Notre Dame Plans to Reopen in 2024, and Other News

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Two years after its devastating fire, Notre Dame Cathedral sets a 2024 opening date. 

The 2019 fire at the Notre Dame cathedral sent out a global shockwave. Concluding its safety phase through meticulous structural recalibration, despite pandemic setbacks, the restoration committee announced that the 850-year-old building will open to the public again in 2024. The aftermath of the inferno sparked a debate about a potential contemporary renovation of the cultural landmark, but French president Emmanuel Macron’s confirmation that Notre Dame will mimic its original build quelled all questions of modernization. “We will rebuild Notre Dame, because that’s what the French people are expecting,” says Macron. “Because that’s what our history is worthy of. Because that’s our deep destiny.”

Bill Gates’s green initiative raises more than $1 billion in a corporate funding round.

Founded in the hope of running green technological projects that are financial heavyweights, Bill Gates established Breakthrough Energy Catalyst—a program to advance projects that adopt four eco-conscious mechanisms: green hydrogen, sustainable aviation fuel, enhanced battery storage, and atmospheric carbon capture protocols. With contributions from corporate pipelines such as Blackrock and Microsoft, Gates accumulated more than $1 billion in funding to kickstart clean-energy developments. In doing so, Gates hopes that this move sets a precedent for ensuing public-private partnerships on the pretext of derailing the climate crisis.

In Philadelphia, a hospital extension project may reduce emergency room wait times.

The development of the Pavilion, a $1.6 billion healthcare complex, at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania is rethinking emergency room protocols to reduce patient wait times through a novel interior program. Slated to open next month, the 1.5-million-square-foot structure subverts the traditional assembly-line scheme and conducts initial triage on incoming patients and assort them to different zones in the ER respectively. The optimized process shrinks the initial average 80-minute wait time to roughly 30 mins through systematic evaluations of clients in semi-private cubicles as opposed to a cluttered waiting room. 

New York mayoral candidate Eric Adams aims to repurpose vacant hotels into shelters.

The exasperated housing crisis in New York due to Covid-19 saw mayor Bill de Blasio convert vacant hotels into temporary homeless shelters. A proposal by Eric Adams, the next expected mayor, follows suit as it details the reuse of shuttered residential structures for people coping with substance abuse, mental illness, and prison sentences. Although several such complexes are underway, Adams notes the cost-effectiveness behind the refurbishment of nexus apartments rather than developing projects from scratch. “The combination of Covid-19, the economic downturn and the problems we’re having with housing is presenting us with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” says Adams. “Use these hotels not to be an eyesore, but a place where people can lay their eyes on good, affordable, quality housing.”

The Los Angeles Clippers team up with Intuit to build a privately funded arena.

In lieu of the 2024-2025 NBA season, the Los Angeles Clippers break ground on the Intuit Dome designed by AECOM. The $1.8 billion arena marks the anticipated relocation of the Clippers’ longtime Staples Center base to a 18,000-seater arena. The team is partnering with Intuit to launch social outreach programs in order to refuel the local economy. The initiates include donating $1 million to finance the education of students attending underprivileged schools, exercising free tax preparation schemes for low-income families, and allocating a record-breaking $260 million to community service packages. 

Google bets big on the office by purchasing $2.1 billion in New York City real estate.

Following its announcement to invest $250 million in New York City real estate early this year, Google seals a $2.1 billion office purchase despite remote work practices. The move sports the highest recorded price tag since the pandemic, as recorded by the Wall Street Journal, and marks the tech giant’s largest outlet outside of California as it boasts 1.7 million square feet that hosts the company’s sales and partnership teams. Located at 550 Washington St, the St. John’s Terminal site is slated to open mid-2023 and is expected to accommodate an increase in its employee base from 12,000 to 14,000.

Today’s attractive distractions:

Researchers devise a wireless charging room that can power a smartphone.

Juergen Teller nearly bears all for JW Anderson’s latest womenswear campaign. 

Edoardo Tresoldi interprets Dante through an ethereal installation of wire mesh.

Archaeologists can now map out Teotihuacán using aerial mapping technology.

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