invented centuries ago by the native inhabitants of Hawaii.


  • Feasibility study

    What is Feasibility Study?

    A feasibility study is a preliminary study undertaken to determine and document a project’s viability or the discipline of planning, organizing, and managing resources to bring about the successful completion of specific project goals and objectives. The term is also used to describe the preliminary analysis of an existing system to see if it is worth upgrading all or a part. Also known as feasibility analysis. The term is also used to refer to the resulting document. The results of this study are used to make a decision whether or not to proceed with the project. If it indeed leads to a project being approved, it will — before the real work of the proposed project starts and be used to ascertain the likelihood of the project’s success. It is an analysis of possible alternative solutions to a problem and a recommendation on the best alternative. It can decide, for example, whether order processing can be carried out by a new system more efficiently than the previous one.

    If a project is seen to be feasible from the results of the study, the next logical step is to proceed with it. The research and information uncovered in the feasibility study will support the detailed planning and reduce the research time.

    Types of Feasibility Studies

    The following sections describe various types of feasibility studies.

    Market and Real Estate Feasibility

    Market Feasibility Study typically involves testing geographic locations for a real estate development project, and usually involves parcels of real estate land. Developers often conduct market studies to determine the best location within a jurisdiction, and to test alternative land uses for a given parcels. Jurisdictions often require developers to complete feasibility studies before they will approve a permit application for retail, commercial, industrial, manufacturing, housing, office or mixed-use project.

    Technology and System Feasibility

    This involves questions such as whether the technology needed for the system exists, how difficult it will be to build, and whether the firm has enough experience using that technology. The assessment is based on an outline design of system requirements in terms of Input, Processes, Output, Fields, Programs, and Procedures. This can be quantified in terms of volumes of data, trends, frequency of updating, etc in order to estimate if the new system will perform adequately or not.

    Resource Feasibility

    This involves questions such as how much time is available to build the new system, when it can be built, whether it interferes with normal business operations, type and amount of resources required, dependencies, etc. Contingency and mitigation plans should also be stated here so that if the project does over run the company is ready for this eventuality.

    Cultural Feasibility

    In this stage, the project’s alternatives are evaluated for their impact on the local and general culture. For example, environmental factors need to be considered and this factors are to be well known. Further an enterprise’s own culture can clash with the results of the project.

    Operational feasibility

    Do the current work practices and procedures support a new system. Also social factors i.e. how the organizational changes will affect the working lives of those affected by the system..

    Legal Feasibility

    Determines whether the proposed system conflicts with legal requirements, e.g. a Data Processing system must comply with the local Data Protection Acts. When an organization has either internal or external legal counsel, such reviews are typically standard. However, a project may face legal issues after completion if this factor is not considered at this stage.

    Marketing and Economic Feasibility

    A business plan needs to be based on the market forces that could affect the commercial viability of the business. Internal projects must establish the cost-effectiveness of the proposed system i.e. if the benefits do not outweigh the costs then it is not worth going ahead. This includes a cost benefit analysis.

    Schedule Feasibility
    A project will fail if it takes too long to be completed before it is useful. Typically this means estimating how long the system will take to develop, and if it can be completed in a given time period using some methods like payback period.


  • Filtration

    Filtration is a mechanical or physical operation which is used for the separation of solids from fluids (liquids or gases) by interposing a medium to fluid flow through which the fluid can pass, but the solids (or at least part of the solids) in the fluid are retained. It has to be emphasized that the separation is not complete, and it will depend on the pore size and the thickness of the medium as well as the mechanisms that occur during filtration.

    Filtration is used for the purification of fluids: for instance separating dust from the atmosphere to clean ambient air.

    Filtration, as a physical operation is very important in chemistry for the separation of materials of different chemical composition in solution (or solids which can be dissolved) by first using a reagent to precipitate one of the materials and then use a filter to separate the solid from the other material(s).

    Filtration is also important and widely used as one of the unit operations of chemical engineering.

    It is important not to confuse filtration with sieving. In sieving there is only a single layer of medium where size separation occurs purely by the fact that the fraction of the particulate solid matter which is too large to be able to pass through the holes of the sieve, scientifically called oversize are retained. In filtration a multilayer medium is involved, where other mechanisms are included as well, for instance direct interception, diffusion and centrifugal action, where in this latter those particles, which are unable to follow the tortuous channels of the filter will also adhere to the structure of the medium and are retained.

    Depending on the application, either one or both of the components may be isolated. Examples of filtration include A) a coffee filter to keep the coffee separate from the grounds and B) the use of HEPA filters in air conditioning to remove particles from air.

    The filtration process separates particles and fluid from a suspension, and the fluid can be either a liquid or a gas (or a supercritical fluid). To separate a mixture of chemical compounds, a solvent is chosen which dissolves one component, while not dissolving the other. By dissolving the mixture in the chosen solvent, one component will go into the solution and pass through the filter, while the other will be retained. This is one of the most important techniques used by chemists to purify compounds.

    Filtration also cleans up air streams or other gas streams. Furnaces use filtration to prevent the furnace elements from fouling with particulates. Pneumatic conveying systems often employ filtration to stop or slow the flow of material that is transported, through the use of a baghouse.

    The remainder of this article focuses primarily on liquid filtration.


    There are many different methods of filtration; all aim to attain the separation of substances. This is achieved by some form of interaction between the substance or objects to be removed and the filter. In addition the substance that is to pass through the filter must be a fluid, i.e. a liquid or gas.

    The simplest method of filtration is to pass a solution of a solid and fluid through a porous interface so that the solid is trapped, while the fluid passes through. This principle relies upon the size difference between the particles making up the fluid, and the particles making up the solid. In the laboratory, a Büchner funnel is often used, with a filter paper serving as the porous barrier.

    For example an experiment to prove the existence of microscopic organisms involves the comparison of water passed through unglazed porcelain and unfiltered water. When left in sealed containers the filtered water takes longer to go foul, showing that very small items (such as bacteria) can be removed from fluids by filtration.

    Filtration is a process of separating mixtures(2 or more)which are different in their solubility or even size.


    Liquids usually flow through the filter by gravity. This is the simplest method, and can be seen in the coffeemaker example. For chemical plants, this is usually the most economical method as well. In the laboratory, pressure in the form of compressed air may be applied to make the filtration process faster, though this may lead to clogging or the passage of fine particles. Alternatively, the liquid may flow through the filter by the force exerted by a pump. In this case, the filter need not be mounted vertically.

    Filter media

    There are two main types of filter media — a solid sieve which traps the solid particles, with or without the aid of filter paper, and a bed of granular material which retains the solid particles as it passes. The first type allows the solid particles, i.e. the residue, to be collected intact; the second type does not permit this. However, the second type is less prone to clogging due to the greater surface area where the particles can be trapped. Also, when the solid particles are very fine, it is often cheaper and easier to discard the contaminated granules than to clean the solid sieve.

    Filter media can be cleaned by rinsing with solvents or detergents. Alternatively, in engineering applications, such as swimming pool water treatment plants, they may be cleaned by backwashing.

    Examples of the first type include filter paper used with a Buchner, Hirsch, filter funnel or other similar funnel. A sintered-glass funnel is often used in chemistry laboratories because it is able to trap very fine particles, while permitting the particles to be removed by a spatula.

    Examples of the second type include filters at municipal and swimming pool water treatment plants, where the granular material is sand. In the laboratory, Celite or diatomaceous earth is packed in a Pasteur pipette (microscale) or loaded on top of a sintered-glass funnel to serve as the filter bed.

    The following points should be considered while selecting the filter media:
    – ability to build the solid.
    – minimum resistance to flow the filtrate.
    -resistance to chemical attack.
    -minimum cost.
    -long life.

    Filter aid

    Certain filter aids may be used to aid filtration. These are often incompressible diatomaceous earth or kieselguhr, which is composed primarily of silica. Also used are wood cellulose and other inert porous solids.

    These filter aids can be used in two different ways. They can be used as a precoat before the slurry is filtered. This will prevent gelatinous-type solids from plugging the filter medium and also give a clearer filtrate. They can also be added to the slurry before filtration. This increases the porosity of the cake and reduces resistance of the cake during filtration. In a rotary filter, the filter aid may be applied as a precoat; subsequently, thin slices of this layer are sliced off with the cake.

    The use of filter aids is usually limited to cases where the cake is discarded or where the precipitate can be separated chemically from the filter.


    Filtration is a more efficient method for the separation of mixtures than decantation, but is much more time consuming. If very small amounts of solution are involved, most of the solution may be soaked up by the filter medium.

    An alternative to filtration is centrifugation — instead of filtering the mixture of solid and liquid particles, the mixture is centrifuged to force the (usually) denser solid to the bottom, where it often forms a firm cake. The liquid above can then be decanted. This method is especially useful for separating solids which do not filter well, such as gelatinous or fine particles. These solids can clog or pass through the filter, respectively.

    Filter types

    – Gravity filter (open system that operates with water column pressure only)
    – Pressure filter (closed system that operates under pressure from a pump)
    – Side stream filter (filter in a closed loop, that filters part of the media per cycle only)
    – Depth filter
    – Continuous rotary filters


  • Fountain

    A traditional fountain is an arrangement where water issues from a source (Latin fons), fills a basin of some kind, and is drained away. Fountains may be wall fountains or free-standing. In fountains sheets of water may flow over varied surfaces of stone, concrete or metal. Basins may overflow from one into another, or the overflow may imitate a natural cascade. Many fountains are located in small, artificial, ornamental ponds, basins and formal garden pools, and often they include sculpture.

    One of the most common features of a fountain, if there is enough pressure, is one or more jets, in which water is forced into the air under pressure to some height. A famous example of such a modern fountain rises from the surface of Lake Geneva.


    Early fountains depended on the natural gravitational flow of water, from a spring or aqueduct supplied by a distant and higher source of water, which provided hydraulic head.

    Hellenistic hydraulic engineers employed great originality in designing fountains, where the water pressure might be employed to animate automata and water organs.

    Reciprocating motion was first described in 1206 by Iraqi engineer and inventor al-Jazari when the kings of the Artuqid dynasty in Turkey commissioned him to manufacture a machine to raise water for their palaces. The finest result was an machine called the double-acting reciprocating piston pump, which translated rotary motion to reciprocating motion via the crankshaft-connecting rod mechanism.

    Other early fountains were geometrically regularized springs, developed in the classic Persian garden. These gardens were typically enclosed and were designed to provide relaxation. The effect of sunlight was the main concern regarding the structural aspect of the Persian garden design. Shapes and textures were specifically chosen for their ability to direct sunlight. In the 16th century elaborate fountain displays were garden features of Mannerist gardens of Central Italy and the Mughal gardens of India.

    Early Modern English employed fountain to refer to a natural spring water or source, which the 16th century garden fountain might consciously imitate in a grotto.

    Fountain of life

    Christian allegory made much use of the concept of the fountain, specifically the Fountain of Life, associated with the rebirth that was intended to be experienced at the Baptismal font. The Fountain of Life appears in Christian illuminated manuscripts of Late Antiquity, and elaborate Gothic fountains formed centerpieces for exclosed gardens. An offshoot of the Fountain of Life was the legend of the Fountain of Youth, which Juan Ponce de León sought in Florida. From the Fountain of Youth one can drink to gain immortality, or to regain one’s youth.

    The practical Romans marked the delivery end of aqueducts with a public fountain, a practice that was revived in Rome in the 15th century, when the restored Aqua Felice once more delivered a symbolic presentation of its waters to Rome in the original Trevi Fountain, since replaced by the familiar Baroque fusion of water, architecture and sculpture.

    Animated fountains

    Animated fountain in Moscow’s Square of Europe, with cascades of water jets pulsating up and down to imitate the surf.

    Animated fountains often use laminar jets that provide water that moves like ping pong balls in animation, so that it breaks up, as the height varies, and the behaviour of each jet operates independently with up to 5 Hz modulation frequency (1/5 second), so that the water packets collide with themselves. For example, such fountains can spit up one ball of water which then explodes, showering people with a fine mist.

    A musical fountain is a type of fountain that dances in time with recorded or live music, controlled either by a computer or by a live “organist” operating the fountain through a switchboard. Notable examples of this are fountains on Vasilievsky Island in St. Petersburg, Russia, and the fountains of the Bellagio in the Las Vegas Strip.

    Other meanings

    In Islam, a fountain is the name of the place in the Mosque where worshippers can wash before Prayer.

    A splash fountain or bathing fountain is a fountain intended for people to cool off in. Although many fountains were not designed as bathing fountains, children of all ages often use them for that purpose. Some fountains are fenced in, or have raised edges as a barricade to keep people out. In other situations, fountains are designed to allow easy access, and feature nonslip surfaces, so that people can safely use them to cool off in on hot summer days.

    Splash fountains have zero standing water, to eliminate possible drowning hazards, so that no lifeguards or supervision is required. These splash pads are often located in public pools, public parks, or public playgrounds (known as “spraygrounds”).

    A recent example of a public splash fountain, intended for waterplay, is the one located in Toronto’s Dundas Square. It consists of 600 ground nozzles arranged in groups of 30 (3 rows of 10 nozzles). Each group of 30 nozzles is located beneath a stainless steel grille. Twenty such grilles are arranged in two rows of 10, right in the middle of the main walkway through Dundas Square. Both the architects and the designers have confirmed that these were intended for waterplay, and the facility operators have confirmed that the water is treated to pool water quality standards, and that the water quality is tested, by the health department, at least once a day. The entire surface of Dundas Square is made of special nonslip square granite slabs that match the size of the metal grilles. The special texture on the slabs ensures that they are not slippery when wet.

    Spray fountains are designed to serve as a play area where children (and sometimes adults) can run around and cool off under a canopy of water. Spray fountains are becoming popular in areas where the construction of public pools is difficult or costly, such as urban areas. However, spray fountains can also be used to enhance a pool’s surrounding play area.

    A water fountain or drinking fountain is designed to provide drinking water and has a basin arrangement with either continuously running water or a tap. Modern indoor drinking fountains may incorporate filters to remove impurities from the water and chillers to reduce its temperature. In some regional dialects, water fountains are referred to as bubblers. Water fountains are usually found in public places, like schools, rest areas and grocery stores. Many jurisdictions require water fountains to be wheelchair accessible (by sticking out horizontally from the wall), and to include an additional unit of a lower height for children and short adults. The design that this replaced often had one spout atop a refrigeration unit.


    In modern fountains the traditional gravitational pressure from an unseen reservoir at a higher level is not always practical. In many circumstances fountains obtain their water from a closed, recirculating system that must still be filled at the start from the local water supply system and also topped up through its life to offset the effects of evaporation. Allowance must also be made to handle overflow in the case of heavy rain.

    The pressure that causes water to move through the fountain may be produced instead by a motor-driven (often submersible electric) pump. “Static head” is useful to quantify this pressure.

    A water filter, typically a media filter, removes particles from the water, this filter requires its own pump to force water through it and plumbing to remove the water from the pool to the filter and then back to the pool. The water may need chlorination or anti-algal treatment, or may use biological methods to filter and clean water.

    The pumps, filter, electrical switch box and plumbing controls are often housed in a “plant room”. Low-voltage lighting, typically 12 volt direct current, is used to minimise electrical hazards. Lighting is often submerged and must be suitably designed. Floating fountains are also popular for ponds and lakes they consist of a float pump nozzle and water chamber.

    Fountains for celebration

    Many civic fountains in public parks are commissioned in commemoration of either national or public figures.

    There are also some limited fountain day celebrations. The University at Albany hosts an annual “Fountain Day,” a day on which the university community comes together to celebrate the arrival of spring and the near-end of the semester. Drawing large crowds, the fountain-centered event creates something akin to an urban beach.

    Fountains that are musical instruments

    A hydraulophone is a fountain that can be played as a musical instrument. These fountains are like woodwind instruments, but using water instead of air. The embouchure of the instrument occurs at the finger holes (referred to as “mouths”). Hydraulophones often have multiple “mouths”, so that a player can put each finger into a different mouth at the same time, in order to play chords, while independently manipulating each finger for separate and individual control of the embouchure of each note in a chord. A skilled hydraulist can slightly “bend” each note in order to play just intonation in any desired key, or to gently and fluidly vary intonation or temperament as a piece of music changes from one key to another.


  • Hotel

    A hotel is an establishment that provides paid lodging, usually on a short-term basis. The provision of basic accommodation, in times past, consisting only of a room with a bed, a cupboard, a small table and a washstand has largely been replaced by rooms with modern facilities, including en-suite bathrooms and air conditioning or climate control. Additional common features found in hotel rooms are a telephone, an alarm clock, a television, and Internet connectivity; snack foods and drinks may be supplied in a mini-bar, and facilities for making hot drinks. Larger hotels may provide a number of additional guest facilities such as a restaurant, a swimming pool or childcare, and have conference and social function services.

    Some hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. In the United Kingdom, a hotel is required by law to serve food and drinks to all guests within certain stated hours; to avoid this requirement it is not uncommon to come across private hotels which are not subject to this requirement. In Japan, capsule hotels provide a minimized amount of room space and shared facilities.

    In Australia and Canada, hotel may also refer to a pub or bar. In India, the word may also refer to a restaurant since the best restaurants were always situated next to a good hotel.


    The word hotel is derived from the French hôtel (coming from hôte meaning host), which referred to a French version of a townhouse or any other building seeing frequent visitors, rather than a place offering accommodation. In contemporary French usage, hôtel now has the same meaning as the English term, and hôtel particulier is used for the old meaning. The French spelling, with the circumflex, was also used in English, but is now rare. The circumflex replaces the ‘s’ found in the earlier hostel spelling, which over time took on a new, but closely related meaning. Grammatically, hotels usually take the definite article – hence “The Astoria Hotel” or simply “The Astoria”.


    The cost and quality of hotels are usually indicative of the range and type of services available. Due to the enormous increase in tourism worldwide during the last decades of the 20th century, standards, especially those of smaller establishments, have improved considerably. For the sake of greater comparability, rating systems have been introduced, with the one to five stars classification being most common and with higher star ratings indicating more luxury. Hotels are independently assessed in traditional systems and these rely heavily on the facilities provided. Some consider this disadvantageous to smaller hotels whose quality of accommodation could fall into one class but the lack of an item such as an elevator would prevent it from reaching a higher categorization. In some countries, there is an official body with standard criteria for classifying hotels, but in many others there is none. There have been attempts at unifying the classification system so that it becomes an internationally recognized and reliable standard but large differences exist in the quality of the accommodation and the food within one category of hotel, sometimes even in the same country. The American Automobile Association (AAA) and their affiliated bodies use diamonds instead of stars to express hotel and restaurant ratings levels.

    Historic hotels

    Some hotels have gained their renown through tradition, by hosting significant events or persons, such as Schloss Cecilienhof in Potsdam, Germany, which derives its fame from the Potsdam Conference of the World War II allies Winston Churchill, Harry Truman and Joseph Stalin in 1945. The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower in Mumbai is one of India’s most famous and historic hotels because of its association with the Indian independence movement. Some establishments have given name to a particular meal or beverage, as is the case with the Waldorf Astoria in New York City, United States where the Waldorf Salad was first created or the Hotel Sacher in Vienna, Austria, home of the Sachertorte. Others have achieved fame by association with dishes or cocktails created on their premises, such as the Hotel de Paris where the crêpe Suzette was invented or the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, where the Singapore Sling cocktail was devised.

    A number of hotels have entered the public consciousness through popular culture, such as the Ritz Hotel in London, UK, through its association with Irving Berlin’s song, ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz’. The Algonquin Hotel in New York City is famed as the meeting place of the literary group, the Algonquin Round Table, and Hotel Chelsea, also in New York City, has been the subject of a number of songs and the scene of the stabbing of Nancy Spungen (allegedly by her boyfriend Sid Vicious). The luxurious Grand Hotel Europe in Saint Petersburg, Russia achieved fame with its inclusion in the James Bond film GoldenEye.

    Unusual hotels

    Many hotels can be considered destinations in themselves, by dint of unusual features of the lodging or its immediate environment:

    Treehouse hotels

    Some hotels are built with living trees as structural elements, for example the Costa Rica Tree House in the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, Costa Rica; the Treetops Hotel in Aberdare National Park, Kenya; the Ariau Towers near Manaus, Brazil, on the Rio Negro in the Amazon; and Bayram’s Tree Houses in Olympos, Turkey.

    Cave hotels

    Desert Cave Hotel in Coober Pedy, South Australia and the Cuevas Pedro Antonio de Alarcón (named after the author) in Guadix, Spain, as well as several hotels in Cappadocia, Turkey, are notable for being built into natural cave formations, some with rooms underground.

    Capsule hotels

    Capsule hotels are a type of economical hotel that are found in Japan.

    Ice and snow hotels

    The Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, and the Hotel de Glace in Duschenay, Canada, melt every spring and are rebuilt each winter; the Mammut Snow Hotel in Finland is located within the walls of the Kemi snow castle; and the Lainio Snow Hotel is part of a snow village near Ylläs, Finland.

    Garden hotels

    Garden hotels, famous for their gardens before they became hotels, include Gravetye Manor, the home of garden designer William Robinson, and Cliveden, designed by Charles Barry with a rose garden by Geoffrey Jellicoe.

    Underwater hotels

    Some hotels have accommodation underwater, such as Utter Inn in Lake Mälaren, Sweden. Hydropolis, under construction in Dubai, will have suites on the bottom of the Persian Gulf, and Jules Undersea Lodge in Key Largo, Florida requires scuba diving to access its rooms.

    Other unusual hotels

    The Library Hotel in New York City is unique in that each of its ten floors are assigned one category from the Dewey Decimal System.

    The Burj al-Arab hotel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, built on an artificial island, is structured in the shape of a boat’s sail.

    The former ocean liner RMS Queen Mary in Long Beach, California uses its first-class staterooms as a hotel.

    The Jailhotel Löwengraben in Lucerne, Switzerland is a converted prison now used as a hotel.

    The Sheraton Doha Resort & Convention Hotel in Doha, Qatar is known as the Pyramid of the Gulf due to its pyramidal structure.

    The Liberty Hotel in Boston used to be the Charles Street Jail.


    A motel (motor-ist’s hotel) is a hotel which is convenient for people who wish to be able to have quick access from their parked car to a hotel room and whose doors are outside and open up onto their automobile parking lot.

    World record setting hotels

    The hotel with the greatest number of rooms is the MGM Grand Las Vegas in Las Vegas, United States, with a total of 6,852 rooms. In 2006, Guinness World Records listed the First World Hotel in Genting Highlands, Malaysia as the world’s largest hotel with a total of 6,118 rooms.

    According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the oldest hotel still in operation is the Hoshi Ryokan, in the Awazu Onsen area of Komatsu, Japan which opened in 718.

    Burj Al Arab is the tallest building used exclusively as a hotel. However, the Rose Tower, also in Dubai, which has already topped Burj Al Arab’s height at 333 m (1,090 ft), will take away this title upon its opening.


  • Hydraulics

    Hydraulics is a topic of science and engineering dealing with the mechanical properties of liquids. Hydraulics is part of the more general discipline of fluid power. Fluid mechanics provides the theoretical foundation for hydraulics, which focuses on the engineering uses of fluid properties. Hydraulic topics range through most science and engineering disciplines, and cover concepts such as pipe flow, dam design, fluidics and fluid control circuitry, pumps, turbines, hydropower, computational fluid dynamics, flow measurement, river channel behavior and erosion. However if used incorrectly, hydraulic instruments can result in weird occurrences because of the nature of high pressure fluids.

    The word “hydraulics” originates from the Greek word ὑδραυλικός (hydraulikos) which in turn originates from ὕδραυλος (hydraulos) meaning water organ which in turn comes from ὕδωρ (hydor, Greek for water) and αὐλός (aulos, meaning pipe).


  • Hydraulic engineering

    Hydraulic engineering is a sub-discipline of civil engineering concerned with the flow and conveyance of fluids, principally water. This area of engineering is intimately related to the design of bridges, dams, channels, canals, levees, elevators, and to both sanitary and environmental engineering.


    Common topics of design for hydraulic engineers includes hydraulic structures, including dams and levees, water distribution networks, water collection networks, storm water management, sediment transport, and various other topics related to transportation engineering and geotechnical engineering. Equations developed from the principles of fluid dynamics are frequently utilized by traffic engineers.

    Related branches include hydrology, hydraulic modeling, flood mapping, catchment flood management plans, shoreline management plans, estuarine strategies, coastal protection, and flood alleviation.


    Hydraulic engineering had already been highly developed under the Roman Empire where it was especially applied to the construction and maintenance of aqueducts. They used hydraulic mining methods to prospect and extract alluvial gold deposits in a technique known as hushing, and applied the methods to other ores such as those of tin and lead.

    The recent best-selling historical novel Pompeii has such a Roman hydraulic engineer (“aquarius” in Latin) as its main protagonist.

    In ancient China, hydraulic engineering was highly developed, and engineers constructed massive canals with levees and dams to channel the flow of water for irrigation. Sunshu Ao is considered the first hydraulic engineer. Another important Hydraulic Engineer in China, Ximen Bao was credited of starting the practice of large scale canal irrigation during the Warring States Period (481 BC-221 BC), even today hydraulic engineers remain a respectable position in China. Before becoming President, Hu Jintao was a hydraulic engineer and holds an engineering degree from Qinghua University.

    Modern hydraulic engineering involves the use of computer software such as HEC-RAS to perform the calculations to accurately predict flow characteristics.


  • Hydrotherapy

    Hydrotherapy, formerly called hydropathy involves the use of water for soothing pains and treating diseases.

    Its use has been recorded in ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman civilizations. Egyptian royalty bathed with essential oils and flowers, while Romans had communal public baths for their citizens. Hippocrates prescribed bathing in spring water for sickness. A Dominican monk, Sebastian Kneipp, again revived it during the 19th century. His book My Water Cure in 1886 was published and translated into many languages. The use of water to treat rheumatic diseases has a long history. Today, hydrotherapy is used to treat musculoskeletal disorders such as arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, or spinal cord injuries and in patients suffering burns, spasticity, stroke or paralysis. It is also used to treat orthopedic and neurological conditions in dogs and horses and to improve fitness.

    Historical background

    Hydrotherapy in general dates back to ancient cultures from China, Japan (Onsen, Japanese Hot Springs), and most recently to the Thermae (Roman Hot Springs). After an oblivion during the Middle Ages, hydrotherapy was rediscovered during the 18th and 19th century by J.S.Hahn (1696-1773), MD, Vincent Priessnitz, Oertel (1764-1850), and Rausse (1805-1848). In Woerrishofen (south Germany) Sebastian Kneipp developed the systematic and controlled application of hydrotherapy for the support of medical treatment which was delivered only by doctors at that time.

    Cold water bathing and drinking

    Hydrotherapy as a formal medical tool dates from about 1829 when Vincent Priessnitz, a farmer of Gräfenberg in Silesia, Austrian Empire, began his public career in the paternal homestead, extended so as to accommodate the increasing numbers attracted by the fame of his cures. Two English works, however, on the medical uses of water had been translated into German in the century preceding the rise of the movement under Priessnitz. One of these was by Sir John Floyer, a physician of Lichfield, who, struck by the remedial use of certain springs by the neighboring peasantry, investigated the history of cold bathing and published in 1702 his IvxpoXovoLa, or the History of Cold Bathing, both Ancient and Modern. The book ran through six editions within a few years and the translation was largely drawn upon by Dr J. S. Hahn of Silesia in a work published in 1738 On the Healing Virtues of Cold Water, Inwardly and Outwardly applied, as proved by Experience. The other work was that of Dr James Currie of Liverpool entitled Medical Reports on the Effects of Water, Cold and Warm, as a remedy in Fevers and other Diseases published in 1797 and soon after translated into German by Michaelis (1801) and Hegewisch (1807). It was highly popular and first placed the subject on a scientific basis. Hahn’s writings had meanwhile created much enthusiasm among his countrymen, societies having been everywhere formed to promote the medicinal and dietetic use of water; and in 1804 Professor Ortel of Ansbach republished them and quickened the popular movement by unqualified commendation of water drinking as a remedy for all diseases. In him the rising Priessnitz found a zealous advocate, and doubtless an instructor also.

    At Gräfenberg, to which the fame of Priessnitz drew people of every rank and many countries, medical men were conspicuous by their numbers, some being attracted by curiosity, others by the desire of knowledge, but the majority by the hope of cure for ailments which had as yet proved incurable. Many records of experiences at Gräfenberg were published, all more or less favorable to the claims of Priessnitz, and some enthusiastic in their estimate of his genius and penetration; Captain Claridge introduced hydropathy into England in 1840, his writings and lectures, and later those of Sir W. Erasmus Wilson (1809 – 1884), James Manby Gully and Edward Johnson, making numerous converts, and filling the establishments opened soon after at Islalvern and elsewhere. In Germany, France and America hydropathic establishments multiplied with great rapidity. Antagonism ran high between the old practice and the new. Unsparing condemnation was heaped by each on the other; and a legal prosecution, leading to a royal commission of inquiry, served but to make Priessnitz and his system stand higher in public estimation.

    Increasing popularity soon diminished caution whether the new method would help minor ailments and be of benefit to the more seriously injured. Hydropathists to occupied themselves mainly with studying chronic invalids well able to bear a rigorous regimen and the severities of unrestricted crisis. The need of a radical adaptation to the former class was first adequately recognized by John Smedley, a manufacturer of Derbyshire, who, impressed in his own person with the severities as well as the benefits of the cold water cure, practised among his workpeople a milder form of hydropathy, and began about 1852 a new era in its history, founding at Matlock a counterpart of the establishment at Gräfenberg.

    Ernst Brand (1826 – 1897) of Berlin, Raljen and Theodor von Jürgensen of Kiel, and Karl Liebermeister of Basel, between 1860 and 1870, employed the cooling bath in abdominal typhus with striking results, and led to its introduction to England by Dr Wilson Fox. In the Franco-German War the cooling bath was largely employed, in conjunction frequently with quinine; and it was used in the treatment of hyperpyrexia.

    The use of heat

    The Turkish bath, introduced by David Urquhart into England on his return from the East, and ardently adopted by Richard Barter, became a public institution, and, with the morning tub and the general practice of water drinking, is the most noteworthy of the many contributions by hydropathy to public health.

    Until around 1840, hydropathy was not common in the United States although it was popular in Europe in the 19th century. But in “Nature’s Cures”, Michael Castleman wrote that hundreds of ‘water-cures’ were located on the countryside during the Civil War.

    State of the field at the beginning of the 1900s

    The following material is from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica and thus represents the state of the field at the beginning of the 1900s.

    Forms of hydrotherapy


    The full pack consists of a wet sheet enveloping the body, with a number of dry blankets packed tightly over it, including a macintosh covering or not. In an hour or less these are removed and a general bath administered. The pack is a derivative, sedative, sudorific and stimulator of cutaneous excretion. The trapped body heat causes the patient to be warmed. There are numerous modifications of it, notably the cooling pack, where the wrappings are loose and scanty, permitting evaporation, and the application of indefinite duration, the sheet being rewetted as it dries; this was used to deal with fever. There are also local packs, to trunk, limbs or head separately, which are derivative, soothing or stimulating, according to circumstance and detail.

    Hot air baths
    Hot air baths or saunas, the chief of which is the Turkish (properly, the Roman) bath, consisting of two or more chambers ranging in temperature from 50°C to 100°C or higher, but mainly used at 66°C for curative purposes. Exposure is from twenty minutes up to two hours according to the effect sought, and is followed by a general bath, and occasionally by soaping and shampooing. It is stimulating, derivative, depurative, sudorific and alternative, powerfully promoting tissue change by increase of the natural waste and repair. It determines the blood to the surface, reducing internal congestions, is a potent diaphoretic, and, through the extremes of heat and cold, is an effective nervous and vascular stimulant and tonic. Morbid growths and secretions, as also the uraemic, gouty and rheumatic diathesis, were believed to be beneficially influenced by it. The full pack and Turkish bath for a while seemed to be replacing the once familiar hot bath. The Russian or steam bath and the lamp bath are primitive and inferior varieties of the modern Turkish bath, the atmosphere of which cannot be too dry and pure.

    General baths
    General baths comprise the rain (or needle), spray (or rose), shower, shallow, plunge, douche, wave and common morning sponge baths, with the dripping sheet, and hot and cold spongings, and are combinations, as a rule, of hot and cold water.

    Local baths
    Local baths comprise the sitz, douche (or spouting), spinal, foot and head baths, of hot or cold water, singly or in combination, successive or alternate. The sitz, head and foot baths are used flowing on occasion. The application of cold by Leiters tubes was believed to be effective for reducing inflammation (e.g. in meningitis and in sunstroke); in these a network of metal or indiarubber tubing is fitted to the part affected, and cold water kept continuously flowing through them. Rapid alternations of hot and cold water was believed to have a powerful effect in vascular stasis and lethargy of the nervous system and absorbents, benefitting local congestions and chronic inflammations.

    Bandages (or compresses) are of two kinds,cooling, of wet material left exposed for evaporation, used in local infiammations and fevers; and heating, of the same, covered with waterproof material, used in congestion, external or internal, for short or long periods. Poultices, warm, of bread, linseed, bran, &c., changed but twice in twenty-four hours, are identical in action with the heating bandage, and superior only in the greater warmth and consequent vital activity their closer application to the skin ensures.

    Fomentations and poultices, hot or cold, sinapisms, stupes, rubefacients, irritants, frictions, kneadings, calisthenics, gymnastics, electricity, &c., are adjuncts largely employed.

    Effects of modern medicine

    Modern medicine’s successes, particularly with drug therapy, removed or replaced many water-related therapies during the mid-20th century. Water is now used mostly in physical therapy, as a cleansing agent, and a medium for delivery of heat and cold to the body.

    Various forms of hydrotheraph were used to treat alcoholism before World War II and is used today in alternative medicine.
    The appliances and arrangements by means of which heat and cold are brought to bear are (a) packings, hot and cold, general and local, sweating and cooling; (b) hot air and steam baths; (c) general baths, of hot water and cold; (d) sitz, spinal, head and foot baths; (e) bandages (or compresses), wet and dry; also (f) fomentations and poultices, hot and cold, sinapisms, stupes, rubbings and water potations, hot and cold.

    Submersive hydrotherapy

    Hydrotherapy which involves submerging all or part of the body in water can involve several types of equipment:

    Whirling water movement, provided by mechanical pumps, has been used in water tanks since at least the 1940s. Similar technologies have been marketed for recreational use under the terms “hot tub” or “spa”.


  • Ice skating

    Ice skating is traveling on ice with skates, narrow (and sometimes parabolic) blade-like devices moulded into special boots. A study by Federico Formenti of the University of Oxford suggests that the earliest ice skating happened in Southern Finland about 4000 years ago.

    Development of skates

    Skating originates in Scandinavia from around 1000 AC. Originally, skates were strapped to the bottom of the foot. They used a flattened bone as the original blade. Skaters did not actually skate on the ice, but glided on top of it. When they started to uses a steel blade with sharpened edges, true skating emerged. Skaters now cut into the ice, not glide on top of it. Adding edges to ice skates was invented by the Dutch in the 13th or 14th century. These ice skates were made of steel, with sharpened edges on the bottom to aid movement. The construction of modern ice skates has stayed largely the same. The only other major change in ice skate design came soon after. Around the same time period as steel edges were added to ice skates, another Dutchman, a table maker’s apprentice, experimented with the height to width ratio of the metal blade of the ice skates, Major international competitions are sanctioned by the ISU. These include the Winter Olympic Games, the World Championships, the World Junior Figure Skating Championships, the European Figure Skating Championships, the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, and the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating. Skates and the games that have been created, primarily ice hockey, have revolutionized many countries, especially north American countries, Canada in particular.

    Social status of ice skating

    In the Netherlands, ice skating was considered proper for all classes of people to participate in, as shown in many pictures by the Old Masters. James II of England came to the Netherlands in exile, and he fell for the sport. When he went back to England, this “new” sport was introduced to the British aristocracy, and was soon enjoyed by people from all walks of life. It is said that Queen Victoria got to know her future husband, Prince Albert, better through a series of ice skating trips; meanwhile Fenland agricultural workers became masters of speed skating. However, in other places, participation in ice skating was limited to members of the upper classes. Emperor Rudolf II of the Holy Roman Empire enjoyed ice skating so much he had a large ice carnival constructed in his court in 1610 in order to popularize the sport. King Louis XVI of France brought ice skating to Paris during his reign. Madame de Pompadour, Napoleon I, Napoleon III, and the House of Stuart were, among others, royal and upper class fans of ice skating.

    How it works

    Ice skating works because the metal blade at the bottom of the ice skate shoe can glide with very little friction over the surface of the ice. However, slightly leaning the blade over and digging one of its edges into the ice (“rockover and bite”) gives skaters the ability to increase friction and control their movement at will. In addition, by choosing to move along curved paths while leaning their bodies radially and flexing their knees, skaters can use gravity to control and increase their momentum. They can also create momentum by pushing the blade against the curved track which it cuts into the ice. Skillfully combining these two actions of leaning and pushing— a technique known as “drawing”— results in what looks like effortless and graceful curvilinear flow across the ice.

    How the low-friction surface develops is not exactly known, but a large body of knowledge does exist. These are explained below.

    Experiments show that ice has a minimum kinetic friction at −7°C (19°F), and many indoor skating rinks set their system to a similar temperature. The low amount of friction actually observed has been difficult for physicists to explain, especially at lower temperatures. On the surface of any body of ice at a temperature above about −20°C (−4°F), there is always a thin film of liquid water, ranging in thickness from only a few molecules to thousands of molecules. This is because an abrupt end to the crystalline structure is not the most entropically favorable possibility. The thickness of this liquid layer depends almost entirely on the temperature of the surface of the ice, with higher temperatures giving a thicker layer. However, skating is possible at temperatures much lower than −20°C, at which temperature there is no naturally occurring film of liquid.

    When the blade of an ice skate passes over the ice, the ice undergoes two kinds of changes in its physical state: an increase in pressure, and a change in temperature due to kinetic friction and the heat of melting. Direct measurements show that the heating due to friction is greater than the cooling due to the heat of melting. Although high pressure can cause ice to melt, by lowering its melting point, the pressure required is far greater than that actually produced by ice skates. Frictional heating does lead to an increase in the thickness of the naturally occurring film of liquid, but measurements with an atomic force microscope have found the boundary layer to be too thin to supply the observed reduction in friction.


    The first main danger in ice skating is falling on the ice, which is dependent on the quality of the ice surface, the design of the ice skate, and the skill and experience of the skater. While serious injury is rare, a number of (short track) skaters have been paralyzed after a fall when they hit the boarding. An additional danger of falling is injury caused by the skater’s own metal blades or those of other skaters. Falling can be fatal if a helmet or Ice Halo is not worn to protect against serious head trauma.

    The second, and more serious, danger is falling through the ice into the freezing water underneath when skating outdoors on a frozen body of water. This can lead to serious injury or death due to shock, hypothermia or drowning. It is often difficult or impossible for skaters to climb out of the water back onto the ice due to the ice repeatedly breaking, the skater being weighed down by skates and thick winter clothing, or the skater becoming disoriented under water.

    Sports based on ice skating

    A number of sports are played while ice skating:

    Communal games on ice

    A number of recreational activity games can be played on ice.



  • Indoor waterpark

    An indoor waterpark is a type of waterpark that is located inside a building. An indoor waterpark has the ability to stay open year-round, as it is not affected by weather conditions.

    The first ever indoor waterpark was built in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 1985 at the West Edmonton Mall. It is called the World Waterpark and is over 200,000 sq ft (19,000 m2). It was a success for the mall. The first indoor waterpark in the U.S. was built in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin at the Polynesian Hotel. They built it in 1994 so it could make the Dells a “year round destination”, as the Wisconsin Dells tourist season was from Memorial Day to Labor Day before it was built.

    The Indoor Waterpark Craze

    Since the opening of the first park, the indoor waterpark business has become increasingly more popular, especially for the Edmonton area in Canada, and in the Wisconsin Dells in the U.S., which proclaims itself as the “waterpark capital of the world”. The Dells has 5 Waterpark Resorts that have at least 1 waterpark
    bigger that 55,000 sq ft (5,100 m2). This includes the Kalahari Resort (Wisconsin’s Largest Indoor Waterpark), Chula Vista Resort (Lost Rios), Great Wolf Lodge, Wilderness Territory (Wild West, Klondike Kavern, Wild WaterDome), and the Hotel Rome at Mt. Olympus. Wisconsin has the most indoor waterparks in one state. Other states in the U.S., especially in the midwest, are building more indoor waterparks separate or to existing hotels so they can become a year-round destination. More waterparks are also being built in Canada, Europe and Asia.

    What Does a Major Indoor Waterpark Consist Of?

    Most major indoor waterparks over 50,000 sq ft (the average size for an indoor waterpark in July 2008) have:

    – 2-3+ Tube Slides
    – 2-3+ Body Slides
    – 1+ Speed Slides
    – Children’s Play Area with sprayers, tipping buckets, slides, and geysers
    – 1+ Family Rides (Ride that can occupy over 3 guests)
    – Lazy River or Torrent River
    – Wave Pool
    – Water Coaster (Master Blaster)
    – Other Attractions (FlowRider, Mat Racing Slides, Tornado Vortex Ride, Pro Bowl/Behehmoth Bowl, etc.)


  • Interior design

    Interior designing, interior decoration or decor is a practice concerned with anything that is found inside a space – walls, windows, doors, finishes, textures, light, furnishings and furniture. All of these elements are used by interior designers to develop a functional, safe, and aesthetically pleasing space for a building’s user.

    The work of an interior designer draws upon many disciplines including environmental psychology, architecture, product design, and traditional decoration (aesthetics and cosmetics). They plan the spaces of almost every type of building including: hotels, corporate spaces, schools, hospitals, private residences, shopping malls, restaurants, theaters, and airport terminals. Today, interior designers must be attuned to architectural detailing including: floor plans, home renovations, and construction codes.


    The role of a designer probably came into existence in the 1720s in Western Europe, mostly being performed by men of diverse backgrounds. William Kent, who was trained as a history painter, is often cited as the first person to take charge of an entire interior, including internal architecture, furniture selection, and the hanging of paintings.

    In London, this role was frequently filled by the upholsterer (sometimes called the upholder), while in Paris the marchand-mercier (a “merchant of goods” who acts as general contractor) often filled this role. Architects both in Great Britain and on the European continent also often served as interior designers. Robert Adam, the neoclassical architect, is perhaps the most well-know late-century example of an architect who took on entire interiors, down to the doorknobs and fire-irons. Other 18th-century men who filled the role of interior designer include Sir William Chambers, James Wyatt and Dominique Daguerre (marchand-mercier who emigrated to England).

    During the 1830s, interior decorators were responsible for the revival of interest in Gothic and Rococo styles in England. By the late 19th century, some firms set themselves apart as “art furnishers.”

    Modern interior decorators began with Lenygon and Morant in London, Charles Alavoine and Jeanselme in Paris, and Herter Brothers (from 1864) and Elsie De Wolfe and Ogden Codman in New York.

    Size of the industry

    The industry revenue in the United States for interior design was $11,108.4 million in 2007 with a revenue growth of .6%. That same year, there was around 84,018 establishments and 72,377 enterprises recorded.


