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Civil Engineering - 07.09.2018
Green urban space may be good for children’s brains
Children living in greener urban neighbourhoods may have better spatial working memory, according to new research by UCL Institute of Education (IOE). Spatial working memory is a measure of how effective people are at orientation and recording information about their environment. It enables us to navigate through a city or remember the position of objects and is strongly inter-related with attentional control.

Civil Engineering - 03.09.2018
A thinner bridge with enormous strength
A thinner bridge with enormous strength
The first railroad bridge in Germany made of ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) has gone into operation on Bavaria's Tegernsee-Bahn railroad route near Gmund. The innovative high-performance concrete made it possible to build a particularly thin bridge. Engineers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) planned the project and provided scientific supervision.

Civil Engineering - 30.07.2018
Bending The Rules
Bending The Rules
Steel bridges cost a lot of money to build. It's been estimated that the new motorway viaduct near Oberthulba in Bavaria will cost around 85 million Euros. Planners know that in order to save on material costs, build components should be designed with as much openwork as possible, whilst maintaining stability.

Civil Engineering - 15.06.2018
Bringing the heat out of the city
Bringing the heat out of the city
Heat waves are increasing worldwide - and that includes Switzerland. Cities in particular suffer as a result: the temperature difference between city and countryside can amount to several degrees.

Health - Civil Engineering - 04.04.2018
Household air pollution linked to cardiovascular disease risk
Exposure to household air pollution from using wood or coal for cooking and heating is associated with higher risk of death from heart attack and stroke, according to new research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Around three billion people worldwide use solid fuels (e.g.

Civil Engineering - Physics - 12.03.2018
Why is it so hot at night in some cities ?
During the nighttime, it is hotter in the city than in nearby suburbs or the countryside. But just how much hotter differs between cities. Researchers from the MSE 2 (CNRS / MIT) international joint research laboratory and the Centre Interdisciplinaire des Nanosciences de Marseille (CNRS / Aix-Marseille University) 1 have shown that the determining factor is how cities are structured: more organized cities, like many in North America with straight and perpendicular streets, trap more heat.

Civil Engineering - 26.02.2018
Older bridges: Pushing the envelope
Older bridges: Pushing the envelope
Research news In the summer of 2017, researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) pushed the old Saale bridge in Hammelburg in Franconia to its limits: They carried out a total of five load tests - resulting in nasty cracks. In combination with laboratory tests, they hope to determine whether older bridges have greater load reserves than previously assumed.

Physics - Civil Engineering - 22.02.2018
Urban heat island effects depend on a city’s layout
The arrangement of a city's streets and buildings plays a crucial role in the local urban heat island effect, which causes cities to be hotter than their surroundings, researchers have found. The new finding could provide city planners and officials with new ways to influence those effects. Some cities, such as New York and Chicago, are laid out on a precise grid, like the atoms in a crystal, while others such as Boston or London are arranged more chaotically, like the disordered atoms in a liquid or glass.

Civil Engineering - Business / Economics - 22.02.2018
Reducing failed deliveries, truck parking time could improve downtown Seattle congestion, new report finds
Reducing failed deliveries, truck parking time could improve downtown Seattle congestion, new report finds
In Amazon's hometown, people turn to their computers to order everything from groceries to last-minute birthday presents to the odd toothbrush or medication forgotten from the store. If online shopping continues to grow at its current rate, there may be twice as many trucks delivering packages in Seattle's city center within five years, a new report projects - and double the number of trucks looking for a parking space.

Civil Engineering - 19.02.2018
The bridge that stretches
The bridge that stretches
Bridges change shape, which is why they are usually built with expansion joints. At TU Wien, a technology has been developed that makes it possible to forego these joints, thus saving time and money. You can feel it straight away when you drive over a bridge quickly: the expansion joint that you rumble over at the start and end of the bridge.

Civil Engineering - 12.02.2018
Improving urban flood prediction
Improving urban flood prediction
Heavy rainfall can cause flash floods in urban areas. While data from flood events is required to model such phenomena, water levels and discharges are not routinely measured above ground. Eawag now plans to make use of widely available images and videos to estimate these values. We are all familiar with the chaotic scenes caused by torrential rain in towns - roads turned into raging rivers and sewers overflowing, unable to cope with the volume of water running off streets, squares and rooftops.

Social Sciences - Civil Engineering - 17.01.2018
Location plays critical role in assimilation of U.S. immigrants
Research from the University of Chicago finds immigrant populations within the United States assimilate in different ways, with demographics and geography playing critical roles, according to a study by Angela S. García, a sociologist and assistant professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration.

Psychology - Civil Engineering - 10.01.2018
Study suggests exposure to trees, the sky and birdsong in cities beneficial for mental wellbeing
Researchers at King's College London, landscape architects J & L Gibbons and art foundation Nomad Projects have used smartphone-based technology to assess the relationship between nature in cities and momentary mental wellbeing in real time. They found that (i) being outdoors, seeing trees, hearing birdsong, seeing the sky, and feeling in contact with nature were associated with higher levels of mental wellbeing, and that (ii) the beneficial effects of nature were especially evident in those individuals with greater levels of impulsivity who are at greater risk of mental health issues.