As of Tuesday, the German capital is one year into its five-year "rent freeze," and the data collected so far has given both opponents and supporters fuel for their arguments. A survey published last week by property ad portal ImmoScout24 found that while Berlin's average rent has indeed dropped in the past year, by 7.8%, the number of new flats on the market eligible for a rent reduction had dropped too — by some 30%. That has had a major effect on the competition for new apartments, ImmoScout24 said, with an average of 214 people answering each rental advert in January 2021, compared to 128 in the same month last year. Many cities around the world have some kind of rent control measures in place, but Berlin's rent cap law, in effect since February 2020, is unique. It meant that rents for 90% of Berlin's apartments were frozen for five years at the level they were at in June 2019. New rental contracts could not be above that level, and as of November 2020, any existing rents … [Read more...] about Berlin’s revolutionary rent cap — success or flop?
We spend 90% of our time in the buildings where we live and work, shop and conduct business, in the structures that keep us warm in winter and cool in summer. But immense energy is required to source and manufacture building materials, to power construction sites, to maintain and renew the built environment. In 2019, building operations and construction activities together accounted for 38% of global energy-related CO2 emissions, the highest level ever recorded. To ensure that the Paris climate targets are met, the building and construction industry needs to become a climate leader by moving towards net zero construction. Its CO2 emissions need to be cut in half by 2030 for building stock to be carbon free by 2050, according to a recent report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). In response, a raft of new net zero building initiatives are focused on curbing emissions across the whole building lifecycle. DW looks at 5 key points in understanding the … [Read more...] about 5 things to know about carbon-free construction
Vincent Keymer isn't the type of individual to be easily sidetracked – not by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has put a stop to chess players sitting across the board from one another, and not by the high hopes the German chess community is placing in the 16-year-old. "External pressure has never been much of a problem for me," the student from the small town of Saulheim in western Germany told DW. "If I were to start trying to live up to the expectations of others, I would lose control over my own destiny." Seven hours against Magnus Carlsen The youngster, seen as the greatest talent Germany has produced in half a century, has been steadily climbing the competitive chess ladder. Keymer first beat a grandmaster at the age of 10 and at 14 he earned the title of grandmaster himself – becoming the youngest-ever German to do so. By then he had already sat opposite world champion Magnus Carlsen for the first time – in the first round of a the Grenke Chess Open in Karlsruhe during … [Read more...] about German chess prodigy Vincent Keymer: ‘External pressure has never been a problem’