    Interior designers can specialize in a particular interior design discipline, such as residential and commercial design. Commercial design includes offices, hotels, schools, hospitals or other public buildings. Some interior designers develop expertise within a niche design area such as hospitality, health care and institutional design. In jurisdictions where the profession is regulated by the government, designers must meet broad qualifications and show competency in the entire scope of the profession, not only in a specialty. Designers may elect to obtain specialist certification offered by private organizations. Interior designers who also possess environmental expertise in design solutions for sustainable construction can receive accreditation in this area by taking the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) examination.

    The specialty areas that involve interior designers are limited only by the imagination and are continually growing and changing. With the increase in the aging population, an increased focus has been placed on developing solutions to improve the living environment of the elderly population, which takes into account health and accessibility issues that can affect the design. Awareness of the ability of interior spaces to create positive changes in people’s lives is increasing, so interior design is also becoming relevant to this type of advocacy.


    There is a wide range of disciplines within the career of interior design. Some of the disciplines include: structure, function, specialized performance, special group needs, discipline needed for business, computer technology, presentation skills, craft skills, social disciplines, promotional disciplines, professional disciplines, aesthetic disciplines, and disciplines with cultural implications. This list shows how interior designing encompasses many different disciplines and requires both education in science and technology as well as being moved.

    Working Conditions

    There are a wide range of working conditions and employment opportunities within interior design. Large corporations often hire interior designers for regular day-to-day working hours. Designers for smaller firms usually work on a contract or per-job basis. Self-employed designers, which make up 26% of interior designers, usually work the most hours and often stress to find clients to provide for themselves. Interior designers often work under stress to meet deadlines, stay on budgets, and meet clients’ needs. Their work tends to involve a great deal of traveling to visit different locations, studios, or clients’ homes and offices. With the aid of recent technology, the process of contacting clients and communicating design alternatives has become a lot easier and requires less travel. Some argue that virtual makeovers have revolutionized interior design from a customer perspective, making the design process more interactive and exciting, in a relatively technological but labor intensive environment.


    Postsecondary education, especially a bachelor’s degree, is recommended for positions in interior design. Within the United States there are 24 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, that have some form of interior design legislation with regard to title and practice. The National Council of Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) administers a licensing exam. To be eligible to take the exam, a candidate must have a minimum of six years of combined education and experience in the field, where at least two years includes postsecondary education. Once the examination has been successfully taken, the designer may indicate that they are an NCIDQ certificate holder. In certain jurisdictions, this is linked to the ability to practice or self-identify as an interior designer. The laws vary greatly across the United States and in some jurisdictions, NCIDQ certification is required in order for the designer to call themselves a Certified, Registered, or Licensed Interior Designer. The License, Certification and Registration of an Interior Designer are superfluous to the Postsecondary education received. These accreditations are administered and awarded within the Interior Design field and not necessary for preparing construction drawings, applying for building permits or supervising construction. In other jurisdictions, however, there are no minimum qualifications and anyone with a desire to do so may call themselves an interior designer. Continuing education is required by some states as part of maintaining a license.


    Interior design earnings vary based on employer, number of years with experience, and the reputation of the individual. Interior designers within the specialization of architectural design tend to earn higher and more stable salaries. For residential projects, self-employed interior designers usually earn a per-minute fee plus a percentage of the total cost of furniture, lighting, artwork, and other design elements. For commercial projects, they may charge per-hour fees, or a flat fee for the whole project. The median annual earnings for wage and salary interior designers in the year 2006 was $42,260. The middle 50% earned between $31,830 and $57,230. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $24,270, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $78,760.

    While median earnings is an important indicator of average salaries, it is essential to look at additional key factors in a discussion about revenue generated from design services. Location, demographic of client base and scope of work all effect the potential earnings of a designer. With regard to location, central metropolitan areas where costs of living expenses, and median earnings are generally greater, so is the potential for higher earnings for the interior designers and decorators in these locations. Indeed, urban areas attract a greater population of potential clients thereby creating a greater demand for design services. Additionally, as the average square footage of homes and offices has increased over time, so has the scope of work performed which translates directly to higher earnings. Scope refers to the overall size and detail of a project – materials, furnishings, paint, fabrics and architectural embellishments utilized are all examples of scope. As stated above, earnings for interior designers and decorators may include a margin charged to the client as a percentage of the total cost of certain furniture and fixtures used in the scope of work. Hence, as scope increases, so do earnings.

    Room theme

    A theme is a consistent idea used throughout a room to create a feeling of completeness and a whole mole [thats what they call it]. These themes often follow period styles. Examples of this are Louis XV, Victorian, Minimalist, Georgian, Gothic, Mughal or Art Deco. The evolution of interior decoration themes has now grown to include themes not necessarily consistent with a specific period style allowing the mixing of pieces from different periods. Each element should contribute to form or function or both and maintain a consistent standard of quality and combine to create the desired design. Bold text For the last 10 years, decorators, designers, architects and homeowners have been re-discovering the unique furniture that was developed post-war of the 1950s and the 1960s from new material that were developed for military applications. Some of the trendsetters include Ray Eames and Herman Miller.


  • Irrigation

    Irrigation is an artificial application of water to the soil usually for assisting in growing crops. In crop production it is mainly used in dry areas and in periods of rainfall shortfalls, but also to protect plants against frost. Additionally irrigation helps to suppress weed growing in rice fields. In contrast, agriculture that relies only on direct rainfall is referred to as rain-fed farming. Irrigation is often studied together with drainage, which is the natural or artificial removal of surface and sub-surface water from a given area.

    Irrigation is also a term used in the Medical/Dental fields and refers to flushing and washing out anything with water or another liquid.


    Archaeological investigation has identified evidence of irrigation in Mesopotamia and Egypt as far back as the 6th millennium BCE, where barley was grown in areas where the natural rainfall was insufficient to support such a crop.

    In the Zana Valley of the Andes Mountains in Peru, archaeologists found remains of three irrigation canals radiocarbon dated from the 4th millennium BCE, the 3rd millennium BCE and the 9th century CE. These canals are the earliest record of irrigation in the New World. Traces of a canal possibly dating from the 5th millennium BCE were found under the 4th millennium canal. Sophisticated irrigation and storage systems were developed by the Indus Valley Civilization in Pakistan and North India, including the reservoirs at Girnar in 3000 BCE and an early canal irrigation system from circa 2600 BCE. Large scale agriculture was practiced and an extensive network of canals was used for the purpose of irrigation.

    There is evidence of the ancient Egyptian pharaoh Amenemhet III in the twelfth dynasty (about 1800 BCE) using the natural lake of the Faiyum Oasis as a reservoir to store surpluses of water for use during the dry seasons, as the lake swelled annually as caused by the annual flooding of the Nile.

    The Qanats, developed in ancient Persia in about 800 BCE, are among the oldest known irrigation methods still in use today. They are now found in Asia, the middle east and north Africa. The system comprises a network of vertical wells and gently sloping tunnels driven into the sides of cliffs and steep hills to tap groundwater. The noria, a water wheel with clay pots around the rim powered by the flow of the stream (or by animals where the water source was still), was first brought into use at about this time, by Roman settlers in North Africa. By 150 BCE the pots were fitted with valves to allow smoother filling as they were forced into the water.

    The irrigation works of ancient Sri Lanka, the earliest dating from about 300 BCE, in the reign of King Pandukabhaya and under continuous development for the next thousand years, were one of the most complex irrigation systems of the ancient world. In addition to underground canals, the Sinhalese were the first to build completely artificial reservoirs to store water. The system was extensively restored and further extended during the reign of King Parakrama Bahu (1153 – 1186 CE).

    The oldest known hydraulic engineers of China were Sunshu Ao (6th century BCE) of the Spring and Autumn Period and Ximen Bao (5th century BCE) of the Warring States period, both of whom worked on large irrigation projects. In the Szechwan region belonging to the State of Qin of ancient China, the Dujiangyan Irrigation System was built in 256 BCE to irrigate an enormous area of farmland that today still supplies water. By the 1st century AD, during the Han Dynasty, the Chinese also used chain pumps that lifted water from lower elevation to higher elevation. These were powered by manual foot pedal, hydraulic waterwheels, or rotating mechanical wheels pulled by oxen. The water was used for public works of providing water for urban residential quarters and palace gardens, but mostly for irrigation of farmland canals and channels in the fields.

    In fifteenth century Korea the world’s first water gauge, woo ryang gyae (Korean:우량계), was discovered in 1441 CE. The inventor was Jang Young Sil, a Korean engineer of the Choson Dynasty, under the active direction of the King, Se Jong. It was installed in irrigation tanks as part of a nationwide system to measure and collect rainfall for agricultural applications. With this instrument, planners and farmers could make better use of the information gathered in the survey.

    Present extent

    By the middle of the 20th century, the advent of diesel and electric motors led for the first time to systems that could pump groundwater out of major aquifers faster than it was recharged. This can lead to permanent loss of aquifer capacity, decreased water quality, ground subsidence, and other problems. The future of food production in such areas as the North China Plain, the Punjab, and the Great Plains of the US is threatened.

    At the global scale 27,88,000 km² (689 million acres) of agricultural land was equipped with irrigation infrastructure around the year 2000. About 68% of the area equipped for irrigation is located in Asia, 17% in America, 9% in Europe, 5% in Africa and 1% in Oceania. The largest contiguous areas of high irrigation density are found in North India and Pakistan along the rivers Ganges and Indus, in the Hai He, Huang He and Yangtze basins in China, along the Nile river in Egypt and Sudan, in the Mississippi-Missouri river basin and in parts of California. Smaller irrigation areas are spread across almost all populated parts of the world.

    Types of irrigation

    Various types of irrigation techniques differ in how the water obtained from the source is distributed within the field. In general, the goal is to supply the entire field uniformly with water, so that each plant has the amount of water it needs, neither too much nor too little.

    Surface irrigation

    In surface irrigation systems water moves over and across the land by simple gravity flow in order to wet it and to infiltrate into the soil. Surface irrigation can be subdivided into furrow, borderstrip or basin irrigation. It is often called flood irrigation when the irrigation results in flooding or near flooding of the cultivated land. Historically, this has been the most common method of irrigating agricultural land.

    Where water levels from the irrigation source permit, the levels are controlled by dikes, usually plugged by soil. This is often seen in terraced rice fields (rice paddies), where the method is used to flood or control the level of water in each distinct field. In some cases, the water is pumped, or lifted by human or animal power to the level of the land.

    Localized irrigation

    Localized irrigation is a system where water is distributed under low pressure through a piped network, in a pre-determined pattern, and applied as a small discharge to each plant or adjacent to it. Drip irrigation, spray or micro-sprinkler irrigation and bubbler irrigation belong to this category of irrigation methods.

    Drip Irrigation

    Drip irrigation, also known as trickle irrigation, functions as its name suggests. Water is delivered at or near the root zone of plants, drop by drop. This method can be the most water-efficient method of irrigation, if managed properly, since evaporation and runoff are minimized.[citation needed] In modern agriculture, drip irrigation is often combined with plastic mulch, further reducing evaporation, and is also the means of delivery of fertilizer. The process is known as fertigation.

    Deep percolation, where water moves below the root zone, can occur if a drip system is operated for too long of a duration or if the delivery rate is too high. Drip irrigation methods range from very high-tech and computerized to low-tech and relatively labor-intensive. Lower water pressures are usually needed than for most other types of systems, with the exception of low energy center pivot systems and surface irrigation systems, and the system can be designed for uniformity throughout a field or for precise water delivery to individual plants in a landscape containing a mix of plant species. Although it is difficult to regulate pressure on steep slopes, pressure compensating emitters are available, so the field does not have to be level. High-tech solutions involve precisely calibrated emitters located along lines of tubing that extend from a computerized set of valves. Both pressure regulation and filtration to remove particles are important. The tubes are usually black (or buried under soil or mulch) to prevent the growth of algae and to protect the polyethylene from degradation due to ultraviolet light. But drip irrigation can also be as low-tech as a porous clay vessel sunk into the soil and occasionally filled from a hose or bucket. Subsurface drip irrigation has been used successfully on lawns, but it is more expensive than a more traditional sprinkler system. Surface drip systems are not cost-effective (or aesthetically pleasing) for lawns and golf courses. In the past one of the main disadvantages of the subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) systems, when used for turf, was the fact of having to install the plastic lines very close to each other in the ground, therefore disrupting the turfgrass area. Recent technology developments on drip installers like the drip installer at New Mexico State University Arrow Head Center, places the line underground and covers the slit leaving no soil exposed.

    Sprinkler irrigation

    In sprinkler or overhead irrigation, water is piped to one or more central locations within the field and distributed by overhead high-pressure sprinklers or guns. A system utilizing sprinklers, sprays, or guns mounted overhead on permanently installed risers is often referred to as a solid-set irrigation system. Higher pressure sprinklers that rotate are called rotors and are driven by a ball drive, gear drive, or impact mechanism. Rotors can be designed to rotate in a full or partial circle. Guns are similar to rotors, except that they generally operate at very high pressures of 40 to 130 lbf/in² (275 to 900 kPa) and flows of 50 to 1200 US gal/min (3 to 76 L/s), usually with nozzle diameters in the range of 0.5 to 1.9 inches (10 to 50 mm). Guns are used not only for irrigation, but also for industrial applications such as dust suppression and logging.

    Sprinklers may also be mounted on moving platforms connected to the water source by a hose. Automatically moving wheeled systems known as traveling sprinklers may irrigate areas such as small farms, sports fields, parks, pastures, and cemeteries unattended. Most of these utilize a length of polyethylene tubing wound on a steel drum. As the tubing is wound on the drum powered by the irrigation water or a small gas engine, the sprinkler is pulled across the field. When the sprinkler arrives back at the reel the system shuts off. This type of system is known to most people as a “waterreel” traveling irrigation sprinkler and they are used extensively for dust suppression, irrigation, and land application of waste water. Other travelers use a flat rubber hose that is dragged along behind while the sprinkler platform is pulled by a cable. These cable-type travelers are definitely old technology and their use is limited in today’s modern irrigation projects.

    Center pivot irrigation

    Center pivot irrigation is a form of sprinkler irrigation consisting of several segments of pipe (usually galvanized steel or aluminum) joined together and supported by trusses, mounted on wheeled towers with sprinklers positioned along its length. The system moves in a circular pattern and is fed with water from the pivot point at the center of the arc. These systems are common in parts of the United States where terrain is flat.

    Most center pivot systems now have drops hanging from a u-shaped pipe called a gooseneck attached at the top of the pipe with sprinkler heads that are positioned a few feet (at most) above the crop, thus limiting evaporative losses. Drops can also be used with drag hoses or bubblers that deposit the water directly on the ground between crops. The crops are planted in a circle to conform to the center pivot. This type of system is known as LEPA (Low Energy Precision Application). Originally, most center pivots were water powered. These were replaced by hydraulic systems (T-L Irrigation) and electric motor driven systems (Lindsay, Reinke, Valley, Zimmatic, Pierce, Grupo Chamartin. Most systems today are driven by an electric motor mounted low on each span. This drives a reduction gearbox and transverse driveshafts transmit power to another reduction gearbox mounted behind each wheel. Precision controls, some with GPS location and remote computer monitoring, are now available.

    Lateral move (side roll, wheel line) irrigation

    A series of pipes, each with a wheel of about 1.5 m diameter permanently affixed to its midpoint and sprinklers along its length, are coupled together at one edge of a field. Water is supplied at one end using a large hose. After sufficient water has been applied, the hose is removed and the remaining assembly rotated either by hand or with a purpose-built mechanism, so that the sprinklers move 10 m across the field. The hose is reconnected. The process is repeated until the opposite edge of the field is reached. This system is less expensive to install than a center pivot, but much more labor intensive to operate, and it is limited in the amount of water it can carry. Most systems utilize 4 or 5-inch (130 mm) diameter aluminum pipe. One feature of a lateral move system is that it consists of sections that can be easily disconnected. They are most often used for small or oddly-shaped fields, such as those found in hilly or mountainous regions, or in regions where labor is inexpensive.


    Subirrigation also sometimes called seepage irrigation has been used for many years in field crops in areas with high water tables. It is a method of artificially raising the water table to allow the soil to be moistened from below the plants’ root zone. Often those systems are located on permanent grasslands in lowlands or river valleys and combined with drainage infrastructure. A system of pumping stations, canals, weirs and gates allows it to increase or decrease the water level in a network of ditches and thereby control the water table.
    Sub-irrigation is also used in commercial greenhouse production, usually for potted plants. Water is delivered from below, absorbed upwards, and the excess collected for recycling. Typically, a solution of water and nutrients floods a container or flows through a trough for a short period of time, 10-20 minutes, and is then pumped back into a holding tank for reuse. Sub-irrigation in greenhouses requires fairly sophisticated, expensive equipment and management. Advantages are water and nutrient conservation, and labor-saving through lowered system maintenance and automation. It is similar in principle and action to subsurface drip irrigation.

    Manual irrigation using buckets or watering cans
    These systems have low requirements for infrastructure and technical equipment but need high labor inputs. Irrigation using watering cans is to be found for example in peri-urban agriculture around large cities in some African countries.

    Automatic, non-electric irrigation using buckets and ropes
    Besides the common manual watering by bucket, an automated, natural version of this also exist. Using plain polyester ropes combined with a prepared ground mixture can be used to water plants from a vessel filled with water. The ground mixture would need to be made depending on the plant itself, yet would mostly consist of black potting soil, vermiculite and perlite. This system would (with certain crops) allow you to save expenses as it does not consume any electricity and only little water (unlike sprinklers, water timers,…). However, it may only be used with certain crops (probably mostly larger crops that do not need a humid environment; perhaps e.g. paprika’s).

    Irrigation using stones to catch water from humid air
    In countries where at night, humid air sweeps the countryside, stones are used to catch water from the humid air by condensation. This is for example practiced in the vineyards at Lanzarote.

    Dry terraces for irrigation and water distribution
    In subtropical countries as Mali and Senegal, a special type of terracing (without flood irrigation or intent to flatten farming ground) is used. Here, a ‘stairs’ is made through the use of ground level differences which helps to decrease water evaporation and also distributes the water to all patches (sort of irrigation).


  • Jacuzzi

    Jacuzzi is a company that produces whirlpool bathtubs and spas. Its first product was a bath with massaging jets. The trademarked Jacuzzi name is commonly misused to refer to any bath with water jets, and can thus be considered a genericized trademark. Sometimes spas and hot tubs are also mistakenly referred to as Jacuzzis. The company advertises that “they are Jacuzzi, and everyone else’s are just hot tubs.”


    This article may contain wording that promotes the subject in a subjective manner without imparting real information. Please remove or replace such wording or find sources which back the claims.

    Around 1900, seven brothers named Jacuzzi (pronounced Yah-KOOT-zee) immigrated to the United States from Italy. They eventually settled on the West Coast in Berkeley, California and became machinists. One of them, Rachele (pronounced “rah-KEH-leh”), began making aircraft propellers, inspired by an airshow he saw at the 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition in nearby San Francisco. Rachele and his brothers created an aircraft manufacturing company in Berkeley called “Jacuzzi Brothers”, which remained in business until 1976, although their product line changed over the years.

    In 1925, as a result of a crash of one of their planes in 1921 en route between Yosemite and San Francisco, which killed brother Giocondo, Jacuzzi Brothers stopped making aircraft. Rachele turned the company’s know-how in making hydraulic aircraft pumps to the manufacture of a new kind of deep well agricultural pump.

    In 1948, brother Candido used the company’s expertise in pumps to develop a submersible bathtub pump for his son who had contracted rheumatoid arthritis in 1943, at the age of 15 months, which caused the boy to have chronic pain. The boy received regular hydrotherapy treatments at local hospitals but Candido could not stand to see his son suffering between the therapeutic visits. He realized that the agricultural water pumps that Jacuzzi Brothers were making for industrial use could be adapted to give his son soothing whirlpool treatments in the tub at home. Jacuzzi Brothers marketed this pump, model J-300, in 1955. The son, Kenneth Jacuzzi, eventually started to run the company. During this period, Jack Benny was hired as a spokesman for Jacuzzi.

    In 1955, the firm decided to market the Jacuzzi whirlpool bath as a therapeutic aid, selling it in bath supply shops. To generate a little publicity for the unknown product, portable Jacuzzis were included in the gifts given to contestants on TV’s Queen for a Day. It was pitched as relief for the worn out housewife. When Hollywood stars like Randolph Scott and Jayne Mansfield, who were decidedly not worn out, began offering testimonials, the Jacuzzi whirlpool bathtub started to acquire its legendary fame.

    In 1968, Candido Jacuzzi invented and brought to market the first self-contained, fully integrated whirlpool bath by incorporating jets into the sides of the tub. See patent #3297,025 filed Jan. 10th, 1967. A new industry and era of whirlpool bathing pleasure was born. The Jacuzzi became a symbol of a luxurious lifestyle. Hundreds of thousands of Jacuzzi portables were installed, both indoors and outdoors, at recreation centers and private homes.

    Actually, the whirlpool bath was still mostly a sideline at Jacuzzi Brothers. By far the bulk of Jacuzzi Brother’s revenues came from sales of water pumps, marine jets, and swimming pool equipment.

    The J-300 pump was portable and could be placed in any bath enclosure. The medical community immediately saw the benefit of this product for their hydro-therapeutic programs. Physical therapists and orthopedists would prescribe their use in clinics and in the home. Hollywood celebrities began making personal use of them, bringing further popularity.

    Jacuzzi branded hot tubs, baths, showers, toilets, sinks, and accessories are commonly found in residential homes, hotels, and aboard cruise ships and have become popular in high-end spas around the world. Jacuzzi products are distributed in about 60 countries worldwide.


  • Landscape architecture

    Landscape architecture involves the investigation and designed response to the landscape. The scope of the profession includes architectural design, site planning, environmental restoration, town or urban planning, urban design, parks and recreation planning. A practitioner in the field of landscape architecture is called a landscape architect.


    The history of landscape architecture is related to the history of gardening but is not coextensive. Both arts are concerned with the composition of planting, landform, water, paving and other structures but:

    The Romans undertook landscape architecture on an extensive scale, and Vitruvius wrote on many topics (eg the layout of towns) which still concern landscape architects. As with the other arts, it was not until the Renaissance that garden design was revived, with outstanding examples including the pleasure grounds at the Villa d’Este, Tivoli. The renaissance garden developed through the 16th and 17th centuries, reaching an ultimate grandeur in the work of André le Nôtre at Vaux-le-Vicomte and Versailles.

    In the 18th century, England became the focus of a new style of landscape design. Figures such as William Kent, Humphry Repton, and most famously Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown remodelled the great estate parks of the English gentry to resemble a neat and tidy version of nature. Many of these parks remain today. The term ‘landscape architecture’ was first used by the Scotsman Gilbert Laing Meason in the title of his book on The Landscape Architecture of the Great Painters of Italy (London, 1828). It was about the type of architecture found in landscape paintings. The term “landscape architecture” was then taken up by JC Loudon and AJ Downing.

    Through the 19th century, urban planning became more important, and it was the combination of modern planning with the tradition of landscape gardening that gave Landscape Architecture its unique focus. In the second half of the century, Frederick Law Olmsted completed a series of parks which continue to have a huge influence on the practices of Landscape Architecture today. Among these were Central Park in New York, Prospect Park in Brooklyn, and Boston’s so called Emerald Necklace park system.

    Landscape architecture continues to develop as a design discipline, and has responded to many of the movements of design and architecture through the 20th century. Today, a healthy level of innovation continues to provide challenging design solutions for streetscapes, parks and gardens. The work of Martha Schwartz in the US, and in Europe designs such as Schouwburgplein in Rotterdam by the Dutch design group West 8 are just two examples.

    Ian McHarg is considered an important influence on the modern Landscape Architecture profession and land planning in particular. With his book “Design with Nature”, he popularized a system of analyzing the layers of a site in order to compile a complete understanding of the qualitative attributes of a place. This system became the foundation of today’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS). McHarg would give every qualitative aspect of the site a layer, such as the history, hydrology, topography, vegetation, etc. GIS software is ubiquitously used in the landscape architecture profession today to analyze materials in and on the earth’s surface and is similarly used by Urban Planners, Geographers, Forestry and Natural Resources professionals, etc.


    Landscape architecture is a multi-disciplinary field, which includes: geography, mathematics, science, engineering, art, horticulture, technology, social sciences, politics, history, philosophy and more recently, ecology. The activities of a landscape architect can range from the creation of public parks and parkways to site planning for corporate office buildings, from the design of residential estates to the design of civil infrastructure and the management of large wilderness areas or reclamation of degraded landscapes such as mines or landfills. Landscape architects work on all types of structures and external space – large or small, urban or rural, and with “hard”/”soft” materials, hydrology and ecological issues.

    The breadth of the professional task that landscape architects collaborate on is very broad, but some examples of project types include:

    The most valuable contribution is often made at the earliest stage of a project in generating ideas and bringing flair and creativity to the use of space. The landscape architect can contribute to the overall concept and prepare an initial master plan, from which detailed designs can subsequently be prepared. He or she can also let and supervise contracts for construction work, prepare design impact assessments, conduct environmental assessments or audits and act as an expert witness at inquiries on land use. He or she can also support or prepare applications for capital or revenue funding grants.

    For the period before 1800 the history of landscape architecture is largely that of master planning. The first person to write of “making” a landscape was Joseph Addison in 1712. The term “landscape gardener” was invented by William Shenstone in 1754 but the first professional designer to use this term was Humphry Repton in 1794. The term “landscape architecture” was invented by Gilbert Laing Meason in 1828 and was first used as a professional title by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1863. Lancelot Brown, (also known as “Capability” Brown), who remains one of the best known “landscape gardeners” actually called himself a “place maker”. During the nineteenth century, the term “landscape gardener” became applied to people who build (and sometimes design) landscapes and the term “landscape architect” became reserved for people who design (and sometimes build) landscapes. This use of “landscape architect” became established after the American Society of Landscape Architects was founded in 1899 and the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) in 1948.


    Landscape designers and Landscape technicians or engineers are employed with landscape construction and service companies or may be independent professionals. Landscape designers, like garden designers, design all types of planting and green spaces – and are not registered. Many landscape engineers work in public offices in central and local government while others work for landscape architecture firms.

    Landscape managers use their knowledge of plants and the natural environment to advise on the long-term care and development of the landscape. Landscape managers work in horticulture, estate management, forestry, nature conservation and agriculture.

    Landscape scientists have specialist skills such as soil science, hydrology, geomorphology or botany that they relate to the practical problems of landscape work. Their projects can range from site surveys to the ecological assessment of broad areas for planning or management purposes. They may also report on the impact of development or the importance of particular species in a given area.

    Landscape planners are concerned with landscape planning for the location, scenic, ecological and recreational aspects of urban, rural and coastal land use. Their work is embodied in written statements of policy and strategy, and their remit includes masterplanning for new developments, landscape evaluations and assessments, and preparing countryside management or policy plans. Some may also apply an additional specialism such as landscape archaeology or law to the process of landscape planning.

    Garden designers are concerned with the design of small gardens and outdoor spaces and also with historic garden conservation.

    Green roof designers design extensive and intensive roof gardens for storm water management, sustainable architecture, aesthetics, and habitat creation.


  • Landscaping

    Landscaping refers to any activity that modifies the visible features of an area of land, including but not limited to:

    – living elements, such as flora or fauna; or what is commonly referred to as Gardening, the art and craft of growing plants with a goal of creating a beautiful environment within the landscape.
    – natural elements such as landforms, terrain shape and elevation, or bodies of water;
    – human elements such as structures, buildings, fences or other material objects created and/or installed by humans; – abstract elements such as the weather and lighting conditions.

    Landscaping is both science and art, and requires good observation and design skills. A good landscaper understands the elements of nature and construction, and blends them accordingly.

    Thales, an early Greek philosopher known for his view that “all is water,” spent a considerable time thinking about the nature and scope of landscaping. Some of his students believed that in order for human activity to be considered landscaping, it must be directed toward modifying the physical features of the land itself, including the cultivation and/or manipulation of plants or other flora. Thales rejected this notion, arguing that any aspect of the material world affecting our visual perception of the land was a proper subject for landscaping. Both Plato and Aristotle praised Thales’ analysis as a model for philosophy. In the early 20th century, British philosopher G.E. Moore cited Thales’ reasoning as one of the few historical examples of how philosophical inquiry has led to genuine human understanding and progress.

    Philosophers in the 17th century debated whether visual beauty was a necessary goal of landscaping. With the advent of the positivists by the early 20th century, however, most western philosophers had rejected the notion of an objective esthetic standard for any form of art, including landscaping. Practitioners since the mid-20th century have experimented with jarring visual panoramas that are now generally accepted, at least in western societies, as falling within the scope of landscaping.


  • Lazy river

    A lazy river is a water ride found in many amusement parks or water parks. They are also found at some resorts and recreation centers. It usually consists of shallow (2 1/2 ft. to 3 1/2 ft.) pool that flows similarly to a river. There is generally a slow current, usually just enough to allow guests to gently ride along lying on rafts. There may also be scenic elements added, such as small waterfalls on the edge of the river. Some lead into wave pools, while some just go around in circles.

    A torrent river, or wave river, is a related concept. Torrent rivers feature wave machines similar to those that are in wave pools; the waves then push riders (who are on rafts, as they are in a regular lazy river) around the river faster than they would be traveling in a regular lazy river. Torrent rivers appear at all of the Schlitterbahn water parks. Most have a policy of no swimming-everybody must ride in a tube.


  • Leisure

    Leisure or free time, is a period of time spent out of work and essential domestic activity. It is also the period of recreational and discretionary time before or after compulsory activities such as eating and sleeping, going to work or running a business, attending school and doing homework, household chores, and day-to-day stress. The distinction between leisure and compulsory activities is loosely applied, i.e. people sometimes do work-oriented tasks for pleasure as well as for long-term utility.

    For an experience to qualify as leisure, it must meet three criteria:
    1) The experience is a state of mind.
    2) It must be entered into voluntarily.
    3) It must be intrinsically motivating of its own merit. (Neulinger, 1981)


    The word leisure comes from the Latin word licere, meaning “to be permitted” or “to be free,” via Old French leisir, and first appeared in the early fourteenth century. The notions of leisure and leisure time are thought to have emerged in Victorian Britain in the late nineteenth century, late in the Industrial Revolution. Early factories required workers to perform long shifts, often up to eighteen hours per day, with only Sundays off work. By the 1870s though, more efficient machinery and the emergence of trade unions resulted in decreases in working hours per day, and allowed industrialists to give their workers Saturdays as well as Sundays off work.

    Affordable and reliable transport in the form of railways allowed urban workers to travel on their days off, with the first package holidays to seaside resorts appearing in the 1870s, a trend which spread to industrial nations in Europe and North America. As workers channeled their wages into leisure activities, the modern entertainment industry emerged in industrialized nations, catering to entertain workers on their days off. This Victorian concept—the weekend—heralded the beginning of leisure time as it is known today.

    Types of leisure

    Active leisure activities involve the exertion of physical or mental energy. Low-impact physical activities include walking and yoga, which expend little energy and have little contact or competition. High-impact activities such as kick-boxing and football consume much energy and are competitive. Some active leisure activities involve almost no physical activity, but do require a substantial mental effort, such as playing chess or painting a picture. Active leisure and recreation overlap significantly.

    Passive leisure activities are those in which a person does not exert any significant physical or mental energy, such as going to the cinema, watching television, or gambling on slot machines. Some leisure experts discourage these types of leisure activity, on the grounds that they do not provide the benefits offered by active leisure activities. For example, acting in a community drama (an active leisure activity) could build a person’s skills or self-confidence. Nevertheless, passive leisure activities are a good way of relaxing for many people.

    Examples of leisure activities

    People who work indoors and spend most of their time sitting and doing sedentary office work can add physical activity to their lives by doing sports during their leisure time, such as playing a ball game, going camping, hiking or fishing. On the other hand, people whose jobs involve a lot of physical activity may prefer to spend their free time doing quiet, relaxing activities, such as reading books or magazines or watching TV. Some people find that collecting stamps, postcards, badges, model cars, planes or ships, bottles, or antiques are relaxing hobbies.

    Free time is organized in many schools and institutions. Schools may offer many extracurricular activities including hobby groups, sports activities, and choirs. Other institutions such as retirement homes and hospitals also offer activities such as clubs and meetings for playing games or simply organized periods for conversation.

    Most people like socializing with friends for dinner or a drink after a hard day at work. For many young people, having a regular night out a week is a normal part of their free time, whether it is joining friends for a drink in a pub, dining out in a restaurant, watching a film, playing video games or dancing at a club.
    Some people do leisure activities that also have a longer-term goal. In some cases, people do a leisure activity that they hope to turn into a full-time activity (e.g., volunteer paramedics who hope to eventually become professional paramedics). Many people also study part-time in evening university or college courses, both for the love of learning, and to help their career prospects.

    Cultural differences

    Time for leisure varies from one society to the next, although anthropologists have found that hunter-gatherers tend to have significantly more leisure time than people in more complex societies. As a result, band societies such as the Shoshone of the Great Basin came across as extraordinarily lazy to European colonialists.

    Capitalist societies often view active leisure activities positively, because active leisure activities require the purchase of equipment and services, which stimulates the economy. Capitalist societies often accord greater status to members who have more wealth. One of the ways that wealthy people can choose to spend their money is by having additional leisure time.

    Workaholics are those who work compulsively at the expense of other activities. They prefer to work rather than spend time socializing and engaging in other leisure activities. Many see this as a necessary sacrifice to attain high-ranking corporate positions. Increasing attention, however, is being paid to the effects of such imbalance upon the worker and the family.

    Throughout its early history, American society has been described as driven by the Protestant work ethic, a cultural view that is said to be inspired by the Protestant preacher John Calvin.


  • Leisure centre

    A leisure centre in the UK and Canada is a purpose built building or site, usually owned and operated by the borough councilor district council, where people go to keep fit or relax through using the facilities.

    Typical Facilities
    Facilities may include a swimming pool, large sports hall, squash courts, cafeteria, licensed bar, fitness suite, aerobics studios, outdoor grass and/or artificial pitches for football (soccer), hockey etc, a solarium, sauna and/or steam room.

    Leisure centres in the UK and Canada are staffed by leisure centre attendants employed by the local council. They carry out a range of tasks to help and supervise people using leisure centre facilities and act as swimming pool life guards, gym instructors and coaches offering advice, motivation and expertise to users.

    In some areas of the UK and Canada (such as Calgary) these services are now operated by private companies on contract to the local authority.


  • Mechanical room (plantroom)

    A mechanical room or a boiler room is a room or space in a building dedicated to the mechanical equipment and its associated electrical equipment. Unless a building is served by a centralized heating plant, the size of the mechanical room is usually proportional to the size of the building. A small building or home may have at most a utility room but in large buildings mechanical rooms can be of considerable size, often requiring multiple rooms throughout the building, or even occupying one or more complete floors.

    Mechanical rooms typically house the following equipment:

    – Air handlers
    – Boilers
    – Chillers
    – heat exchangers
    – Water heaters and tanks
    – Water pumps (for domestic, heating/cooling, and firefighting water)
    – Main distribution piping and valves
    – Sprinkler distribution piping and pumps
    – Back-up electrical generators
    – Elevator machinery
    – Other HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) equipment

    Equipment in mechanical rooms is often operated and maintained by a stationary engineer or maintenance technicians. Modern buildings use control systems to manage HVAC cycles, lighting, communications, and life safety equipment. Often, the control system hardware is located in the mechanical room and monitored or accessed remotely.

    Rooms with only electrical or electronic equipment are not considered mechanical rooms but electrical rooms.


  • Obstacle course

    An obstacle course is a series of challenging physical obstacles an individual or team must navigate usually while being timed. Obstacle courses can include running, climbing, jumping, crawling and balancing elements with the aim of testing endurance; sometimes a course involves mental tests.

    Types of courses


    The military obstacle course is used (mostly in boot camp) as a way to familiarize recruits with the kind of tactical movement they will use in combat, as well as for physical training, building teamwork, and evaluating problem solving skills. Typical courses involve obstacles the participants must climb over, crawl under, balance, hang, jump, etc. Puddles of muddy water, ropes/nets, and “no touch” restrictions are often used to make the course more difficult. They tend to be outdoors. Often, specialized courses are made to focus on specific needs, such as night movement, assault, and bayonet training. Military courses can also contain climbing walls and rappelling walls.

    At the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario, officer cadets in first year participate in an obstacle course, which is designed by senior cadets. The obstacle course lasts a little over an hour, consists of thirteen obstacles built by each squadron located around the RMC grounds. Obstacles such as a 12-foot wall and truck pulling are designed to test teamwork and physical fitness of First Years. The First Year flights are judged on the time it takes to complete each obstacle. The annual obstacle course race is memorialized by a sculpture by John Boxtel, “To Overcome”, which was a gift of the class of 1991. Officer Cadets in third year take a physical education courses Obstacle Course and Water Borne Training. In the Obstacle course, cadets design obstacles with the available equipment and are evaluated on their leadership and innovation in the design of an obstacle course for their classmates. In the Water Borne training, cadets learn about aquatic obstacle courses training and improve their basic swimming skills.

    Inflatable (air filled) obstacle courses can have participants go through a variety of areas like the Bish Bash, a tall loose structure to push or wade through, nets to crawl under, walls to climb over and holes to jump through. Some larger inflatables have even more areas. Inflatable obstacle courses are used for corporate events, youth events, sports centres and parties.

    An assault obstacle course can be done inside or outside. The outside course is usually messy and filled with mud and muddy water. An inside course is similar to an inflatable course, but it is used in physical education lessons or holiday camps, using gym equipment or whatever is at hand.


  • Operations management

    Operations management is an area of business that is concerned with the production of good quality goods and services, and involves the responsibility of ensuring that business operations are efficient and effective. It is the management of resources, the distribution of goods and services to customers, and the analysis of queue systems.

    APICS The Association for Operations Management also defines operations management as “the field of study that focuses on the effectively planning, scheduling, use, and control of a manufacturing or service organization through the study of concepts from design engineering, industrial engineering, management information systems, quality management, production management, inventory management, accounting, and other functions as they affect the organization”.

    Additionally, The Operations Management Body of Knowledge (OMBOK) Framework defines the scope of operations management and the activities and techniques that are a part of the operations management profession.
    Operations also refers to the production of goods and services, the set of value-added activities that transform inputs into many outputs. Fundamentally, these value-adding creative activities should be aligned with market opportunity (see Marketing) for optimal enterprise performance.


    The origins of Operations Management can be traced back to the Industrial Revolution, the same as Scientific Management and Operations Research. Adam Smith treats the topic of the division of labor when opening his 1776 book: An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations also commonly known as The Wealth of Nations. The first documented effort to solve operation management issues comes from Eli Whitney back in 1798, leading to the birth of the American System of Manufacturers (ASM) by the mid-1800s. It was not until the late 1950’s that the scholars noted the importance of viewing production operations as systems.

    Historically, the body of knowledge stemming from industrial engineering formed the basis of the first MBA programs, and is central to operations management as used across diverse business sectors, industry, consulting and non-profit organizations.

    Operations Management Planning Criteria

    The task of production and operations management is to manage the efforts and activities of people, capital, and equipment resources in changing raw materials into finished goods and services.


    The following organizations support and promote operations management:

    – APICS The Association for Operations Management
    – The Association for Professionals in Business Management (APBM)
    – Chartered Management Institute
    – European Operations Management Association (EurOMA) which supports the International Journal of Operations & Production Management
    – Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS)
    – Institute of operations management
    – Production and Operations Management Society (POMS)


  • Playground

    A playground or play area is an area designed for children to play, indoors or outdoors.

    Modern playgrounds often have recreational equipment such as the see-saw, merry-go-round, swingset, slide, jungle gym, chin-up bars, sandbox, spring rider, monkey bars, overhead ladder, trapeze rings, playhouses, and mazes, many of which help children develop physical coordination, strength, and flexibility, as well as providing recreation and enjoyment. Common in modern playgrounds are “play structures” that link many different pieces of equipment.

    Playgrounds often also have facilities for playing informal games of adult sports, such as a baseball diamond, a skating rink, a basketball court, or a tether ball.

    “Public” playground equipment refers to equipment intended for use in the play areas of parks, schools, child care facilities, institutions, multiple family dwellings, restaurants, resorts, and recreational developments, and other areas of public use.

    A type of playground called a playscape is designed to provide a safe environment for play in a natural setting.

    About playgrounds

    Professionals recognize that the social skills that children develop on the playground become lifelong skill sets that are carried forward into their adulthood. Independent research concludes that playgrounds are among the most important environments for children outside the home. Most forms of play are essential for healthy development, but free, spontaneous play—the kind that occurs on playgrounds—is the most beneficial type of play.

    Children have devised many playground games and pastimes. But because playgrounds are usually subject to adult supervision and oversight, young children’s street culture often struggles to fully thrive there. Research by Robin Moore (Childhood’s Domain: Play and Place, 1986) has clearly shown that playgrounds need to be balanced with marginal areas that (to adults) appear to be derelict or wasteground but to children they are area’s that they can claim for themselves, ideally a wooded area or field.

    A type of playground called a playscape can provide children with the necessary feeling of ownership that Moore describes above. Playscapes can also provide parents with the assurance of their child’s safety and wellbeing, which may not be prevalent in an open field or wooded area.

    Playgrounds can be

    – Built by collaborative support of corporate and community resources to achieve an immediate and visible “win” for their neighborhood.
    – Public, free of charge, like at most rural elementary schools
    – A business with an entrance fee
    – Connected to a business, for customers only, e.g., at McDonald’s and IKEA.
    – Elaborate indoor mazes, like those at the (now defunct) Discovery Zone and Chuck E. Cheese’s
    Playground safety

    Sometimes the safety of playgrounds is disputed in school or among regulators. Over at least the last twenty years, the kinds of equipment to be found in playgrounds has changed, often towards safer equipment built with modern materials. For example, an older jungle gym might be constructed entirely from steel bars, while newer ones tend to have a minimal steel framework while providing a web of nylon ropes for children to climb on. Playgrounds with equipment that children may fall off often use mulch on the ground to help break their falls. Rubber mulch is gaining popularity due to its added ability to break falls.

    A study done by the Canadian Institute for Health Information found that playground injuries were responsible for 23 visits a day to emergency rooms in Ontario, Canada. The largest proportion of these visits were for orthopedic and head injuries (51% and 22% respectively.)

    In the United States the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the American National Standards Institute have created a Standardized Document and Training System for certification of Playground Safety Inspectors. These regulations are nation wide and provide a basis for safe playground installation and maintenance practices. ASTM F1487-07 deals with specific requirements regarding issues such as play ground layout, use zones, and various test criteria for determining play ground safety. ASTM F2373 covers public use play equipment for children 6-24 months old. This information can be applied effectively only by a trained C.P.S.I. A National Listing of Trained Playground Safety Inspectors is available for many states. A Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI) is a career that was developed by the National Playground Safety Institute (NPSI) and is recognized nationally by the National Recreation and Park Association or N.R.P.A.

    European Standards EN 1177 specifies the requirements for surfaces used in playgrounds. For each material type and height of equipment it specifies a minimum depth of material required. EN 1176 covers playground equipment standards.

