Five project management stories you shouldn’t have missed

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Qatar’s ‘cool pavement’ project to reduce city temperatures

The Qatar city of Doha will be home to a pilot project using cryogenic material to reduce road temperatures. Qatar’s Public Works Authority is overseeing the project, which will use ‘cool pavement’ materials that reflect UV rays and absorb radiation, rather than trapping heat, like conventional asphalt.

The pilot project will test the material on a 200-metre stretch of road near Souq Waqif, and another 200-metre pedestrian and cycling path near the Katara cultural village. The pilot project will last for 18 months before potentially rolling it out across the city. Los Angeles is pursuing a similar project on an area spanning 15 residential blocks – expect similar projects to tackle rising temperatures in the near future. 

The Big Issue launches community selling project to expand reach

While The Big Issue has great reach in cities through its network of homeless vendors, it’s harder for the magazine to reach more remote areas, where they don’t have any vendors. So the organisation has launched a community selling project to increase its reach – and therefore the funds it can use to tackle poverty.

The magazine will be sold by organisations and groups that support their communities – such as social enterprises, charities, religious groups, youth clubs and groups for the elderly. Those groups will keep a proportion of the earnings from selling the magazines, with the rest going to fund The Big Issue and its projects.

Implementing the project will involve a lot of communications and outreach work to raise awareness of the initiative and encourage community organisations to get involved.

New project uses Twitter-power to map ‘not-spots’

NoServiceHere, a UK government-funded project to identify areas with poor mobile reception, is using the Twitter community as part of its work to identify some of the worst performing areas. 

This is the first stage in a wider project to improve connectivity across the UK – with this research project in place, the implementation project will be better informed on where to focus when rolling out 3G, 4G and 5G networks. 

NoServiceHere is a joint academia-industry project actually comprising of three programmes. One, COCKPIT-5G, is focused on mobile hotspots and ‘not-spots’. The project is creating a heat map of the UK which evolves with each bit of data recorded from Twitter. The project, led by Prof. Jie Zhang, has also mapped sentiment towards wireless services using the same methods. 

Kanye’s housing project could get torn down

The story of Kanye West’s Yeezy Home project in Calabasas, Los Angeles is a lesson in the importance of proper planning and preparation. The rapper’s housing project had admirable aims – the three-domed building was designed to improve housing for low income and homeless citizens in the city. 

The Calabasas development was supposed to be an experiment, and as such, Yeezy Home applied for permits to build temporary structures on the site. However, after noise complaints, the authorities deemed the structures permanent. Kanye now has until 15 September to get the correct permits. 

Hopefully it won’t spell the end of the project altogether, which could make a real difference, if Yeezy and his team can iron out the kinks.

Hoverboard man makes it over the channel

Remember Franky Zapata? He failed to cross the channel on his hoverboard last month after missing his refuelling platform and falling into the water. This month, he tried again and succeeded.

He completed the crossing in 22 minutes, travelling at speeds of up to 100mph. Zapata and his team were concerned ahead of the flight because they felt they hadn’t had enough time to repair it since the previous attempt. The team worked 15 to 16-hour days to get the board in shape.

Congratulations, Franky – here’s to failing fast and bouncing back.

Brought to you by Project journal.
Mark Rowland

Posted by Mark Rowland on 30th Aug 2019

About the Author

Mark Rowland is a senior writer on the Project editorial team. He has worked as a business journalist and editor for 15 years, and has won awards for his writing and editing. He has also worked in project and product management, overseeing the launch and continuous development of new websites and publications. Project is the official journal of the Association for Project Management (APM).

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