    In the UK playground inspectors can sit the examinations of the Register of Play Inspectors International (www.playinspectors.com) at the three required levels – routine, operational and annual. Annual inspectors are able to undertake the post-installation inspections recommended by EN 1176. For further information and downloads see The Play Inspection Company at www.playinspectors.com

    Playgrounds in the Soviet Union

    Playgrounds were an integral part of urban culture in the USSR. In the 1970s and 1980s there were playgrounds in almost every park in many Soviet cities. Playground apparatus was reasonably standard all over the country; most of them consisted of metallic bars with relatively few wooden parts, and were manufactured in state-owned factories. Some of the most common constructions were the carousel, sphere, seesaw, rocket, bridge, etc.

    In the 1990s, after the breakup of the USSR, many items of playground apparatus in post-Soviet states were stolen by metal-thieves, while relatively few new playgrounds were built. However, there were so many Soviet playgrounds that many of them still exist and are in a relatively good state, especially those which were repainted.

    Natural Playground

    “Natural playgrounds” are play environments that blend natural materials, features, and indigenous vegetation with creative landforms to create purposely complex interplays of natural, environmental objects in ways that challenge and fascinate children and teach them about the wonders and intricacies of the natural world while they play within it.

    Play components may include earth shapes (sculptures), environmental art, indigenous vegetation (trees, shrubs, grasses, flowers, lichens, mosses), boulders or other rock structures, dirt and sand, natural fences (stone, willow, wooden), textured pathways, and natural water features.


  • Playground slide

    Playground slides are found in parks, schools, playgrounds and backyards. The slide may be flat, or half cylindrical or tubular to prevent falls. Slides are usually constructed of either plastic or metal and they have a smooth surface that is either straight or wavy. The user, typically a child, climbs to the top of the slide via a ladder or stairs and sits down on the top of the slide and “slides” down the slide. Slippery dip is a term originating in Australia to describe a slide.

    Sliding pond or sliding pon is a term used in the New York City area to denote a playground slide.

    Spiral slides
    A playground slide may be wrapped around a central pole to form a descending spiral.

    Amusement park slides
    Larger versions of the playground slide will be much higher with multiple parallel slideways. Participants may be provided with a sack to sit on to reduce friction for faster speeds and to protect clothing. A variation of a slide is used in waterparks and swimming pools and is called a water slide.


  • Project management

    Project management is the discipline of planning, organizing and managing resources to bring about the successful completion of specific project goals and objectives.

    A project is a finite endeavor (having specific start and completion dates) undertaken to create a unique product or service which brings about beneficial change or added value. This finite characteristic of projects stands in sharp contrast to processes, or operations, which are permanent or semi-permanent functional work to repetitively produce the same product or service. In practice, the management of these two systems is often found to be quite different, and as such requires the development of distinct technical skills and the adoption of separate management philosophy, which is the subject of this article.

    The primary challenge of project management is to achieve all of the project goals and objectives while honoring the project constraints. Typical constraints are scope, time and budget. The secondary—and more ambitious—challenge is to optimize the allocation and integration of inputs necessary to meet pre-defined objectives. A project is a carefully defined set of activities that use resources (money, people, materials, energy, space, provisions, communication, motivation, etc.) to achieve the project goals and objectives.

    History of project management

    As a discipline, Project Management developed from different fields of application including construction, engineering and defense. In the United States, the forefather of project management is Henry Gantt, called the father of planning and control techniques, who is famously known for his use of the Gantt chart as a project management tool, for being an associate of Frederick Winslow Taylor’s theories of scientific management, and for his study of the work and management of Navy ship building. His work is the forerunner to many modern project management tools including the work breakdown structure (WBS) and resource allocations.

    The 1950s marked the beginning of the modern Project Management era. Again, in the United States, prior to the 1950s, projects were managed on an ad hoc basis using mostly Gantt Charts, and informal techniques and tools. At that time, two mathematical project scheduling models were developed:

    (1) the “Program Evaluation and Review Technique” or PERT, developed by Booz-Allen & Hamilton as part of the United States Navy’s (in conjunction with the Lockheed Corporation) Polaris missile submarine program; and
    (2) the “Critical Path Method” (CPM) developed in a joint venture by both DuPont Corporation and Remington Rand Corporation for managing plant maintenance projects. These mathematical techniques quickly spread into many private enterprises.

    At the same time, technology for project cost estimating, cost management, and engineering economics was evolving, with pioneering work by Hans Lang and others. In 1956, the American Association of Cost Engineers (now AACE International; the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering) was formed by early practitioners of project management and the associated specialties of planning and scheduling, cost estimating, and cost/schedule control (project control). AACE has continued its pioneering work and in 2006 released the first ever integrated process for portfolio, program and project management (Total Cost Management Framework).

    In 1969, the Project Management Institute (PMI) was formed to serve the interests of the project management industry. The premise of PMI is that the tools and techniques of project management are common even among the widespread application of projects from the software industry to the construction industry. In 1981, the PMI Board of Directors authorized the development of what has become A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide), containing the standards and guidelines of practice that are widely used throughout the profession.

    The International Project Management Association (IPMA), founded in Europe in 1967, has undergone a similar development and instituted the IPMA Competence Baseline (ICB). The focus of the ICB also begins with knowledge as a foundation, and adds considerations about relevant experience, interpersonal skills, and competence. Both organizations are now participating in the development of an ISO project management standard.

    Project management approaches

    There are several approaches that can be taken to managing project activities including agile, interactive, incremental, and phased approaches.
    Regardless of the approach employed, careful consideration needs to be given to clarify surrounding project objectives, goals, and importantly, the roles and responsibilities of all participants and stakeholders.

    The traditional approach

    A traditional phased approach identifies a sequence of steps to be completed. In the “traditional approach”, we can distinguish 5 components of a project (4 stages plus control) in the development of a project:

    Typical development phases of a project:

    – project initiation stage;
    – project planning or design stage;
    – project execution or production stage;
    – project monitoring and controlling systems;
    – project completion stage.

    Not all the projects will visit every stage as projects can be terminated before they reach completion. Some projects probably don’t have the planning and/or the monitoring. Some projects will go through steps 2, 3 and 4 multiple times.

    Many industries utilize variations on these stages. For example, in bricks and mortar architectural design, projects typically progress through stages like Pre-Planning, Conceptual Design, Schematic Design, Design Development, Construction Drawings (or Contract Documents), and Construction Administration. In software development, this approach is often known as “waterfall development”, i.e., one series of tasks after another in linear sequence. In software development many organizations have adapted the Rational Unified Process (RUP) to fit this methodology, although RUP does not require or explicitly recommend this practice. Waterfall development can work for small tightly defined projects, but for larger projects of undefined or unknowable scope, it is less suited. The Cone of Uncertainty explains some of this as the planning made on the initial phase of the project suffers from a high degree of uncertainty. This becomes specially true as software development is often the realization of a new or novel product, this method has been widely accepted as ineffective for software projects where requirements are largely unknowable up front and susceptible to change. While the names may differ from industry to industry, the actual stages typically follow common steps to problem solving — “defining the problem, weighing options, choosing a path, implementation and evaluation.”

    Critical Chain Project Management

    Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) is a method of planning and managing projects that puts more emphasis on the resources required to execute project tasks. It is an application of the Theory of Constraints (TOC) to projects. The goal is to increase the rate of throughput (or completion rates) of projects in an organization. Applying the first three of the five focusing steps of TOC, the system constraint for all projects is identified as resources. To exploit the constraint, tasks on the critical chain are given priority over all other activities. Finally, projects are planned and managed to ensure that the critical chain tasks are ready to start as soon as the needed resources are available, subordinating all other resources to the critical chain.

    For specific projects, the project plan should undergo Resource Leveling, and the longest sequence of resource-constrained tasks is identified as the critical chain. In multi-project environments, resource leveling should be performed across projects. However, it is often enough to identify (or simply select) a single “drum” resource—a resource that acts as a constraint across projects—and stagger projects based on the availability of that single resource.

    Extreme Project Management

    In critical studies of Project Management, it has been noted that several of these fundamentally PERT-based models are not well suited for the multi-project company environment of today. Most of them are aimed at very large-scale, one-time, non-routine projects, and nowadays all kinds of management are expressed in terms of projects.

    Using complex models for “projects” (or rather “tasks”) spanning a few weeks has been proven to cause unnecessary costs and low maneuverability in several cases. Instead, project management experts try to identify different “lightweight” models, such as Agile Project Management methods including Extreme Programming for software development and Scrum techniques.
    The generalization of Extreme Programming to other kinds of projects is extreme project management, which may be used in combination with the process modeling and management principles of human interaction management.

    Event chain methodology

    Event chain methodology is the next advance beyond critical path method and critical chain project management.

    Event chain methodology is an uncertainty modeling and schedule network analysis technique that is focused on identifying and managing events and event chains that affect project schedules. Event chain methodology helps to mitigate the negative impact of psychological heuristics and biases, as well as to allow for easy modeling of uncertainties in the project schedules. Event chain methodology is based on the following major principles.

    Probabilistic moment of risk: An activity (task) in most real life processes is not a continuous uniform process. Tasks are affected by external events, which can occur at some point in the middle of the task.

    Event chains: Events can cause other events, which will create event chains. These event chains can significantly affect the course of the project. Quantitative analysis is used to determine a cumulative effect of these event chains on the project schedule.

    Critical events or event chains: The single events or the event chains that have the most potential to affect the projects are the “critical events” or “critical chains of events.” They can be determined by the analysis.

    Project tracking with events: If a project is partially completed and data about the project duration, cost, and events occurred is available, it is possible to refine information about future potential events and helps to forecast future project performance.

    Event chain visualization: Events and event chains can be visualized using event chain diagrams on a Gantt chart.


    PRINCE2 is a structured approach to project management, released in 1996 as a generic project management method. It provides a method for managing projects within a clearly defined framework. PRINCE2 describes procedures to coordinate people and activities in a project, how to design and supervise the project, and what to do if the project has to be adjusted if it doesn’t develop as planned.

    In the method each process is specified with its key inputs and outputs and with specific goals and activities to be carried out, which gives an automatic control of any deviations from the plan. Divided into manageable stages, the method enables an efficient control of resources. On the basis of close monitoring the project can be carried out in a controlled and organized way.

    PRINCE2 provides a common language for all participants in the project. The various management roles and responsibilities involved in a project are fully described and are adaptable to suit the complexity of the project and skills of the organisation.

    Process-based management

    Also furthering the concept of project control is the incorporation of process-based management. This area has been driven by the use of Maturity models such as the CMMI (Capability Maturity Model Integration) and ISO/IEC15504 (SPICE – Software Process Improvement and Capability Determination), which have been far more successful.

    Agile Project Management approaches based on the principles of human interaction management are founded on a process view of human collaboration. This contrasts sharply with traditional approach. In the agile software development or flexible product development approach, the project is seen as a series of relatively small tasks conceived and executed as the situation demands in an adaptive manner, rather than as a completely pre-planned process.

    Rational Unified Process
    The Rational Unified Process (RUP) is an iterative software development process framework created by the Rational Software Corporation, a division of IBM since 2003. RUP is not a single concrete prescriptive process, but rather an adaptable process framework, intended to be tailored by the development organizations and software project teams that will select the elements of the process that are appropriate for their needs. The following are phases of RUP, which align to business activities intended to drive successful delivery and deployment of projects. It also provides the taxonomy for blue printing and producing enterprise architecture artifacts across its different domains.

    – Inception – Identify the initial scope of the project, a potential architecture for the system, and obtain initial project funding and stakeholder acceptance.
    – Elaboration – Prove the architecture of the system.
    – Construction – Build working software on a regular, incremental basis which meets the highest-priority needs of project stakeholders.
    – Transition – Validate and deploy the system into the production environment

    The open source version of RUP is OpenUP.

    Project development stages

    Traditionally, project development includes five elements: control systems, and four stages. Regardless of the methodology used, the project development process will have the same major stages:

    – initiation
    – planning or development
    – production or execution
    – monitoring and controlling, and
    – closing

    Project control systems

    Project control is that element of a project that keeps it on-track, on-time and within budget. Project control begins early in the project with planning and ends late in the project with post-implementation review, having a thorough involvement of each step in the process. Each project should be assessed for the appropriate level of control needed: too much control is too time consuming, too little control is very risky. If project control is not implemented correctly, the cost to the business should be clarified in terms of errors, fixes, and additional audit fees.

    Control systems are needed for cost, risk, quality, communication, time, change, procurement, and human resources. In addition, auditors should consider how important the projects are to the financial statements, how reliant the stakeholders are on controls, and how many controls exist. Auditors should review the development process and procedures for how they are implemented. The process of development and the quality of the final product may also be assessed if needed or requested. A business may want the auditing firm to be involved throughout the process to catch problems earlier on so that they can be fixed more easily. An auditor can serve as a controls consultant as part of the development team or as an independent auditor as part of an audit.

    Businesses sometimes use formal systems development processes. These help assure that systems are developed successfully. A formal process is more effective in creating strong controls, and auditors should review this process to confirm that it is well designed and is followed in practice. A good formal systems development plan outlines:

    – A strategy to align development with the organization’s broader objectives
    – Standards for new systems
    – Project management policies for timing and budgeting
    – Procedures describing the process


    The initiation stage determines the nature and scope of the development. If this stage is not performed well, it is unlikely that the project will be successful in meeting the business’s needs. The key project controls needed here are an understanding of the business environment and making sure that all necessary controls are incorporated into the project. Any deficiencies should be reported and a recommendation should be made to fix them.

    The initiation stage should include a cohesive plan that encompasses the following areas:

    – Study analyzing the business needs in measurable goals.
    – Review of the current operations.
    – Conceptual design of the operation of the final product.
    – Equipment and contracting requirements including an assessment of ‘long-lead’ items.
    – Financial analysis of the costs and benefits including a budget.
    – Stakeholder analysis, including users, and support personnel for the project.
    – Project charter including costs, tasks, deliverables, and schedule.

    Planning and design

    After the initiation stage, the system is designed. Occasionally, a small prototype of the final product is built and tested. Testing is generally performed by a combination of testers and end users, and can occur after the prototype is built or concurrently. Controls should be in place that ensure that the final product will meet the specifications of the project charter. The results of the design stage should include a product design that:

    – Satisfies the project sponsor, end user, and business requirements.
    – Functions as it was intended.
    – Can be produced within quality standards.
    – Can be produced within time and budget constraints.


    Executing consists of the processes used to complete the work defined in the project management plan to accomplish the project’s requirements. Execution process involves coordinating people and resources, as well as integrating and performing the activities of the project in accordance with the project management plan. The deliverables are produced as outputs from the processes performed as defined in the project management plan.

    Monitoring and Controlling

    Monitoring and Controlling consists of those processes performed to observe project execution so that potential problems can be identified in a timely manner and corrective action can be taken, when necessary, to control the execution of the project. The key benefit is that project performance is observed and measured regularly to identify variances from the project management plan.

    Monitoring and Controlling includes:

    – Measuring the ongoing project activities (where we are);
    – Monitoring the project variables (cost, effort, …) against the project management plan and the project performance baseline (where we should be);
    – Identify corrective actions to properly address issues and risks (How can we get on track again);

    Influencing the factors that could circumvent integrated change control so only approved changes are implemented in multi-phase projects, the Monitoring and Controlling process also provides feedback between project phases, in order to implement corrective or preventive actions to bring the project into compliance with the project management plan.

    Project Maintenance is an ongoing process, and it includes:

    – Continuing support of end users
    – Correction of errors
    – Updates of the software over time

    In this stage, auditors should pay attention to how effectively and quickly user problems are resolved.

    Over the course of any construction project, the work scope changes. Change is a normal and expected part of the construction process. Changes can be the result of necessary design modifications, differing site conditions, material availability, contractor-requested changes, value engineering and impacts from third parties, to name a few. Beyond executing the change in the field, the change normally needs to be documented to show what was actually constructed. This is referred to as Change Management. Hence, the owner usually requires a final record to show all changes or, more specifically, any change that modifies the tangible portions of the finished work. The record is made on the contract documents – usually, but not necessarily limited to, the design drawings. The end product of this effort is what the industry terms as-built drawings, or more simply, “as-builts.” The requirement for providing them is a norm in construction contracts.

    When changes are introduced to the project the viability of the project has to be assessed again. It is important not to lose sight of the initial goals and targets of the projects. When the changes accumulate, the forecasted end result may not justify the proposed investment.


    Closing includes the formal acceptance of the project and the ending thereof. Administrative activities include the archiving of the files and documenting lessons learned. Closing phase consist of two parts:

    – Close project: to finalize all activities across all of the process groups to formally close the project or a project phase
    – Contract closure: necessary for completing and settling each contract, including the resolution of any open items, and closing each contract applicable to the project or a project phase.

    Project management topics

    Project managers

    A project manager is a professional in the field of project management. Project managers can have the responsibility of the planning, execution, and closing of any project, typically relating to construction industry, architecture, computer networking, telecommunications or software development. Many other fields in the production, design and service industries also have project managers.

    A project manager is the person accountable for accomplishing the stated project objectives. Key project management responsibilities include creating clear and attainable project objectives, building the project requirements, and managing the triple constraint for projects, which is cost, time, and scope.

    A project manager is often a client representative and has to determine and implement the exact needs of the client, based on knowledge of the firm they are representing. The ability to adapt to the various internal procedures of the contracting party, and to form close links with the nominated representatives, is essential in ensuring that the key issues of cost, time, quality and above all, client satisfaction, can be realized.

    Project Management Triangle

    Like any human undertaking, projects need to be performed and delivered under certain constraints. Traditionally, these constraints have been listed as “scope,” “time,” and “cost”. These are also referred to as the “Project Management Triangle,” where each side represents a constraint. One side of the triangle cannot be changed without affecting the others. A further refinement of the constraints separates product “quality” or “performance” from scope, and turns quality into a fourth constraint.

    The time constraint refers to the amount of time available to complete a project. The cost constraint refers to the budgeted amount available for the project. The scope constraint refers to what must be done to produce the project’s end result. These three constraints are often competing constraints: increased scope typically means increased time and increased cost, a tight time constraint could mean increased costs and reduced scope, and a tight budget could mean increased time and reduced scope.

    The discipline of Project Management is about providing the tools and techniques that enable the project team (not just the project manager) to organize their work to meet these constraints.

    Work Breakdown Structure

    The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is a tree structure, which shows a subdivision of effort required to achieve an objective; for example a program, project, and contract. The WBS may show hardware, product, service, or process oriented. In a project of contract, the WBS is developed by starting with:

    – the end objective and
    – successively subdividing it into manageable components in terms of size, duration, and responsibility (e.g., systems, subsystems, components, tasks, subtasks, and work packages) which include all steps necessary to achieve the objective.

    The Work Breakdown Structure provides a common framework for the natural development of the overall planning and control of a contract and is the basis for dividing work into definable increments from which the statement of work can be developed and technical, schedule, cost, and labor hour reporting can be established.

    Project control variables

    Project Management tries to gain control over variables such as risk. Potential points of failure: Most negative risks (or potential failures) can be overcome or resolved, given enough planning capabilities, time, and resources. According to some definitions (including PMBOK Third Edition) risk can also be categorized as “positive–” meaning that there is a potential opportunity, e.g., complete the project faster than expected.

    Customers (either internal or external project sponsors) and external organizations (such as government agencies and regulators) can dictate the extent of three variables: time, cost, and scope. The remaining variable (risk) is managed by the project team, ideally based on solid estimation and response planning techniques. Through a negotiation process among project stakeholders, an agreement defines the final objectives, in terms of time, cost, scope, and risk, usually in the form of a charter or contract.

    To properly control these variables a good project manager has a depth of knowledge and experience in these four areas (time, cost, scope, and risk), and in six other areas as well: integration, communication, human resources, quality assurance, schedule development, and procurement.

    International standards

    There have been several attempts to develop Project Management standards, such as:

    – A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge
    – HERMES method, Swiss general project management method, selected for use in Luxembourg and international organisations.
    – The ISO standards ISO 9000, a family of standards for quality management systems, and the ISO 10006:2003, for Quality management systems and guidelines for quality management in projects.
    – Organizational Project Management Maturity Model
    – PRINCE2, PRojects IN Controlled Environments.
    – Capability Maturity Model from the Software Engineering Institute.
    – Total Cost Management Framework, an AACE International’s process for Portfolio, Program and Project Management)
    – V-Modell, an originally systems development method.


  • Project planning

    Project planning is part of project management, which relates to the use of schedules such as Gantt charts to plan and subsequently report progress within the project environment.

    Initially, the project scope is defined and the appropriate methods for completing the project are determined. Following this step, the durations for the various tasks necessary to complete the work are listed and grouped into a work breakdown structure. The logical dependencies between tasks are defined using an activity network diagram that enables identification of the critical path. Float or slack time in the schedule can be calculated using project management software. Then the necessary resources can be estimated and costs for each activity can be allocated to each resource, giving the total project cost. At this stage, the project plan may be optimized to achieve the appropriate balance between resource usage and project duration to comply with the project objectives. Once established and agreed, the plan becomes what is known as the baseline. Progress will be measured against the baseline throughout the life of the project. Analyzing progress compared to the baseline is known as earned value management.


  • Rock climbing

    Rock climbing is a sport in which participants climb up or across natural rock formations or man-made rock walls with the goal of reaching the summit of a formation or the endpoint of a pre-defined route. Rock climbing is similar to scrambling (another activity involving the scaling of hills and similar formations), but climbing is generally differentiated by its need for the use of the climber’s hands to hold his or her own weight and not just provide balance.

    Rock climbing is a physically and mentally demanding sport, one that often tests a climber’s strength, endurance, agility, and balance along with his or her mental control. It can be a dangerous sport and knowledge of proper climbing techniques and usage of specialized climbing equipment is crucial for the safe completion of routes. The wide variety of rock formations around the world has led rock climbing to separate into several different styles and sub-disciplines that are described below.


    Although rock climbing was an important component of Victorian mountaineering in the Alps, it is generally thought that the sport of rock climbing began in the last quarter of the nineteenth century in various parts of Europe. Rock climbing evolved gradually from an alpine necessity to a distinct athletic activity.

    Aid climbing (climbing using equipment that act as artificial hand- or footholds) became popular during the period 1920 – 1960, leading to ascents in the Alps and in Yosemite Valley that were considered impossible without such means. However, climbing techniques, equipment, and ethical considerations have evolved steadily, and today, free climbing (climbing on holds made entirely of natural rock, using gear solely for protection and not for support) is the most popular form of the sport. Free climbing has since been divided into several sub-styles of climbing dependent on belay configuration (described below).

    Over time, grading systems have also been created in order to more accurately compare the relative difficulties of climbs.

    Rock climbing basics

    At its most basic, rock climbing involves climbing a route with one’s own hands and feet and little more than a cushioned bouldering pad in the way of protection. This style of climbing is referred to as bouldering, since the relevant routes are usually found on boulders no more than 10 to 15 feet tall.

    As routes get higher off the ground, the increased risk of life-threatening injuries necessitates additional safety measures. A variety of specialized climbing techniques and climbing equipment exists to provide that safety, and climbers will usually work in pairs and utilize a system of ropes and anchors designed to catch falls. Ropes and anchors can be configured differently to suit many styles of climbing, and roped climbing is thus divided into further sub-types that vary based on how their belay systems are set up. The different styles are described in more detail below, but, generally speaking, beginners will start with top roping and/or easy bouldering, and work their way up to lead climbing and beyond.

    In toproping, an anchor is set up at the summit of a route prior to the start of a climb. Rope is run through the anchor; one end attaches to the climber and the other to the belayer, who keeps the rope taut during the climb and prevents long falls.

    In lead climbing, one person, called the “leader”, will climb from the ground up with rope directly attached (and not through a top anchor) while the other, called the “second”, belays the leader. Because the climbing rope is of a fixed length, the leader can only climb a certain distance. Thus longer routes are broken up into several “pitches”. At the top of a pitch, the leader sets up an anchor, and then belays the “second” up to the anchor. Once both are at the anchor, the leader begins climbing the next pitch and so on until they reach the top.

    In either case, upon completion of a route, climbers can walk back down (if an alternate descent path exists) or rappel (abseil) down with the rope.

    Climbing communities in many countries and regions have developed their own rating systems for routes. Ratings (or “grades”) record and communicate consensus appraisals of difficulty. (Hence, there may be occasional disagreements arising from anatomical differences among climbers.) The ratings take into account multiple factors affecting a route, such as the slope of the ascent, the quantity and quality of available handholds, the distance between holds, and whether advanced technical maneuvers are required. Though acrophobia (the fear of heights) may affect certain climbers, the height of a route is generally not considered a factor in its difficulty rating.

    Climbs can occur either outdoors on varying types of rock or indoors on specialized climbing walls. Outdoors, climbs usually take place on sunny days when the holds are dry and provide the best grip, but climbers can also attempt to climb at night or in adverse weather conditions if they have the proper training and equipment.

    Styles of rock climbing

    Most of the climbing done in modern times is considered free climbing — climbing using one’s own physical strength with equipment used solely as protection and not as support — as opposed to aid climbing, the gear-dependent form of climbing that was dominant in the sport’s earlier days. Free climbing is typically divided into several styles that differ from one another depending on the equipment used and the configurations of their belay, rope, and anchor systems (or the lack thereof).

    Bouldering is climbing on short, low routes without the use of the safety rope that is typical of most other styles. Protection, if used at all, typically consists of a cushioned bouldering pad below the route and/or a spotter, a person that watches from below and directs the fall of the climber away from hazardous areas. Bouldering may be an arena for intense and relatively safe competition, resulting in exceptionally high difficulty standards.

    Top roping is climbing with the protection of a rope that’s already suspended through an anchor at the top of a route. A belayer controls the rope, keeping it taut, and prevents long falls.

    Lead climbing is climbing without the use of pre-set belays. One person (the leader) will start the climb carrying one end of the rope and will gradually attach it to additional anchors as he or she climbs, thereby establishing a belay system that progresses with the climb. Subtypes of lead climbing are trad climbing and sport climbing.

    Free soloing (not to be confused with free climbing) is single-person climbing without the use of any rope or protection system whatsoever. If a fall occurs and the climber is not over water (as in the case of deep water soloing), the climber is likely to be killed or seriously injured. Though technically similar to bouldering, free solo climbing typically refers to routes that are far taller and/or far more lethal.

    Indoor climbing is climbing indoors (on a purpose-made climbing wall), whether bouldering, top-roping, or lead climbing. This is sometimes used as training for outside climbing, though some climbers climb indoors exclusively. Indoor climbing is considered to be extremely safe and most facilities report little to no major injuries.


  • Sauna

    A sauna (pronounced /ˈsɔːnə/, or as Finnish [ˈsɑunɑ]) is a small room or house designed as a place to experience dry or wet heat sessions, or an establishment with one or more of these and auxiliary facilities. These facilities derive from the Finnish sauna. The word “sauna” is also used figuratively to describe an unusually hot or humid environment.

    A sauna session can be a social affair in which the participants disrobe and sit or recline in temperatures of over 80 °C (176 °F). This induces relaxation and promotes sweating.



    The word sauna is an ancient Finnish word referring to the traditional Finnish bath as well as to the bathhouse itself. The proto-Finnic reconstruction is *savńa. There are etymological equivalents in the Baltic-Finnic languages such as the Ingrian and Votic word sauna, Estonian saun and Livonian sōna. The word suovdnji in Sámi means a pit dug out of the snow, such as a hole for a willow grouse. In Baltic-Finnish, sauna does not necessarily mean a building or space built for bathing. It can also mean a small cabin or cottage like a cabin for a fisherman.

    First saunas

    The oldest known saunas were pits dug in a slope in the ground and primarily used as dwellings in winter. The sauna featured a fireplace where stones were heated to a high temperature. Water was thrown over the hot stones to produce steam and to give a sensation of increased heat. This would raise the apparent temperature so high that people could take off their clothes.


    As a result of the industrial revolution, the sauna evolved to use a metal woodstove, or kiuas [ˈkiu.ɑs], with a chimney. Air temperatures averaged around 70-80 degrees Celsius (160-180 degrees Fahrenheit) but sometimes exceeded 90 °C (200 °F) in a traditional Finnish sauna. Steam vapor, also called löyly [ˈløyly], was created by splashing water on the heated rocks.

    The steam and high heat caused bathers to perspire. The Finns also used a vihta [ˈvihtɑ] (Western dialect, or vasta [ˈvɑstɑ] in Eastern dialect), which is a bundle of birch twigs with fresh leaves, to gently slap the skin and create further stimulation of the pores and cells.

    The Finns also used the sauna as a place to cleanse the mind, rejuvenate and refresh the spirit, and prepare the dead for burial. The sauna was (and still is) an important part of daily life, and families bathed together in the home sauna. Indeed, the sauna was originally meant to be a place of mystical nature where gender/sex differences did not exist. Because the sauna was often the cleanest structure and had water readily available, Finnish women also gave birth in the sauna.

    Although the culture of sauna nowadays is more or less related to Finnish culture, it’s important to note that the evolution of sauna has happened around the same time both in Finland and the Baltic countries sharing the same meaning and importance of sauna in daily life. The same sauna culture is shared in both places still to this day.

    When the Finns migrated to other areas of the globe they brought their sauna designs and traditions with them, introducing other cultures to the enjoyment and health benefits of sauna. This led to further evolution of the sauna, including the electric sauna stove, which was introduced in the 1950s and far infrared saunas, which have become popular in the last several decades.

    Modern saunas

    Many North American and Western European college/university physical education complexes and many public sport centers and gyms include sauna facilities. They may also be present at public and private swimming pools. This may be a separate area where swim wear may be taken off or a smaller facility in the swimming pool area where one should keep the swim wear on.

    Under many circumstances, temperatures approaching and exceeding 100 °C (212 °F) would be completely intolerable. Saunas overcome this problem by controlling the humidity. The hottest Finnish saunas have relatively low humidity levels in which steam is generated by pouring water on the hot stones. This allows air temperatures that could boil water to be tolerated and even enjoyed for longer periods of time. Steam baths, such as the hammam, where the humidity approaches 100%, will be set to a much lower temperature of around 40 °C (104 °F) to compensate. The “wet heat” would cause scalding if the temperature were set much higher.

    Finer control over the temperature experienced can be achieved by choosing a higher level bench for those wishing a hotter experience or a lower level bench for a more moderate temperature. A good sauna has a relatively small temperature gradient between the various seating levels.

    Good manners require that the door to a sauna not be kept open so long that it cools the sauna for those that are already in it. Leaving the door even slightly ajar or keeping it open for more than a few seconds will significantly cool down the relatively small amount of hot air inside the sauna.

    Infrared saunas are growing in popularity, using far infrared rays emitted by infrared heaters to create warmth.

    In Finland, the sauna was thought of as a healing refreshment. The old saying goes: “Jos ei viina, terva tai sauna auta, tauti on kuolemaksi.” (“If booze, tar, or the sauna won’t help, the illness is fatal.”) The Finnish sauna is not thought as an easy way to get physical exercise, and it is not intended for weight loss; in fact, it predates these modern ideas.

    In Finnish and Latvian sauna culture, a beer afterwards is thought to be refreshing and relaxing. Pouring a few centilitres of beer into the water that is poured on the hot stones releases the odor of the grain used to brew the beer. This distinctive smell, however, sharply divides Finnish people. Also other scents can be used (for example pine tar or eucalyptus), but using any scents other than birch leaves is frowned upon by the traditionalists. A common method for adding birch leaf scent is to wet the leaves of a vihta in water, and then place the vihta on the hot stones for a second or two. This also conveniently heats the vihta for use to whip the users skin to increase blood circulation. According to Finnish lore, the human body is most beautiful thirty minutes after a sauna.

    Social and mixed gender nudity with adults and children of the same family is common in the conventional sauna. Sometimes the sauna is considered not only a sex-free, but also almost a gender-free zone. In the dry sauna and on chairs one sometimes sits on a towel for hygiene and comfort; in the steam bath the towel is left outside. Some hotel sauna facilities and especially cruise ships and/or ferries have an area where refreshments (often alcoholic) are served in conjunction with the sauna/pool area; draping a towel around the waist is generally required in that part of such facilities.

    As an additional facility a sauna may have one or more jacuzzis.

    Estonian sauna

    Saunas in Estonia have traditionally held a central role in the life of an individual. Ancient Estonias believed saunas were inhabited by spirits. In folk tradition sauna was not only the place where one washed, but also used as the place where brides were ceremoniously washed, where women gave birth and the place the dying made their final bed. On new year’s eve a sauna would be held before midnight to cleanse the body and spirit for the upcoming year.

    Finnish sauna

    Records and other historical evidence indicate that the Finns built the first wooden saunas in the 5th or 8th century. Early saunas were dug into a hill or embankment. As tools and techniques advanced, they were later built above ground using wooden logs. Rocks were heated in a stone fireplace with a wood fire. The smoke from the fire filled the room as the air warmed.

    Once the temperature reached desired levels, the smoke was allowed to clear and the bathers entered. The wood smoke aroma still lingered and was part of the cleansing ritual. This type of traditional smoke sauna was called a savusauna, which means “smoke sauna” in Finnish. Many people find the smell of smoke and wood to be relaxing.

    In Finland swimsuits, towels, or any other garments are rarely worn in the sauna. Families often go to the sauna together, which is not considered eccentric since family saunas are an old tradition. In these private saunas swimsuits or towels are never worn. In public saunas it is more common that men and women go to the sauna separately, although people of both sexes may sometimes bathe together, for example in student clubs. Still, saunas are not associated with sex and sexuality. Quite the contrary, historically saunas have been the most sacred places after the church, and most houses which could afford to build a sauna had one. In older times women also used to give birth in the sauna because it was a warm and sterile environment. Children were occasionally born in saunas still in the beginning of the 20th century.

    The lighting in a sauna is shady, and some Finns prefer to sit in the sauna in silence, relaxing. The temperature is usually between 80°C (176°F) and 110°C (230°F). Sometimes people make a ‘vasta’; (or vihta) they tie together small fresh birch branches (with leaves on) and swat themselves and their fellow sauna bathers with it. One can even buy vihtas from a shop and store them into the freezer for later (winter) use. Using a vasta improves blood circulation, and its birch odour is considered pleasing.


    Today there are a wide variety of sauna options. Heat sources include wood, electricity, gas and other more unconventional methods such as solar power. There are wet saunas, dry saunas, smoke saunas, steam saunas, and those that work with infrared waves. There are two main types of stoves: continuous heating and heat storage-type. Continuously heating stoves have a small heat capacity and can be heated up on a fast on-demand basis, whereas a heat storage stove has a large heat (stone) capacity and can take much longer to heat.

    Heat storage-type

    Smoke sauna

    Smoke sauna (Finnish savusauna) is the original sauna. It is a room with a pile of rocks, with no chimney. A fire is lit directly under the rocks, then fire is put out, and the heat stored in the room and in the rocks is the heat source. Following this process, ash and ember are removed from the hearth, the benches and floor are cleaned, and the room air is allowed to freshen for a period of time. Temperature is low, about 60 °C, and humidity is high. The tradition nearly died out, but was revived by enthusiasts in the 1980s, and is considered by many to provide the highest quality sauna experience.

    Heat storage-sauna

    The smoke-sauna stove is also used with a sealed stone compartment and chimney (a heat storage-stove) which eliminates the smoke odour and eye irritation of the smoke sauna. A heat storage stove does not give up much heat in the sauna before bathing since the stone compartment has an insulated lid. When the sauna bath is started and the “löyly”-shutter opened a soft warmth flow into the otherwise relatively cold (60 °C) sauna. This heat is soft and clean because, thanks to combustion, the stove stones glow red, even white-hot, and are freed of dust at the same time. When bathing the heat-storage sauna will become as hot as a continuous fire type-sauna (80-110 °C) but more humid. The stones are usually durable heat proof and heat-retaining peridotite. The upper part of the stove is often insulated with rock wool and firebricks. Heat-storing kiuases are also found with electric heating, with similar service but no need to maintain a fire.

    Continuous heat-type

    Continuous fire sauna

    A continuous fire stove, instead of stored heat, is a recent invention. There is a firebox and a smokestack, and stones are placed in a compartment directly above the firebox. It takes shorter time to heat than the heat storage-sauna, about 1 hour. A fire-heated sauna requires manual labor in the form of maintaining the fire during bathing; the fire is also a hazard. Similar, but electrically heated saunas are often used in homes.

    Fire-heated saunas are common in cottages, where the extra work of maintaining the fire is not a problem. Many think of them as giving a superior experience compared to electric saunas.

    Infrared sauna

    Infrared saunas use a special heater that generates infrared radiation rays similar to that produced by the sun. Infrared is said to be beneficial to overall health. Infrared radiation has been shown to kill the bacteria responsible for acne. In an infrared sauna, the electric quartzite heaters do not warm the air, or interior, but penetrate the skin to warm the body and encourage perspiration, producing many of the same health benefits of traditional steam saunas.

    Similar sweat bathing facilities

    The Finnish-style sauna (generally 70-80 °C (158-176 °F, but can vary from 60 to 120 °C (140-248 °F)) and the wet steam bath are the most widely known forms of sweat bathing.

    Many cultures have close equivalents, such as the North American First Nations (in Canada) or Native American (in the United States) sweat lodge, the Turkish hammam, Roman thermae, Nahuatl (Aztec) temescalli, Maya temazcal, Russian banya, Estonian saun, the Jewish Shvitz, African Sifutu, Swedish bastu, Japanese Mushi-Buro, and the Korean jjimjilbang. Public bathhouses that often contained a steam room were common in the 1700s, 1800s and early 1900s and were inexpensive places to go to wash when private facilities were not generally available.

    Modern sauna culture around the world

    As the home of the sauna, Finnish sauna culture is well established, there are built-in-sauna in almost every house in Finland. Although cultures in all corners of the world have imported and adapted the sauna, many of the traditional customs have not survived the journey. Today, public perception of saunas, sauna “etiquette” and sauna customs vary hugely from country to country. In many countries sauna going is a recent fashion and attitudes towards saunas are changing, while in others traditions have survived over generations.

    In Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Russia sauna-going plays a central social role. These countries boast the hottest saunas and the tradition of beating fellow sauna-goers with leafy, wet birch bunches (‘vasta’ or ‘vihta’ in Finnish, ‘viht’ in Estonian, ‘slota’ in Latvian, ‘venik’ in Russian). In Russia, public saunas are strictly single sex, while in Finland, Estonia and Latvia, both types occur. During wintertime, Finns often run outdoors for either ice swimming or, in the absence of lake, just to roll around in the snow naked and then go back inside. This is popular in Estonia and Latvia as well.

    In Sweden saunas are found in many places, and are known as ‘bastu’ (from ‘badstuga’ = bath house). Public saunas are generally single-sex.

    In Germany and Austria nudity is strictly enforced in public saunas, as is the covering of benches with towels. Separate single-sex saunas for both genders are rare, most places offer women-only and mixed-gender saunas, or organise women-only days for the sauna once a week. Loud conversation is not usual as the sauna is seen as a place of healing rather than socialising. Contrary to Scandinavian countries, pouring water on hot stones to increase humidity (Aufguss, lit: “Onpouring”) is not normally done by the sauna visitors themselves, but rather by a person in charge (the Saunameister), either an employee of the sauna complex or a volunteer. Aufguss sessions can take up to 10 minutes, and take place according to a schedule. During an Aufguss session the Saunameister uses a large towel to circulate the hot air through the sauna, intensifying sweating and the perception of heat. Once the Aufguss session has started it is not considered good manners to enter the sauna, as opening the door would cause loss of heat (Sauna guests are expected to enter the sauna just in time before the Aufguss. Leaving the session is allowed, but grudgingly tolerated). Aufguss sessions are usually announced by a schedule on the sauna door. An Aufguss session in progress might be indicated by a light or sign hung above the sauna entrance. Cold showers or baths shortly after a sauna, as well as exposure to fresh air in a special balcony, garden or open-air room (Frischluftraum) are considered a must.

    The Benelux has a similar attitude to saunas as Germany, as almost all public saunas offer only mixed-gender nudity-compulsory facilities. A lot of these saunas do offer occasional women-only or bathing suit days or mornings for people who are less comfortable with mixed-gender nudity. Using a towel to keep to completely cover the bench you’re lying on is also compulsory, as is showering between a sauna and entering any of the pools (cold water pool, swimming pool or whirlpool) for hygienic purposes.

    In German-speaking Switzerland, customs are generally the same as in Germany and Austria, although you tend to see more families (parents with their children) and young people. Also in respect to socialising in the sauna the Swiss tend more to be like the Swedes or Finns. Also in German speaking countries, there are many facilities for washing after using the sauna, with ‘dunking pools’ (pools of very cold water in which a person dips themselves after using the sauna), showers. In some saunas and steam rooms, scented salts are given out which can be rubbed into the skin for extra aroma and cleaning effects. In French-speaking Switzerland, customs are less rigid. Often, patrons have their choice of bathing nude or clothed. Other facilities offer nude single-sex saunas, nude mixed-gender saunas, and clothed mixed-gender saunas on the same premises.

    In France, the United Kingdom, and much of southern Europe, single-gender saunas are the most common type. Nudity is tolerated in the segregated saunas but usually forbidden in the mixed saunas. This is a source of confusion when residents of these nations visit Germany and Austria or vice versa. Sauna sessions tend to be shorter and cold showers are shunned by most. In the United Kingdom, where public saunas are becoming increasingly fashionable, the practice of alternating between the sauna and the jacuzzi in short seatings (considered a faux pas in Northern Europe) has emerged.

    Saunas in northeastern Italian regions Friuli and Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, as in Slovenia and Croatia, have setups similar to those in Germany and Austria, and are perhaps a bit more relaxed about enforcing rules: mixed-gender saunas and patrons have their choice of bathing nude or clothed.

    Hungarians see the sauna a part of a wider spa culture. Here too attitudes are less liberal, mixed-gender people are together and they wear swimsuits. Single-sex saunas are rare, as well as those which tolerate nudity.

    In Portugal, the steam baths were commonly used by the Castrejos people, prior to the arrival of the Romans in the western part of the Iberian peninsula. The historian Estrabão spoke of Lusitans traditions that consisted of having steam baths sessions followed by cold water baths. Pedra Formosa its the original name given to the central piece of the steam bath in pre-Roman times.

    In Central America, particularly in the highlands of southern Mexico and Guatemala, a version of the sauna indigenous to the Americas, called temazcal, is quite popular. The temazacal is usually made of clay or stone, and has a low ceiling. The temazcal structure is usually shared by an extended family unit. Unlike European sauna culture, temazcal is an individual rather than social activity. One washes in the temazcal, with soap, or in a more traditional setting, with herbs and medicinal bushes. One uses the temazacal only in the evening, so that upon exiting one can feel the chill of the cold evening air (temperature can fall below freezing at high altitudes). One usually bathes in the temazacal 2-3 times a week.

    In Africa, on the whole, saunas are kept at a much lower temperature than in Europe.

    In Korea, saunas are essentially public bathhouses. Various names are used to describe them, such as the smaller mogyoktang, outdoor oncheon, and the elaborate jjimjilbang. The word ‘sauna’ is used a lot for its ‘English appeal’, however it does not strictly refer to the original Scandinavian steam rooms that have become popular throughout the world. The konglish word sauna (사우나) usually refers to bathhouses with Jacuzzis, hot tubs, showers, steam rooms, and related facilities.

    In Japan, many saunas exist at sports centers and public bathhouses (sentō). The saunas are almost always gender separated, often required by law, and nudity is a required part of proper sauna etiquette. While right after World War II, public bathhouses were commonplace in Japan, the number of customers have dwindled as more people were able to afford houses and apartments equipped with their own private baths as the nation became wealthier. As a result many sentōs have added more features such as saunas in order to survive.

    In the United States, common sauna culture is not widespread outside of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa, which are home to large populations of Finnish Americans. Elsewhere, sauna facilities are normally provided at health clubs and at hotels, but there is no tradition or ritual to their use, and many people fail to appreciate their benefits. To avoid liability, many saunas operate at only moderate temperatures and do not allow pouring water on the rocks. There is little enforced sauna etiquette in the United States, with the exception that mixed-sex saunas require some clothing such as a bathing suit to be worn. These are uncommon, however, as most saunas are in the changing rooms of health clubs or gyms. There are few restrictions on use, and Sauna users may enter and exit the sauna as they please, be it nude with a towel, dripping wet in swimsuits or even in workout clothes. Besides the Finnish Americans, the older generation of Korean-Americans still uses the saunas as it is available to them.

    The Korean-American communities in United States that have settled in urban cities such as Los Angeles county still use the sauna on a weekly basis. These businesses are common in the Koreatown district of Los Angeles. Saunas in Koreatown are built much like their predecessors in Korea, although on a smaller scale. Some saunas offer rooms that have special elements that provide different type of detoxification and/or relaxation i.e. salt rooms, jade rooms, clay fomentation room, charcoal rooms, and various steam rooms.

    Traditions and old beliefs

    In Finland, Estonia and Latvia, the sauna is an ancient custom. It used to be a holy place, a place where women gave birth, and where the bodies of the dead were washed. There were also many beliefs and charms that were connected to sauna. It was, among other things, a place for worshipping the dead – it was thought of as such a wonderful place that even the dead would surely like to return to it. Curing diseases and casting love spells could also happen in the sauna. As in many other cultures, fire was seen as a gift from heaven in Finland, and the hearth and the sauna oven were its altars.

    One word in Finnish, strictly connected to sauna, is löyly. It is difficult to translate precisely, but denotes the heat of the sauna room, especially the heat derived from throwing water on the hot stones of the sauna oven. Originally this word meant spirit or life. In many languages which are related to Finnish, there is a word corresponding to löyly. The closest example appears in the Estonian language, leil. The same meaning of “spirit” is also used in Latvian. Another example is lil in Ostyak, which means soul, pointing to the sauna’s old, spiritual essence.

    There still exists an old saying, “saunassa ollaan kuin kirkossa,” – you should be in the sauna as in a church.

    Saunatonttu, literally translated sauna elf, is a little gnome that was believed to live in the sauna. He was always treated with respect, otherwise he might cause much trouble for people. It was customary to warm up the sauna just for the gnome every now and then, or to leave some food outside for him. It is said that he warned the people if a fire was threatening the sauna, or punished people who behaved improperly in it – for example slept, or played games, argued, were generally noisy or behaved otherwise “immorally” there.

    In Thailand, women spend hours in a make-shift sauna tent during a month following child birth. The steam is typically infused with several herbs. It is believed that the sauna helps the new mother’s body return to its normal condition faster.


    Saunas can be dangerous, as heat prostration or the even more serious hyperthermia (heat stroke) can result. Children and older persons who have heart disease or seizure disorders or those who use alcohol or cocaine are especially vulnerable. Prolonged stay in a sauna may lead to loss of electrolyte from the body, the same as after rigorous exercise. Risks of dehydration leading to heat stroke in more sensitive individuals can occur and may be reduced by regular sipping of water or isotonic drinks, but not alcohol, during the sauna. Sauna bathing and heavy drinking, and also sauna bathing during hangover phase can undoubtedly create real health risks.

    Many of the sauna therapeutic trials used a regular schedule of at least 5 days a week and often daily for one, to three months, then several times a week for extended periods. In some countries the local gymnasium is usually the closest and most convenient and some pool, major sport, or even resort complexes also contain a sauna. Therapeutic Sauna is often carried out in conjunction with physiotherapy or hydrotherapy, gentle exercises within the capability of the person without exacerbating symptoms.

    A steam sauna can take 30 minutes to heat up when first started. Some users prefer taking a warm shower beforehand to speed up perspiration in the sauna. When in the sauna users often sit on a towel for hygiene and put a towel over the head if the face feels too hot but the body feels comfortable. Most adjustment of temperature in a sauna comes from:

    – amount of water thrown on the heater, this increases humidity, so that sauna bathers perspire more copiously.
    – length of stay in the sauna
    – positioning when in the sauna

    It is cooler on the lower benches, and away from the heater elements, as the heat rises and will be hotter higher up. Provided the sauna is not crowded, lying on a bench is considered preferable as it gives more even temperature over the body. Users increase duration and the heat gradually over time as they adapt to sauna.

    Perspiration is a sign of autonomic responses trying to cool the body. Users are advised by sauna operators that at any time it feels unbearably hot, or they feel faint or ill, to go straight outside and sit in the cool, have a cool drink of water, when able have a mild shower to cool down. Some saunas have a thermostat to adjust temperature but the management and other users usually expect to be consulted, first. The sauna heater and rocks are very hot – users know to stay well clear to avoid injury particularly when water is poured on the sauna rocks which creates an immediate blast of steam. Combustibles on or near the heater including oils have been known to result in fire. Wet floors can be slippery, – when entering, leaving or moving around the sauna. Contact lenses dry out in the heat. Jewellery or anything metallic (including glasses) will get hot in the sauna and can cause discomfort or burning.

    Temperature on different parts of the body can be adjusted by shielding from the steam radiator with a towel. Shielding the face with a towel has been found to reduce the perception of heat. Few people can sit directly in front of the heater without feeling too hot from radiant heat, but their overall body temperature may be insufficient. As the person’s body is often the coolest object in a sauna room, steam will condense into water on the skin; this can be confused with perspiration. In an infrared dry sauna, the heaters produce infrared rays that penetrate the skin layers and heat more deeply, It is the user that heat ups not so much the room, so it will be cooler. For safety reasons water is not placed on these types of heaters.

    Cooling down is part of the sauna cycle and is as important as the heating. Among users it is considered good practice to take a few moments after exiting a sauna before entering a cold plunge, and to enter a plunge pool by stepping into it gradually, rather than immediately immersing fully. Until used to having a full cold shower, warm ones are used gradually make it colder so that the shock is not so great. After a shower, feeling cold or shivering indicates it is enough, the shiver is a sign of the autonomic responses, trying to warm the body. This is considered a signal for the sauna again. If however illness is felt later or during that day, a less hot sauna and warmer longer cool down is tried then the next day . In summer any after effects like headache or nausea can come from insufficient cool down after the sauna, or from dehydration, failure to drink enough fluids. Sleep disturbances can also occur if not cooled down properly, even though not feeling hot, the heat in the core of the body may disrupt sleep as the body tries to cool at night. In summer a session is often started with a cold shower.

    Some detoxification studies sauna for about 10 minutes a time, followed by full cool down, to 5 minutes depending on the time of year, repeated 3 times each daily session. Three times in a session is considered an average number of heat/cool cycles.

    Therapeutic sauna

    Therapeutic sauna is the use of sauna for health purposes. It requires cycles of both hot and cold, in a predetermined manner to bring about therapeutic change. Usually it should be carried out daily over a month or so. With chronically ill people the amount of exercise that they can initially tolerate in recuperation may be insufficient to burn off excess stress hormones, so another way is needed to achieve this. The temperature changes of therapeutic sauna can help and this has other benefits as well. When first used gradual increases in heating and cooling are recommended. Therapeutic sauna reduces stress hormones and the cardiac workload is considered about half that of a walk, so initial exposure time is important also.

    The hypothalamus in our brain controls the balance homeostasis of the autonomic nervous system between the ACTION sympathetic and the RELAXATION parasympathetic nervous tone. The well known ‘fight or flight’ stress response produces hormones intended to be burnt off by action, but in a modern lifestyle such hormones may remain in the system. Chronic illness can be associated with altered sympathetic nervous function. Continual stress may alter the balance point of homeostasis, as can some persistent viruses. Allostatic load measurement is an emerging science of measuring with physiological tests the accumulated effect of all types of stress, over time, on the body.

    Four different patterns of dysfunctional allostasis have been identified, each associated with certain chronic conditions. When allostasis (the process of maintenance of homeostasis, adaptation, and survival) is dysfunctional the balance point is shifted and persistent symptoms may result. In one form of dysfunction the hypothalamus and HPA axis responsible for producing hormones is found to be hypo functioning with effects on the sympathetic system and the immune system. In particular production of hypothalamus controlled HPA axis hormones such as ACTH and cortisol; as well other hormones are affected. Other patterns of dysfunctional allostasis involve conditions where there is failure to habituate or adapt to stress and another pattern with high levels of stress hormones, causes conditions such as hypertension or high blood pressure.

    Therapeutic sauna has been shown to aid adaptation, reduce stress hormones, lower blood pressure and improve cardiovascular conditions.


    Sauna may provide some relief to patients with asthma and chronic bronchitis, and may also alleviate pain and improve joint mobility in patients with rheumatic disease. The sauna does not cause drying of the skin, and may even benefit patients with psoriasis, although sweating may increase itching in patients with atopic dermatitis.

    Contraindications to sauna include unstable angina pectoris, recent myocardial infarction, and severe aortic stenosis. Sauna is safe, however, for most people with stable coronary heart disease. It is not harmful to the aged or young even infants over 3 months in moderation and does not affect wound healing. Sauna use may reduce the incidence of the common cold, and temporarily relieve the symptoms. It increases performance in endurance sport, increases plasma volume and red cell volume in athletes, decreased systolic blood pressure, significantly improved exercise tolerance, increased peak respiratory oxygen uptake, and enhanced anaerobic threshold in chronic conditions.

    Sauna plus multidisciplinary treatment may reduce chronic pain more effectively than multidisciplinary treatment alone. Sauna reduces chronic pain more effectively than cognitive behaviour therapy. It is indicated for rheumatic pain (with cold shower) but not for neuropathic pain. Is effective for appetite loss and mild depression. Indicated in reducing symptoms in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and rheumatoid arthritis, and indicated for anorexia nervosa. Sauna improves function in conditions such as, congestive heart failure, and high blood pressure, improves vasodilation, improves heart arrhythmia, and reduces heart rate on exercise. Sauna has been proposed for treatment of other conditions such as, glaucoma, Sjogren syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, anorexia nervosa, obstructive lung disease, recuperation after childbirth, and also for lifestyle related diseases of, diabetes, arteriosclerosis, obesity, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, atherosclerosis and smoking induced symptoms. Sauna has also been found to reduce levels of stress hormones adrenalin and noradrenalin and to increase levels of ACTH, cortisol and beta endorphin. Sauna has been found to increase the hormone testosterone in men. Sauna also found to reduce prostaglandin F2alphaand protect against oxidative stress. It enhances activation of monocytes to bacteria and endotoxins.

    Other benefits of saunas: It has shown that regular saunas combined with exercise therapy can efficiently clear organic chemicals, solvents, drugs, pharmaceuticals even PCBs and heavy metals from the body. In addition a sauna followed by a cold shower has been shown to reduce pain in rheumatoid arthritis where pain is mediated by sensitised c-fibre sympathetics. Regular saunas have also been found to improve micro circulation reduce vasoconstriction and hypertension. Many symptoms of chronic illnesses may be due to vasoconstriction effects eg. cold sensitivity, pain even mood states, and sauna improves microcirculation and blood supply to constricted areas.

    Research has also shown that adaptation to cold through short term cold stimulus, as in cold swimming, immersion (or showers) has the added benefit of improving the body’s anti oxidant capabilities, with increases in glutathione and reduction of uric acid, which may mean better handling of the stresses of illness. Those that are shown to involve reduced glutathione or increased glutathione use, include; cardiovascular conditions, pulmonary diseases, diabetes, inflammatory bowel diseases, cancer, osteoporosis, aging, and after pesticide exposure. Conditions involving oxidative stress include neuro degenerative diseases, CFS, bone fracture and others. Conditions in which increased uric acid may be a risk factor include, gout, metabolic disease and vascular diseases.

    A reported study from the Thrombosis Institute in London into the effects of the cold bathing found that volunteers that followed a disciplined daily regime had increased immune white blood cells and the level of the bodies natural blood thinning enzymes substantially increased, improving micro circulation. It also stimulated the production of hormones such as testosterone in men, and boosted women’s production of oestrogen. Cold water immersion raises thresholds of pain tolerance, and aids adaptation to cold, reduces muscle spasm, can influence the frequency of respiratory infections and improve subjective well-being. It may cause an immunological modulation in terms of the Th1-type pattern, which is a proinflammatory cytokine profile. It is involved in diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, inflammatory myopathies, inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis, CFS, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, fatigue conditions, auto immune disease and other inflammatory conditions. Cold water adaptation reduced total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, lowered plasma viscosity and blood pressure rate product. Cold water immersion reduces recovery time in athletes, enhances repeat performance and reduces exercise induced muscle damage.

    Cold water exposure challenges both the neuro-endocrine and the immune systems, reduces stress hormones and attenuates their response. Increases ADH and cortisol and increases immunomodulatory cytokines. Cold water exposure and adaptation can modify the sensory functions of hypothalamic thermoregulatory centres to lower heat loss and produce less heat during cold exposure and have immunostimulating effects. The thermogenic action of adrenaline in cold exposure produces heat and may reduce this stress hormone. An important effect is the ability of sauna to use up excess sympathetic nerve tone in both the central and peripheral nervous systems and just as importantly use up excess levels of local tissue hormones involved in feedback loops to the hypothalamus, thus aiding recovery in chronic illness.

    The therapeutic sauna with hot cycle followed by a cold cycle brings the benefits of both, forces all the blood to flow gently and evenly outwards to the skin to cool off in the heat of the sauna, and then forces it to flow evenly inwards to protect and heat the vital organs of the body when suddenly cooled. With sauna, sections of the body with chronically deprived blood, increase supply and reduce oxidative stress. As the blood supply cycles into the organs and then out to the skin it acts like a pump bringing stored chemical toxins from remote areas of the body through the microcirculation to the skin to be removed in sweat. The skin of our bodies is in effect another eliminatory organ so even when other organs are compromised in chronic illnesses or contamination, the skin through sweating can rid the body of such chemicals and toxins. The parasympathetic system governs sweat glands secretion and is increased by sauna. Sweating is used to eliminate toxic metals, just as iron loss in sweat increases with exercise in athletes. It has been shown with drugs such as caffeine, that delayed metabolic (organ) clearance was offset by a sizeable elimination in (skin) sweat by sauna. Sweat tests have shown pharmaceutical drugs are eliminated in sweat, narcotics, alkaloids and barbiturates are eliminated in sweat, and elimination increased with heat. Sweat analysis is also used for diagnosis of some disease, toxic metal excretion in sweat is used in diagnosis of chronic disease the result of contamination, and sweating used to eliminate toxic metals. The beneficial effects of therapeutic sauna are both temporary and long term, some benefits will last about 24 hrs. Adaptation and detoxification will occur after longer use when the practice can be suspended or continued if beneficial.


  • Shopping mall (shopping centres)

    A shopping mall or shopping centre is a building or set of buildings that contain retail units, with interconnecting walkways enabling visitors to easily walk from unit to unit.

    Strip malls have developed since the 1920s, corresponding to the rise of suburban living in the United States after World War II. As such, the strip mall development has been the subject of the same criticisms leveled against suburbanisation and suburban sprawl in general. In the United Kingdom, these are called retail parks, out-of-town shopping centres, or precincts.

    Regional differences

    In most of the world the term shopping centre is used, especially in Europe and Australasia; however shopping mall is also used, predominantly in North America. Shopping precinct and shopping arcade are also used. In North America, the term shopping mall is usually applied to enclosed retail structures (and may be abbreviated to simply mall) while shopping centre usually refers to open-air retail complexes.

    Malls in Ireland, pronounced “maills”, are very small shopping centres placed in the centre of town. They average about twenty years in age, with a mix of local shops and chain stores. These malls do not have shops found in the high street or modern shopping centres.

    Shopping centres in the United Kingdom can be referred to as “shopping centres”, “shopping precincts” or just “precincts”, but with American-style centres becoming more common in the UK, the term “mall” is gradually growing in use, at least among the younger generation.


    Isfahan’s Grand Bazaar, which is largely covered, dates from the 10th century A.D. The 10 kilometer long covered Tehran’s Grand Bazaar also has a long history. The Grand Bazaar of Istanbul was built in 15th century and is still one of the largest covered markets in the world with more than 58 streets and 4000 shops.

    Gostiny Dvor in Saint Petersburg, which opened in 1785, should probably be regarded as one of the first purposely-built shopping malls in the world, as it consisted of more than 100 shops covering an area of over 53,000 m².

    The Oxford Covered Market in Oxford, England was opened in 1774 and still runs today.

    The Burlington Arcade in London was opened in 1819. The Arcade in Providence, Rhode Island introduced the concept to the United States in 1828. The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan, Italy followed in the 1860s and is closer to large modern malls in spaciousness. Other large cities created arcades and shopping centres in the late 19th century and early 20th century, including the Cleveland Arcade and Moscow’s GUM in 1890. Early shopping centers designed for the automobile include Market Square, Lake Forest, Illinois (1916) and Country Club Plaza, Kansas City, Missouri (1924).

    An early indoor mall in the United States was the Lake View Store at Morgan Park, Duluth, Minnesota, which was built in 1915 and held its grand opening on July 20, 1916. The architect was Dean and Dean from Chicago and the building contractor was George H. Lounsberry from Duluth. The building is two-stories with a full basement and shops were originally located on all three levels. All of the stores were located within the interior of the mall with some shops being accessible from both inside and out.

    In the mid-20th century, with the rise of the suburb and automobile culture in the United States, a new style of shopping centre was created away from downtown.

    Early shopping centers

    An early shopping center in the United States was Country Club Plaza, which opened in 1924 in Kansas City, Missouri. Other important shopping centers built in the 1920s and early 1930s are the Highland Park Village in Dallas, Texas; River Oaks in Houston, Texas; and Park and Shop in Washington, DC.

    However, the concept of the fully-enclosed shopping mall did not appear until the 1950s. The idea was pioneered by the Austrian-born architect and American immigrant Victor Gruen. This new generation, that were eventually called malls, included Northgate Mall, built in north Seattle, Washington, USA in 1950, Victor Gruen’s Northland Shopping Center built near Detroit, Michigan, USA in 1954, and Gulfgate Mall in Houston were all originally open-air pedestrian shopping centers that later were enclosed as malls. The first enclosed, postwar shopping center (or mall) was the Gruen-designed Southdale Center, which opened in the Twin Cities suburb of Edina, Minnesota, USA in 1956. These malls moved retailing away from the dense, commercial downtown into the largely residential suburbs. This formula (of enclosed space with stores attached, away from downtown, and accessible only by automobile) became a popular way to build retail across the world. In the UK, Chrisp Street Market was the first pedestrian shopping area built with a road at the shop fronts.

    The Bergen Mall, the oldest enclosed mall in New Jersey, opened in Paramus on November 14, 1957, with Dave Garroway, host of The Today Show, serving as master of ceremonies. The mall, located just outside New York City, was planned in 1955 by Allied Stores to have 100 stores and 8,600 parking spaces in a 1.5 million ft² mall that would include a 300,000 ft² Stern’s store and two other 150,000 ft² department stores as part of the design. Allied’s chairman B. Earl Puckett confidently announced the Bergen Mall as the largest of ten proposed centers, stating that there were 25 cities that could support such centers and that no more than 50 malls of this type would ever be built nationwide.

    Largest shopping malls

    Two of the largest malls in the world are in China, South China Mall and Jin Yuan. Dubai Mall is the largest mall in Middle East and Europe, currently ranked 7th in the world. Previously, the title of the largest enclosed shopping mall was with the West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada from 1986–2004. It is now the eighth largest mall in the world.

    One of the world’s largest shopping complexes at one location is the two-mall agglomeration of the Plaza at King of Prussia and the Court at King of Prussia in the Philadelphia suburb of King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, USA. The King of Prussia mall has the most shopping per square foot in the US. The most visited shopping mall in the world and largest mall in the United States is the Mall of America, located near the Twin Cities in Bloomington, Minnesota, USA. However, several Asian malls are advertised as having more visitors, including Mal Taman Anggrek, Kelapa Gading Mall and Megamal Pluit, all in Jakarta-Indonesia, Berjaya Times Square in Malaysia and SM Megamall in the Philippines.

    Beijing’s (Peking) Golden Resources Mall, which opened in October 2004, is the world’s second largest mall, at 600,000 m² (approximately 6 million square ft). Berjaya Times Square in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is advertised at 700,000 square metres (7,530,000 sq ft). SM City North EDSA in the Philippines, which opened in November 1985, is the world’s third largest at 460,000 square metres (4,951,400 sq ft) of gross floor area, and SM Mall of Asia in the Philippines, opened in May 2006, is the world’s 4th largest at 386,000 square metres (4,154,900 sq ft) of gross floor area.

    Pitt Street Mall” of Sydney is Australia’s busiest shopping precinct. This mall has eight retail centres and more than 600 speciality stores, within two city blocks.

    British usage

    A mall can refer to a shopping mall, which is a place where a collection of shops all adjoin a pedestrian area, or an exclusively pedestrian street, that allows shoppers to walk without interference from vehicle traffic. Mall is generally used in North America and Australasia to refer to a large shopping area usually composed of a single building which contains multiple shops, usually “anchored” by one or more department stores surrounded by a parking lot, while the term arcade is more often used, especially in Britain, to refer to a narrow pedestrian-only street, often covered or between closely spaced buildings (see town centre). A larger, often only partly covered but exclusively pedestrian shopping area is in Britain also termed a “shopping centre”, shopping precinct or pedestrian precinct.

    The majority of British shopping centres are in town centres, usually inserted into old shopping districts, and surrounding by subsidiary open air shopping streets. A number of large out-of-town “regional malls” such as Meadowhall, Sheffield and the Trafford Centre, Manchester were built in the 1980s and 1990s, but there are only ten of them or so and planning regulations prohibit the construction of any more. Out-of-town shopping developments in the UK are now focused on retail parks, which consist of groups of warehouse style shops with individual entrances from outdoors. Planning policy prioritizes the development of existing town centres, although with patchy success. The Metro centre, Gateshead, is the largest shopping centre in Europe with over 330 shops, 50 restaurants and an 11 screen cinema, while the Westfield London is the largest inner-city shopping centre in Europe.

    Classes of malls

    In many cases, regional and super-regional malls exist as parts of large superstructures which often also include office space, residential space, amusement parks and so forth. This trend can be seen in the construction and design of many modern supermalls such as Cevahir Mall in Turkey. The International Council of Shopping Centers’ 1999 definitions were not restricted to shopping centers in any particular country, but later editions were made specific to the U.S. with a separate set for Europe.

    Regional malls

    A regional mall is, per the International Council of Shopping Centers, in the United States, a shopping mall which is designed to service a larger area than a conventional shopping mall. As such, it is typically larger with 400,000 square feet (37,000 m2) to 800,000 square feet (74,000 m2) gross leasable area with at least two anchors and offers a wider selection of stores. Given their wider service area, these malls tend to have higher-end stores that need a larger area in order for their services to be profitable. Regional malls are also found as tourist attractions in vacation areas.

    Super-regional malls
    A super-regional mall is, per the ICSC, in the U.S. a shopping mall with over 800,000 square feet (74,000 m2) of gross leasable area, and which serves as the dominant shopping venue for the region in which it is located.

    Outlet malls

    An outlet mall (or outlet centre) is a type of shopping mall in which manufacturers sell their products directly to the public through their own stores. Other stores in outlet malls are operated by retailers selling returned goods and discontinued products, often at heavily reduced prices. Outlet stores were found as early as 1936, but the first multi-store outlet mall, Vanity Fair, located in Reading, PA didn’t open until 1974. Belz Enterprises opened the first enclosed factory outlet mall in 1979, in Lakeland, TN, a suburb of Memphis.


    Food court

    A shopping mall food court consists of food vendors offering a selection of food. At a typical food court, food is ordered at one of the vendors and then consumed at a seating area, which is normally a plaza surrounded by the counters of the multiple food vendors.

    Department stores

    When the shopping mall format was developed by Victor Gruen in the mid-1950s, signing larger department stores was necessary for the financial stability of the projects, and to draw retail traffic that would result in visits to the smaller stores in the mall as well. These larger stores are termed anchor store or draw tenant. Anchors generally have their rents heavily discounted, and may even receive cash inducements from the mall to remain open. In physical configuration, anchor stores are normally located as far from each other as possible to maximize the amount of traffic from one anchor to another.

    Dead malls

    In the U.S, as more modern facilities are built, many early malls have become abandoned, due to decreased traffic and tenancy. These “dead malls” have failed to attract new business and often sit unused for many years until restored or demolished. Interesting examples of architecture and urban design, these structures often attract people who explore and photograph them. This phenomenon of dead and dying malls is examined in detail by the website Deadmalls.com, which hosts many such photographs, as well as historical accounts. Until the mid-1990s, the trend was to build enclosed malls and to renovate older outdoor malls into enclosed ones. Such malls had advantages such as temperature control. Since then, the trend has turned and it is once again fashionable to build open-air malls. According to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), only one enclosed mall has been built in the United States since 2006.

    Some enclosed malls have been opened up, such as the Sherman Oaks Galleria. In addition, some malls, when replacing an empty anchor location, have replaced the former anchor store building with the more modern outdoor design, leaving the remainder of the indoor mall intact, such as the Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance, California.

    The Mall, an out-of-town shopping centre at Patchway, near Bristol, England. Escalators connect the upper and lower levels.

    New trends

    In parts of Canada, it is now rare for new shopping malls to be built, as outdoor outlet malls or big box shopping areas known as power centres are now favored, although the traditional enclosed shopping mall is still in demand by those seeking weather-protected, all-under-one-roof shopping. In addition the enclosed interconnections between downtown multi story shopping malls continue to grow in the Underground city of Montreal (32 kilometres of passageway), the PATH system of Toronto (27 km of passageway) and the Plus15 system of Calgary (16 km of overhead passageway).

    Vertical malls

    Due to the high land price in densely populated conurbations such as Hong Kong and Bangkok, and the higher yield on retail property, the “vertical mall” is common – Times Square (Hong Kong) is considered the first of its kind. The concept of the vertical mall departs from the common western model of the flat shopping mall: space allocated to retail is configured over a number of storeys accessible by escalators linking the different levels of the mall. The challenge of this type of mall is to overcome the natural tendency of shoppers to move horizontally and encourage shoppers to move upwards and downwards.


  • Spa

    The term spa is associated with water treatment which is also known as balneotherapy, spa towns or spa resorts offering such treatment, or the medication or equipment for such treatment. The term thus has various related meanings.

    Origins of the term
    The term is derived from the name of the town of Spa, Belgium, whose name is known back to Roman times, when the location was called Aquae Spadanae, perhaps related to the Latin word “spagere” meaning to scatter, sprinkle or moisten.

    Since medieval times illnesses caused by iron deficiency were treated by drinking chalybeate (iron bearing) spring water (in 1326, the ironmaster Collin le Loup claimed a cure, when the spring was called Espa, a Walloon word for “fountain”).

    In 16th century England the old Roman ideas of medicinal bathing were revived at towns like Bath, and in 1571 William Slingsby who had been to the Belgian town (which he called Spaw) discovered a chalybeate spring in Yorkshire. He built an enclosed well at what became known as Harrogate, the first resort in England for drinking medicinal waters, then in 1596 Dr Timothy Bright called the resort The English Spaw, beginning the use of the word Spa as a generic description rather than as the place name of the Belgian town. At first this term referred specifically to resorts for water drinking rather than bathing, but this distinction was gradually lost and many spas offer external remedies.

    It is commonly claimed, in a commercial context, that the word is an acronym of various Latin phrases such as “Salus Per Aquam” or “Sanitas Per Aquam” meaning “health through water”.This is very unlikely: the derivation doesn’t appear before the early 21st century and is probably a “backronym” as there is no evidence of acronyms passing into the language before the twentieth century.; nor does it match the known Roman name for the location.

    The practice of traveling to hot or cold springs in hopes of effecting a cure of some ailment dates to prehistoric times. Archaeological investigations near hot springs in France and Czechoslovakia revealed Bronze Age weapons and offerings. In Great Britain, ancient legend credited early Celtic kings with the discovery of the hot springs at Bath, England.

    Many people around the world believed that bathing in a particular spring, well, or river resulted in physical and spiritual purification. Forms of ritual purification existed among the native Americans, Persians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. Today, ritual purification through water can be found in the religious ceremonies of Jews, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, and Hindus. These ceremonies reflect the ancient belief in the healing and purifying properties of water. Complex bathing rituals were also practiced in ancient Egypt, in prehistoric cities of the Indus Valley, and in Aegean civilizations. Most often these ancient people did little building construction around the water, and what they did construct was very temporary in nature.

    Bathing in Greek and Roman times

    Some of the earliest descriptions of western bathing practices came from Greece. The Greeks began bathing regimens that formed the foundation for modern spa procedures. These Aegean people utilized small bathtubs, washbasins, and foot baths for personal cleanliness. They established public baths and showers within their gymnasium complexes for relaxation and personal hygiene. Greek mythology specified that certain natural springs or tidal pools were blessed by the gods to cure disease. Around these sacred pools, Greeks established bathing facilities for those desiring healing. Supplicants left offerings to the gods fo healing at these sites and bathed themselves in hopes of a cure. The Spartans developed a primitive vapor bath. At Serangeum, an early Greek balneum (bathhouse, loosely translated), bathing chambers were cut into the hillside from which the hot springs issued. A series of niches cut into the rock above the chambers held bathers’ clothing. One of the bathing chambers had a decorative mosaic floor depicting a driver and chariot pulled by four horses, a woman followed by two dogs, and a dolphin below. Thus, the early Greeks used the natural features, but expanded them and added their own amenities, such as decorations and shelves. During later Greek civilization, bathhouses were often built in conjunction with athletic fields.

    The Romans emulated many of the Greek bathing practices. Romans surpassed the Greeks in the size and complexity of their baths. As in Greece, the Roman bath became a focal center for social and recreational activity. As the Roman Empire expanded, the idea of the public bath spread to all parts of the Mediterranean and into regions of Europe and North Africa. With the construction of the aqueducts, the Romans had enough water not only for domestic, agricultural, and industrial uses, but also for their leisurely pursuits. The aqueducts provided water that was later heated for use in the baths. Today, the extent of the Roman bath is revealed at ruins and in archaeological excavations in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.

    The Romans also developed baths in their colonies, taking advantage of the natural hot springs occurring in Europe to construct baths at Aix and Vichy in France, Bath and Buxton in England, Aachen and Wiesbaden in Germany, Baden, Austria, and Aquincum in Hungary, among other locations. These baths became centers for recreational and social activities in Roman communities. Libraries, lecture halls, gymnasiums, and formal gardens became part of some bath complexes. In addition, the Romans used the hot thermal waters to relieve their suffering from rheumatism, arthritis, and overindulgence in food and drink. The decline of the Roman Empire in the west, beginning in A.D. 337 after the death of Emperor Constantine, resulted in Roman legions abandoning their outlying provinces and leaving the baths to be taken over by the local population or destroyed.

    Thus, the Romans elevated bathing to a fine art, and their bathhouses physically reflected these advancements. The Roman bath, for instance, included a far more complex ritual than a simple immersion or sweating procedure. The various parts of the bathing ritual — undressing, bathing, sweating, receiving a massage, and resting — required separated rooms which the Romans built to accommodate those functions. The segregation of the sexes and the additions of diversions not directly related to bathing also had direct impacts on the shape and form of bathhouses. The elaborate Roman bathing ritual and its resultant architecture served as precedents for later European and American bathing facilities. Formal garden spaces and opulent architectural arrangement equal to those of the Romans reappeared in Europe by the end of the eighteenth century. Major American spas followed suit a century later.

    Bathing in Medieval times

    With the decline of the Roman Empire, the public baths often became places of licentious behavior, and such use was responsible for the spread rather than the cure of diseases. A general belief developed among the European populace was that frequent bathing promoted disease and sickness. Medieval church authorities encouraged this belief and made every effort to close down public baths. Ecclesiastical officials believed that public bathing created an environment open to immorality and disease. Roman Catholic Church officials even banned public bathing in an unsuccessful effort to halt syphilis epidemics from sweeping Europe. Overall, this period represented a time of decline for public bathing.

    People continued to seek out a few select hot and cold springs, believed to be holy wells, to cure various ailments. In an age of religious fervor, the benefits of the water were attributed to God or one of the saints. In 1326 Collin le Loup, an ironmaster from Liège, Belgium, discovered the chalybeate springs of Spa, Belgium. Around these springs, a famous health resort eventually grew and the term “spa” came to refer to any health resort located near natural springs. During this period, individual springs became associated with the specific ailment that they could allegedly benefit.

    Bathing procedures during this period varied greatly. By the 16th century, physicians at Karlsbad, Bohemia, prescribed that the mineral water be taken internally as well as externally. Patients periodically bathed in warm water for up to 10 or 11 hours while drinking glasses of mineral water. The first bath session occurred in the morning, and the second commenced in the afternoon. This treatment lasted several days until skin pustules formed and broke resulting in the draining of “poisons” considered to be the source of the disease. Then followed another series of shorter, hotter baths to wash the infection away and close the eruptions.

    In the English coastal town of Scarborough in 1626, a Mrs Elizabeth Farrow discovered a stream of acidic water running from one of the cliffs to the south of the town. This was deemed to have health-giving properties and gave birth to Scarborough Spa. Dr Wittie’s book about the spa waters published in 1660 attracted a flood of visitors to the town. Sea bathing was added to the cure, and Scarborough became Britain’s first seaside resort. The first rolling bathing machines for bathers are recorded on the sands in 1735.

    Bathing in the 18th century

    In the 17th century most upper-class Europeans washed their clothes with water often and washed only their faces (with linen), feeling that bathing the entire body was a lower-class activity; but the upper-class slowly began changing their attitudes toward bathing as a way to restore health later in that century. The wealthy flocked to health resorts to drink and bathe in the waters. In 1702 Queen Anne of England traveled to Bath, the former Roman development, to bathe. A short time Richard (Beau) Nash came to Bath. By the force of his personality, Nash became the arbiter of good taste and manners in England. He along with financier Ralph Allen and architect John Wood transformed Bath from a country spa into the social capital of England. Bath set the tone for other spas in Europe to follow. Ostensibly, the wealthy and famous arrived there one a seasonal basis to bathe in and drink the water; however, they also came to display their opulence. Social activities at Bath included dances, concerts, playing cards, lectures, and promenading down the street.

    A typical day at Bath might be an early morning communal bath followed by a private breakfast party. Afterwards, one either drank water at the Pump Room (a building constructed over the thermal water source) or attended a fashion show. Physicians encouraged health resort patrons to bathe in and drink the waters with equal vigor. The next several hours of the day could be spent in shopping, visiting the lending library, attending concerts, or stopping at one of the coffeehouses. At 4:00 P.M., the rich and famous dressed up in their finery and promenaded down the streets. Next came dinner, more promenading, and an evening of dancing or gambling.

    Similar activities occurred in health resorts throughout Europe. The spas became stages on which Europeans paraded with great pageantry. These resorts became infamous as places of gossip and scandals. The various social and economic classes selected specific seasons during the year’s course, staying from one to several months, to vacation at each resort. One season aristocrats occupied the resorts; at other times, prosperous farmers or retired military men took the baths. The wealthy and the criminals that preyed on them moved from one spa to the next as the fashionable season for that resort changed.

    During the 18th century a revival in the medical uses of spring water took place among some Italian, German, and English physicians. This revival changed the way of taking a spa treatment. For example, in Karlsbad the accepted method of drinking the mineral water required sending large barrels to individual boardinghouses where the patients drank physician-prescribed dosages in the solitude of their rooms. Dr. David Beecher in 1777 recommended that the patients come to the fountainhead for the water and that each patient should first do some prescribed exercises. This innovation increased the medicinal benefits obtained and gradually physical activity became part of the European bathing regimen. In 1797 in England Dr. James Currier published The Effects of Water, Cold and Warm, as a Remedy in Fever and other Diseases. This book stimulated additional interest in water cures and advocated the external and internal use of water as part of the curing process.

    Bathing in the 19th and 20th centuries
    In the 19th century, bathing became a more accepted practice as physicians realized some of the benefits that cleanliness could provide. A cholera epidemic in Liverpool, England in 1842 resulted in a sanitation renaissance — more people bathed and washed their clothes. That same year a house in Cincinnati, Ohio, received the first indoor bathtub in the United States. Bathing, however, was still not a universal custom. Only one year later — in 1843 — bathing between November 1 and March 15 was outlawed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as a health measure, and in 1845 bathing was banned in Boston, Massachusetts, unless under the direct orders of a physician. The situation improved, however, and by 1867 in Philadelphia most houses of the well-to-do had tubs and indoor plumbing. In England, hot showers were installed in barracks and schools by the 1880s. The taboos against bathing disappeared with advancements in medical science; the worldwide medical community was even promoting the benefits of bathing. In addition, the Victorian taste for the exotic lent itself perfectly to seeking out the curative powers of thermal water.

    In most instances the formal architectural development of European spas took place in the 18th and 19th centuries. The architecture of Bath, England, developed along Georgian and Neoclassical lines, generally following Palladian structures. The most important architectural form that emerged was the “crescent” — a semi-elliptical street plan used in many areas of England. The architecture of Karlsbad, Marienbad, Franzenbad, and Baden-Baden was primarily Neoclassical, but the literature seems to indicate that large bathhouses were not constructed until well into the 19th century. The emphasis on drinking the waters rather than bathing in them led to the development of separate structures known as Trinkhallen (drinking halls) where those taking the cure spent hours drinking water from the springs.

    By the mid-19th century the situation had changed dramatically. Visitors to the European spas began to stress bathing in addition to drinking the waters. Besides fountains, pavilions, and Trinkhallen, bathhouses on the scale of the Roman baths were revived. Photographs of a 19th-century spa complex taken in the 1930s, detailing the earlier architecture, show a heavy use of mosaic floors, marble walls, classical statuary, arched openings, domed ceilings, segmental arches, triangular pediments, Corinthian columns, and all the other trappings of a Neoclassical revival. The buildings were usually separated by function — with the Trinkhalle, the bathhouse, the inhalatorium (for inhaling the vapors), and the Kurhaus or Conversationhaus that was the center of social activity. Baden-Baden featured golf courses and tennis courts, “superb roads to motor over, and drives along quaint lanes where wild deer are as common as cows to us, and almost as unafraid.”

    The European spa, then, started with structures to house the drinking function — from simple fountains to pavilions to elaborate Trinkhallen. The enormous bathhouses came later in the 19th century as a renewed preference for an elaborate bathing ritual to cure ills and improve health came into vogue. European architects looked back to Roman civilizations and carefully studied its fine architectural precedents. The Europeans copied the same formality, symmetry, division of rooms by function, and opulent interior design in their bathhouses. They emulated the fountains and formal garden spaces in their resorts, and they also added new diversions. The tour books always mentioned the roomy, woodsy offerings in the vicinity and the faster-paced evening diversions.

    By the beginning of the 19th century the European bathing regimen consisted of numerous accumulated traditions. The bathing routine included soaking in hot water, drinking the water, steaming in a vapor room, and relaxing in a cooling room. In addition doctors ordered that patients be douched with hot or cold water and given a select diet to promote a cure. Authors began writing guidebooks to the health resorts of Europe explaining the medical benefits and social amenities of each. Rich Europeans and Americans traveled to these resorts to take in cultural activities and the baths.

    Each European spa began offering similar cures while maintaining a certain amount of individuality. The 19th century bathing regimen at Karlsbad can serve as a general portrayal of European bathing practices during this century. Visitors arose at 6:00 AM to drink the water and be serenaded by a band. Next came a light breakfast, bath, and lunch. The doctors at Karlsbad usually limited patients to certain foods for each meal. In the afternoon visitors went sight-seeing or attended concerts. Nightly theatrical performances followed the evening meal. This ended around 9:00 PM with the patients returning to their boardinghouses to sleep until six the next morning. This regimen continued for as long as a month and then the patients returned home until the next year. Other 19th century European spa regimens followed similar schedules.

    At the beginning of the 20th century, European spas combined a strict diet and exercise regimen with a complex bathing procedure to achieve benefits for the patients. One example will suffice to illustrate the change in bathing procedures. Patients at Baden-Baden, which specialized in treating rheumatoid arthritis, were directed to see a doctor before taking the baths. Once this occurred the bathers proceeded to the main bathhouse where they paid for their baths and stored their valuables before being assigned a booth for undressing. The bathhouse supplied bathers with towels, sheets, and slippers.

    The Baden-Baden bathing procedure began with a warm shower. The bathers next entered a room of circulating, 140-degree hot air for 20 minutes, spent another 10 minutes in a room with 150-degree temperature, partook of a 154-degree vapor bath, then showered and received a soap massage. After the massage, the bathers swam in a pool heated approximately to body temperature. After the swim, the bathers rested for 15 to 20 minutes in the warm “Sprudel” room pool. This shallow pool’s bottom contained an 8-inch layer of sand through with naturally carbonated water bubbled up. This was followed by a series of gradually cooler showers and pools. After that, the attendants rubbed down the bathers with warm towels and then wrapped them in sheets and covered them with blankets to rest for 20 minutes. This ended the bathing portion of the treatment. The rest of the cure consisted of a prescribed diet, exercise, and water-drinking program.

    The European spas provided various other diversions for guests after the bath, including gambling, horse racing, fishing, hunting, tennis, skating, dancing, golf, and horseback riding. Sight-seeing and theatrical performances served as further incentives for people to go to the spa. Some European governments even recognized the medical benefits of spa therapy and paid a portion of the patient’s expenses. A number of these spas catered to those suffering from obesity and overindulgence in addition to various other medical complaints. In recent years, elegance and style of earlier centuries may have diminished, but people still come to the natural hot springs for relaxation and health.

    Spas in colonial America

    Some European colonists brought with them knowledge of the hot water therapy for medicinal purposes, and others learned the benefits of hot springs from the Native Americans. Europeans gradually obtained many of the hot and cold springs from the various Indian tribes. They then developed the spring to suit European tastes. By the 1760s British colonists were traveling to hot and cold springs in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New York, and Virginia in search of water cures. Among the more frequently visited of these springs were Bath, Yellow, and Bristol Springs in Pennsylvania; Saratoga Springs, Kinderhook, and Ballston Springs in New York; and Warm Springs, Hot Springs, and White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia (now in West Virginia) in Virginia.

    Colonial doctors gradually began to recommend hot springs for ailments. Dr. Benjamin Rush, American patriot and physician, praised the springs of Bristol, Pennsylvania, in 1773. Dr. Samuel Tenney in 1783 and Dr. Valentine Seaman in 1792 examined the water of Saratoga Springs in New York and wrote of possible medicinal uses of the springs. Hotels were constructed to accommodate visitors to the various springs. Entrepreneurs opened taverns where the travelers could lodge, eat, and drink. Thus began the health resort industry in the United States.

    Bathing in 19th and 20th century America

    After the American Revolution, the spa industry continued to gain popularity. By the mid 1850s hot and cold spring resorts existed in 20 states. Many of these resorts contained similar architectural features. Most health resorts had a large, two-story central building near or at the springs, with smaller structures surrounding it. The main building provided the guests with facilities for dining, and possibly, dancing on the first floor, and the second story consisted of sleeping rooms. The outlying structures were individual guest cabins, and other auxiliary buildings formed a semicircle or U-shape around the large building.

    These resorts offered swimming, fishing, hunting, and horseback riding as well as facilities for bathing. The Virginia resorts, particularly White Sulphur Springs, proved popular before and after the Civil War. After the Civil War, spa vacations became very popular as returning soldiers bathed to heal wounds and the American economy allowed more leisure time. Saratoga Springs in New York became one of the main centers for this type of activity. Bathing in and drinking the warm, carbonated spring water only served as a prelude to the more interesting social activities of gambling, promenading, horse racing, and dancing.

    Saratoga Springs in New York had extensive architectural development by the 1830s — a time when the buildings of Hot Springs, Arkansas, were small log and frame structures without particularly distinctive detailing — just basic envelopes to keep occupants from the weather. By 1815 Saratoga had large, four-story, Greek revival hotels. The availability of train and steamship service to that destination by 1832 meant larger numbers of more sophisticated clients. With the exception of specialized baths provided in boardinghouses or small bathhouses connected with the hotels, Saratoga’s development during the 19th century was based on leisure pursuits other than baths. Although Saratoga and other spas in New York centered their developments around the healthful mineral waters, their real drawing card was the complex social life — that included pursuits from gambling on racehorses to seeing the latest Paris fashions. Going to the mountains for the summer was a major exodus undertaken by urban dwellers who could afford it, and Saratoga became a hub of summer activity. Private development there featured enormous hotels with great ballrooms, opera houses, stores, and clubhouses. In 1865 the Union Hotel had its own esplanade, with fountain and formal landscaping, and two small bathhouses. Yet, during the 19th century the bathhouses were auxiliary structures and not the central features of the resort.

    During the last half of the 19th century western entrepreneurs developed natural hot and cold springs into resorts — from the Mississippi River to the West Coast. Many of these spas offered individual tub baths, vapor baths, douche sprays, needle showers, and pool bathing to their guests. The various railroads that spanned the country promoted these resorts to encourage train travel. Hot Springs, Arkansas, became a major resort for people from the large metropolitan areas of St. Louis and Chicago.

    The popularity of the spas continued into the 20th century. Some medical critics, however, charged that the thermal waters in such renowned resorts as Hot Springs, Virginia, and Saratoga Springs, New York, were no more beneficial to health than ordinary heated water. The various spa owners countered these arguments by developing better hydrotherapy for their patients. At the Saratoga spa, treatments for heart and circulatory disorders, rheumatic conditions, nervous disorders, metabolic diseases, and skin diseases were developed. In 1910 the New York state government began purchasing the principal springs to protect them from exploitation. When Franklin Delano Roosevelt was governor of New York, he pushed for a European type of spa development at Saratoga. The architects for the new complex spent two years studying the technical aspects of bathing in Europe. Completed in 1933, the development had three bathhouses — Lincoln, Washington, and Roosevelt — a drinking hall, the Hall of Springs, and a building housing the Simon Baruch Research Institute. Four additional buildings composed the recreation area and housed arcades and a swimming pool decorated with blue faience terra-cotta tile. Saratoga spa’s Neoclassical buildings were laid out in a grand manner, with formal perpendicular axes, solid brick construction, and stone and concrete Roman-revival detailing. The spa was surrounded by a 1,200 acre natural park that had 18 miles of bridle paths, “with measured walks at scientifically calculated gradients through its groves and vales, with spouting springs adding unexpected touches to its vistas, with the tumbling waters of Geyser Brook flowing beneath bridges of the fine roads. Full advantage has been taken of the natural beauty of the park, but no formal landscaping.” Promotional literature again advertised the attractions directly outside the spa: shopping, horse races, and historic sites associated with revolutionary war history. New York Governor Herbert Lehman opened the new facilities to the public in July 1935.

    Other leading spas in the country during this period were French Lick, Indiana; Hot Springs and White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia; Hot Springs, Arkansas; and Warm Springs, Georgia. French Lick specialized in treating obesity and constipation through a combination of bathing and drinking the water and exercising. Hot Springs, Virginia, specialized in digestive ailments and heart diseases, and White Sulphur Springs, Virginia, treated these ailments and skin diseases. Both resorts offered baths where the water would wash continuously over the patients as they lay in a shallow pool. Warm Springs, Georgia, gained a reputation for treating infantile paralysis by a procedure of baths and exercise. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who earlier supported Saratoga, became a frequent visitor and promoter of this spa.

    By the late 1930s more than 2,000 hot- or cold-springs health resorts were operating in the United States. This number had diminished greatly by the 1950s and continued to decline in the following two decades. Today’s spas emphasize dietary, exercise, or recreational programs more than traditional bathing activities. The public bathing industry remains stagnant, but companies selling the individual home spas attract a large and growing market.

    Spa meaning a resort or place of treatment

    A destination spa, a resort for personal care treatments.
    A day spa, a form of beauty salon.
    A spa town, a town visited for the supposed healing properties of the water.

    Spa medication or equipment

    A foot spa.
    A hot tub, in United States usage.
    A soda fountain, in United States usage.
    Spa (mineral water), from the sources in Spa.

    International Spa Association definitions
    Spa – an entity devoted to enhancing overall well-being through a variety of professional services that encourage the renewal of mind, body and spirit.

    Types of spa
    Club spa
    – A facility whose primary purpose is fitness and which offers a variety of professionally administered spa services on a day-use basis.

    Cruise ship spa
    – A spa aboard a cruise ship providing professionally administered spa services, fitness and wellness components and spa cuisine menu choices.

    Day spa
    – A spa offering a variety of professionally administered spa services to clients on a day-use basis.

    Dental spa – A facility under the supervision of a licensed dentist that combines traditional dental treatment with the services of a spa.

    Destination spa
    – A destination spa is a facility with the primary purpose of guiding individual spa-goers to develop healthy habits. Historically a seven-day stay, this lifestyle transformation can be accomplished by providing a comprehensive program that includes spa services, physical fitness activities, wellness education, healthful cuisine and special interest programming.

    Medical spa
    – A facility that operates under the full-time, on-site supervision of a licensed health care professional whose primary purpose is to provide comprehensive medical and wellness care in an environment that integrates spa services, as well as traditional, complimentary and/or alternative therapies and treatments. The facility operates within the scope of practice of its staff, which can include both aesthetic/cosmetic and prevention/wellness procedures and services.

    Mineral springs spa
    – A spa offering an on-site source of natural mineral, thermal or seawater used in hydrotherapy treatments.

    Resort/hotel spa
    – A spa owned by and located within a resort or hotel providing professionally administered spa services, fitness and wellness components and spa cuisine menu choices.



  • Spatial planning

    Spatial planning refers to the methods used by the public sector to influence the distribution of people and activities in spaces of various scales. Spatial planning includes all levels of land use planning including urban planning, regional planning, environmental planning, national spatial plans, and in the European Union international levels.

    There are numerous definitions of spatial planning. One of the earliest definitions comes from the European Regional/Spatial Planning Charter (often called the ‘Torremolinos Charter’), adopted in 1983 by the European Conference of Ministers responsible for Regional Planning (CEMAT): “Regional/spatial planning gives geographical expression to the economic, social, cultural and ecological policies of society. It is at the same time a scientific discipline, an administrative technique and a policy developed as an interdisciplinary and comprehensive approach directed towards a balanced regional development and the physical organisation of space according to an overall strategy.”

    Numerous planning systems exist around the world. Especially in Northwestern Europe spatial planning has evolved greatly since the late 1950s.


  • Spray pool

    A spray pool is a recreation area, often in a public park, that sprays water so that users can play in it. The water typically emanates from a point on or near the ground, but in some cases this same kind of mechanism will be installed so as to emanate from near the surface of a swimming pool or wading pool. In other cases, a ring of jets will shoot arcs of water towards a center point.

    A typical definition was laid out by a 1996 Heath Act in British Columbia which stated that a spray pool is “an artificially constructed depression or basin for use by children, into which potable water is sprayed but not allowed to accumulate in the bottom.”

    Similarly, the city of Norfolk, Virginia specifically defines a spray pool as “any shallow manmade structure constructed from materials other than natural earth or soil used for spraying humans with water and which has a drainage area designated to remove the water from the shower or spray nozzles at a rate sufficient to prevent the impounding of water.”

    Depending upon the strength and arc of the flow, the force of the spray can be relatively strong (especially close to the point where the water emerges) or may have more resemblance to rainfall or even a fine mist. When not combined with a swimming pool or wading pool, a spray pool sometimes has a shallow “splash pool” a few inches deep.

    As mentioned, the area beneath a spray pool typically has drain openings so that the water it produces will not flood the surrounding landscape. In some instances, the water collected in these drains is recycled back into the spray mechanism, thereby conserving water. In other cases, the water emanating from the spray nozzles is continually drawn from a fresh water supply as previously mentioned.

    Popular in summertime and especially prevalent in urban areas, the spray pool offers an alternative to the practice of opening fire hydrants so that children can play and cool off in the water – a practice which is illegal and has been cited as dangerous in that it lowers the water pressure in a given area and makes firefighting more difficult.


  • Strategic planning

    Strategic planning is an organization’s process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy, including its capital and people. Various business analysis techniques can be used in strategic planning, including SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats ) and PEST analysis (Political, Economic, Social, and Technological analysis) or STEER analysis involving Socio-cultural, Technological, Economic, Ecological, and Regulatory factors.


    Strategies are different from tactics in that:

    1. They are proactive and not re-active as tactics are.
    2. They are internal in source, and the business venture has absolute control over their application.
    3. Strategy can only be applied once, after that it is process of application with no unique element remaining.
    4. The outcome is normally a strategic plan which is used as guidance to define functional and divisional plans, including Technology, Marketing, etc.

    Strategic planning is the formal consideration of an organization’s future course. All strategic planning deals with at least one of three key questions:

    – “What do we do?”
    – “For whom do we do it?”
    – “How do we excel?”

    In business strategic planning, the third question is better phrased “How can we beat or avoid competition?”. (Bradford and Duncan, page 1).

    In many organizations, this is viewed as a process for determining where an organization is going over the next year or more -typically 3 to 5 years, although some extend their vision to 20 years.

    In order to determine where it is going, the organization needs to know exactly where it stands, then determine where it wants to go and how it will get there. The resulting document is called the “strategic plan”.

    It is also true that strategic planning may be a tool for effectively plotting the direction of a company; however, strategic planning itself cannot foretell exactly how the market will evolve and what issues will surface in the coming days in order to plan your organizational strategy. Therefore, strategic innovation and tinkering with the ‘strategic plan’ have to be a cornerstone strategy for an organization to survive the turbulent business climate.

    Vision, mission and values

    Vision: Defines the desired or intended future state of a specific organization or enterprise in terms of its fundamental objective and/or strategic direction.

    Mission: Defines the fundamental purpose of an organization or an enterprise, basically describing why it exists.

    Values: Beliefs that are shared among the stakeholders of an organization. Values drive an organization’s culture and priorities.


    There are many approaches to strategic planning but typically a three-step process may be used:

    – Situation – evaluate the current situation and how it came about.
    – Target – define goals and/or objectives (sometimes called ideal state)
    – Path – map a possible route to the goals/objectives

    One alternative approach is called Draw-See-Think

    – Draw – what is the ideal image or the desired end state?
    – See – what is today’s situation? What is the gap from ideal and why?
    – Think – what specific actions must be taken to close the gap between today’s situation and the ideal state?
    – Plan – what resources are required to execute the activities?

    An alternative to the Draw-See-Think approach is called See-Think-Draw

    – See – what is today’s situation?
    – Think – define goals/objectives
    – Draw – map a route to achieving the goals/objectives

    In other terms strategic planning can be as follows:

    – Vision – Define the vision and set a mission statement with hierarchy of goals
    – SWOT – Analysis conducted according to the desired goals
    – Formulate – Formulate actions and processes to be taken to attain these goals
    – Implement – Implementation of the agreed upon processes
    – Control – Monitor and get feedback from implemented processes to fully control the operation

    Situational analysis

    When developing strategies, analysis of the organization and its environment as it is at the moment and how it may develop in the future, is important. The analysis has to be executed at an internal level as well as an external level to identify all opportunities and threats of the external environment as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the organizations.

    There are several factors to assess in the external situation analysis:

    – Markets (customers)
    – Competition
    – Technology
    – Supplier markets
    – Labor markets
    – The economy
    – The regulatory environment

    It is rare to find all seven of these factors having critical importance. It is also uncommon to find that the first two – markets and competition – are not of critical importance. (Bradford “External Situation – What to Consider”)

    Analysis of the external environment normally focuses on the customer. Management should be visionary in formulating customer strategy, and should do so by thinking about market environment shifts, how these could impact customer sets, and whether those customer sets are the ones the company wishes to serve.

    Analysis of the competitive environment is also performed, many times based on the framework suggested by Michael Porter.

    Goals, objectives and targets

    Strategic planning is a very important business activity. It is also important in the public sector areas such as education. It is practiced widely informally and formally. Strategic planning and decision processes should end with objectives and a roadmap of ways to achieve those objectives.

    The following terms have been used in strategic planning: desired end states, plans, policies, goals, objectives, strategies, tactics and actions. Definitions vary, overlap and fail to achieve clarity. The most common of these concepts are specific, time bound statements of intended future results and general and continuing statements of intended future results, which most models refer to as either goals or objectives (sometimes interchangeably).

    One model of organizing objectives uses hierarchies. The items listed above may be organized in a hierarchy of means and ends and numbered as follows: Top Rank Objective (TRO), Second Rank Objective, Third Rank Objective, etc. From any rank, the objective in a lower rank answers to the question “How?” and the objective in a higher rank answers to the question “Why?” The exception is the Top Rank Objective (TRO): there is no answer to the “Why?” question. That is how the TRO is defined.

    People typically have several goals at the same time. “Goal congruency” refers to how well the goals combine with each other. Does goal A appear compatible with goal B? Do they fit together to form a unified strategy? “Goal hierarchy” consists of the nesting of one or more goals within other goal(s).

    One approach recommends having short-term goals, medium-term goals, and long-term goals. In this model, one can expect to attain short-term goals fairly easily: they stand just slightly above one’s reach. At the other extreme, long-term goals appear very difficult, almost impossible to attain. Strategic management jargon sometimes refers to “Big Hairy Audacious Goals” (BHAGs) in this context. Using one goal as a stepping-stone to the next involves goal sequencing. A person or group starts by attaining the easy short-term goals, then steps up to the medium-term, then to the long-term goals. Goal sequencing can create a “goal stairway”. In an organizational setting, the organization may co-ordinate goals so that they do not conflict with each other. The goals of one part of the organization should mesh compatibly with those of other parts of the organization.

    Mission statements and vision statements

    Organizations sometimes summarize goals and objectives into a mission statement and/or a vision statement:

    While the existence of a shared mission is extremely useful, many strategy specialists question the requirement for a written mission statement. However, there are many models of strategic planning that start with mission statements, so it is useful to examine them here.

    A Mission statement tells you the fundamental purpose of the organization. It concentrates on the present. It defines the customer and the critical processes. It informs you of the desired level of performance.

    A Vision statement outlines what the organization wants to be. It concentrates on the future. It is a source of inspiration. It provides clear decision-making criteria.

    Many people mistake vision statement for mission statement. The Vision describes a future identity while the Mission serves as an ongoing and time-independent guide. The Mission describes why it is important to achieve the Vision. A Mission statement defines the purpose or broader goal for being in existence or in the business and can remain the same for decades if crafted well. A Vision statement is more specific in terms of both the future state and the time frame. Vision describes what will be achieved if the organization is successful.

    A mission statement can resemble a vision statement in a few companies, but that can be a grave mistake. It can confuse people. The vision statement can galvanize the people to achieve defined objectives, even if they are stretch objectives, provided the vision is SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timebound). A mission statement provides a path to realize the vision in line with its values. These statements have a direct bearing on the bottom line and success of the organization.

    Which comes first? The mission statement or the vision statement? That depends. If you have a new start up business, new program or plan to re engineer your current services, then the vision will guide the mission statement and the rest of the strategic plan. If you have an established business where the mission is established, then many times, the mission guides the vision statement and the rest of the strategic plan. Either way, you need to know your fundamental purpose – the mission, your current situation in terms of internal resources and capabilities (strengths and/or weaknesses) and external conditions (opportunities and/or threats), and where you want to go – the vision for the future. It’s important that you keep the end or desired result in sight from the start.

    Features of an effective vision statement include:

    – Clarity and lack of ambiguity
    – Vivid and clear picture
    – Description of a bright future
    – Memorable and engaging wording
    – Realistic aspirations
    – Alignment with organizational values and culture

    To become really effective, an organizational vision statement must (the theory states) become assimilated into the organization’s culture. Leaders have the responsibility of communicating the vision regularly, creating narratives that illustrate the vision, acting as role-models by embodying the vision, creating short-term objectives compatible with the vision, and encouraging others to craft their own personal vision compatible with the organization’s overall vision. In addition, mission statements need to conduct an internal assessment and an external assessment. The internal assessment should focus on how members inside the organization interpret their mission statement. The external assessment — which includes all of the businesses stakeholders — is valuable since it offers a different perspective. These discrepancies between these two assessments can give insight on the organization’s mission statement effectiveness.


  • Sustainable architecture

    Sustainable architecture, is a general term that describes environmentally-conscious design techniques in the field of architecture. Sustainable architecture is framed by the larger discussion of sustainability and the pressing economic and political issues of our world. In the broad context, sustainable architecture seeks to minimize the negative environmental impact of buildings by enhancing efficiency and moderation in the use of materials, energy, and development space.

    Sustainable energy

    Energy efficiency over the entire life cycle of a building is the most important single goal of sustainable architecture. Architects use many different techniques to reduce the energy needs of buildings and increase their ability to capture or generate their own energy.

    Heating, Ventilation and Cooling System Efficiency

    The most important and cost effective element of an efficient heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is a well insulated building. A more efficient building requires less heat generating or dissipating power, but may require more ventilation capacity to expel polluted indoor air.

    Significant amounts of energy are flushed out of buildings in the water, air and compost streams. Off the shelf, on-site energy recycling technologies can effectively recapture energy from waste hot water and stale air and transfer that energy into incoming fresh cold water or fresh air. Recapture of energy for uses other than gardening from compost leaving buildings requires centralized anaerobic digesters.

    Site and building orientation have a major effect on a building’s HVAC efficiency.

    Passive solar building design allows buildings to harness the energy of the sun efficiently without the use of any active solar mechanisms such as photovoltaic cells or solar hot water panels. Typically passive solar building designs incorporate materials with high thermal mass that retain heat effectively and strong insulation that works to prevent heat escape. Low energy designs also requires the use of (mobile) solar shading, by means of awnings, blinds or shutters, to relieve the solar heat gain in summer and to reduce the need for artificial cooling.In addition, low energy buildings typically have a very low surface area to volume ratio to minimize heat loss. This means that sprawling multi-winged building designs (often thought to look more “organic”) are often avoided in favor of more centralized structures. Traditional cold climate buildings such as American colonial saltbox designs provide a good historical model for centralized heat efficiency in a small scale building.

    Windows are placed to maximize the input of heat-creating light while minimizing the loss of heat through glass, a poor insulator. In the northern hemisphere this usually involves installing a large number of south-facing windows to collect direct sun and severely restricting the number of north-facing windows. Certain window types, such as double or triple glazed insulated windows with gas filled spaces and low emissivity (low-E) coatings, provide much better insulation than single-pane glass windows. Preventing excess solar gain by means of solar shading devices in the summer months is important to reduce cooling needs. Deciduous trees are often planted in front of windows to block excessive sun in summer with their leaves but allow light through in winter when their leaves fall off. Louvers or light shelves are installed to allow the sunlight in during the winter (when the sun is lower in the sky) and keep it out in the summer (when the sun is high in the sky). Coniferous or evergreen plants are often planted to the north of buildings to shield against cold north winds.

    In colder climates, heating systems are a primary focus for sustainable architecture because they are typically one of the largest single energy drains in buildings.

    In warmer climates where cooling is a primary concern, passive solar designs can also be very effective. Masonry building materials with high thermal mass are very valuable for retaining the cool temperatures of night throughout the day. In addition builders often opt for sprawling single story structures in order to maximize surface area and heat loss. Buildings are often designed to capture and channel existing winds, particularly the especially cool winds coming from nearby bodies of water. Many of these valuable strategies are employed in some way by the traditional architecture of warm regions, such as south-western mission buildings.

    In climates with four seasons, an integrated energy system will increase in efficiency: when the building is well insulated, when it is sited to work with the forces of nature, when heat is recaptured (to be used immediately or stored), when the heat plant relying on fossil fuels or electricity is greater than 100% efficient, and when renewable energy is utilized.

    Alternative energy production

    Active solar devices such as photovoltaic solar panels help to provide sustainable electricity for any use. Roofs are often angled toward the sun to allow photovoltaic panels to collect at maximum efficiency, and some buildings even move throughout the day to follow the sun. The Samundra Institute of Maritime Studies (SIMS) at Lonavala, near Pune India, has the longest photovoltaic wall in the world, at over ninety meters long. Undersized wind turbines (normal turbines are often over 250 feet) may have been oversold and do not always provide the returns promised, particularly for North American households. Active solar water heating systems have long provided heating-specific energy in a sustainable manner. Occasionally houses that use a combination of these methods achieve the lofty goal of “zero energy” and can even begin generating excess energy for use in other structures: for example the Kingspan Lighthouse project by BRE.

    Building placement

    One central and often ignored aspect of sustainable architecture is building placement. Although many may envision the ideal environmental home or office structure as an isolated place in the middle of the woods, this kind of placement is often detrimental to the environment. First, such structures often serve as the unknowing frontlines of suburban sprawl. Second, they usually increase the energy consumption required for transportation and lead to unnecessary auto emissions. Ideally, most building should avoid suburban sprawl in favor of the kind of light urban development articulated by the New Urbanist movement. Careful mixed use zoning can make commercial, residential, and light industrial areas more accessible for those traveling by foot, bicycle, or public transit, as proposed in the Principles of Intelligent Urbanism.

    Sustainable building materials

    Some examples of sustainable building materials include recycled denim or blown-in fiber glass insulation, sustainably harvested wood, Trass, Linoleum, sheep wool, panels made from paper flakes, baked earth, rammed earth, clay, vermiculite, flax linnen, sisal, seegrass, cork, expanded clay grains, coconut, wood fibre plates, calcium sand stone, locally-obtained stone and rock, and bamboo, which is one of the strongest and fastest growing woody plants, and non-toxic low-VOC glues and paints.

    Recycled Materials

    Architectural salvage and reclaimed materials are used when appropriate as well. When older buildings are demolished, frequently any good wood is reclaimed, renewed, and sold as flooring. Any good dimension stone is similarly reclaimed. Many other parts are reused as well, such as doors, windows, mantels, and hardware, thus reducing the consumption of new goods. When new materials are employed, green designers look for materials that are rapidly replenished, such as bamboo, which can be harvested for commercial use after only 6 years of growth, or cork oak, in which only the outer bark is removed for use, thus preserving the tree. When possible, building materials may be gleaned from the site itself; for example, if a new structure is being constructed in a wooded area, wood from the trees which were cut to make room for the building would be re-used as part of the building itself.

    Lower Volatile Organic Compounds

    Low-impact building materials are used wherever feasible: for example, insulation may be made from low VOC (volatile organic compound)-emitting materials such as recycled denim or cellulose insulation, rather than the building insulation materials that may contain carcinogenic or toxic materials such as formaldehyde. To discourage insect damage, these alternate insulation materials may be treated with boric acid. Organic or milk-based paints may be used. However, a common fallacy is that “green” materials are always better for the health of occupants or the environment. Many harmful substances (including formaldehyde, arsenic, and asbestos) are naturally occurring and are not without their histories of use with the best of intentions. A study of emissions from materials by the State of California has shown that there are some green materials that have substantial emissions whereas some more “traditional” materials actually were lower emitters. Thus, the subject of emissions must be carefully investigated before concluding that natural materials are always the healthiest alternatives for occupants and for the Earth.

    Volatile organic compounds (VOC) can be found in any indoor environment coming from a variety of different sources. VOCs have a high vapor pressure and low water solubility and are suspected of causing sick building syndrome type symptoms. This is because many VOCs have been known to cause sensory irritation and central nervous system symptoms characteristic to sick building syndrome, indoor concentrations of VOCs are higher than in the outdoor atmosphere, and when there are many VOCs present, they can cause additive and multiplicative effects.

    Green products are usually considered to contain less VOCs and be better for human and environmental health. A case study conducted by the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering at the University of Miami that compared three green products and their non-green counterparts found that even though both the green products and the non-green counterparts both emitted levels of VOCs, the amount and intensity of the VOCs emitted from the green products were much safer and comfortable for human exposure.

    Waste management

    Sustainable architecture focuses on the on-site use of waste, incorporating things such as grey water systems for use on garden beds, and composting toilets to reduce sewage. These methods, when combined with on-site food waste composting and off-site recycling, can reduce a house’s waste to a small amount of packaging waste.

    Re-using structures and materials

    Some sustainable architecture incorporates recycled or second hand materials. The reduction in use of new materials creates a corresponding reduction in embodied energy (energy used in the production of materials). Often sustainable architects attempt to retro-fit old structures to serve new needs in order to avoid unnecessary development.

    Social sustainability in architecture

    Architectural design can play a large part in influencing the ways that social groups interact. Communist Russia’s Constructivist Social condensers are a good example of this, buildings which were designed with the specific intention of controlling or directing the flow of everyday life to “create socially equitable spaces”.

    Sustainable design can help to create a sustainable way of living within a community. While the existing social constructs can be seen to influence architecture, the opposite can also be true. An overtly socially sustainable building, if successful, can help people to see the benefit of living sustainably; this can be seen in many of Rural Studio’s buildings in and around Hale County, Alabama, and in the design of ALA Himmelwright’s “model fireproof farmhouse,” located at Rock Lodge Club in Stockholm, New Jersey. The same can be said for environmentally sustainable design, in that architecture can lead the way for the greater community.

    Art can be a powerfully positive social force. It can help to reduce stress in many situations, lowering the risk of stress-related health problems, both physical and mental. Art can also be a way of individual expression, which can add to the community as a whole. Hundertwasser’s buildings in Austria are an inspiring example of art giving back to the community.


  • Swimming pool

    A swimming pool, swimming bath, wading pool, or simply a pool, is an artificially enclosed body of water intended for swimming or water-based recreation. There are many standard sizes; the largest and deepest is the Olympic size. A pool can be built either above or in the ground, and from materials such as metal, plastic or concrete.

    Pools that may be used by many people or by the general public are called public, while pools used exclusively by a few people or in a home are called private. Many health clubs, fitness centers and private clubs have public pools used mostly for exercise. Many hotels and massage parlors have public pools for relaxation. Hot tubs and spas are pools with hot water, used for relaxation or therapy, and are common in homes, hotels, clubs and massage parlors.

    Swimming pools are also used for diving, other sports, and training of lifeguards and astronauts.

    Pools must be sanitized to prevent growth and spread of bacteria, viruses, algae and insect larvae that can cause disease. This is done by using filters and chemical disinfectants such as chlorine, bromine or mineral sanitizers.

    The “great bath” at the site of Mohenjo-Daro was most likely dug during the 3rd millennium BC. This pool is 12 by 7 meters, is lined with bricks and was covered with a tar-based sealant.

    Ancient Greeks and Romans built artificial pools for athletic training in the palaestras, for nautical games and for military exercises. Roman emperors had private swimming pools in which fish were also kept, hence one of the Latin words for a pool, piscina. The first heated swimming pool was built by Gaius Maecenas of Rome in the first century BC. Gaius Maecenas was a rich Roman lord and considered one of the first patrons of arts.

    Ancient Sinhalese built pairs of pools called “Kuttam Pokuna” in the kingdom of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka in 4th century BC. Those were decorated with flights of steps, punkalas or pots of abundance and scroll design.

    Swimming pools became popular in Britain in the mid 19th century. By 1837, six indoor pools with diving boards were built in London, England. After the modern Olympic Games began in 1896 and included swimming races, the popularity of swimming pools began to spread (reference: Encyclopedia Britannica). In 1939, Oxford had its first major public indoor pool at Temple Cowley, and swimming began to take off. The Amateur Swimming Association was founded in 1869 in England, and the Oxford Swimming Club in 1909 with its home at Temple Cowley Pool. The presence of indoor baths in the cobbled area of Merton Street, London may have persuaded the less hardy of the aquatic brigade to join. So, bathers gradually became swimmers, and bathing pools swimming pools.

    Deep Eddy Pool, built in 1915, is the oldest concrete swimming pool in Texas, United States
    In the USA, the Racquet Club of Philadelphia clubhouse (1907) boasts one of the world’s first modern above-ground swimming pools. The first swimming pool to go to sea on an ocean liner was installed on the White Star Line’s Adriatic in 1907.

    After World War I and the departure of “Long John” style swimming costumes, interest in competitive swimming grew. Standards improved and training became essential.

    Home swimming pools became popular in the USA after World War II and the publicity given to swimming sports by Hollywood films like Esther Williams Million Dollar Mermaid made a home pool a desirable status symbol. More than 50 years later, the home or residential swimming pool is ubiquitous and even the smallest world nations enjoy a thriving swimming pool industry (e.g. New Zealand pop. 4,116,900 [Source NZ Census 7 March 2006] – holds the record in pools per capita with 65,000 home swimming pools and 125,000 spa pools).

    Swimming pool records

    One of the largest swimming pools ever built was reputedly in Moscow after the Palace of Soviets remained uncompleted. The foundations were converted into an open air swimming pool after the process of de-Stalinisation. After the fall of communism, Christ the Saviour Cathedral was re-built (it had originally been on the site) between 1995 and 2000.

    According to the Guinness World Records, the largest swimming pool in the world is San Alfonso del Mar Seawater pool in Algarrobo, Chile. It is 1,013 m (3,324 ft) long and has an area of 8 ha (20 acres). It was completed in December 2006.

    The largest indoor wave pool in North America is at the West Edmonton Mall and the largest indoor pool is at the Neutral Buoyancy Lab in the Sonny Carter Training Facility at NASA JSC in Houston. The recreational diving center Nemo 33 near Brussels, Belgium is home to the world’s deepest swimming pool. The pool has two large flat-bottomed areas at depth levels of 5 m (16 ft) and 10 m (32 ft), and a large circular pit descending to a depth of 33 m (108 ft).

    The Fleishhacker Pool in San Francisco, California was the largest swimming pool in the United States. Opened on 23 April 1925, it measured 300 m by 45 m (1,000 ft by 150 ft) and was so large that the lifeguards required kayaks for patrol. It was closed in 1971 due to low patronage.



    Most pools in the world are measured in metres, but in the United States pools are almost always measured in feet and yards. In the United Kingdom most pools are in metres, but older pools measured in yards still exist. In the US pools tend to either be 25 yards (SCY-short course yards), 25 metres (SCM-short course metres) or 50 metres (long course). US high schools and the NCAA conduct short course (25 yards) competition. There also exist many pools 33⅓ m long, so that 3 lengths = 100 m. This is sometimes jokingly referred to as “inter-course”. This pool dimension is commonly used to accommodate water polo.

    USA Swimming (USA-S) swims in both metric and non-metric pools. However, the international standard is metres, and world records are only recognized when swum in 50 m pools (or 25 m for short course). In general, the shorter the pool, the faster the time for the same distance, since the swimmer gains speed from pushing off the wall after each turn at the end of the pool.


    Most European pools are between 10 m and 50 m wide.


    The depth of a swimming pool depends on the purpose of the pool, and whether it is open to the public or strictly for private use. If it is a private casual, relaxing pool, it may go from 1.0 m to 2.0 m (3 to 7 feet) deep. If it is a public pool designed for diving, it may slope from 3.0 to 5.0 m (10 to 16 feet) in the deep end. A children’s play pool may be from 30 cm to 1.2 m (1 to 4 feet) deep. Most public pools have differing depths to accommodate different swimmer requirements. In many jurisdictions, it is a requirement to show the water depth with clearly marked depths affixed to the pool walls.


    Private pools

    A small inflatable “splasher” pool
    Private pools are usually smaller than public pools, on average 16′ x 32′ (4.8m x 9.6 m) to 20′ x 40′ (6m x 12 m) whereas public pools usually start at 80 0″ (25.0m). Home pools can be permanently built-in, or be assembled above ground and disassembled after summer. Privately owned outdoor pools in backyards or gardens started to proliferate in the 1950s in regions with warm summer climates, particularly in the United States. In some warm-weather US locations, such as Florida and Arizona, home pools are so common that it is rare to find a new house being built without a pool being considered in the design.

    Private pools are increasingly a feature of homes in greater latitudes. For example, in London many larger homes are now refurbished with indoor pools, usually in the basement or in a conservatory. In some European cities, including Munich, it is relatively common for people living in older properties to convert existing internal motorcar garages into indoor pool areas.

    Construction methods for private pools vary greatly. The main types of in-ground pools are concrete, vinyl liner, and fiberglass. Above-ground pools (also called “on-ground pools”) are usually cheaper to build. They are especially popular in places where ground freezing makes excavation difficult and threatens damage to the pool structure.

    Inexpensive temporary PVC pools can be bought in supermarkets and taken down after summer. They are used mostly outdoors in yards, are typically shallow, and often their sides are inflated with air to stay rigid. When finished, the water and air can be let out and this type of pool can be folded up for convenient storage. They are regarded in the swimming pool industry as “splasher” pools intended for cooling off and amusing toddlers and children, not for swimming.

    Some people use hot tubs and spas at home to soak their bodies in water for recreation and therapeutic reasons.

    Many toys are available for children and other people to play with in pool water. They are often blown up with air so they are soft but still reasonably rugged, and can float in water.

    Many countries now have strict pool fencing laws for private swimming pools, which require pool areas to be isolated so that unauthorized children younger than six years cannot enter. Many countries require a similar level of protection for the children residing in or visiting the house, although many pool owners prefer the visual aspect of the pool in close proximity to their living areas, and will not provide this level of protection. There is no general consensus between states or countries on the requirements to fence private swimming pools, and in many places they are not required at all, particularly in rural settings.

    Public pools

    Public pools are often found as part of a larger leisure centre or recreational complex. These centres often have more than one pool, such as an indoor heated pool, an outdoor saltwater or unheated chlorinated pool, a shallower children’s pool, and a paddling pool for toddlers and infants. There may also be a sauna and one or more hot tubs or spa pools (“jacuzzis”).

    Public pools may belong to a hotel or holiday resort, as an amenity for the recreation of their guests. If a pool is located in a separate building, the building is called a “natatorium”. The building sometimes also has facilities for related activities, such as a diving tank. Outdoor pools are common in warmer climates. Larger pools sometimes have a diving board affixed at one edge above the water. Diving pools should be deep enough that divers are not injured.

    Many public swimming pools are rectangles 25 m or 50 m long, but may be any size and shape desired. There are also elaborate pools with artificial waterfalls, fountains, splash pads, wave machines, varying depths of water, bridges, and island bars.

    There are often lockers for clothing and other belongings. The lockers often require a coin to be inserted as deposit or payment. There are often showers ready for use – sometimes mandatory – before and/or after swimming.

    Wading pools are shallow bodies of water intended for use by small children, usually in parks. Concrete wading pools come in many shapes, traditionally rectangle, square or circle. They are filled and drained daily due to lack of a filter system. Staff chlorinate the water to ensure health and safety standards.

    Competition pools

    The starting block of a competition swimming pool; they were first used at the 1936 Summer Olympics.
    Federation Internationale de la Natation (FINA, International Swimming Federation) sets widely recognized standards for competition pools: 25 m (~82 feet) or 50 m (~164 feet) long and at least 1.35 m (~4.4 feet) deep. Competition pools are generally indoors and heated to enable their use all year round, and to more easily comply with the regulations regarding temperature, lighting, and Automatic Officiating Equipment and equipment.

    An Olympic sized swimming pool (first used at the 1924 Olympics) is a pool that meets FINA’s additional standards for the Olympic Games and for world championship events. It must be 50 m (~164 feet) in length by 25 m (~82 feet) wide, divided into eight lanes of 2.5 m (~8.2 feet) each plus two areas of 2.5 m (~8.2 feet) at each side of the pool. The water must be kept at 25–28°C (77-82.4°F) and the lighting level at greater than 1500 lux. Depth must be at least 2 m (~6.5 feet), and there are also regulations for color of lane rope, positioning of backstroke flags (5 meters from each wall), and so on. Pools claimed to be “Olympic pools” do not always meet these regulations, as FINA cannot police use of the term. Touchpads are mounted on both walls for long course meets and each end for short course.

    A pool may be referred to as fast or slow, depending on its physical layout. Some design considerations allow the reduction of swimming resistance making the pool faster. Namely, proper pool depth, elimination of currents, increased lane width, energy absorbing racing lane lines and gutters, and the use of other innovative hydraulic, acoustic and illumination designs.

    Exercise pools

    In the last two decades, a new style of pool has gained popularity. These consist of a small vessel (usually about 2.5 m x 5 m) in which the swimmer swims in place, either against the push of an artificially generated water current or against the pull of restraining devices. These pools have several names, such as swim spas, swimming machines, or swim systems. They are all examples of different modes of resistance swimming.

    Hot tubs and spa pools

    Hot tubs and spa pools are common heated pools used for relaxation and sometimes for therapy. Commercial spas are common in the swimming pool area or sauna area of a health club or fitness centre, in men’s clubs, women’s clubs, motels and exclusive five star hotel suites. Spa clubs may have very large pools, some segmented into increasing temperatures. In Japan, men’s clubs with many spas of different size and temperature are common. Commercial spas are generally made of concrete, with a mosaic tiled interior. Hot tubs are typically made somewhat like a wine barrel with straight sides, from wood such as Californian redwood held in place by metal hoops. Immersion of the head is not recommended in spas or hot tubs due to a potential risk of underwater entrapment from the pump suction forces. However commercial installations in many countries must comply with various safety standards which reduce this risk considerably.

    Home spas are a world-wide retail item in western countries since the 1980s, and are sold in dedicated spa stores, pool shops, department stores, the Internet, and catalog sales books. They are almost always made from heat-extruded acrylic sheet Perspex, often colored in marble look-alike patterns. They rarely exceed 8 ft² (2,400mm²) and are typically 3 ft 6 in (1 m) deep, restricted by the availability of the raw sheet sizes (typically manufactured in Japan). There is often a mid-depth seating or lounging system, and contoured lounger style reclining seats are common. Upmarket spas include various jet nozzles (massage, pulsating etc.), a drinks tray, lights, LCD flat-screen TV sets and other features that make the pool a recreation center. Due to their family-oriented nature, home spas are normally operated from 36°C to 39°C (97-102°F). Many pools are incorporated in a redwood or simulated wood surround, and are termed “portable” as they may be placed on a patio rather than sunken into a permanent location. Some portable spas are shallow and narrow enough to fit sideways through a standard door and be used inside a room. Low power electric immersion heaters are common with home spas.

    Whirlpool tubs first became popular in America during the 1960s and 70’s. A spa is also called a “jacuzzi” in USA since the word became a generic after plumbing component manufacturer Jacuzzi introduced the “Spa Whirlpool” in 1968. Air bubbles may be introduced into the nozzles via an air-bleed venturi pump that combines cooler air with the incoming heated water to cool the pool if the temperature rises uncomfortably high. Some spas have a constant stream of bubbles fed via the seating area of the pool, or a footwell area. This is more common as a temperature control device where the heated water comes from a natural (uncontrolled heat) geothermal source, rather than artificially heated. Water temperature is usually very warm to hot — 38°C to 42°C (100 to 108 °F), so bathers usually stay in for only 20 to 30 minutes. Bromine or mineral sanitizers are often recommended as sanitizers for spas because chlorine dissipates at a high temperature thereby heightening its strong chemical smell. Ozone is an effective bactericide and is commonly included in the circulation system with cartridge filtration, but not with sand media filtration due to clogging problems with turbid body fats.

    Ocean pools

    In the early 20th century, especially in Australia, ocean pools, called lidos, were built typically on headlands by enclosing part of the rock shelf, with water circulated through the pools by flooding from tidal tanks or by regular flooding over the side of the pools at high tide. There were often separate pools for women and men, or the pool was open to the sexes at different times with a break for bathers to come without fear of observation by the other sex. Segregated changing sheds and showers were provided. These were the fore-runners of modern ‘Olympic’ pools. A variation was the later development of sea- or harbour-side pools that circulated sea water using pumps. A pool of this type was the training ground for Australian Olympian Dawn Fraser.

    Infinity pools

    An infinity pool (also named negative edge or vanishing edge pool) is a swimming pool which produces a visual effect of water extending to the horizon, vanishing, or extending to “infinity”. Often, the water appears to fall into an ocean, lake, bay, or other similar body of water. The effect is best captured in a pool where the liner color matches the body of water it is “falling” into.

    Other uses

    Swimming pools are also used for events such as synchronized swimming, water polo and canoe polo as well as for teaching diving and lifesaving techniques. They have also been used for specialist tasks such as teaching water-ditching survival techniques for helicopter and submarine crews and astronaut training. Round-cornered, irregular swimming pools, drained of water, were the first surfaces used for vertical skateboarding.


    Swimming pool water must be maintained at low levels of bacteria and viruses to prevent the spread of diseases and pathogens between users. Bacteria, algae and insect larvae can also enter the pool without help from swimmers, and cause disease to swimmers and other people in the area.

    Pumps and mechanical filters are often used to filter such pathogens out of the water. Chemical disinfectants, such as hypochlorous acid, sodium hypochlorite (household bleach), bromine, salt or mineral sanitizers, are used to make the water inhospitable to pathogens. These substances also turn the water into a faded blue/green color.

    The subprime mortgage crisis in the United States caused many people to leave their homes without emptying their swimming pools. This resulted in the pools turning green with algae and becoming mosquito breeding grounds in less than a week.


    In areas which reach freezing temperature, it is important to close a pool properly. This varies greatly between inground and aboveground pools. By taking steps to properly secure the pool, it lessens the likelihood that the superstructure will be damaged or compromised by freezing water.

    Closing vinyl and fibreglass pools

    In preparation for freezing temperatures, an in-ground swimming pool’s pipes must be emptied. An above-ground pool should also be closed, so that ice does not drag down the pool wall, collapsing its structure. The plumbing is sealed with air, typically with rubber plugs, to prevent cracking from freezing water. The pool is typically covered to prevent leaves and other debris from falling in. The cover is attached to the pool typically using a stretch cord, similar to a bungee cord and hooks fitted into the pool surround. The skimmer is closed off or a floating device is placed into it to prevent it from completely freezing and cracking. Floating objects such as life rings or basketballs can be placed in the pool to avoid its freezing under the cover. Drain plugs on the pool filter are removed after the filter has been cleaned. The pool pump motor is taken under cover. Winter chemicals are added to keep the pool clean.

    In climates where there is no risk of freezing, closing down the pool for winter is not so important. Typically, the thermal cover is removed and stored. Winter sunlight can create an algae mess when a cover that has been left on all winter is removed. The pool is correctly pH-balanced and super-chlorinated. One litre algaecide for every 50,000 litres of pool water should be added, and topped up each month. The pool should be filtered for one to two hours daily to keep the automated chlorination system active.

    Swimming pool heating costs can be significantly reduced by using a pool cover. Use of a pool cover also can help reduce the amount of chemicals (chlorine, etc) required by the pool. Outdoor pools gain heat from the sun, absorbing 75%–85% of the solar energy striking the pool surface. Though a cover decreases the total amount of solar heat absorbed by the pool, the cover eliminates heat loss due to evaporation and reduces heat loss at night through its insulating properties.

    The heating effectiveness of a cover depends on type. A transparent bubble cover is the most effective, as it allows the largest amount of solar flux into the pool itself. A darker cover absorbs more sunlight directly, allowing temperature to rise faster, but ultimately prevents the pool from reaching as high a temperature as a clear cover.

    Pool cover automation

    A pool cover can be either manually, semi-automatically, or automatically operated. Manual covers can be folded and stored in a convenient location. Pool cover reels can also be used to help manually roll up the pool cover. The reel, usually on wheels, can be rolled out of the way.

    Semi-automatic covers use a motor-driven reel system. They use electrical power to roll and unroll the cover, but usually require someone to pull on the cover when unrolling, or guide the cover onto the reel when rolling up the cover. Semi-automatic covers can be built into the pool deck surrounding the pool, or can use reels on carts.

    Automatic covers have permanently mounted reels that automatically cover and uncover the pool at the push of a button. They are the most expensive option, but are also the most convenient.

    Some pool covers fit into tracks along the sides of the pool. This prevents anything or anybody from getting into the pool. They even support the weight of several people. They can be run manually, semi-automatically, or automatically. Safety covers may be required by inspectors for public pools.

    Pool cover materials

    There are three main materials used for pool covers: Vinyl, thermal bubble and debris.

    Vinyl covers

    Vinyl covers consist of a heavier material and have a longer life expectancy than bubble covers. Insulated vinyl covers are also available with a thin layer of flexible insulation sandwiched between two layers of vinyl.

    Thermal bubble covers

    Thermal bubble covers are lightweight UV stabilized floating covers designed to minimize heat loss on heated swimming pools. Typically they are only fitted in spring and fall (autumn) when the temperature difference between pool water and air temperature is greatest. They raise temperature of a pool by around 20 °Fahrenheit, or 11 °Celsius, after being on the pool for a week. Most swimming pool heat loss is through evaporation.

    Bubble covers are typically applied and removed by being rolled up on a device fitted to one side of the pool (see illustration). Covers fall apart after 4 or 5 years due to sun exposure, overheating in the sun while off the pool, and chlorine attacking the plastic.

    Bubble covers should be removed during super chlorination.
    These covers are mandatory to be fitted to all pools in areas of Australia that have experienced drought since 2006. This is an effort to conserve water, as much water evaporates and transpires.

    Debris covers
    These covers are typically attached all winter, by hooked bungee cords or hooked springs connected to the pool deck, and are usually made of black or green fine PVC mesh. They are designed to stop leaf debris from entering the pool. They also provide some safety for animals and small children, but should not be relied on. They are not popular in warmer climates, due to the five to ten minutes it takes to fit/remove, making them inconvenient for repeated application and removal.


    Pools present a significant risk of infant and toddler death due to drowning. In regions where residential pools are common, drowning is a major cause of childhood fatalities. Therefore it is advisable to closely watch small children around swimming pools, especially private pools that do not have professional lifeguards. Adults are more likely to be aware of risks, but it is still a good idea to have more than one person around when using a private pool. As a precaution, many municipalities have by-laws that require that residential pools be enclosed with fencing to restrict unauthorized access.

    In public pools there is a lower risk of accident, with trained lifeguards on duty whenever the pool is open. Because of the risk of drowning and the desire for greater safety, and technological advances that make such safety possible, more and more public pools are equipped with computer-aided drowning prevention or other forms of electronic and sometimes automated safety and security systems. Among these are the Poseidon system, Swimguard, and the Drowning Early Warning System (DEWS).

    The best way to ensure safety around pools is to be educated. Knowing how a swimming pool works greatly improves safety. Long haired individuals must avoid water inlets. These inlets, also known as skimmers, are rectangular holes on the wall that are sometimes partly or completely underwater. In private pools there can be one to two inlets, in public pools five to twenty. Also to be avoided are the main drains, usually identified as round mesh covered objects on the pool floor, as poor design can occasionally cause a safety problem. Building codes and product standards have eliminated these hazards for current designs, but not all pools are up to standard.

    Also the bigger the body of water, the greater force it needs to have the water circulating. Stronger water pumps are used on large pools to keep them healthy, so extra care must be taken when swimming along the sides or floor of the pool.

    People with recent piercings are advised to keep those from being submerged in pools, to avoid them being infected.

    Suspended ceilings in indoor swimming pools are safety-relevant components. As was demonstrated by the collapses of the ceiling of the Uster (Switzerland) indoor swimming pool (1985) and again at Steenwijk (Netherlands, 2001), attention must be paid to selecting suitable materials and inspecting the state of such components. The reason for the failures was stress corrosion cracking of metal fastening components made of stainless steel.

    There is also the problem with chemical exposure from chlorinated swimming pools. Numerous scientific studies have shown increased instances of Asthma of those who swim regularly or those who work in and around indoor swimming pools. Another study with children found that kids who swam in indoor swimming pools for 1.8 hours or more a week had lung conditions similar to those of a heavy smoker. Also chlorine exposure from swimming pools has been shown to increase the risk of bladder and kidney cancer by more than 56% and it was also noted in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney Australia, where 25% of the U.S Olympic swim team suffered from some level of Asthma.

    Dress code

    In public swimming pools dress code may be stricter than on public beaches, and in indoor pools stricter than outdoor pools. For example, in countries where women can be topless on the beach, this is often not allowed in a swimming pool, especially one indoors.

    Dress codes are also stricter in pools than on beaches: wearing shoes, and a shirt, on a beach is acceptable, but often not in a pool. Indoor pools have stricter dress codes than outdoor pools: in outdoor pools, men are often allowed to wear t-shirts for modesty or for protection from sunburn, but in indoor pools they must usually go shirtless. At beaches, many people swim with clothes on and wear beachwear, but at pools (especially indoor pools) more minimal attire is often worn, such as lycra briefs for men or lycra one-piece tanksuits for women. Swimming with clothes on (for example, as practice for the prevention of drowning, as one might fall off a boat clothed) often results in objections from lifeguards at pools, especially indoor pools. In France, board shorts are usually not allowed for hygiene reasons. In Scandinavian countries and in particular Iceland, rules about clothing and hygiene are especially strict. More recently, dress codes in many pools were relaxed to allow more modesty. Many pool operators allow people to swim fully clothed in clothes they only use in the pool if they shower in these clothes before entering the pool.

    For diving from towers perhaps 10 m high, sometimes bathing suits are doubled up (i.e., men will often wear one brief inside another) so that the swimsuit does not rip on impact with the water. While splashing around on beaches, especially on urban beaches, looser fitting bathing attire that is more modest is often worn.


  • Synthetic Ice

    Synthetic Ice uses a hard polymer skating surface that can be set up anywhere in any climate. It does not require water, cold weather, chilling equipment, or maintenance equipment. Major strides in synthetic ice technology have been made in recent years, which have brought synthetic ice surfaces from some manufacturers with skating characteristics that are amazingly close to that of real ice.

    Synthetic ice, sometimes referred to as artificial ice (though “artificial ice” is a term used to describe the man-made skating surface created by freezing water with refrigeration equipment, as well), is a lightweight, low-friction, wear-resistant polymer (plastic) material used for skating with standard metal-bladed ice skates. A typical synthetic ice rink will consist of many panels (usually in typical building material sheet sizes) of thin surface material assembled on top of a sturdy, level and smooth sub-floor (anything from concrete to wood or even dirt or grass) to create a large skating area.

    History of Synthetic Ice

    Synthetic ice has been around for many decades. It is an excellent alternative to real ice, which requires either cold weather to produce natural ice or expensive refrigeration equipment to freeze water. The first known application of modern plastics as a substitute for ice for the purpose of ice skating was in the 1960’s using materials such as polyoxymethylene plastic which was developed by DuPont in the early 1950’s.

    Even now, you will find many synthetic ice products using the same generic polymers that were available in the 1960’s. These generic materials have some significant shortcomings. The most obvious being that skaters cannot glide on these surfaces as they can on real ice without the regular application of a silicone compound. This compound builds up on the surface, collects dirt and grime, and is the source of much dissatisfaction among those who have tried synthetic ice skating on rinks using the old technology.

    Another shortcoming of early synthetic ice products was the methods used to join the panels. The earliest method was a simple butt joint with one flat panel butted against the next, leaving a joint that skaters could feel, or worse yet that a skate blade could catch in and trip the skater. Using simple splines on the straight-cut joint was an improvement on this, but variations in temperature could cause these joints to open up and cause the same problems. The latest technological advancement in synthetic ice panel edging is to use variations of a common dovetail joint to really hold the panels together and make the seams almost undetectable.

    These shortcomings were enough to give synthetic ice a well-earned bad reputation throughout the 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s.

    Modern Synthetic Ice

    Years of research and development in the field of synthetic ice have improved its skating characteristics to very near that of real ice. The shortcomings of old-technology synthetic ice from decades past have been overcome.

    Special polymer materials have been specifically engineered for skating, and unique lubricants designed designed to work with the polymer and be absorbed by it so that the surface never feels sticky and does not attract contaminants while providing an ice-like glide. Modern production and assembly methods ensure that the seams between panels are smooth and do not vary with temperature. This provides a safer and more predictable skating surface.


    Skating on refrigerated ice, the blade increases the temperature of the microscopic top layers of the ice reducing drag and causing the blade to glide on top of the ice. The most realistic recreation of natural ice is found in the high-end synthetic ice panels that incorporate microscopic beading on the surface to simulate the slight melting of ice under a skate blade.

    Liquid surface enhancements are common among synthetic ice products to further reduce drag on the skate blade over the artificial surface. Initial trials of the surface enhancers were rudimentary and many of these products required the application of silicone to reduce drag to simulate the blade of a skate on ice. Advancements in the industry have removed the need for silicone. Biodegradable and water soluble solutions have been found to be more effective in decreasing the drag or friction on the surface of the synthetic ice. The biodegradable solutions can be reconstituted by the simple application of water. These enhancements vary among the types of surfaces and on how much to use to re-create an ice-like feel.


    Synthetic ice is far less expensive to install and maintain than real ice. No water supply is required. No refrigeration equipment is required. No ice-grooming equipment is required. Synthetic ice can be installed anywhere, the only requirement is a flat area. Maintenance consists of periodic cleaning to remove contaminants, and with some brands, the application of a lubricant.

    Synthetic ice rinks are portable and can be assembled in just a few hours. Ideal for traveling shows or public exhibitions that would be impossible with real ice.

    Synthetic ice rinks can create scenarios that are impossible with the limitations of water, such as an inclined or even banked skating surface for strength and speed training.
    Skaters find the same benefits as from refrigerated ice. Along with the convenience of portability, no power consumption, and the ability for private citizens to own any size rink, ice skaters and hockey players perform the same stunts and drills on the artificial surface as they would on natural ice.


  • Thalassotherapy

    Thalassotherapy (from the Greek word thalassa, meaning “sea”) is the medical use of seawater. The properties of seawater are believed to have beneficial effects upon the pores of the skin. Thalassotherapy was developed in seaside towns in Brittany, France during the 19th century. Trace elements of magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium, and iodide found in seawater are believed to be absorbed through the skin. The effectiveness of this method of therapy is not widely accepted as it has not been proven scientifically. The therapy is applied in various forms, as either showers of warmed seawater, application of marine mud or of algae paste, or the inhalation of sea fog. Spas make hot seawater and provide mud and seaweed wrapping services. This type of therapy is common in the Dead Sea area.


  • Theming

    Theming is the “the use of an overarching theme, such as western, to create a holistic and integrated spatial organization of a consumer venue.” Themes are usually derived from history, or other cultures, but can also be based on fantasy. Theming can vary in intensity from just interior design, to whole architecture based on the theme, with Theme Parks being one of the largest scale applications of theming. Theming is applied to themed spaces which may include theme parks, restaurants, casinos, museums, airports, resorts and other spaces. Consumers sometimes theme their homes with specific themes and Internet spaces are also themed.


  • Tourism

    Tourism is travel for recreational or leisure purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people who “travel to and stay in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes not related to the exercise of an activity remunerated from within the place visited”. Tourism has become a popular global leisure activity. In 2007, there were over 903 million international tourist arrivals, with a growth of 6.6% as compared to 2006. International tourist receipts were USD 856 billion in 2007.

    Despite the uncertainties in the global economy, international tourist arrivals during the first four months of 2008 followed a similar growth trend than the same period in 2007. However, as a result of the economic crisis of 2008, international travel demand suffered a strong slowdown beginning in June 2008, with growth in international tourism arrivals worldwide falling to 2% during the boreal summer months, while growth from January to April 2008 had reached an average 5.7% compared to its 2007 level. Growth from 2007 to 2008 was only 3.7%, as total international tourism arrivals from January to August were 641 million tourists, up from 618 million in the same period in 2007.

    Tourism is vital for many countries such as U.A.E, Egypt, Greece, Thailand and many island nations such as The Bahamas, Fiji, Maldives, Seychelles due to the large intake of money for businesses with their goods and services and the opportunity for employment in the service industries associated with tourism. These service industries include transportation services such as cruise ships and taxis, accommodation such as hotels and entertainment venues, and other hospitality industry services such as resorts.


    Hunziker and Krapf, in 1941, defined tourism as “the sum of the phenomena and relationships arising from the travel and stay of non-residents, insofar as they do not lead to permanent residence and are not connected with any earning activity.” In 1976, the Tourism Society of England defined it as “Tourism is the temporary, short-term movement of people to destination outside the places where they normally live and work and their activities during the stay at each destination. It includes movements for all purposes.” In 1981, International Association of Scientific Experts in Tourism defined Tourism in terms of particular activities selected by choice and undertaken outside the home environment.

    The United Nations classified three forms of tourism in 1994 in its Recommendations on Tourism Statistics: Domestic tourism, which involves residents of the given country traveling only within this country; Inbound tourism, involving non-residents traveling in the given country; and Outbound tourism, involving residents traveling in another country.
    The UN also derived different categories of tourism by combining the 3 basic forms of tourism: Internal tourism, which comprises domestic tourism and inbound tourism; National tourism, which comprises domestic tourism and outbound tourism; and International tourism, which consists of inbound tourism and outbound tourism. Intrabound tourism is a term coined by the Korea Tourism Organization and widely accepted in Korea. Intrabound tourism differs from domestic tourism in that the former encompasses policymaking and implementation of national tourism policies.
    Recently, the tourism industry has shifted from the promotion of inbound tourism to the promotion of intrabound tourism because many countries are experiencing tough competition for inbound tourists. Some national policymakers have shifted their priority to the promotion of intrabound tourism to contribute to the local economy. Examples of such campaigns include “See America” in the United States, “Truly Asia” in Malaysia, “Get Going Canada” in Canada, “Wow Philippines” in the Philippines, “Uniquely Singapore” in Singapore, “100% Pure New Zealand” in New Zealand, “Amazing Thailand” in Thailand, “The Hidden Charm” in Vietnam and “Incredible India” in India.


    Wealthy people have always traveled to distant parts of the world to see great buildings and works of art, to learn new languages, to experience new cultures, and to taste different cuisines. As long ago as the time of the Roman Republic, places such as Baiae were popular coastal resorts for the rich. The word tourism was used by 1811 and tourist by 1840. In 1936 the League of Nations defined foreign tourist as someone travelling abroad for at least twenty-four hours. Its successor, the United Nations amended this definition in 1945 by including a maximum stay of six months.

    Pre twentieth century

    European tourism can be said to originate with the medieval pilgrimage. Although undertaken primarily for religious reasons, the pilgrims in the Canterbury Tales saw the experience as a holiday (the term itself being derived from the ‘holy day’ and its associated leisure activities). Pilgrimages created a variety of tourist aspects that still exist – bringing back souvenirs, obtaining credit with foreign banks (in medieval times utilizing international networks established by the Lombards), and making use of space available on existing forms of transport (such as the use of medieval English wine ships bound for Vigo by pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela). Religious and secular pilgrimages are still prevalent in modern tourism – such as to Lourdes or Knock in Ireland, Graceland and the grave of Jim Morrison in Père Lachaise Cemetery.

    During the 17th century, it became fashionable in England to undertake a Grand Tour. The sons of the nobility and gentry were sent upon an extended tour of Europe as an educational experience. The 18th century was the golden age of the Grand Tour, and many of the fashionable visitors were painted at Rome by Pompeo Batoni.

    Health tourism has long existed, but it was not until the eighteenth century that it became important. In England, it was associated with spas, places with supposedly health-giving mineral waters, treating diseases from gout to liver disorders and bronchitis. The most popular resorts were Bath, Cheltenham, Buxton, Harrogate, and Tunbridge Wells. Visits to take ‘the waters’ also allowed the visitors to attend balls and other entertainments. Continental Spas such as Carlsbad (Karlovy Vary) attracted many fashionable travellers by the nineteenth century.

    Leisure travel

    Leisure travel was associated with the industrialisation of United Kingdom – the first European country to promote leisure time to the increasing industrial population. Initially, this applied to the owners of the machinery of production, the economic oligarchy, the factory owners, and the traders. These comprised the new middle class. Cox & Kings were the first official travel company to be formed in 1758. Later, the working class could take advantage of leisure time.

    The British origin of this new industry is reflected in many place names. At Nice, France, one of the first and best-established holiday resorts on the French Riviera, the long esplanade along the seafront is known to this day as the Promenade des Anglais; in many other historic resorts in continental Europe, old well-established palace hotels have names like the Hotel Bristol, the Hotel Carlton or the Hotel Majestic – reflecting the dominance of English customers.
    Many tourists do leisure tourism in the tropics both in the summer and winter. It is often done in places such as Cuba, Dominican Republic, Thailand, North Queensland in Australia and Florida in the United States.

    Winter tourism

    Major ski resorts are located in various mainland European countries, Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, Chile and Argentina.

    Mass tourism

    Mass travel could only develop with improvements in technology allowed the transport of large numbers of people in a short space of time to places of leisure interest, and greater numbers of people began to enjoy the benefits of leisure time.

    In the United States, the first great seaside resort, in the European style, was Atlantic City, New Jersey, and Long Island.

    In Continental Europe, early resorts included Ostend (for the people of Brussels), and Boulogne-sur-Mer (Pas-de-Calais) and Deauville (Calvados) (for Parisians), and Heiligendamm (founded 1797 as the first seaside resort at the Baltic Sea).

    Adjectival tourisms

    Adjectival tourism refers to the numerous niche or specialty travel forms of tourism that have emerged over the years, each with its own adjective. Many of these have come into common use by the tourism industry and academics. Others are emerging concepts that may or may gain popular useage. Examples of the more common niche tourism markets include:

    – Aboriginal tourism (also Tribal tourism and Native American tourism)
    – Adventure tourism (or Adventure travel usually outdoors)
    – Alternative tourism
    – Backpack tourism (or Youth Backpack tourism,)
    – Battlefield tourism
    – Border tourism (or Cross-Border Tourism)
    – Convention (meeting)
    – Celebrity tourism (including Celebrity Cruises)
    – Community Based tourism (or Community Supported tourism)
    – Cruise tourism
    – Culinary tourism
    – Disaster tourism
    – Dark tourism
    – Dive tourism
    – Ecotourism (or Eco-tourism in some countries)
    – Educational tourism (or Edutourism)
    – Ethnic tourism
    – Event tourism (or Special Event tourism, including Festivals)
    – Extreme tourism (or Shock tourism)
    – FIT – Free Independent Traveler (or Fully Independent Travel)
    – Geopark Tourism (geology-based)
    – Geotourism (related to Sustainable tourism)
    – Girlfriend Getaway (all female trip)
    – GIT – Group Inclusive Travel
    – Golf tourism
    – Greif tourism (related to Dark tourism)
    – Health tourism (or Wellness Tourism; overlap with Medical tourism and New Age Tourism)
    – Heritage tourism
    – Incentive travel (gift vacations for employees)
    – Island tourism
    – Honeymoon (or Second Honeymoon)
    – LGBT tourism
    – Mass tourism
    – Medical tourism
    – MICE – Meetings, Incentive Travel, Conventions and Exhibitions (or Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing, Exhibitions)
    – Mountain tourism
    – Nautical tourism
    – New Age tourism
    – Nightlife tourism (also Entertainment tourism)
    – Package tourism
    – Photography (or Photo) tourism
    – Religious tourism (including Pilgrimage)
    – Reunion tourism
    – Roots tourism (or Genealogy related tourism)
    – Rural tourism
    – Second Home tourism
    – Sex tourism
    – Shopping tourism
    – Space tourism
    – Sports tourism
    – SSS – Sun, Sand and Surf
    – Sustainable tourism
    – Thanatourism (meaning death related tourism)
    – Urban tourism
    – VFR – Visiting Friends and Relatives
    – Volunteer tourism (or Volunteer travel)
    – War tourism
    – Winter (Sports) tourism

    Recent developments

    There has been an upmarket trend in the tourism over the last few decades, especially in Europe where international travel for short breaks is common. Tourists have higher levels of disposable income and greater leisure time and they are also better-educated and have more sophisticated tastes. There is now a demand for a better quality products, which has resulted in a fragmenting of the mass market for beach vacations; people want more specialised versions, such as Club 18-30, quieter resorts, family-oriented holidays, or niche market-targeted destination hotels.

    The developments in technology and transport infrastructure, such as jumbo jets and low-cost airlines, and more accessible airports have made many types of tourism more affordable. There have also been changes in lifestyle, such as retiree-age people who sustain year round tourism. This is facilitated by internet sales of tourism products. Some sites have now started to offer dynamic packaging, in which an inclusive price is quoted for a tailor-made package requested by the customer upon impulse.

    There have been a few setbacks in tourism, such as the September 11 attacks and terrorist threats to tourist destinations such as Bali and European cities. Some of the tourist destinations, including the beach resorts of Cancún have lost popularity due to shifting tastes. In this context, the excessive building and environmental destruction often associated with traditional “sun and beach” tourism may contribute to a destination’s saturation and subsequent decline. Spain’s Costa Brava, a popular 1960s and 1970s beach location is now facing a crisis in its tourism industry.

    On December 26, 2004 a tsunami, caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake hit Asian countries bordering the Indian Ocean, and also the Maldives. Thousands of lives were lost, and many tourists died. This, together with the vast clean-up operation in place, has stopped or severely hampered tourism to the area.

    The terms tourism and travel are sometimes used interchangeably. In this context travel has a similar definition to tourism, but implies a more purposeful journey. The terms tourism and tourist are sometimes used pejoratively, to imply a shallow interest in the cultures or locations visited by tourists.


    Ecotourism (also known as ecological tourism) is a form of tourism, that appeals to ecologically and socially conscious individuals. Generally speaking, ecotourism focuses on volunteering, personal growth and learning new ways to live on the planet. It typically involves travel to destinations where flora, fauna and cultural heritage are the primary attractions. Ecotourism is a conceptual experience, enriching those who delve into researching and understanding the environment around them. It gives us insight into our impacts, as human beings and also a greater appreciation of our own natural habitats.

    Responsible ecotourism includes programs that minimize the negative aspects of conventional tourism on the environment and enhance the cultural integrity of local people. Therefore, in addition to evaluating environmental and cultural factors, an integral part of ecotourism is the promotion of recycling, energy efficiency, water conservation and creation of economic opportunities for the local communities.

    Medical tourism

    When there is a significant price difference between countries for a given medical procedure particularly in Southeast Asia, India and Eastern Europe or where there are different regulatory regimes between countries in relation to particular medical procedures (eg dentistry) travelling to take advantage of the price or regulatory differences is often referred to as “medical tourism”.

    Educational tourism
    Educational tourism developed because of the growing popularity of teaching and learning of knowledge, and enhancing technical competency outside the classroom environment. In the educational tourism, the main focus of the tour or leisure activity includes visitation of another country to learn about the culture of the visited country (Student Exchange Program and Study Tour) or to work and apply their learning inside the classroom in different environment (International Practicum Training Program).

    Other developments

    – Emerging Adjectival Tourism Terms
    – Atrocity tourism (also War, Disaster, etc., above)
    – Hot-Spot tourism (places of current armed conflict)
    – Staycation (very popular term in summer 2008)
    – Babymoon (a pre-birth honeymoon)
    – Celebration Vacations (travel to celebrate a special event)
    – Creative tourism (tourist participation in destination arts) (see below)
    – Graffiti tourism (travel to commit graffiti)
    – Libel tourism
    – Mancation (an all male trip)
    – Momcation (for mothers)
    – Purposeful tourism (also Meaningful Tourism, related to Volunteer travel, also known as Voluntourism)
    – Tummy Tuck Travel (Medical tourism for plastic surgery)

    Creative tourism

    Creative tourism has existed as a form of cultural tourism since the early beginnings of tourism itself. Its European roots date back to the time of the Grand Tour, which saw the sons of aristocratic families traveling for the purpose of (mostly interactive) educational experiences. More recently, creative tourism has been given its own name by Crispin Raymond and Greg Richards, who as a member of the Association for Tourism and Leisure Education (ATLAS) has directed a number of projects for the European Commission, including cultural tourism, crafts tourism or sustainable tourism. They have defined “creative tourism” as tourism related to the active participation of travelers in the culture of the host community, through interactive workshops and informal learning experiences.

    Meanwhile, the concept of creative tourism has been picked up by high-profile organizations such as UNESCO, who through the Creative Cities Network have endorsed creative tourism as an engaged, authentic experience that promotes an active understanding of the specific cultural features of a place.

    More recently, creative tourism has gained popularity as a form of cultural tourism, drawing on active participation by travelers in the culture of the host communities they visit. Several countries offer examples of this type of tourism development, including the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy and New Zealand.

    Dark tourism

    One emerging area of special interest tourism has been identified by Lennon and Foley (2000) as “dark” tourism. This type of tourism involves visits to “dark” sites such as battlegrounds, scenes of horrific crimes or acts of genocide, for example concentration camps. Dark tourism poses severe ethical and moral dilemmas: should these sites be available for visitation and, if so, what should the nature of the publicity involved be. Dark tourism remains a small niche market driven by varied motivations, such as mourning, remembrance, macabre curiosity or even entertainment. Its early origins are rooted in fairgrounds and medieval fairs.


    The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) forecasts that international tourism will continue growing at the average annual rate of 4 %. By 2020 Europe will remain the most popular destination, but its share will drop from 60% in 1995 to 46%. Long-haul will grow slightly faster than intraregional travel and by 2020 its share will increase from 18% in 1995 to 24%.

    With the advent of e-commerce, tourism products have become one of the most traded items on the internet. Tourism products and services have been made available through intermediaries, although tourism providers (hotels, airlines, etc.) can sell their services directly. This has put pressure on intermediaries from both on-line and traditional shops.

    It has been suggested there is a strong correlation between Tourism expenditure per capita and the degree to which countries play in the global context. Not only as a result of the important economic contribution of the tourism industry, but also as an indicator of the degree of confidence with which global citizens leverage the resources of the globe for the benefit of their local economies. This is why any projections of growth in tourism may serve as an indication of the relative influence that each country will exercise in the future.

    Space tourism is expected to “take off” in the first quarter of the 21st century, although compared with traditional destinations the number of tourists in orbit will remain low until technologies such as a space elevator make space travel cheap.

    Technological improvement is likely to make possible air-ship hotels, based either on solar-powered airplanes or large dirigibles. Underwater hotels, such as Hydropolis, expected to open in Dubai in 2009, will be built. On the ocean, tourists will be welcomed by ever larger cruise ships and perhaps floating cities.

    Latest trends

    As a result of the economic crisis of 2008, international arrivals suffered a strong slowdown beginning in June 2008. Growth from 2007 to 2008 was only 3.7% during the first eight months of 2008. The Asian and Pacific markets were affected and Europe stagnated during the boreal summer months, while the Americas performed better, reducing their expansion rate but keeping a 6% growth from January to August 2008. Only the Middle East continued its rapid growth during the same period, reaching a 17% growth as compared to the same period in 2007. This slowdown on international tourism demand was also reflected in the air transport industry, with a negative growth in September 2008 and a 3.3% growth in passenger traffic through September. The hotel industry also reports a slowdown, as room occupancy continues to decline. As the global economic situation deteriorated dramatically during September and October as a result of the global financial crisis, growth of international tourism is expected to slow even further for the remaining of 2008, and this slowdown in demand growth is forecasted to continue into 2009 as recession has already hit most of the top spender countries, with long-haul travel expected to be the most affected by the economic crisis.


  • Turkish bath

    The Turkish bath (Turkish: hamam; from Arabic: حمّام‎, ḥammām) is the Middle Eastern variant of a steam bath, which can be categorized as a wet relative of the sauna. They have played an important role in cultures of the Middle-East, serving as places of social gathering, ritual cleansing, and as architectural structures, institutions, and (later) elements with special customs attached to them. Europeans learned about the Hamam via contacts with the Ottomans, hence the “Turkish” part of the name.

    In Western Europe, the Turkish bath as a method of cleansing the body and relaxation was particularly popular during the Victorian era. The process involved in taking a Turkish bath is similar to that of a sauna, but is more closely related to the ancient Roman bathing practices.

    A person taking a Turkish bath first relaxes in a room (known as the warm room) that is heated by a continuous flow of hot, dry air allowing the bather to perspire freely. Bathers may then move to an even hotter room (known as the hot room) before splashing themselves with cold water. After performing a full body wash and receiving a massage, bathers finally retire to the cooling-room for a period of relaxation.

    In Turkey, the advent of modern plumbing systems, showers, and bathtubs in homes caused the importance of hamams to fade in recent times.


    ḥammām is from the Arabic root ḥmm with a general meaning of “heat”, from which many words referring to “hot spring”, “fever” etc. According to Ibn Sidah ḥammām is derived from al-ḥamīm “the vehemence of summer heat” (Lane).

    The word ḥammām simply means “bathroom” or “toilet” in many dialects of vernacular Arabic, while it means hot springs or spa town in other dialects.


    The hamam combines the functionality and the structural elements of its predecessors in Anatolia, the Roman thermae and Byzantine baths, with the Central Asian Turkish tradition of steam bathing, ritual cleansing and respect of water. It is also known that Arabs have built many of their own version of the Greek-Roman baths they encountered following their conquests of Alexandria. However, the Turkish bath has a more improved style and functionality from these structures that emerged as annex buildings of mosques or as re-use of the remaining Roman baths.

    The hamams in the Ottoman culture started out as structural elements serving as annexes to mosques, however quickly evolved into institutions and eventually with the works of the Ottoman architect Sinan, into monumental structural complexes, the finest example being the “Çemberlitaş Hamamı” in Istanbul, built in 1584.

    A typical hamam consists of three interconnected basic rooms similar to its Roman ancestors: the sıcaklık (or hararet -caldarium) which is the hot room, the warm room (tepidarium) which is the intermediate room and the soğukluk which is the cool room.

    The sıcaklık usually has a large dome decorated with small glass windows that create a half-light; it also contains a large marble stone at the center that the customers lie on, and niches with fountains in the corners. This room is for soaking up steam and getting scrub massages. The warm room is used for washing up with soap and water and the soğukluk is to relax, dress up, have a refreshing drink, sometimes tea, and where available, nap in private cubicles after the massage. A few of the hamams in Istanbul also contain mikvehs, ritual cleansing baths for Jewish women.

    The hamam, like its early precursors, Roman (at least pre-Christian) thermae, is not exclusive to men only – hamam complexes usually contain separate quarters for men and women. Being social centers, in the Ottoman Empire, hamams were quite abundant, and were built in almost every Ottoman city. Integrated in daily life, they were centers of social gatherings, populated on almost every occasion with traditional entertainment (e.g. dancing and food, especially in the women’s quarters) and ceremonies, such as before weddings, high-holidays, celebrating newborns, beauty trips etc.
    There existed some special accessories of which some still are being used at modern hamams: such as the peştemal (a special cloth of silk and/or cotton, to cover the body, like pareos), nalın (special wooden clogs that would prevent the wearer from slipping on the wet floor, often decorated with silver or mother-of-pearl), kese (a rough mitt for massage), and sometimes jewel boxes, gilded soap boxes, mirrors, henna bowls, perfume bottles and such.

    Tellak (Staff)

    Traditionally, the masseurs in the baths, tellak in Turkish, who were young boys, helped wash clients by soaping and scrubbing their bodies. They also worked as sex workers. We know today, by texts left by Ottoman authors, who they were, their prices, how many times they could bring their customers to orgasm, and the details of their sexual practices (From the Dellâkname-i Dilküşâ, eighteenth century work by Dervish, Ismail Agha; Ottoman archives, Süleymaniye, Istanbul).

    They were recruited from among the ranks of the non-Muslim subject nations of the Turkish empire, such as Greeks, Armenians, Jews, Albanians, Bulgarians, Roma and others.

    At times the relationship between a tellak and his client became intensely personal. It is recorded that in the mid-18th century, a janissary — an elite soldier in the Ottoman army, also often of European descent — had a tellak for a lover. When the latter was kidnapped by the men of another regiment and given over to the use of their commander, a days-long battle between the two janissary regiments ensued, which was brought to an end only when the Sultan ordered the tellak hanged.

    After the defeat and dismemberment of the Ottoman empire, in the quickly westernizing Turkish republic the tellak boys lost their sexual aspect, and now the tellak’s role is filled by adult attendants who specialize in more prosaic forms of scrubbing and massage. Yet in Turkish the term hamam oğlanı, ‘bath boy,’ is still used as a euphemism for a homosexual.

    Operating Examples

    Dating back to French rule and located in the heart of Nicosia’s old town is Hamam Omerye – a true working example of Cyprus’ rich culture and diversity, stone struggle, yet sense of freedom and flexibility. The site’s history dates back to the 14th century, when it stood as an Augustinian church of St. Mary. Stone-built, with small domes, it is chronologically placed at around the time of Frankish and Venetian rule, approximately the same time that the city acquired its Venetian Walls. In 1571, Mustapha Pasha converted the church into a mosque, believing that this particular spot is where the prophet Omer rested during his visit to Lefkosia. Most of the original building was destroyed by Ottoman artillery, although the door of the main entrance still belongs to the 14th century Lusignan building, whilst remains of a later Renaissance phase can be seen at the north-eastern side of the monument. In 2003, the [EU] funded a bi-communal UNDP/UNOPS project, “Partnership for the Future”, in collaboration with Nicosia Municipality and Nicosia Master Plan.

    Budapest has four working Turkish Baths, all from the 16th century: Rudas Baths and Király Baths are currently open to the general public, while Rác Spa Bath is just being reconstructed and Császár Spa Bath is not a public thermal bath.

    Introduction of Turkish baths to Western Europe

    Turkish baths were introduced to the United Kingdom by David Urquhart, diplomat and sometime Member of Parliament for Stafford, who for political and personal reasons wished to popularize Turkish culture. In 1850 he had written The Pillars of Hercules, a book about his travels in Spain and Morocco in 1848, in which he described the system of dry hot-air baths which had been in use there, and in the Ottoman Empire, very little changed from those which had been so popular in Roman times.

    In 1856, Richard Barter, having read Urquhart’s book and worked on the construction of a bath with him, opened the first modern Turkish bath in the United Kingdom at St Ann’s Hydropathic Establishment near Blarney, County Cork, Ireland. The following year, the first Turkish bath to be built in England since Roman times was opened in Manchester, and the idea spread rapidly through the north of England. It reached London in July 1860 when Roger Evans, a member of one of Urquhart’s Foreign Affairs Committees, opened a Turkish bath at 5 Bell Street, near Marble Arch.

    During the following 150 years, well over 600 baths opened in Britain, while similar Turkish baths opened in cities in other parts of the then British Empire. Dr. John Le Gay Brereton, who had given medical advice to bathers in a Foreign Affairs Committee-owned Turkish bath in Bradford, travelled to Sydney, Australia, and opened a Turkish bath there in Spring Street in 1859, even before the bath had reached London. Canada had one by 1869, and the first one in New Zealand was opened in 1874. Urquhart’s influence was felt even outside the Empire when, in 1863, Dr. Charles Shepard opened the first Turkish bath in the United States at 63 Columbia Street, Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn.

    Today there are just over twenty Turkish baths remaining open in the United Kingdom, including those in London, Harrogate and Nottingham, although hot-air baths still thrive in the form of Russian steam baths and the Finnish sauna.


  • Turnkey

    A turnkey or a turnkey project is a type of project that is constructed by a developer and sold or turned over to a buyer in a ready to use condition.

    Common usage

    Turnkey refers to something that is ready for immediate use, generally used in the sale or supply of goods or services. The term is common in the construction industry, for instance, in which it refers to the bundling of materials and labor by sub-contractors. A “turnkey” job by a plumber would include the parts (toilets, tub, faucets, pipes, etc.) as well as the plumber’s labor, without any contribution by the general contractors.

    This is commonly used in motorsports to describe a car being sold with drivetrain (engine, transmission, etc.) as a racer may prefer to keep the pieces to use in another vehicle to preserve a combination. Similarly, this term may be used to advertise the sale of an established business, including all the equipment necessary to run it, or by a business-to-business supplier providing complete packages for business start-up.

    Use in business

    In a turnkey business transaction different entities are responsible for setting up a plant or equipment (e.g. trains/infrastructure) and for putting it into operation. It can include contractual actions – at least through the system, subsystem, or equipment installation phase. It may also include follow-on contractual actions, such as testing, training, logistical, and operational support. It is often given to the best bidder in a procurement process.

    Turnkey projects can also be extended, known as turnkey plus, where there is perhaps a small equity interest by the supplier and it will later on continue its operation through a management contract or licensing.

    Specific usage

    The term turnkey is also often used in the technology industry, most commonly to describe pre-built computer “packages” in which everything needed to perform a certain type of task (e.g. audio editing) is put together by the supplier and sold as a bundle. This often includes a computer with pre-installed software, various types of hardware, and accessories. Such packages are commonly called appliances.

    In the United States, the precise definition of the types of allowable contractual features for government contracts are contained in the Federal Acquisition Regulations.

    In real estate, turn-key is defined as delivering a location that is ready for occupation. The turn-key process includes all of the steps involved to open a location including the site selection, negotiations, space planning, construction coordination and complete installation.

    Historically, the term once referred to jailers, as the holders of a prison’s keys, as in Charles Dickens’ 1840 novel, Barnaby Rudge.


  • Urban design

    Urban design concerns the arrangement, appearance and functionality of towns and cities, and in particular the shaping and uses of urban public space. It has traditionally been regarded as a disciplinary subset of urban planning, landscape architecture, or architecture and in more recent times has been linked to emergent disciplines such as landscape urbanism. However, with its increasing prominence in the activities of these disciplines, it is better conceptualised as a design practice that operates at the intersection of all three, and requires a good understanding of a range of others besides, such as urban economics, political economy and social theory.

    Urban design theory deals primarily with the design and management of public space (i.e. the ‘public environment’, ‘public realm’ or ‘public domain’), and the way public places are experienced and used. Public space includes the totality of spaces used freely on a day-to-day basis by the general public, such as streets, plazas, parks and public infrastructure. Some aspects of privately owned spaces, such as building facades or domestic gardens, also contribute to public space and are therefore also considered by Urban design theory. Important writers on, and advocates for, urban design theory include Edmund Bacon, Gordon Cullen, Jane Jacobs, Christopher Alexander, William H. Whyte, Kevin Lynch, Aldo Rossi, Robert Venturi, Colin Rowe, Peter Calthorpe and Jan Gehl.

    While the two fields are closely related, ‘urban design’ differs from ‘urban planning’ in its focus on physical improvement of the public environment, whereas the latter tends, in practice, to focus on the management of private development through planning schemes and other statutory development controls.

    Urban Design Principles

    Public spaces are frequently subject to overlapping management responsibilities of multiple public agencies or authorities and the interests of nearby property owners, as well as the requirements of multiple and sometimes competing users. The design, construction and management of public spaces therefore typically demands consultation and negotiation across a variety of spheres. Urban designers rarely have the degree of artistic liberty or control sometimes offered in design professions such as architecture. It also typically requires interdisciplinary input with balanced representation of multiple fields including engineering, ecology, local history, and transport planning.

    The scale and degree of detail considered varies depending on context and needs. It ranges from the layout of entire cities, as with l’Enfant’s plan for Washington DC, Griffin and Mahony’s plan for Canberra and Doxiadis’ plan for Islamabad (although such opportunities are obviously rare), through ‘managing the sense of a region’ as described by Kevin Lynch, to the design of street furniture.

    Urban design may encompass the preparation of design guidelines and regulatory frameworks, or even legislation to control development, advertising, etc. and in this sense overlaps with urban planning. It may encompass the design of particular spaces and structures and in this sense overlaps with architecture, landscape architecture and industrial design. It may also deal with ‘place management’ to guide and assist the use and maintenance of urban areas.

    Much urban design work is undertaken by urban planners, landscape architects and architects but there are professionals who identify themselves specifically as urban designers. Many architecture, landscape and planning programs incorporate urban design theory and design subjects into their curricula and there are an increasing number of university programs offering degrees in urban design, usually at post-graduate level.

    Urban design considers:

    – Urban structure – How a place is put together and how its parts relate to each other
    – Urban typology, density and sustainability – spatial types and morphologies related to intensity of use, consumption of resources and production and maintenance of viable communities
    – Accessibility – Providing for ease, safety and choice when moving to and through places
    – Legibility and wayfinding – Helping people to find their way around and understand how a place works
    – Animation – Designing places to stimulate public activity
    – Function and fit – Shaping places to support their varied intended uses
    – Complementary mixed uses – Locating activities to allow constructive interaction between them
    – Character and meaning – Recognizing and valuing the differences between one place and another
    – Order and incident – Balancing consistency and variety in the urban environment in the interests of appreciating both
    – Continuity and change – Locating people in time and place, including respect for heritage and support for contemporary culture
    – Civil society – Making places where people are free to encounter each other as civic equals, an important component in building social capital


    Although contemporary professional use of the term dates from the mid-20th century, ‘urban design’ has been practiced throughout the history of cities. Ancient examples of carefully planned and designed cities exist in Asia, India, Africa, Europe and the Americas, and are particularly well-known within Classical Chinese, Roman and Greek cultures. European Medieval cities are often regarded as exemplars of undesigned or ‘organic’ city development, but there are clear examples of considered urban design in the Middle Ages.

    A revival of urban design in Europe is associated with the Renaissance and, especially, the Age of Enlightenment. Spanish colonial cities were often planned, as were some towns settled by other imperial cultures. These sometimes embodied utopian ambitions as well as aims for functionality and good governance, as with James Oglethorpe’s plan for Savannah, Georgia. In the Baroque period the design approaches developed in French formal gardens such as Versailles were extended into urban development and redevelopment. In this period, when modern professional specialisations did not exist, urban design was undertaken by people with skills in areas as diverse as sculpture, architecture, garden design, surveying, astronomy, and military engineering. In the 18th and 19th centuries, urban design was perhaps most closely linked with surveyors and architects. Much of Frederick Law Olmsted’s work was concerned with urban design, and so the (then-new) profession of landscape architecture also began to play a significant role in the late 19th century.

    Modern urban design can be considered as part of the wider discipline of Urban planning. Indeed, Urban planning began as a movement primarily occupied with matters of urban design. Works such as Camillo Sitte’s City Planning According to Artistic Principles (1889), and Robinson’s The Improvement of Cities and Towns (1901) and Modern Civic Art (1903), all primarily concern urban design as did the wider City Beautiful movement in general.

    ‘Urban design’ was first used as a distinctive term when Harvard University hosted a series of Urban Design Conferences from 1956 . These conferences provided a platform for the launching of Harvard’s Urban Design program in 1959-60. The writings of Jane Jacobs, Kevin Lynch, Gordon Cullen and Christopher Alexander became authoritative works for the school of Urban Design.

    Gordon Cullen’s The Concise Townscape, first published in 1961, also had a great influence on many urban designers. Cullen examined the traditional artistic approach to city design of theorists such as Camillo Sitte, Barry Parker and Raymond Unwin. He created the concept of ‘serial vision’, defining the urban landscape as a series of related spaces.

    Jane Jacobs’ The Death and Life of Great American Cities, published in 1961, was also a catalyst for interest in ideas of Urban design. She critiqued the Modernism of CIAM, and asserted that the publicly unowned spaces created by the ‘city in the park’ notion of Modernists was one of the main reasons for the rising crime rate. She argued instead for an ‘eyes on the street’ approach to town planning, and the resurrection of main public space precedents, such as streets and squares, in the design of cities.

    Kevin Lynch’s The Image of the City of 1961 was also seminal to the movement, particularly with regards to the concept of legibility, and the reduction of urban design theory to five basic elements – paths, districts, edges, nodes, landmarks. He also made popular the use of mental maps to understanding the city, rather than the two-dimensional physical master plans of the previous 50 years.

    Other notable works include Rossi’s Architecture of the City (1966), Venturi’s Learning from Las Vegas (1972), Colin Rowe’s Collage City (1978), and Peter Calthorpe’s The Next American Metropolis (1993). Rossi introduced the concepts of ‘historicism’ and ‘collective memory’ to urban design, and proposed a ‘collage metaphor’ to understand the collage of new and older forms within the same urban space. Calthorpe, on the other hand, developed a manifesto for sustainable urban living via medium density living, as well as a design manual for building new settlements in accordance with his concept of Transit Oriented Development (TOD). The popularity of these works resulted in terms such as ‘historicism’, ‘sustainability’, ‘livability’, ‘aesthetic’, ‘high quality of urban components’, etc. become everyday language in the field of Urban planning.

    Equality Issues in Urban Design


    Until the 1970s, urban designers had taken little account of the needs of people with disabilities. At that time, disabled people began to form movements demanding recognition of their potential contribution if social obstacles were removed. Disabled people challenged the ‘medical model’ of disability which saw physical and mental problems as an individual ‘tragedy’ and people with disabilities as ‘brave’ for enduring them. They proposed instead a ‘social model’ which said that barriers to disabled people result from the design of the built environment and attitudes of able-bodied people. ‘Access Groups’ were established composed of people with disabilities who audited their local areas, checked planning applications and made representations for improvements. The new profession of ‘access officer’ was established around that time to produce guidelines based on the recommendations of access groups and to oversee adaptations to existing buildings as well as to check on the accessibility of new proposals. Many local authorities now employ access officers who are regulated by the Access Association. A new chapter of the Building Regulations (Part M) was introduced in 1992. Although it was beneficial to have legislation on this issue the requirements were fairly minimal but continue to be improved with ongoing amendments. The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 continues to raise awareness and enforce action on disability issues in the urban environment.


  • Waterfall

    A waterfall is usually a geological formation resulting from water, often in the form of a stream, flowing over an erosion-resistant rock formation that forms a nickpoint, or sudden break in elevation.
    Some waterfalls form in mountain environments in which the erosive water force is high and stream courses may be subject to sudden and catastrophic change. In such cases, the waterfall may not be the end product of many years of water action over a region, but rather the result of relatively sudden geological processes such as landslides, faults or volcanic action. In cold places, snow will build up in winter and melt and turn into a waterfall in summer. Water falls can be cool.


    Formation of a waterfall

    Typically, a river flows only once a month over a large step in the rocks that may have been formed by a fault line. As it increases its velocity at the edge of the waterfall, it plucks material from the riverbed. This causes the waterfall to carve deeper into the bed and to recede upstream. Often over time, the waterfall will recede back to form a canyon or gorge downstream as it recedes upstream, and it will carve deeper into the ridge above it.

    Often, the rock stratum just below the more resistant shelf will be of a softer type, meaning that undercutting due to splashback will occur here to form a shallow cave-like formation known as a rock shelter or plunge pool under and behind the waterfall. Eventually, the outcropping, more resistant cap rock will collapse under pressure to add blocks of rock to the base of the waterfall. These blocks of rock are then broken down into smaller boulders by attrition as they collide with each other, and they also erode the base of the waterfall by abrasion, creating a deep plunge pool or gorge.

    Streams become wider and shallower just above waterfalls due to flowing over the rock shelf, and there is usually a deep pool just below the waterfall because of the kinetic energy of the water hitting the bottom. Waterfalls normally form in a rocky area due to erosion.

    Waterfalls can occur along the edge of glacial trough, whereby a stream or river flowing into a glacier continues to flow into a valley after the glacier has receded or melted. The large waterfalls in Yosemite Valley are examples of this phenomenon. The rivers are flowing from hanging valleys.

    Classifying Waterfalls

    Waterfalls are grouped into ten broad classes based on the average volume of water present on the fall using a logarithmic scale. Class 10 waterfalls include Niagara Falls, Paulo Alfonso Falls and Khone Falls.

    Classes of other well-known waterfalls include Victoria Falls and Kaieteur Falls (Class 9); Rhine Falls, Gullfoss and Sutherland Falls (Class 8); Angel Falls and Dettifoss (Class 7); Yosemite Falls and Lower Yellowstone Falls and Umphang Thee Lor Sue Water Fall Thailand (Class 6).

    Types of waterfalls

    – Dark Hollow Falls, near Skyline Drive, Virginia, is an example of a cascade waterfall
    – Block: Water descends from a relatively wide stream or river.
    – Cascade: Water descends a series of rock steps.
    – Cataract: A large, powerful waterfall.
    – Fan: Water spreads horizontally as it descends while remaining in contact with bedrock.
    – Horsetail: Descending water maintains some contact with bedrock.
    – Plunge: Water descends vertically, losing contact with the bedrock surface.
    – Punchbowl: Water descends in a constricted form and then spreads out in a wider pool.
    – Segmented: Distinctly separate flows of water form as it descends.
    – Tiered: Water drops in a series of distinct steps or falls.
    – Multi-step: A series of waterfalls one after another of roughly the same size each with its own sunken plunge pool.


  • Water feature

    In landscape architecture and garden design, a water feature is any of a full range of fountains, pools, ponds, cascades, waterfalls, and streams. Prior to the eighteenth century they were usually powered by gravity, though the famous Hanging Gardens of Babylon are believed to have been supplied by an Archimedean screw. Other examples were supplied with water using hydraulic rams. Since the eighteenth century the majority water features have been powered by pumps. The power source was sometimes a steam engine but in modern gardens it is almost always electricity. There is an increasing range of innovative designs as the market becomes more established and people become more aware of the advantages of using solar power. These advantages include environmental benefits, no mains electricity in the garden, and free energy.

    A modern famous example is the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain.

    Modern water features are often self-contained, meaning that they do not require water to be plumbed in; water is recycled from a hidden reservoir, also known as a sump. The sump can either be contained within the water feature, or buried underground (in the case of an outdoor water feature).

    A water feature may be indoor or outdoor and can be any size, from a desk top water fountain to a large indoor waterfall that covers an entire wall in a large commercial building.


  • Waterpark

    A waterpark is an amusement park that features waterplay areas, such as water slides, splash pads, spraygrounds (water playgrounds), lazy rivers, or other recreational bathing, swimming, and barefooting environments. Waterparks in more current states of development may also be equipped with some type of artificial surfing or bodyboarding environment such as a wave pool or a FlowRider.

    Evolution of waterparks

    Waterparks have grown in popularity since their introduction in the late 1940s. The United States has the largest and most concentrated waterpark market, with over a thousand waterparks and dozens of new parks opening each year. Major organizations are IAAPA (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions) and WWA (World Waterpark Association).

    Waterparks emerging from spas continue to more closely resemble mountain resorts as they become four-season destinations, e.g. Splash Universe Water Park Resort, a member of the World Water Park Association, is themed to match the community in which they are a located to enhance the communities’ destination appeal. Therefore the whole amusement and leisure time industry is getting even more concentrated as the winter sports are mixing up with the summertime water rides – in time and space. A process of concentration can be observed in the hybrid segments of theme-, amusement-, and waterparks. Some waterparks are more spa-oriented, e.g. Schwaben Quellen, a member of European Waterparks Association (EWA) has no water slides, but instead has lots of saunas, steam rooms, “adventure showers”, and relaxation-oriented waterplay areas.

    Indoor waterparks
    The first ever indoor waterpark was built in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 1985 at the West Edmonton Mall as part of the $1.2 billion dollar Phase III expansion. Called World Waterpark, it is over 225,000 sq feet (20,000m sq) in size. It includes the world’s largest indoor wave pool, waterslides of varying degrees, tube rides, zip lines, bungee jumping, and hot tubs.

    With 5 indoor waterparks, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, is recognized as the “Waterpark Capital of the World.” It showcases America’s largest indoor and outdoor waterparks (see Noah’s Ark Waterpark). Indoor waterparks in Wisconsin Dells debuted in 1991 after the Chinese Hotel built the first one that year, but have since caught on quickly in many areas. Usually resort hotels featuring massive indoor waterparks that are often reserved exclusively for overnight guests, companies like Great Wolf Resorts/Great Wolf Lodge and Kalahari Resorts have branched out from their origin in the Dells to open new locations around the country. The largest indoor waterpark in the United States is the Honolulu Resort in Hawaii which opened in December 1982. In May 2008 the Honolulu Resort will open an addition to their waterpark making it a total of 2,000 square feet (190 m2).

    The premier UK indoor waterpark is the Sandcastle Waterworld at Blackpool, England which has the Master Blaster, the world’s longest indoor roller coaster-style ride.

    There are many waterparks in Southern Europe where the climate suits a long season. For example in Portugal on the Algarve there are three main parks – Aqualand, Aquashow and Slide and Splash.

    Waterpark-like spaces
    Spaces that are similar to waterparks include urban beaches, and splash pads, and smaller waterplay areas such as waterslides in many hotels and public pools. For example, the Delta Chelsea hotel in Toronto features a four story waterslide called the “corkscrew”.


  • Water pumping

    The pumping of water is a basic and practical technique, far more practical than scooping it up with one’s hands or lifting it in a hand-held bucket. This is true whether the water is drawn from a fresh source, moved to a needed location, purified, or used for irrigation, washing, or sewage treatment, or for evacuating water from an undesirable location. Regardless of the outcome, the energy required to pump water is an extremely demanding component of water consumption. All other processes depend or benefit either from water descending from a higher elevation or some pressurized plumbing system.

    The ancient concept of the aqueduct took simple and eloquent advantage of maintaining elevation of water for as long and far a distance as possible. Thus, as water moves over great distances, it retains a larger component of its kinetic energy by spending small portions of this energy flowing down a slight gradation. Granted, a useful aqueduct system ultimately depends on a fresh water source existing at a higher elevation than the location where the water can be of use. Gravity does all the work. In all other instances, pumps are necessary.

    In day-to-day situations, available water is often contaminated, unhealthy, or even naturally poisonous, so that it is necessary to pump potable water from lower levels to higher levels, where it can be of use. A fresh water source in a lower stream, river, pond, or lake is often pumped to higher ground for irrigation, livestock, cooking, cleaning or other uses by humans, who quite naturally need fresh water. Purification of mostly fresh water, and the treatment of largely contaminated water refer endlessly to pumping.


  • Water slide

    A water slide is a type of slide or tube designed for warm-weather or indoor recreational use, typically with water pumped to its top and allowed to flow down its surface, although some may simply be wet. A person is able to sit directly on the slide, or on a raft or tube designed to be used with the slide, and slide to the bottom via gravity. The water reduces friction so sliders travel down the slide very quickly. Water slides typically run into a swimming pool (often called a plunge pool) at the end. Some, however, have long, flat, straight sections at the bottom with a few inches of standing water, frictional material, or rollers attached to the slide designed to slow the slider and allow them to safely exit the slide.

    Water slides are popular at water parks, such as the Wet ‘n Wild parks located throughout the United States or Sandcastle Waterworld at Blackpool in the United Kingdom and are great alternatives to those who don’t like such intense rides at other amusement parks. If these empty into a pool, the pool is usually designed only to catch sliders who must exit the pool immediately after coming to a stop, to prevent sliders entering the pool at high speed from striking other swimmers. These Plunge pools are usually quickly cleared by other swimmers to avoid injury. Smaller water slides may be found at actual swimming pools in water parks, private locations and community recreation centers where larger “thrill” slides are absent.

    In some countries, they are more commonly referred to as flumes, water chutes, or hydroslides.

    Types of water slides
    Slides may be straight or curvy, with a steep or gentle gradient. Large slides in thrill parks may be otherwise designed to maximize g-forces experienced by the rider and the “fear factor” involved with such amusement type rides. Sometimes, to add to the overall excitement of a water slide, names are used which are intended to increase the “fear factor”, such as the “Kamikaze slide”, although in fact the slides are quite safe for normal users. Like any amusement ride, slides may be built to include other features, such as interactive laser light shows or mist inside a tube, to add to the user’s desire/satisfaction complex.

    Extreme slides
    Extreme slides or speed slides are straight, with a near vertical drop in the middle designed to give the rider the most possible speed. These are called “plunge” or “plummet” slides, and are one of the most fearsome slides due to their height. They can accelerate people up to an average of 55 miles per hour. The tallest plummet slide in the world is Insano at 135 feet, which can bring riders up to 65,24 mph, located at Porto das Dunas Beach, a part of the Beach Park Resort in Fortaleza, Brazil.

    Body slides
    Other slides wind down a very curvy path which is not as steep, although some slides allow significant speeds to be obtained. The sharpest curves are typically completely enclosed or have high walls on the outside of the curve to prevent users from leaving the slide; thus these slides can be a long tube or alternate between an open chute and closed tube. G-forces experienced in these slides can range from gentle and family-friendly to surprisingly intense. Most riders will be required to lie flat on their backs, and cross their arms over their chest to prevent injury on these types of slides.

    Tube/raft slides
    Some slides are designed to be ridden with a tube or raft. These are commonly family slides, and some tubes allow up to 8 riders at one time. These are normally slow and include many twists and turns, and sometimes have pools along their length to simulate whitewater rafting.

    Uphill slides
    A small percentage of slides are hydro coasters. They shoot riders up and down with water or a conveyor belt. This is normally a “high intensity” water slide. A company called pro slide has recently developed a hydro magnetic water coaster. It uses LIMs to push the inner tube up the incline. The City of North Richland Hills, Texas operates a community owned water park that claims to have the worlds largest uphill water slide called The Green Extreme according to their advertising.


  • Water treatment

    Water treatment describes those processes used to make water more acceptable for a desired end-use. These can include use as drinking water, industrial processes, medical and many other uses. The goal of all water treatment process is to remove existing contaminants in the water, of reduce the concentration of such contaminants so it becomes fit for its desired end-use. One such use is returning water that has been used back into the natural environment without adverse ecological impact.

    The processes involved in treating water may be physical such as settling, chemical such as disinfection or coagulation, or biological such as lagooning, slow sand filtration or activated sludge.

    Potable water purification

    Water purification is the removal of contaminants from untreated water to produce drinking water that is pure enough for its intended use, most commonly human consumption. Substances that are removed during the process of drinking water treatment include bacteria, algae, viruses, fungi, minerals such as iron and sulphur, and man-made chemical pollutants.

    Sewage treatment

    Sewage treatment is the process that removes the majority of the contaminants from wastewater or sewage and produces both a liquid effluent suitable for disposal to the natural environment and a sludge. To be effective, sewage must be conveyed to a treatment plant by appropriate pipes and infrastructure and the process itself must be subject to regulation and controls. Some wastewaters require different and sometimes specialized treatment methods. At the simplest level, treatment of sewage and most wastewaters is carried out through separation of solids from liquids, usually by settlement. By progressively converting dissolved material into solids, usually a biological floc which is then settled out, an effluent stream of increasing purity is produced.


  • Wave pool

    A wave pool is a swimming pool in which are artificially generated reasonably large waves, similar to the ocean’s. Wave pools are often a major feature of water parks.

    Several locations claim to have developed the first wave pool in the United States, including Big Surf in Tempe, Arizona, in 1969, and Point Mallard Park’s Aquatic Center, in the city of Decatur, Alabama. But Palisades Amusement Park, a famed center atop the New Jersey Palisades across the Hudson River from New York City, had a salt-water wave pool during the 1940s. This was a huge pool whose waves were generated by a waterfall at one end. The pool in Point Mallard Park was developed in the early 1970s after Mayor Gilmer Blackburn saw enclosed “wave-making” swimming pools in Japan and thought one could be a tourist attraction in the United States. J. Austin Smith, an Ohio wave pool manufacturer, worked with the city of Decatur to design and install the wave pool in 1970.

    Wave pools replicate the movement of the ocean one of two ways, depending on the size of the pool and the size of wave desired. In small wave pools, pressurized air is blown onto the surface of the water, or a paddle creates force in the water, creating small ripple-like waves. Other techniques utilize an “accordion mechanism” which opens and closes in order to suck water into its belly (opening) and push it out (closing) to cause waves. However, in high-volume wave pools, a large amount of water is quickly allowed into the far end of the pool, forcing the water to even out, generating a sizeable wave. In these large wave pools, the excess water is removed by being channeled through a return canal where it can be used again to generate another wave.

    Types and locations
    Generally, wave pools are designed to use fresh water at inland locations, but some of the largest ones, near other seashore developments, use salt water. Wave pools are typically larger than other recreational swimming pools and for that reason are often in parks or other large, open areas.

    Wave pools are more difficult to lifeguard than still pools, and there have been drownings in some. For example, the pool at New Jersey’s now-defunct Action Park took two lives, and kept the lifeguards busy rescuing patrons who overestimated their swimming ability. The moving water, sun glare, and other factors make them difficult for lifeguards.

    Computer automated drowning detection systems do not work in wave pools. Drowning prevention systems such as Swimguard use underwater cameras and might improve safety.


  • Zoning

    Zoning is a term used in urban planning for a system of land-use regulation in various parts of the world, including North America, the United Kingdom, and Australia. The word is derived from the practice of designating permitted uses of land based on mapped zones which separate one set of land uses from another. Zoning may be use-based (regulating the uses to which land may be put), or it may regulate building height, lot coverage, and similar characteristics, or some combination of these.


    Theoretically, the primary purpose of zoning is to segregate uses that are thought to be incompatible; in practice, zoning is used as a permitting system to prevent new development from harming existing residents or businesses and to preserve the “character” of a community. Zoning is commonly controlled by local governments such as counties or municipalities, though the nature of the zoning regime may be determined or limited by state or national planning authorities or through enabling legislation. In Australia, land under the control of the Commonwealth (federal) government is not subject to state planning controls. The United States and other federal countries are similar.

    Zoning may include regulation of the kinds of activities which will be acceptable on particular lots (such as open space, residential, agricultural, commercial or industrial), the densities at which those activities can be performed (from low-density housing such as single family homes to high-density such as high-rise apartment buildings), the height of buildings, the amount of space structures may occupy, the location of a building on the lot (setbacks), the proportions of the types of space on a lot, such as how much landscaped space, impervious surface, and parking must be provided. The details of how individual planning systems incorporate zoning into their regulatory regimes varies though the intention is always similar. For example, in the state of Victoria, Australia, land use zones are combined with a system of planning scheme overlays to account for the multiplicity of factors that impact on desirable urban outcomes in any location.

    Most zoning systems have a procedure for granting variances (exceptions to the zoning rules), usually because of some perceived hardship caused by the particular nature of the property in question.
    Types of residential zones would be R1 for single-family homes, R2 for two-family homes, and R3 for multiple-family homes.


    Zoning codes have evolved over the years as urban planning theory has changed, legal constraints have fluctuated, and political priorities have shifted. The various approaches to zoning can be divided into four broad categories: Euclidean, Performance, Incentive, and Design-based.


    Named for the type of zoning code adopted in the town of Euclid, Ohio, and approved in a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, Euclidean zoning codes are by far the most prevalent in the United States, used extensively in small towns and large cities alike. Also known as “Building Block” zoning, Euclidean zoning is characterized by the segregation of land uses into specified geographic districts and dimensional standards stipulating limitations on the magnitude of development activity that is allowed to take place on lots within each type of district. Typical types of land-use districts in Euclidean zoning are: residential (single-family), residential (multi-family), commercial, and industrial. Uses within each district are usually heavily prescribed to exclude other types of uses (residential districts typically disallow commercial or industrial uses). Some “accessory” or “conditional” uses may be allowed in order to accommodate the needs of the primary uses. Dimensional standards apply to any structures built on lots within each zoning district, and typically take the form of setbacks, height limits, minimum lot sizes, lot coverage limits, and other limitations on the “building envelope”.

    Euclidean zoning is utilized by some municipalities because of its relative effectiveness, ease of implementation (one set of explicit, prescriptive rules), long-established legal precedent, and familiarity to planners and design professionals.

    However, Euclidean zoning has received heavy criticism for its lack of flexibility and institutionalization of now-outdated planning theory (see below).


    Also known as “effects-based planning”, performance zoning uses performance-based or goal-oriented criteria to establish review parameters for proposed development projects in any area of a municipality. Performance zoning often utilizes a “points-based” system whereby a property developer can apply credits toward meeting established zoning goals through selecting from a ‘menu’ of compliance options (some examples include: mitigation of environmental impacts, providing public amenities, building affordable housing units, etc.). Additional discretionary criteria may also be established as part of the review process.

    The appeal of performance zoning lies in its high level of flexibility, rationality, transparency and accountability. Performance zoning can avoid the sometimes arbitrary nature of the Euclidian approach, and better accommodates market principles and private property rights with environmental protection. However, performance zoning can be extremely difficult to implement and can require a high level of discretionary activity on the part of the supervising authority leading to the potential for disenfranchisement among negatively affected stakeholders.


    First implemented in Chicago and New York City, incentive zoning is intended to provide a reward-based system to encourage development that meets established urban development goals. Typically, a base level of prescriptive limitations on development will be established and an extensive list of incentive criteria will be established for developers to adopt or not at their discretion. A reward scale connected to the incentive criteria provides an enticement for developers to incorporate the desired development criteria into their projects. Common examples include FAR (floor-area-ratio) bonuses for affordable housing provided on-site, and height limit bonuses for the inclusion of public amenities on-site.

    Incentive zoning allows for a high degree of flexibility, but can be complex to administer. The more a proposed development takes advantage of incentive criteria, the more closely it has to be reviewed on a discretionary basis. The initial creation of the incentive structure in order to best serve planning priorities can also be challenging and often requires extensive ongoing revision to maintain balance between incentive magnitude and value given to developers.


    Form-based zoning relies on rules applied to development sites according to both prescriptive and potentially discretionary criteria. These criteria are typically dependent on lot size, location, proximity, and other various site- and use-specific characteristics.

    Design-based codes offer considerably more flexibility in building uses than do Euclidean codes, but, as they are comparatively new, may be more challenging to create. When form-based codes do not contain appropriate illustrations and diagrams, they have been criticized as being difficult to interpret.

    One example of a recently adopted code with design-based features is the Land Development Code adopted by Louisville, Kentucky in 2003. This zoning code creates “form districts” for Louisville Metro. Each form district intends to recognize that some areas of the city are more suburban in nature, while others are more urban. Building setbacks, heights, and design features vary according to the form district. As an example, in a “traditional neighborhood” form district, a maximum setback might be 15 feet from the property line, while in a suburban “neighborhood” there may be no maximum setback.

    Euclidean II Zoning
    Euclidean II Zoning [1]uses traditional Euclidean zoning classifications (industrial, commercial, multi-family, residential,etc.) but places them in a hierarchical order “nesting” one zoning class within another similar to the concept of Planned Unit Developments (PUD) mixed uses, but now for all zoning districts; in effect, adding a third dimension to flatland Euclidean zoning. For example, multi-family is not only permitted in “higher order” multi-family zoning districts, but also permitted in high order commercial and industrial zoning districts as well. Protection of land values is maintained by stratifying the zoning districts into levels according to their location in the urban society (neighborhood, community, municipality, and region). Euclidean II zoning also incorporates transportation and utilities as new zoning districts in its matrix dividing zoning into three categories: Public, Semi-Public and Private. In addition, all Euclidean II Zoning permitted activities and definitions are tied directly to the state’s building code, Municode and the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) assuring statewide uniformity. Euclidean II zoning fosters the concepts of mixed use, new urbanism and “highest and best use”; and, simplifies all zoning classifications into a single and uniform set of activities. It is relatively easy to transition from most existing zoning classification systems to the Euclidean II Zoning system.


  • Zoo

    A zoological garden, shortened to zoo, is an institution in which living animals are exhibited in captivity. In addition to their status as tourist attractions and recreational facilities, modern zoos may engage in captive breeding programs, conservation study, and educational outreach. Zoos are a subject of controversy stemming from many sources, including the quality of life of the animals they exhibit, and the perceived necessity or purpose of exhibiting captive animals at all. Zoos are frequently criticized by animal rights groups.

    Collections of wild animals existed already in the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and China. In medieval Europe some monarchs, monasteries, and municipalities continued to maintain collections of wild animals. The transition from menagerie, a predominantly private collection, to public institution marks the beginning of the modern zoo concept. Collections established during the nineteenth century began calling themselves zoological gardens. Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, many new zoos and related facilities were founded for very different motives and purposes.

    Zoo professionals proclaim demanding aims for their institutions, from educating the public to conservation of biodiversity. Many zoos define their aims as recreation, education, research, and conservation. Animal-rights groups claim that there is a wide gap between these claimed aims and actual practice, and that zoos have commercial and entertainment purposes in mind as well as financial profit.

    Types of zoo include urban, open-range, safari, animal theme, roadside, rescue, sanctuary, petting, and specialized. The most traditional form of maintaining wild animals in captivity is keeping them in cages constructed of concrete or metal, in aviaries, or fenced paddocks. Most zoological gardens incorporated within international umbrella organizations are led by professionals such as zoologists or veterinarians.

    The terms zoo and zoological garden, that refer to zoology (from Greek: zωο, zoion, “animal”; and λόγος, logos, “knowledge”), did not come into use until the modern zoo concept developed during the nineteenth century. The Zoological Society of London first used this term to describe its collection at Regent’s Park, although this collection was simultaneously referred to as a menagerie. Most zoo founders of the nineteenth century operated with the term zoological garden to distinguish their institutions from the aristocratic and travelling menageries. The abbreviation zoo first appeared in print in Britain about 1847, when it was used for the Clifton Zoo, but it was not until some twenty years later that the shortened form became popular by a song called “Walking in the Zoo on Sunday”.

    Relatively new terms for zoos, which were coined in the late twentieth century, are conservation park or biopark. Adopting a new name is a strategy by some zoo professionals to distance their institutions from the stereotypical and nowadays criticized zoo concept of the nineteenth century. The term “biopark” was first coined and developed by the National Zoo, Washington, D.C. calling itself “Creating the Nation’s first Biopark” in the late 1980s. In 1993, the New York Zoological Society changed its name to the Wildlife Conservation Society and rebranched the zoos under its jurisdiction as “wildlife conservation parks”.


    From ancient to modern times

    Collections of wild animals existed already in the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and China.
    The most abundant evidence of the earliest zoos from Egypt derives from burial sites of about 2500 BC to 1400 BC. Throughout the entire period, written records — on tablets, papyri, and tomb walls — describe how pharaohs and sometimes other power brokers made zoos for pleasure and prestige and to satisfy scientific curiosity. Rulers gathered many of their animals from distant lands, frequently setting forth on expeditions for that purpose or receiving their quarry as gifts from fellow leaders or conquered peoples. They kept hyenas, monkeys, various antelopes, and mongooses. Proud of their collections, they took pains to ensure that their acquisitions would thrive and reproduce. Indeed, they often employed handlers to care for finicky creatures. The ancient Egyptians began keeping wild animals in form of acclimatization which sometimes has approached domestication. On tomb pictures dating from 2500 BC, at Saqqara, some ungulates including antelopes, gazelles and ibex are depicted wearing collars and holding in leash. Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut established a zoo in Thebes around 1490 BC. Hatshepsut’s zoo contained exotic animals collected from what is today Somalia, and it included tall cattle, exotic birds, cheetahs, leopards, monkeys and a giraffe. During the Hellenistic period, Ptolemy I of Egypt (323-285 BC), who had a particular interest in natural history, founded a great zoo in Alexandria. His son Ptolemy II developed the Alexandria zoo into the greatest collection of animals the world had yet known. The animals were put on parade at the great ceremonies. In 285 BC, a typical procession for the feast of Dionysus included 96 elephants, 24 lions, 14 leopards, 16 cheetahs, 14 camels, a giraffe, a rhinoceros, hundreds of domestic animals as well as numerous birds.
    In Mesopotamia, the kings of Sumeria, Babylonia, and Assyria were proud of their animal collections, which were symbol of power, wealth, and authority. The kings were especially proud of rare specimens their subjects and foreign dignitaries sent after diligent searches and difficult transport. Animals came from Asia via trade with the Indus society and from Africa via trade with the Egyptians. The earliest zoo with large carnivores as lions was probably in Sumer and was King Shulgi’s (2094-2047 BC) of the 3rd Dynasty of Ur. Babylonian and Assyrian royal parks and gardens were often a place to keep animals. Tiglath-Pileser I, King of Assyria (1114-1076 BC), kept herds of deer, gazelles, and ibex from conquered territories in his park. Ashurnasirpal II, King of Assyria (883-859 BC), had herds of wild bulls, lions, ostriches and apes. Sargon II, King of Assyria (721-705 BC), was particularly fond of lions and falcons. The richest evidence of the earliest zoos from Mesopotamia comes from Assyrian palace reliefs of about 880 BC to 627 BC. Bas-reliefs from Assyrian royal palaces show monkeys, antelopes, camels, elephants, and other species brought to the Assyrian kings as tribute. 7th century BC stone reliefs from Nineveh (now in the British Museum) depict the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal hunting lions, which seem to have been first caught and held in cages before being released and hunted to death. A relief on one of the palace walls particularly shows a scene of Lion Hunt where a captive lion is released from its transport crate into the animal park of Ashurbanipal, King of Assyria (668-627 BC) at Nineveh, Mesopotamia. Another well-known collector of lions was King Nebuchadrezzar II of Babylonia (605-562 BC). In ancient China, wild animals, especially exotic species, held the interest of rulers and the wealthy class. Starting with the founder of the Shang dynasty (ca. 1500 BC), China’s rulers built animal reserves. The Chinese empress Tanki, who ruled around 1150 BC, built a marble “house of deer”. However, it was Wen Wang, founder of the Zhou dynasty (ca. 1000-200 BC), who built the first well-known animal reserve, which he called Lingyou, commonly referred to as the “Garden of Intelligence”. A more accurate translation would be “Garden for the Encouragement of Knowledge”. This reserve and similar parks owned by the wealthy class of the Zhou period were large, walled-in natural areas that required their own staffs of administrators, keepers, and veterinarians, and housing a different animals like deer, fish, and “white birds with dazzling plumes”. The rulers of the Qin (221-206 BC), Han (206 BC-AD 220), Tang (618-907), and Song (960-1279) dynasties continued the fashion of large royal parks, where birds and mammals were kept in cages for personal pleasure and the demonstration of wealth and power. In the thirteenth century, Marco Polo described the royal menagerie of Kublai Khan (1215-1294), founder of the Yuan Dynasty, in Shang-tu, which maintained leopards, tigers, lynxes and elephants, as well eagles and falcons used for hunting. In 1417, Yung-lo, a Chinese Ming Dynasty emperor, organised an expedition to Africa to collect a giraffe; apparently the emperor had a menagerie that included a zebra and other African animals. The fifteenth century Chinese explorer Cheng Ho returned in 1422 from Africa with at least one giraffe and one zebra.

    Also in the ancient Greek and Roman world live animal collections existed. In the fourth century BC, Greek animal collections enabled Aristotle to write the first systematic zoological survey, The History of Animals, which describes about three hundred vertebrates known at this time. His student, Alexander the Great, sent information and specimens back to Greece from his eastern campaign. Alexander’s travels east into Persia opened up a new source of animals for Grecian menageries. Historians have written many publications about extravagant and bloodthirsty spectacles in Rome, involving wild animals. The 19th-century historian W.E.H. Lecky wrote of the Roman games, first held in 366 BC: “At one time, a bear and a bull, chained together, rolled in fierce contest along the sand … Four hundred bears were killed in a single day under Caligula … Under Nero, four hundred tigers fought with bulls and elephants. In a single day, at the dedication of the Colosseum by Titus, five thousand animals perished. Under Trajan … lions, tigers, leopards, bears, elephants, rhinoceroses, hippopotami, giraffes, bulls, stags, even crocodiles and serpents were employed to give novelty to the spectacle …” However, little has been written about the facilities of keeping those animals. By the second century BC, wealthy and influential Romans were keeping aviaries, fish ponds and menageries to show their power and prestige. The Latin word vivarium referred to the stockyards and arenas where wild animals were held for public spectacles. In Rome there were extensive animal holding areas, called vivaria, associated with the arenas that citizens might view. These were menageries of a sort. Each Roman emperor had a menagerie for triumphal processions and official celebrations, especially gladiatorial exhibitions in which animals were killed. At the dawn of the Christian era the Emperor Augustus (29 BC-AD 14) is recorded to have had over 3,500 wild and tamed animals from his menagerie killed in 26 celebrations, including 420 tigers, 260 lions, 36 crocodiles, and a number of elephants and rhinoceroses.

    In medieval Europe some monarchs, monasteries, and municipalities continued to maintain collections of wild animals. One of these collections was the Tower Menagerie in London.
    In the New World, one of the earliest and most impressive collections of animals was that of the Aztec emperor Montezuma II in Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City). It contained several buildings and flight cages and numerous gardens, lakes, streams, and ponds for its birds, mammals and reptiles. Hundred of gardeners and animals keepers tended the collections and the grounds. Unfortunately, these animal collections were destroyed during the Spanish conquest (1519-1521) by Hernando Cortés. At the middle of the 16th century, Hessen was ruled by Landgraf Wilhelm IV. In 1571 this prince established a zoological garden at the Sababurg, the hunting castle in the heart of the Reinhards Forest not far from Kassel. The prime purpose of the wild animal park was at first to furnish the kitchens with meat. Since 1971, the heritage is Tierpark Sababurg. Menageries owned by monarchs and wealthy aristocrats can be seen as the predecessor institution of the modern zoological garden. One of these aristocratic menageries was the Versailles menagerie during the reign of Louis XIV. The oldest existing zoo, the Tiergarten Schönbrunn in Vienna, evolved from such an aristocratic menagerie, founded by the Habsburg monarchy in 1752.

    Evolution of the modern zoo concept

    The transition from menagerie, a predominantly private collection, to public institution marks the beginning of the modern zoo concept. Collections established during the nineteenth century began calling themselves zoological gardens. In some cases this was simply fashionable since zoos were considered professionally managed facilities, whether they were or not. In other cases there was an emphasis on education and science rather than on entertainment.

    The first modern zoo, established particularly for scientific and educational purposes according to its founders, was the Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes as part of the Muséum national d’histoire naturelle in Paris (1793). It was, significantly, laid out like a picturesque park — a semblance of Nature emphasized by Rousseau — while the buildings themselves housed caged animals as if in museum display cabinets. About thirty years later, the Zoological Society of London was founded in 1826 by Stamford Raffles. The Zoological Society of London stated in its charter that its aim was “the advancement of zoology and animal physiology and the introduction of new and curious subjects of the animal kingdom”. The members of the Zoological Society of London adopted the idea of the early Paris zoo when they established London Zoo as a scientific zoo in 1827. It opened in 1828 in Regent’s Park, admitting members and their guests. Only in 1847 were working people allowed in, for a shilling. London Zoo admitted paying visitors to aid funding of its scientific work. The taxonomic presentation of animals at the London Zoo became the model for the nineteenth century. The success of London Zoo set off a Victorian wave of similar establishments.

    Wealthy citizens and interested scientists founded zoological societies following the standard of the Zoological Society of London. On continental Europe, the first of these societies was established in Amsterdam in 1838. It was the Zoologisch Genootschap Natura Artis Magistra (Zoological Society Natura Artis Magistra), which received the supplement “Koninglijk” (Royal) in 1852. In 1838, an appeal for the formation of a zoological society was published under the title, Natura Artis Magistra (Latin for Nature is the Master of Arts) and about 120 people joined the new society. Artis, as the Amsterdam Zoo is popular known, opened on May 1, 1838.

    The Berlin Zoo, which is often said to have the most extensive range of species worldwide, was constructed in 1841 on the site of the former royal pheasant run in the Tiergarten at Charlottenburg. Friedrich Wilhelm IV not only donated in 1841 the site of his pheasantry to the newly-founded shareholders’ association Zoo Aktiengesellschaft, but in 1844 also donated 850 animals from the royal menagerie, which moved from Peacock Island (“Pfaueninsel”) to Tiergarten. The Berlin Zoo, the first in Germany, was opened on 1st August 1844.

    The world’s first acclimatization society was the Société Zoologique d’Acclimatation, founded in Paris in 1854. The founding president was Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, professor of zoology at the Muséum national d’histoire naturelle and director of the Ménagerie (created in 1793). In 1860 Isidore and his son, Albert Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, opened Jardin Zoologique d’Acclimatation, located in the Bois de Boulogne, west of Paris.

    The history of modern zoos in India began around the middle of the nineteenth century. The first zoo was probably Marble Palace Zoo, started in 1854 by Raja Mullick Bahadur in the private mansion in the center of Calcutta. There were many mammals and birds in this collection. In 1855, a zoo was set by the Municipality of Madras in a 20-acre (80,000 m2) area near the Railway station. It was closed down in 1980 and shifted to a new 1,260-acre (5.1 km2) site, known as the Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Vandalur. This is a modern zoo of India.

    The Zoological Society of Victoria was established in 1857 and was the first to develop a major zoo in Australia. Its priorities had shifted from collecting and displaying exotic animals to importing large numbers of unusual domestic animals. To reflect this emphasis, the society renames itself the Acclimatisation Society of Victoria in 1861 and concentrated its efforts on acquiring useful animals. The animals in question fell into three broad categories: economic, game and ornamental. The Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens opened on the Royal Park site in 1862.

    The idea to create a zoological garden in Moscow came in 1857 when professors at the Moscow University established the first Society of Acclimatization in Russia. In 1862, the society was reorganized and given the name Tsar’s Society for the Acclimatization of Plants and Animals. In 1863, this society was eventually able to buy property for its future zoo, where it still exists. The opening ceremony of the Moscow Zoological Gardens took place on February 12, 1864. A second Russian zoological garden was opened only one year later. The St. Petersburg Zoo opened to the public at its present site on August 1, 1865. The Moscow Zoo was designated national property in 1919. The zoo in St. Petersburg was nationalized in 1919, the same year as the one in Moscow.

    In the United States, physician William Camac initiated the incorporation of the Zoological Society of Philadelphia in 1859. According to the society’s charter, “The object of this Corporation shall be the purchase and collection of living wild and other animals, for the purpose of public exhibition at some suitable place in the City of Philadelphia, for the instruction and recreation of the people.” The American Civil War interrupted these efforts so that the opening of the Philadelphia Zoo delayed until July 1, 1874. Some years ago, the Central Park menagerie evolved from gifts of exotic pets and other animals informally given to the Park, beginning, apparently, with a bear and some swans deposited near New York’s arsenal on the edge of Central Park in 1859. About 1861/62, a smaller zoo with lower standards had been already established in New York City, the Central Park Zoo. In 1864 it received charter confirmation from New York’s assembly. The Baltimore Zoo actually had its beginnings as early as 1862, when the first of many citizens gave animals to Druid Hill Park for public display. It was officially created by act of Maryland state legislature on April 7, 1876. The Maryland state legislature had authorized the Baltimore Park Commission to establish a zoological collection. Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, Illinois, was founded in 1868, when the Lincoln Park commissioners were given a gift of a pair of swans. Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, Rhode Island was established in 1872 with a small collection of mostly native animals. The Zoological Society of Cincinnati was established in 1873. A site was acquired the following year, and the Cincinnati Zoo opened on September 18, 1875. Other zoos in the United States began as menageries, when animals were donated to a park system and city fathers had to find a place to house them. The zoos in Buffalo, New York (1875); Binghamton, New York (1875); and Cleveland, Ohio (1882) are examples of this type of “startup”. When the first American zoological gardens came into existence, only a few supporters of the early animal welfare movement spoke out against zoos. Humanitarians protested cruelty in training animals for circuses more often than they opposed zoos. Their concerns were that zoo animals were healthy and well cared for, and not subjected to cruelty or pain.

    In March 1889 an Act of Congress authorized the formation of a National Zoological Park Commission to select an purchase land for a zoological park in the District of Columbia “for the advancement of science and the instruction and recreation of the people”. In April 1890 Congress passed another act, placing the National Zoological Park under the direction of the Smithsonian Institution’s Board of Regents. First animals arrived in 1891 at Washington Zoo. The New York Zoological Society (now the Wildlife Conservation Society) was incorporated in 1895. Objectives of the society were “to establish and maintain in New York a zoological garden for the purpose of encouraging and advancing the study of zoology, original researches in the same and kindred subjects, and of furnishing instruction and recreation to the people”. The New York Zoological Park (the Bronx Zoo, now the Wildlife Conservation Park) opened in 1899.

    Ueno Zoo opened its gate in 1882 in heavily wooded Ueno Park, Tokyo, as part of the national museum, and was the first modern zoo in Japan. Kyoto Zoo was the second modern zoo in the country, opening in Okazaki Park, Kyoto, in 1903 to commemorate the wedding of the crown prince, who later became emperor. The birth of the third zoo followed in 1915 in Osaka, a municipal facility known as Tennoji Zoo. The imperial facility gave the Ueno Zoo to the City of Tokyo in 1924 to commemorate the wedding of another crown prince.

    Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, many new zoos and related facilities were founded for very different motives and purposes. Cultural and philosophical attitudes as well as political developments such as imperialism had an impact on the appearance and aims of zoological gardens. Human beings were sometimes displayed in zoos along with non-human animals, supposedly to illustrate the differences between people of European and non-European origin (“Human zoos”). According to historians Eric Baratay and Elisabeth Hardouin-Fugier the zoos of that period reflected the determination of imperialist nations to classify and dominate.

    In 1931, a small zoo was built by the Hagenbeck’s firm for the Colonial Exposition organized by Lyautey in Paris. The popular success of this temporary zoo inspired the Muséum national d’histoire naturelle to create a new zoological garden inaugurated in 1934 in the Bois de Vincennes, east of Paris.

    The most important zoo in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR), the Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde, opened in 1955. Because of its connections and animal dealings with Eastern European zoos, it contains some of the rarest species. Its former connection with the Academy of Science of the GDR supported research at Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde. It became one of the leading zoos of the world with many rare breeding groups of birds and mammals.

    In the 1950s, Bernhard Grzimek used the zoo and the zoological society of Frankfurt to popularize the idea of nature conservation. When ecology emerged as a matter of public interest through the 1970s, a few zoos began to consider making conservation their central role, with Gerald Durrell of Jersey Zoo, George Rabb of Brookfield Zoo, and William Conway of Bronx Zoo leading the discussion. Since then, zoo professionals became increasingly aware of the need to engage themselves in conservation. As a modern ark, the concept of frozen zoo had been added to both captive breeding (“ex-situ conservation”) and conservation in the wild (“in-situ conservation”). Especially in America, the new zoo concept had been developed. The changes at zoos have served both the ideology of environmentalism and the day-to-day needs of zoos to maintain their collections. Many of contemporary zoos led by professionals show fewer species and display social animals in groups; landscape immersion exhibits replicate animal habitats. The zoological garden of the nineteenth century eventually evolved into the biopark, or conservation park, of the late twentieth century. The conservation park concept is quickly being superseded with an even newer one, the environmental center of the twenty-first century. In effect, it is announced that the role of zoos will be changing in the 21st century. Instead of the living museums that they were in the 20th century, more and more zoos will become environmental resource centres in which ecosystems and survival of species are supported. It is also proposed that, as possible agents for conservation, visitors to zoos should play an active role in this process.


    Zoo professionals proclaim exalting and demanding aims for their institutions, from educating the public to conservation of biodiversity. Many zoos define their aims as recreation, education, research, and conservation. Animal-rights groups claim that there is a wide gap between the claimed aims and actual practice, and that owners of zoos have commercial and entertainment purposes in mind to increase their financial profit. Some zoos work to save endangered species, but most animals in zoos are bred in captivity for the purpose of public display, not species protection. In his 1985 critique of zoos, philosopher Dale Jamieson asserted that zoos generally do not live up to their own goals, that zoo animals are deprived of freedom for little social or scientific good, and that zoos cause suffering without producing compensatory benefits for animals or people. Jamieson argues that a moral presumption against keeping animals in captivity outweighs any benefit that might accrue from education, science, or species preservation. The animal rights philosophy refuses zoos as a matter of principle. Keeping wild animals in captivity is seen as human domination over other creatures.

    French historians Baratay and Hardouin-Fugier see zoos as an allegory for the contradictions of modern Western societies: “The zoo made concrete, in an enclosed space, what society wanted to do in nature, as, with the advance of urbanization, people felt an increasing need to preserve the wild. But the desire remained unrealized, because Western society did not want its methods called into question, and because, in the final analysis, it preferred to transplant, delimit, cultivate and arrange nature however and wherever it liked, rather than leave places truly free of human influence.”


    Recreation, which is close to entertainment and pleasure, does not benefit the welfare of the zoo animals, but that of the zoo visitors. Jamieson points out that “we should have the honesty to recognize that zoos are for us rather than for the animals”. According to Swiss zoologist Heini Hediger recreation is one of the most important aims of the modern zoo in the face of proceeding urbanization and alienation from nature. People, especially from urbanized areas, should be given the opportunity to relax and to enjoy a naturalistic environment in their very neighbourhood.


    Two pot-bellied pigs sleeping at the “Quintinha” (Little Farm), Lisbon Zoo. This is a place aimed at the education of school children.

    Since the beginning of the modern zoological gardens education and therefore the propagation of biological knowledge has been one of the most prominent aims claimed by zoo professionals. Already in 1829, London Zoo published its first guide to the zoo. Today’s educational efforts of zoos concentrate mostly on ecological and conservation issues. The idea of conservation education at zoos has a longer history than it is often acknowledged. This idea was foremost among the goals of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum as it was planned in the early 1950s. Animal exhibits were one component of the museum, which was begun with the goal of educating the public about the plant life and scenic value of the desert. Although the museum’s focus was regional, and it was not a traditional zoo, directors of many American zoos looked to it as a model. Many zoos now have an education department, a classroom, and full time educational officers. Edinburgh Zoo has pioneered a scheme called “interlink” which combines the resources of the zoo, local museums, and the botanical gardens to create educational courses. Like several other zoos it offers teachers a range of courses from day trips with infants to intensive courses for advanced students. In 1991, over 50,000 students were involved with structured courses at Edinburgh Zoo. However, critics say that there is no educational value in exhibiting wild animals in artificial environments. According to them true respect for wildlife could only be stimulated by learning about animals in their natural habitat.


    Classical zoological gardens played a role in research in comparative anatomy and physiology in the nineteenth century. Important scientists, such as Cuvier, Alfred Brehm and Paul Matschie, used zoos for their studies.
    As early as 1859 the Frankfurt Zoo published the journal Der Zoologische Garten (The Zoological Garden) as a public forum for scientific research and experience at zoos.

    Oskar Heinroth, the director of the aquarium at the Berlin Zoological Gardens during the early decades of the twentieth century, coined the word ethology and was the first to articulate its general mission: a scientific study of animal behavior that would operate through comparative methods, like the already well-established of comparative anatomy.

    Beginning in 1934, the brothers Lutz and Heinz Heck, two German directors of the Berlin and Munich Zoos respectively, did indeed experiment in “back-breeding” two species of extinct European ungulate: the aurochs (Bos primigenius) and the tarpan (Equus gmelini).

    Heini Hediger developed zoo biology as a special branch of biology. Zoo biology translates the ideas and perceptions of others sciences into the practice of zoological garden management and gives stimulus to the use of zoo research in other sciences.

    Contemporary research efforts focus on ethology and conservation breeding. According to William Conway zoo science would contribute basic biological information and technological know-how to the increasingly demanding tasks of wildlife care in constricted habitats.


    Up to now, only a few species such as the Przewalski’s Horse, the American Bison, or the California Condor could be saved from extinction and reintroduced to the wild. The American Bison, for example, was close to extinction at the beginning of the twentieth century. In 1907, the Bronx Zoo led by William T. Hornaday was the first zoo to help the American Bison Society with its reintroduction project, sending 15 bison to the Wichita Forest Reserve in Oklahoma. Other reservation herds were established in succeeding years using additional zoo-bred animals. By 1933, there were 4,404 bison in the United States and 17,043 in Canada. Although most species maintained in zoos are not endangered, and those that are will likely seldom be released into natural habitats, biologist Colin Tudge emphasizes the urgency of ex-situ conservation in zoos in the face of increasing threat to natural habitats.

    In 1993, the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), formerly known as the International Union of the Directors of Zoological Gardens, produced its first conservation strategy. In November 2004, WAZA adopted a new strategy that sets out the aims and mission of zoological gardens of the twenty-first century. The captive breeding of endangered species is coordinated by cooperative breeding programs. Under the auspices of WAZA, 182 International Studbooks are kept. These studbooks are coordinated by the Zoological Society of London. About 810 animal species and subspecies are managed under cooperative breeding programmes at the level of the regional association members such as the Species Survival Plan (SSP), established 1981, or the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP), established 1985.

    But critics point to the marginal contribution of zoos to the preservation of biodiversity. Andrew Linzey, director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, argues that zoos make a “minuscule contribution to conservation.” Most conservation experts agree that few of the rare or endangered species can be saved from extinction by breeding them in captivity. In 1990, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) drew up an action plan for the survival of 1370 species. It considered that the reintroduction of captive bred animals could assist in the conservation of only 19 species (1.4 percent). The difficulties associated with ex-situ conservation are illustrated by the captive breeding program for the critically endangered Sumatran rhinoceros. Between 1984 and 1996, 40 Sumatran Rhinos were transported from their native habitat to zoos and reserves across the world. After years of failed attempts and a dramatic decline of the captive population, one individual gave birth to a healthy male calf at Cincinnati Zoo in September 2001. This was the first successful captive birth of a Sumatran Rhino in 112 years. Two other calves followed in 2004 and 2007. Despite the recent successes in Cincinnati, the captive breeding program has remained controversial. Proponents argue that zoos have aided the conservation effort by studying the reproductive habits, raising public awareness and education about the rhinos, and helping raise financial resources for conservation efforts in Sumatra. Opponents of the captive breeding program argue that losses are too great; the program too expensive; removing rhinos from their habitat, even temporarily, alters their ecological role; and captive populations cannot match the rate of recovery seen in well-protected native habitats.


    Urban zoos

    Urban zoos are the classical zoological gardens that stand in the tradition of the nineteenth century zoo concept, even if some of them changed their names to Conservation Park or Biopark. Most of them are relatively small in size and based within cities or urbanized areas, a fact that often complicates the construction of more sizable enclosures. In Europe a famous urban zoo is the Antwerp Zoo in Belgium, right next to the central station of the city. In the USA a good example is the Cincinnati Zoo.

    Some zoos concentrate on animals of geographical regions (geozoo); other zoos have developed ecological exhibits based on ecosystems rather than geographical areas, or attempt to exhibit their animals in a different way of the opening by night (night safari). The Indianapolis Zoo, opened in 1988 in White River State Park, downtown Indianapolis, Indiana, was organized around the concept of biomes such as temperate and tropical forests, plains, deserts, and oceans. In 1994, the opening of the Night Safari, conceived by Sri Lankan Lyn de Alwis and developed by the team at the Singapore Zoological Gardens led by Bernard Harrison, created the simple but totally unique concept of simulating appropriate animal species in a national park, to be viewed only at night, with subtle theatrical lighting simulating moonlight. Some 1,000 animals can be seen in a tropical rainforest setting.

    Open-range zoos

    A number of open-range zoos have been established since the mid-1920s in rural surroundings. The prototype is Whipsnade Park, England, established by the Zoological Society of London on the Chiltern Hills in 1926 and opened in 1931 (600 acres, 2.4 km²). Urban zoos started to develop out of city zoos — commencing with Whipsnade for London, followed by such developments as Planckendael (1956) for the Antwerp Zoo and Tama (1958) for Ueno Zoo in Tokyo. Fewer species are exhibited in such zoos than in urban zoos, but they are mostly kept in more sizable enclosures. Conservation centers were established for the first time in the United States for the purpose of off-site captive reproduction and conservation at the San Diego Wild Animal Park (Escondido, California, 1972), St. Catherines Wildlife Conservation Center (Midway, Georgia, 1974), and Conservation and Research Center (Front Royal, Virginia, 1975). San Diego, New York and Washington Zoos respectively manage these centers, and all are off exhibits (not open to the public) except the San Diego Wild Animal Park. After 30 years of animal research, Bronx Zoo closed St. Catherines Island preserve at the end of 2004. In North America, the seventies witnessed a boom in so-called “utopian zoos”, sprawling complexes of several hundred acres often linked by trams or monorails. From San Diego (1972) to Toronto (1974), Minneapolis (1978) to Miami (1981), these elaborate facilities provided animals with vast territories to roam and offered visitors yet another version of zoo naturalism. The largest zoo in terms of size is the 1,800 acre (7 km²) San Diego Wild Animal Park in the Pasqual Valley, California, that is run by the Zoological Society of San Diego. In 1974 the Metropolitan Toronto Zoo was open to the public. Encompassing 710-acre (2.9 km2), it is located at Scarborough, Ontario. The Minnesota Zoo, opened in 1978, is a agency of the state of Minnesota. It was built in Apple Valley, Minnesota, a suburbanizing rural area of Minneapolis-St. Paul, and organized its animals by their living environment, featuring outdoor and indoor themed walking trails: Minnesota Trail, Northern Trail, and Tropics Trail. The Werribee Open Range Zoo near Melbourne, Australia, concentrates on displaying animals living in a wide open savanna. This 500-acre (2.0 km2) zoo is managed by the Zoological Parks and Gardens Board which also manages Melbourne Zoo. One of only two American state supported zoos is the North Carolina Zoo located in Asheboro, North Carolina and opened in 1976. At 1,458-acre (5.90 km2), it is the largest walk-through natural-habitat zoo. The almost 1,500-acre park includes a 300-acre (1.2 km2) recreation of Africa’s wilderness and a 200-acre (0.81 km2) representation of North America’s landscape.

    Safari parks
    A safari park is a zoo-like commercial tourist attraction where visitors can drive in their own vehicles and observe the wildlife, rather than viewing animals in cages or small enclosures. Most safari parks were established in a short period of ten years, between 1966 and 1975.

    Animal theme parks
    An animal theme park is a combination of an amusement park and a zoo, mainly for entertaining and commercial purposes. Marine mammal parks such as Sea World and Marineland are more elaborate dolphinariums keeping whales, and containing additional entertainment attractions.
    Another kind of animal theme park is Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida (550 acres, 2.2 km²) or Busch Gardens Africa in Tampa, Florida (335 acres, 1.36 km²). These commercial parks are similar to open-range zoos according to size, but different in intention and appearance since they contain far more entertainment elements (stage shows, roller coasters, mythical creatures etc.).

    Roadside zoos
    There are hundreds of substandard wildlife attractions throughout the United States and Canada called roadside zoos. These mainly amateur facilities are usually privately owned and occasionally accredited by the American zoo organization AZA. The focus is on amusing customers, rather than on meeting the needs of the animals. Roadside zoos often lack trained, experienced animal care staff, proper funding and safety practices. Animals are confined to small, barren, often filthy cages, and suffer poor welfare as a result of inadequate housing, care and diet. Roadside zoos breed animals in order to have a constant supply of cute babies to attract the public. Big cat rescues, primate rescues, and native wildlife rescues are overwhelmed due to the constant influx of animals coming out of roadside zoos.

    Rescues and sanctuaries
    Animal welfare supporters have funded the construction and set-up of sanctuaries for wild animals. The animal welfare organization WSPA established several of these facilities for rescued bears worldwide. According to the organization those in Greece and Turkey have helped stamp out the tradition of forcing bears to perform tricks for public entertainment. Another type of sanctuary takes the form of a rehabilitation and release center. An example of this is the Idaho Black Bear Rehabilitation Center, where orphaned bear cubs are cared for and prepared for release back into the wild. Another sanctuary, especially for apes and primates, is 65 acre (0.26 km²) Monkey World near Wool, Dorset, England. Set up in 1987 it was originally intended to provide a home for abused chimpanzees used by Spanish beach photographers, but is now home to many different species of primates.

    Petting zoos
    A petting zoo, also called children’s farms or children’s zoos, features a combination of domestic animals and wild species that are docile enough to touch and feed. To ensure the animals’ health, the food is supplied by the zoo, either from vending machines or a kiosk nearby.

    Specialized zoos
    Some zoos specialized on specific groups of animals such as bird parks (public aviaries), reptile zoos (reptile centre, serpentaria), public aquaria or butterfly zoos.


    Traditional enclosures and new approaches
    The most traditional form of maintaining wild animals in captivity is keeping them in pits (“bear pits”), in cages constructed of metal bars or concrete, in aviaries, or fenced paddocks, although many zoos replaced these by more elaborate and larger enclosures that attempt to replicate their natural habitats, for the benefit of the animals and the visitors.

    The traditional structures in exotic styles in zoological gardens of European cities in the nineteenth century were thought appropriate as the home of wild creatures from foreign parts: the Egyptian temple in Antwerp Zoo (1856), the Moorish-looking elephant house at the Cologne Zoo (1863), the Indian pagoda for elephants in Berlin Zoo (1873), the Turkish elephant house at Basel (1891). The first exotic design for a zoo building was the Egyptian temple at the Antwerp Zoo. Antwerp’s Egyptian temple was a faithful reproduction of an ancient temple on the Isle of Philae. It was built for elephants, giraffes and zebras, in 1856. Its architect, Charles Servais, used the Egyptian style for all kinds of African animals. Following the example of Zoo Antwerpen in Belgium, some of the Berlin Zoological Garden’s houses were built in a picturesque, exotic style. Accordingly, 1871 witnessed the opening of the magnificent Antelope House in the Moorish style. This building was also the Giraffe House, which was elliptical in plan, was decorated with four minarets, each pierced with a large golden sphere. The Antelope House was followed by the Indian style Elephant House (1873), the Japanese Wader House (1897), the picturesque Elephant Gate (1899), the Egyptian Ostrich House (1901), the Indian Bison House (1905), the Russian Wisent House (1905), the Siamese Buffalo House (1907), and the Arabian style houses for solipeds (1910). The most remarkable example of the exotic style of zoo architecture was the Indian temple at Berlin Zoo or Elephantpagode. The magnificent elephant house was built in the form of a Hindu temple, with domes painted yellow, brown and blue. Huge columns supporting the roof have carved elephants’ heads for capitals, and in the centre of the house stood the skeleton of a full-grown elephant. It was used for about 70 years until bombing during World War II destroyed it. The house for wading birds (i.e. cranes and storks) was based on Japanese architecture and stood from 1897 until 1943 when it was destroyed by the war. Also in the Japanese style, the entrance to the Berlin Zoo on Budapester Strasse is the reconstructed Elephant Gate of 1899 that was completely destroyed in the last war and resurrected in all its original detail in 1984. The Egyptian temple for ostriches opened its doors in 1901. The ostrich house, based on Egyptian architecture, was decorated both inside and out with copies of Egytian murals, and on the back wall of the public area two immense figures, painted in a sitting position, were bathed in a deep and glorious sunset. It was destroyed during the war in 1943. Two other houses, the Russian blockhouse for European bison and the Indian blockhouse for American bison are still extant. Built in 1905 this Indo-Russian double blockhouse is home to the American bison on the one side and the Eurasian bison on the other. The American Bison House reminds visitors of a Canadian timber house. Its facade is ornamented with Native American paintings and totem poles of Pacific Northwest Indians are faithfully reproduced in front of the building. The house for the European bison was built like a Russian wooden manor house. The Berlin Zoo’s Siamese Cattle House (1996) is the biggest Thai building in Europe. The new house, used for gaur and banteng, resembles an earlier (1907) one destroyed in World War II. An animal house in the Arab style, Persian tower stable, since 1910 is predominantly accommodation for equine species animals.

    German merchant Carl Hagenbeck developed a new form of animal exhibition at the beginning of the twentieth century. When he opened his private owned zoo at Stellingen near Hamburg, (Tierpark Hagenbeck) in 1907, Hagenbeck had broken with a strong tradition to exhibit animals in accordance with taxonomy. He created a new style of exhibition based on ecological and geographical habitats including different species. For example, the “Northern Panorama” exhibited seals and walruses in a pool in the foreground, with reindeer behind them, and polar bears behind the reindeer. In the “African Panorama”, the foreground pond had ducks and flamingos; behind them were large plains with zebras, antelopes, and ostriches; behind them were lions and vultures at the foot of an artificial mountain, on which were ibex or barbary sheep. The different enclosures were divided with moats not visible to the public, and the successive enclosures were higher than the one in front. The exhibits were landscaped with plants and artificial rocks. The artist for the artificial rocks was Urs Eggenschwyler. This gave the public the impression they were seeing the animals together in one natural habitat. After initial skepticism, many zoological gardens throughout the world adopted Hagenbeck’s ideas and replaced traditional enclosures. Edinburgh Zoo, for example, was one of these institutions inspired by Hagenbeck’s new design. Then there are the extraordinary artificial mountains of concrete, like the Mappin Terraces in London Zoo, designed in 1913-1914 by Peter Chalmers Mitchell and John James Joass. Eventually, whole zoos, such as those in Rome (1911), Munich (1928), Detroit (1928), and Vincennes (1934), followed Hagenbeck plans. Brookfield Zoo, opened in 1934, is known throughout the world for its extensive use of open-air, unbarred enclosures and natural barriers such as moats. In 1941 the African Plains exhibit, the first free-range, multispecies habitat, opened at the Bronx Zoo. The innovative, open habitat is a 4-acre (16,000 m2) moated area featuring a savanna environment recreated for zebras, antelopes, and other grazing animals and birds, with lions kept apart on an island on the other side of a moat. Even if this kind of exhibiting animals to the public was revolutionary in the history and evolution of zoo design, the actual space provided to the animals remained relatively small and was, in fact, not different from that of the traditional enclosures. The new panoramas benefited the aesthetic sense of visitors and can be seen as mainly anthropocentric constructions.

    At the beginning of the twentieth century, new approaches were also made to integrate modern style into zoo architecture. The Jugendstil buildings (1909-1912) at Budapest Zoo in Hungary were ornamented with carved animals. The Jugendstil pavilions of the Elephant House date of 1911 and were designed by Károly Kós.

    During the 1930s, some attempts were made to introduce abstract design into the modern zoo architecture, like those famous abstract geometrical structures by Lubetkin in Regent’s Park, Whipsnade and Dudley. London Zoo’s Gorilla Pavilion was designed in 1932-1933 by the influential Tecton architectural firm, led by Russian emigre Berthold Lubetkin. The Round House is circular so that a half-drum shaped screen could be slid from within one half of it to enclose the other in cold weather, as a protection for the gorillas it was built to house. London Zoo’s penguin exhibit designed in 1934 by Berthold Lubetkin and the Tecton Group was a icon of the Modern Movement with its sweeping, interlocking concrete ramps above the pool.

    From the 1950s on, first attempts were made to integrate the behavioural needs of the animals into zoo design. This approach based on the ideas of Swiss zoologist Heini Hediger who published his book Wild Animals in Captivity in 1942, translated into English in 1950. In this work he gave cogent arguments for a biological and particularly behavioural approach to zoo design and animal care. But the attempts to integrate the knowledge about animal behaviour into zoo design were often ineffectual and not consequently implemented. More important than behaviour and welfare of the animals remained hygienic aspects and, above all, architectural innovation such as New Brutalism. The Elephant and Rhino Pavilion at London Zoo, designed by Hugh Casson and Neville Conder, and built 1962-1965, is such an example. Most enclosures constructed from the 1950s to the 1970s were sterile and small cages made of concrete or ceramic tiles. Meeting hygiene standards became important which resulted in enclosures resembling bathrooms. Few zoos adopted these techniques of “sanitary modernist” design more thoroughly than the one in America, Philadelphia Zoo which opened exhibits Carnivora House in 1951, Monkey House in 1958 and Rare Animal House in 1965. In 1963, the Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde opened the Alfred Brehm House for carnivores and tropical birds. This structure was for a long time the largest animal house in the world and the only one Cat House with indoor barless enclosures for lions and tigers. This structure houses a huge aviary containing many species of birds. The aviary is flanked by cages of wild cats and by terrariums of reptiles, and the whole is overgrown by exotic tropical vegetation.

    At the end of the twentieth century, new approaches were made to transform the appearance of hippopotamus exhibits. The so called “hippoquarium” is a term coined by the Toledo Zoo. The Toledo Zoo has an underwater hippo exhibit, but not the first or only one, the Sedgwick County Zoo (Kansas) built an underwater hippo viewing area in 1973. Opened in 1997, the new Hippopotamus House at Berlin Zoo is a hippopotamus aquarium, spanned by two fine-meshed glass domes where visitors can watch both above and underwater.

    Due to limited space and a lack of financial means it still remains difficult to construct adequate enclosures, particularly for large animals and their requirement for a sizable territory. According to animal rights groups, zoos lacking the financial means or the interest in constructing more elaborate enclosures still keep their animals in inadequate conditions. These conditions can cause stereotypic behavior. Elephants in zoos can also often suffer from arthritis and foot disease. Only some zoological gardens are able to raise enough funds and have sufficient space to build more adequate enclosures for these animals. Such an example is urban Cologne Zoo, Germany, which opened in 2004 an indoor and outdoor elephant enclosure of about five acres. Norman Foster’s new addition to Copenhagen Zoo opened in June 2008 as an extension of Frederiksberg Gardens, the royal park in Copenhagen. The new Elephant House covers approximately 10% of the entire zoo site. At the end of 2001, the London Zoo’s Asian elephants were moved from Regent’s Park to Whipsnade Wild Animal Park in Bedfordshire, ending a 170-year tradition of keeping elephants at the city site. In the spring of 2003, the herd of five African elephants at Longleat Safari Park had been transferred from the Wiltshire park to a new purpose-built facility at the ZooParc de Beauval at St Aignan in France. In 2006, three American zoos (Lion Country Safari, Philadelphia Zoo, Gladys Porter Zoo) announced the closure of their elephant exhibits due to a lack of space. Two other zoos, Bronx Zoo and Santa Barbara Zoo, announced the phase-out of their elephant exhibits.

    Landscape immersion

    During the 1980s many zoological gardens, first in the United States, changed their policy of designing animal enclosures. The so called “landscape immersion”, a term coined by Seattle architect Grant Jones, transformed visibly the outlook and appearance of many zoos throughout the United States. The idea and concept of landscape immersion combines a naturalistic and realistic imitation of natural habitats with the environmental needs of the animals. It was developed by several landscape architects during the wholesale renovation of Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle in the late 1970s encouraged by zoo director David Hancocks. The first landscape immersion exhibit, an enclosure for gorillas, designed by Johnpaul Jones, opened in 1978 at Woodland Park Zoo. For the first time, zoo gorillas had trees to climb, places to hide, a complex landscape to explore, and live vegetation to interact with. According to the original idea and philosophy of landscape immersion the visitors are given the sense they were actually in the animals’ habitat. Buildings and barriers are hidden and vegetation plays a dominant role. In New York City, at the Bronx Zoo, the Congo Gorilla Forest, a 6.5-acre (26,000 m2) exhibit, which opened in July 1999, is the largest simulation of an African rainforest ever built. It is home to more than 300 animals, including the largest breeding group of lowland gorillas in North America. One of the best examples in Germany is the Erlebnis-Zoo Hannover (Hanover Zoo), an EXPO 2000 project, now featuring six different zoo worlds.

    Specific forms of exhibit that can also be referred to landscape immersion are walk-through enclosures and walk-in aviaries. A few European zoos had already realized such exhibits before the term landscape immersion was coined. These ideas were integrated into the concept of landscape immersion and consequently advanced. In contemporary zoos, there are a lot of walk-through exhibits where visitors enter enclosures of non-aggressive species, particularly for birds and small primates. Visitors are asked to keep to paths and avoid showing or eating foods that the animals might snatch. The animals are not tame. One example is Apenheul, a primate park opened in 1971 at Apeldoorn, Netherlands, where visitors can get into direct contact with squirrel monkeys and lemuridae on moated islands.

    Associated with these changes of zoo design are large tropical indoor exhibits. Bronx Zoo’s 37,000-square-foot (3,400 m2) Asian rainforest “Jungle World”, opened in 1985, is a pioneer exhibit of its kind. The exhibit is a masterful mix of the real and artificial, with live plants sprouting from vegetation sculpted from plastic, rubber, and epoxy. The display features more than 100 species of tropical plants, rocks and ledges crafted from concrete and fiberglass, and naturalistic murals artfully merged with the terrain. To add authenticity, it also features five waterfalls, numerous pools ans streams, machine-made clouds, and background sounds that replicate the ambience of a real jungle. The “Lied Jungle” at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo, opened in 1992, is said the largest indoor rainforest in the world; it occupies an 80-foot (24 m) tall building that spans 1.5-acre (6,100 m2). Zürich Zoo opened Masaola Hall in June 2003. The Madagascaran Rainforest Hall covers a space of 2.7-acre (11,000 m2) where the public is able to walk and watch exotic species roaming freely. All the animals, lemurs, birds, fruit bats, reptiles, frogs, fish and insects are native to Madagascar and other Western Indian Ocean islands. With its dimensions of 90 m width, 120 m length and 30 m high, this is one of the biggest artificial rainforests in the world. Leipzig Zoo, Germany, is currently building a similar, but more giant project, the so called “Gondwanaland”.
    Burgers’ Zoo at Arnhem, Netherlands, is widely known as being innovative in presenting major indoor displays on an ecological base. There are Burgers’ Bush (1988), a tropical rainforest in a greenhouse of 3.7-acre (15,000 m2), the Mangrove Hall (1991), Burgers’ Desert (1994), an American desert environment in a greenhouse of 1.85-acre (7,500 m2), and Burgers’ Ocean (2000), displaying a coral sea in aquarium containing 8 million liters of water. The Bush is 150 m long, 95 m wide and 20 m high. From the Bush, visitors have access to the Desert by way of a long underground tunnel, as well as to the Ocean.
    The Desert Dome, an indoor desert, opened in April 2002 at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo, and the Kingdoms of the Night, a nocturnal animal exhibit, opened beneath the Desert Dome in April 2003. It is the world’s largest glazed geodesic dome and both levels make up a combined total of 1.92-acre (7,800 m2). The Desert Dome has geologic features from three deserts around the world: Namib Desert of south Africa; Red Center of Australia; and the Sonoran Desert of the southwest United States. The Kingdoms of the Night features a wet cave (with a 14 ft/4.3 m deep aquarium), a canyon, an African diorama, a Eucalyptus forest, a dry batcave, and a swamp.

    The transformation of zoos according to the concept of landscape immersion is slow and still in progress since the changes require extraordinarily financial and technical expenditures.

    Special enclosures

    Special climate conditions are created for animals living in radical environments, such as penguins which are kept in refrigerated rooms. Special enclosures for reptiles, amphibians, insects, fish, and other aquatic life forms have also been developed.

    London Zoological Gardens opened the first Reptile House (1849), the first public aquarium (1853), and the first Insect House (1881). There has been a “vivarium” at the London Zoo since 1849 when a reptile house was converted from the Cat House and was the first Reptile House to be established in the world. The world’s first public aquarium, or Fish House as it was known for most of its innovative life, was opened in May 1853. The word “aquarium” also originates at London Zoo, beforehand the term for a fish enclosure was Aquatic Vivarium. What would today be called an insect or invertebrate house was opened in 1881 when a steel-and-glass structure usurped what had previously served as a refreshment room.

    In America, zoos planners adopted a style of display in reptile houses similar to the habitat dioramas that had become popular in American natural history museums: they put the animals in glass-fronted cages, with foliage and a painted backdrop, arranged around the perimeter of an exhibition hall. Lighting the cages and keeping the hall dark, as in museums displays, reduced glare on the glass and focusing attention on the animals. Zoos that could afford to do so housed these small-scale natural settings in massive buildings — museum like buildings that conveyed scientific and cultural authority. The Reptile House at the Cincinnati Zoo is the oldest zoo building in America, dating from 1875. Crocodiles, snakes, turtles, frogs, and a reptile nursery are exhibited at the Bronx Zoo’s World of Reptiles in a historic building dating back to 1899. The St. Louis Zoo opened a reptile house in 1927. The facilities built specifically for snakes, lizards, frogs and other amphibians are inside a Mediterranean-style stucco building with a red tile roof. The National Zoo’s Reptile House opened in 1931.

    In 1910, the old Berlin Aquarium, founded by Alfred Brehm, closed and Berlin Zoo shareholders’ association decided a new aquarium should be built at the Berlin Zoo. The new building, planned by Oskar Heinroth and opened in 1913, was to be much more than just an aquarium. Its three storeys were home to sweetwater and saltwater fish, reptiles, amphibians, and a large number of invertebrates. On the first floor was an aquarium, on the second a terrarium, and on the third an insectarium. Inside was created the first walkthrough enclosure in the center of the aquarium. This large hall for crocodiles extended up through the three floors. From the aquarium floor the crocodiles could be seen swimming underwater through large windows. On the second floor a bridge led through a tropical river exhibit with sandbanks where the crocodiles lived. And from the third floor the exhibit could be seen into the glasshouse from above. The aquarium was destroyed in 1943 during World War II, but the building was restored with its original floor plan through the 1950s.
    The Frankfurt Zoo aquarium inaugurated in 1928 was destroyed in 1944 during World War II. It was reopened in 1957 and substantially enlarged. It became the Exotarium where climatic landscapes and endangered reptiles can also be seen. A hall of climatic landscapes was added, featuring a tropical riverbank with birds, reptiles, and fish. In a polar landscape, where cooling units produced artificial ice and bacteria filters cleaned the air, seals and penguins could be seen through underwater windows. At the aquarium section, 14 large tanks were arranged in geographic order to show, for example, South Sea reefs, a Black Forest river, and Amazon’s dark water streams. In the reptile hall, where visitors walked through vegetation, glass roofs could be moved to allow direct sunlight to reach the animals, and in the crocodile area a tropical thunderstorm was presented daily.
    In the Basel Zoo, there is a large Vivarium (“Aquarium”/“Terrarium”) with freshwater and marine species of fish and invertebrates, penguins, reptiles and a few amphibians. Basel Zoo’s Vivarium opened its doors in 1972 and represented already by its structural concept a characteristic. The “vivarium” offers an interactive tour of the world depicting the story of evolution on earth. The 350 meters long visitor course leads first under the surface of the pond and penetrates always far into the depth of the oceans and the evolution following again up to the country. Unnoticed the visitor on its way turned around 360 degrees.

    Zoos may have nocturnal houses, special buildings designed for nocturnal animals, with dim white or red lighting used during the day, so the animals will be active when visitors are there, and brighter lights at night to help them sleep. These exhibits reverse day and night so that visitors can see in human daylight hours some of the activities of the animal world that moves mostly after dark. The exhibits inside invert the life cycle of the animals by using strong artificial light during exterior darkness, and red light, which is invisible to most nocturnal animals, during human daylight. Thus they and their lifestyle can be observed.
    The Bristol Zoo developed the first example of a nocturnal house with reverse lighting in 1953. The phenomenon was soon reproduced in zoos all over the world. The Antwerp Zoo’s Nocturama had been opened for the creatures of the night in 1968. The Bronx Zoo’s World of Darkness, a building exhibiting nocturnal reptiles, birds and mammals, opened in 1969.
    The Grzimek House for Small Mammals at Frankfurt Zoo is famous for its nocturnal displays. This big structure was the Grzimekhaus opened in 1978, a three-level building located to a great extend underground. It was the first specially constructed house of this dimensions, and is still one of the largest, most modern, and most complicated constructions of its kind. Some 50 artificial habitats accommodate some of the rarest animals. The building was divided into two sections. Half of the house is a nocturnal section, where the light regime has been reversed to present nocturnal animals during their activity phase. The other half is a daylight section for diurnal animals. The nocturnal exhibit concept exists also in a new form such as a walk-through approach. An example is Amersfoort Zoo, Netherlands, where a walk-through nocturnal exhibit opened in 2003.

    Management and animal care


    Related and similar institutions in aims, staff and history are public aquaria. At the time when the first zoological gardens were established during the nineteenth century also public aquaria came into existence. Today, both zoos and public aquaria are integrated in the same national and international umbrella organizations. These zoo associations proclaim to force their members to achieve certain standards in animal management, veterinary care, aims, and stewardship.

    The International Species Information System (ISIS), a computer-based inventory system, was established in 1973 to facilitate collection and population management for wild animals maintained in captivity.


    Most zoological gardens incorporated within international umbrella organizations are led by professionals such as zoologists or veterinarians. Typical departments and subdepartments include the animal collection with live mammal, bird, reptile and amphibian, fish and invertebrate inventories. Curators plan for the development, maintenance, and growth of the animal collection and animal care staff. They are responsible for the acquisition of animals and play a role in the administration of captive breeding programs. They also participate in scientific conferences, write scientific papers, or assist in exhibit design.
    Veterinarians provide medical care for ill or injured animals including surgery, vaccinations and physical exams. They also develop and implement preventive health care, or help determine healthful animal diets.
    Responsible for the actual care of the animals within these institutions are zookeepers. The training of a zookeeper is very broad and covers many areas of modern animal husbandry, basic veterinary knowledge, behavioural biology knowledge. Daily basic duties of zoo keepers include cleaning and maintenance of animal enclosures and feeding of the animals. Some keepers prepare animal diets, report and record animal’s health and behaviour, or assist veterinarians. The educational requirements for an entry level zoo keeper vary but are often a college degree in zoology, biology or an animal-related field. Some colleges offer programs oriented towards a career in zoos. Job advancement is also possible but more limited than in some other careers requiring a college degree. Some zoos, particularly roadside zoos, are private-owned amateur facilities with a lack of well trained personnel.

    The organisation of animal care staff depends on zoo architecture and enclosure design.
    Traditionally, the live exhibits were often organized by taxonomy, resulting in clusters of carnivores cages, bird aviaries, primate exhibits, and so on, which led to sections within a zoo cared for by specialized keeper staff. Some keepers can become highly specialized such as those who concentrate on a specific group of animals like birds, great apes, elephants or reptiles.
    Modern habitat exhibits attempt to display a diversity of species of different animal classes within one enclosure to represent ecosystem concepts. Groups of enclosures are organized by themes, relating to, for example, zoogeography and bioclimatic zones, rather than taxonomy. The shift in exhibit arrangements is changing the scope of work for curatorial staff and animal keepers, as they become habitat keepers, with a necessary working knowledge of living environment care, including landscape maintenance, plant care, climate control, and expanded knowledge of animals husbandry for many more species across taxonomic classes.

    Animal care

    The physical health as well as the social and behavioral well-being of zoo animals depends on enclosure design, nutrition, husbandry, management practices, group social structure, behavioral enrichment, preventive medicine, and medical and surgical care.

    Proper feeding management of wild animals in captivity incorporates both husbandry skills and applied nutritional sciences. As a basic foundation of animal management, nutrition is integral to longevity, disease prevention, growth and reproduction.

    Most contemporary zoos led by professionals are aware of environmental enrichment, also called behavioral enrichment, as a part of the daily care of animals. Environmental enrichment refers to the practice of providing animals with environmental stimuli. The goal of environmental enrichment is to improve an animal’s quality of life by increasing physical activity, stimulating natural behaviors, and preventing or reducing stereotypical behaviors.

    The use of behavioral training has often allowed zoos to improve dramatically their ability to care for animals, while reducing animal stress and increasing safety for both keeper and animal during care procedures.

    But sometimes even those zoos proclaiming high standards can fail to meet them in some way. Accidental deaths during the six months of animal stocking preceding the opening of Disney’s Animal Kingdom were investigated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 1998. After a series of publicized animal deaths at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Zoological Park (National Zoo) in early 2003, the National Academies released an interim report in 2004 and an final report in 2005. Another example is the captive breeding management of great apes where these animals and their infants are traded and shuttled from place to place.

    Because they wanted to stress conservation issues, many large zoos stopped the practice of having animals perform tricks for visitors. The Detroit Zoo, for example, stopped its elephant show in 1969, and its chimpanzee show in 1983, acknowledging that the trainers had probably abused the animals to get them to perform.

    Some zoo practices in countries without animal protection laws would be illegal in many countries. Some examples include in 2008 the practices of Chinese zoos:

    Badaling Safari World, a.k.a. the “Badaltearing Safari Park” (China) cited by journalists, encourages zoo visitors to throw live goats into the lions’ enclosure and watch them being eaten, or purchase live chickens tied to bamboo rods to dangle into lion pens. Visitors can drive through the lion’s compound on buses with specially designed chutes leading into the enclosure into which they can also push the live chickens.

    Xiongsen Bear and Tiger Mountain Village (near Guilin in south-east China) feed live cows to tigers to amuse visitors.
    Qingdao Zoo, (near Beijing, China) allows visitors to engage in “tortoise baiting”, in which they are encouraged to throw coins at the turtle’s heads. The turtles have elastic bands around their necks, so that they can’t retract.

    Acquisition and surplus of animals

    Zoos acquire animals through captive breeding programs, trade among zoos or collecting from the wild. The collection, trade, and transport of wild animals is regulated by government agencies.

    At the beginning of the twentieth century, animals were caught in the wild; at the end of the twentieth century, many species are bred in zoos using sophisticated, and expensive, scientific procedures. For example, in 1910, the Bronx Zoo exhibited 1,160 species but recorded only 86 births. In 1993, it had 633 species and 1,253 births.

    The World Zoo Conservation Strategy published in 1993 stated “that the commercial wild animal trade as a source of zoo animals should cease as soon as possible. Such animals as must be collected from the wild, must be collected for specific educational and conservation purposes. They should not be chosen from dealers’ lists of animals randomly collected for commercial purposes.” These goals, while closer than in 1993, are still valid in The World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Strategy published in 2005.

    It is general practice for zoos to obtain animals from each other, usually by exchange, as loans or gifts, and in some countries, when rescued from unsuitable circumstances.

    Controversy surrounded the importation of seven African elephants (an officially endangered species) from the wilds of Swaziland to the San Diego Wild Animal Park in 2003, despite offers to move the elephants to reserves elsewhere in Africa. Prior to the import, three resident elephants were shipped to Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo, where all three elephants died within two years. There have been births from the Swaziland elephants since coming to the Wild Animal Park. In 2008, the Wild Animal Park houses eleven African elephants in a 3 acres (12,000 m2) enclosure.

    Zoos participating in breeding programs are responsible for the regulation of their animal collections. Euthanasia might be considered for surplus individuals.

    The downside to breeding the animals in captivity is that thousands of them are placed on “surplus lists”, and sometimes sold to circuses, animal merchants, auctions, pet owners, and game farms. The San Jose Mercury News conducted a two-year study that suggested of the 19,361 mammals who left accredited zoos in the United States between 1992 and 1998, 7,420 (38 percent) went to dealers, auctions, hunting ranches, unaccredited zoos and individuals, and game farms. Some zoos have advertised surplus animals in the Animal Finders’ Guide, a newsletter in which the owners of hunting ranches post notices of sales and auctions.

    In 2008, deputy director of Nuremberg Zoo, Germany, said: “If we cannot find good homes for the animals, we kill them and use them as feed.”

    A German Greens Party politician alleged in March 2008 that hundreds of the Berlin Zoo’s 23,000 animals are missing, amid allegations that they have been slaughtered, and that some tigers and leopards were sent to China to make drugs for traditional Chinese medicine. The Director of the zoo replied by saying he believes his detractors are spreading “untruths, half-truths and lies”.

    Many countries have legislation to regulate zoos that requires these institutions to be licensed and inspected. Zoo regulation is usually supported by written standards relating to species, exhibits and management.

    In the United States, any public animal exhibit must be licensed and inspected by the United States Department of Agriculture, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Drug Enforcement Agency, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and others. Depending on the animals they exhibit, the activities of zoos are regulated by laws including the Endangered Species Act, the Animal Welfare Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 and others. Additionally, zoos in North America may choose to pursue accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). To achieve accreditation, a zoo must pass an application and inspection process and meet or exceed the AZA’s standards for animal health and welfare, fundraising, zoo staffing, and involvement in global conservation efforts. Inspection is performed by three experts (typically one veterinarian, one expert in animal care, and one expert in zoo management and operations) and then reviewed by a panel of twelve experts before accreditation is awarded. This accreditation process is repeated once every five years. The AZA estimates that there are approximately 2,400 animal exhibits operating under USDA license as of February 2007; fewer than 10% are accredited.

    In April 1999, the European Union introduced a directive to strengthen the conservation role of zoos, making it a statutory requirement that they participate in conservation and education, and requiring all member states to set up systems for their licensing and inspection. Zoos are regulated in the United Kingdom by the Zoo Licensing Act of 1981, which came into force in 1984. The act requires that all zoos be inspected and licensed, and that animals kept in enclosures are provided with a suitable environment in which they can express normal behavior.

    As per section 38(H) of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, no zoo shall operate without being recognised by the Central Zoo Authority (CZA), New Dehli, which regulates zoos in India.


  • Water footprint
    The water footprint is an indicator of freshwater use that refers to both the direct use of water by a consumer or producer, and its indirect use. The water footprint can be considered an integral indicator of the appropriation of freshwater resources, as it is used to measure the total volume of freshwater used to produce the goods and services produced by a company, or consumed by an individual or community. Water use is composed of the volume of water consumed, evaporated or polluted, either per unit of time for individuals and communities, or per unit of mass for enterprises. The water footprint assesses both direct and indirect water use and can be calculated for any type of facility.


  • Sustainability
    Quality of sustainability, particularly the characteristics of development that ensures the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations.